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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old May 11th, 2011, 03:37 PM   #1
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Novice seeks advice

First off, I purchased an xf300 because all of the feedback I saw looked great and I figured I could (with a little practice) master the on/off switch.

I am working on a production that will result in video shown on a 16 ft x 9 ft screen in front of an audience of 50 to 700 people sitting at least 15 feet away from the screen. The final output will be BluRay disk but we will also be producing SD DVDs. The critical thing is the BluRay.

1. Would you shoot 30p or 24p?
2. In what order would you recommend I 'master' the camera's functionality? Focus, aperture, shutter speed, other custom picture settings?

I realize I am using a great tool without the knowledge all of you have. Unfortunately, I don't have 20 years to gain the experience so I'm hoping a few of you will be willing to share your wisdom.

Thanks in advance.

Jerry
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Old May 11th, 2011, 04:16 PM   #2
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Re: Novice seeks advice

I would say first and foremost that you master the focus - after all, you're going to blow the image up pretty big for that audience. Depending on the subject, don't be afraid to use the auto-focus option, or use it to find the selected focus and then switch to manual, thereby "locking" the focus. That'll be fine as long as the subject doesn't move toward or away from you. In that case, there's the "peaking" facility to help you focus. This camera does a pretty good job with face-recognition as well, so that's another focussing tool that can help.
There are so many variables involved here of course, such as the type of shooting. Will you be using the wider or the tighter end of the zoom mostly; will you be able to shoot most scenes in good light, or will you have to shoot wide open as well as selecting more gain?
As for shutter speed, I think that you'd be better off sticking to the standard one. I live in PAL land, so I invariably stick to 1/50th, but I'm sure that your fellow-countrymen will advise you on the best frame rates for your system.
It's a big question, so I'm sure you'll have no shortage of answers!
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Old May 11th, 2011, 04:26 PM   #3
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Re: Novice seeks advice

Robin,

I realize the question is big. Thanks for your answer.

This will mostly be shots of people. Indoor and outdoor. Will not be zooming in too much.

This production is all about families so there will be shots of anywhere from 1 to 20 people doing various things from playing games to jumping on trampolines.

Thanks again.

Jerry
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Old May 11th, 2011, 07:00 PM   #4
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Re: Novice seeks advice

Jerry have a look into these DVDs. Mastering the Canon XF305/300 Camcorders training DVD By all accounts they are very good. I am probably going to order one because the XF300 is a tricky beast to learn for a novice like me. I am a stills photographer switching to video and finding the learning curve fun but a lot to learn.

Andy S
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Old May 11th, 2011, 10:23 PM   #5
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Re: Novice seeks advice

Great suggestion. I actually already purchased them and have watched them a couple of times. I also purchased a book titled "Video Shooter, story telling with HD cameras" which I have found to be very informative. I have also read a good number of posts here which is why I asked the questions . . . I have found the pros here to be not only full of knowledge but also willing to share.

The DVDs are great and I look forward to more tips in this thread.

Thanks!!!

Jerry
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Old May 12th, 2011, 09:20 AM   #6
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Re: Novice seeks advice

Would you recommend the DVD then Jerry?
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Old May 12th, 2011, 09:33 AM   #7
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Re: Novice seeks advice

Would these DVDs work well with the xf100 ?
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Old May 12th, 2011, 11:39 AM   #8
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Re: Novice seeks advice

The DVDs have been very helpful for me. It's nice to be able to pull out the camera, watch a demo, pause the demo, then do the same thing on my camera. It's put together well.

For a seasoned professional (which I am as far from as you can get), the DVDs may not be as helpful but the demonstrator does not go into general video taking details that I need experience in, so it won't be overly refundant for those with knowledge and experience.

There was another post about someone who had the 100 and who purchased the DVDs. That may be a good one to look at for specifics on how helpful the DVDs would be for 100 owners.

Thanks, everyone. Your help here is extremely useful and greatly appreciated.

Jerry
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Old May 12th, 2011, 11:51 AM   #9
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Re: Novice seeks advice

I have the XF100 and I ordered the DVD's as well.

I found the DVD's very helpful.

Doug includes some custom settings that also
work well on the XF100.

A lot of the manual camera controls and menus
are almost the same as the XF300.

You may also want to pick up the DVD on interview
lighting which is also very helpful.

These DVD's are very high quality and packed
with info.

Well worth the expense for sure.

Craig
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Old May 12th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #10
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Re: Novice seeks advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Winters View Post
The final output will be BluRay disk but we will also be producing SD DVDs. The critical thing is the BluRay.
Shoot 24p since 30p isn't a valid Blu-ray format.
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Old May 12th, 2011, 11:58 AM   #11
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Re: Novice seeks advice

Do the DVDs explain at all HOW to use the various modes, settings etc or just what they do (if you see what I mean)?

Andy S
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Old May 12th, 2011, 02:47 PM   #12
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Re: Novice seeks advice

Roger,

Thanks for the info. According to some sources I found (Blu-ray Disc - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), it looks like 30p can be on BluRay. Am I missing something? Is it native or interpolated or something else if it is anything other than 24p?

Thanks again.

Jerry
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Old May 12th, 2011, 03:02 PM   #13
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Re: Novice seeks advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Beckta View Post
I have the XF100 and I ordered the DVD's as well.

I found the DVD's very helpful.

Doug includes some custom settings that also
work well on the XF100.

A lot of the manual camera controls and menus
are almost the same as the XF300.

You may also want to pick up the DVD on interview
lighting which is also very helpful.

These DVD's are very high quality and packed
with info.

Well worth the expense for sure.

Craig
Thank You I will look in to getting them
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Old May 12th, 2011, 03:35 PM   #14
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Re: Novice seeks advice

Just ordered the xf300 DVD's thanks
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Old May 12th, 2011, 03:54 PM   #15
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Re: Novice seeks advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Winters View Post
Roger,

Thanks for the info. According to some sources I found (Blu-ray Disc - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), it looks like 30p can be on BluRay. Am I missing something?
You are. 30i is supported, 30p is not.

Roger's advice is sound; in your position I would shoot at 1080/24p.
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