Upgrading from XH A1 to XF300 (or XF100) at DVinfo.net

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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 June 22nd, 2011, 08:24 AM   #1
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Upgrading from XH A1 to XF300 (or XF100)

I have used my trusty A1 for about 4 years now on the job at my university. It has served me very well and I will continue to use it as a second/backup camera. My boss is going to spring for a new camera... I am asking for the XF300 and feel fairly confident it will be approved, although it could be that I'll end up with the XF100, which is also a great camera I am sure. From what I have read, my only concerns with the 100 are: 1. No ND filters (I currently use an ND filter on my A1 for all my outdoor interviews), 2. no exposure lock (I use this feature on the A1 constantly), 3. a 10x zoom instead of 18x (A1 is 20x)... occasionally, I need it. 4. smaller LCD screen on the 100 (I want the screen as big as possible) A1 screen is very small as well. I have been shooting on Canons since my first brand new XL1, so I am a big fan.

I just think I would be happier using the 300 everyday for the next 4 years or so. Any thoughts?

My only other thought is I hope we don't buy the 300 and then Canon releases a new version the next month! Has anyone heard any info or have any thoughts on this? Thanks!
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 08:40 AM   #2
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Re: Upgrading from XH A1 to XF300 (or XF100)

Just finished a few days shooting with 105 (thanks Tom!)
You will not be disappointed with either camera. The ND filters are automatic on the 105/100 which worried me a bit...until I used the camera outside. They work perfectly!
The other features are buried in menus and are programmable. The LCD is super sharp and plenty big to see even for manual focusing.
The biggest difference is the lens. I use the 300 at full zoom a lot. The 100 just doesn't have enough throw for me.
I also prefer having physical controls for everything. Much faster in a run and gun type shoot.

So since those sound like concerns to you, push harder for the 300. But if you get the 100, fear not as the picture quality is simply amazing.

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Old June 22nd, 2011, 08:45 AM   #3
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Re: Upgrading from XH A1 to XF300 (or XF100)

Thanks Robert, good points. I too have always preferred manual controls vs menus for the same reasons. At a former employer, I was using a Sony PD170. Good camera, but I did not like the way it was menu driven for the controls or the way it was configured... much prefer Canon's layout of controls.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 08:48 AM   #4
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Re: Upgrading from XH A1 to XF300 (or XF100)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Turchick View Post
The ND filters are automatic on the 105/100 which worried me a bit...until I used the camera outside. They work perfectly!
I have the very same experience. :)

I was skeptical and actually bought ND filters but had some shooting to do before i got them, and realized afterwards that i don't need the one's i bought. When i shot outdoors i always used the cameras negative Gain at either -3dB or -6dB.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 08:51 AM   #5
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Re: Upgrading from XH A1 to XF300 (or XF100)

My main reason for using the ND filters on my A1 is to get more of a blurred background on my outdoor shoots. Would this reason work with the 100/105? Also, do either of these cameras (100 or 300 series) allow for a shallow DOF more easily than my A1? Just curious.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 09:06 AM   #6
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Re: Upgrading from XH A1 to XF300 (or XF100)

Not sure how the ND's would affect the auto ND's on the 100. 300 would work the same as you are used to. As for DOF, I can get the effect if I am far away from the subject and the BG is far from the subject. Otherwise, my 7D comes to the party! :)
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Old July 1st, 2011, 10:54 AM   #7
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Re: Upgrading from XH A1 to XF300 (or XF100)

For handheld work, is there not a ton of difference (excuse the pun) between the 300 series and the 100 series?

Any idea of when the 100 series might be available again?
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Old July 1st, 2011, 08:16 PM   #8
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Re: Upgrading from XH A1 to XF300 (or XF100)

The 100 series is available now . . . if you get the 105.

Robert shot my 105 for three days -- the first time we used it. We were both surprised at how good it was.

I've shot it for a half-dozen days since then, and my appreciation continues to grow. The image stabilization is incredible, as is the focus. Truly, we are using it on auto-everything most of the time, something I would never do. It just isn't done.

(Okay, we don't go automatic gain on the audio. That's manual, of course.)

We're shooting a TV series, and the XF105 is doing great.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 08:11 AM   #9
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Re: Upgrading from XH A1 to XF300 (or XF100)

Scott, like you I have been using an A1 for just over 3 years and about six months ago I purchased an XF300. All I can say is you will not be disappointed if you went the XF 300 route.
It is by far the best camera I have ever had, and also like you I have had Canon cams going back to the XM2. The only criticism I have about the camera is having to switch from manual ring zoom to servo zoom control. On the A1 you could jump from one to the other without having to select one.
Other than this one fault it is a joy to operate and the image quality is fantastic.
Regards, Cliff Elliott
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