XF300 vs. 7d 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 August 14th, 2011, 11:39 PM   #1
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XF300 vs. 7d

I am currently using an XHA1s and am looking to take the next step up. How does the image quality of the XF300 compare to the 7d? I know the DOF isn't there with the XF but I am more concerned with getting that great "film" look that people are getting with the 7d. Yes, I know there is a huge price difference, I just want to know about image quality.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 01:18 AM   #2
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

I have the XF305 and also used the 7D on my last DVD production "a guide to DSLR photography"

The 7D will produce excellent movies. However, there are many shortcomings with shooting on a HDSLR compared to a dedicated camcorder. The best option is to use both, especially if you you want to do wide angle work.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #3
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

Whats the recording time like on the XF? I heard with the 7d you can only get about 8 minutes per card.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 08:42 AM   #4
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

Recording times vary with the memory card size. With a 16gb card on the XF using 1920 x 1080 or 1280x720 I get 40 minutes.@ 50mbs, using 35mbs I get 57 minutes. The 7D has a shorter maximum recording time for any take, but you can start a new recording(s) to fill the card. The limitation of a short recording time is no big deal unless you want to record an entire wedding or other long production.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 04:05 PM   #5
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

Also look at the XF100 (we have both and also 7D + 5D2 etc).

The XF cameras mix very well with the DSLR footage, but as you know you can't get the shallow DOF (which is often more hassle than it's worth).

DSLR recording times are approx 12 mins for every 4GB of card space, so a 32GB card gets you 8x4GB = 8x12 mins = 96 mins (approx). The same card in the XF gives us 82mins (50mbs 4:2:2).
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Old August 15th, 2011, 04:24 PM   #6
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

Best solution is to have both! ;)

They do blend nicely BUT you have to tweak the in camera setting to get that to happen unless you like a lot of work in post.
Ive shot both of my cameras for a nationally airing TV show and also a local PBS show that airs in HD.
Depending on the subject, I've used them both for a-cam/b-cam rolls and they work great in either roll.
If you can't swing the 300 and 7D, substitute a T2i which has the same video quality (just not as controllable settings-wise) as the 7D for half the price. Get a 50mm f1.4 and you're all set for the best of both worlds.
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Old August 16th, 2011, 02:21 AM   #7
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

The big problem with the shallow DOF is that if you don't get your focus spot on then the result will look dreadful on a 40 or 50" screen. Achieving accurate focus on a HDSLR is not that easy, unless you invest in a decent finder.
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Old August 16th, 2011, 10:06 AM   #8
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

LOL! It's not that easy even with a decent viewfinder! As with anything regarding camerawork, it takes practice...lots of practice to become really proficient.
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Old August 16th, 2011, 02:36 PM   #9
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

Thanks for the input. Eventually I would like to be dual wielding the 7d and 300, but budget wise I might pick up the 7d first unless I can sell my XHA1s for a decent price.
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Old August 16th, 2011, 06:07 PM   #10
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

What it is about the 7D that you consider it "a step up". When I was ready for a step up from the A1, it was because of limitations of the A1. In many ways, you'll be giving up things in a move to the 7D. Also, overcoming the limitations of shooting with DSLRs entails additional equipment costs so look at the total cost. Are you limited by only spending what you sell your used A1s for? The type of shooting you do is also a factor.
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Old August 16th, 2011, 09:00 PM   #11
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

To chirp in a little late, I have multiple A1's and 7D's. The 7D's are great for shallow DOF, but focus can be a real PIA especially if you are shooting lower than F4. The resolution isn't there on the 7D's and to be perfectly honest the XF300 would be a million times more useful if I had to pick. Also I suppose it depends on what work you do, for general corporate / event / low end broadcast I would go straight to the XF300. If you want to do multi camera shoots and use a 7D for a few money shots great. But for the entire event it is a big risk. Other option could be a 2nd hand Ex1 and a capture device and a 2nd hand 7D??? Remember the cost of lenses with the 7D, you will need a few.
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Old August 16th, 2011, 09:45 PM   #12
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

I sold my A1 for a Canon 60D. I went with the 60D over the 7d because of the articulated LCD monitor. Which is a BIG improvement over the 7d. I shoot only from a tripod, and only at pretty stationary targets. I don't move around much.

The 60D does have a better overall picture quality. However, you can't believe all of the important shots I have missed since buying it.

When a object, bird, or person is moving toward you, or away from you, forget. You can't keep it focused.

Filming a Bald Eagle flying past you? forget it. Following any kind of fast moving object, forget it. Following a person in a crowd of people, I hear it's possible with hours of practice. But, I still can't do it.

Looking back, I should have kept the A1, it's a incredible camera, and adapts well to any situation. I should have waited out Canon for it's replacement. Which I know is frustrating. I should have kept the A1. I suggest you do the same.

No, I won't trade. But I will sell when Canon releases a camcorder to replace the A1 and that wonderful 20x lens.

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Old August 17th, 2011, 02:16 AM   #13
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
The big problem with the shallow DOF is that if you don't get your focus spot on then the result will look dreadful on a 40 or 50" screen. Achieving accurate focus on a HDSLR is not that easy, unless you invest in a decent finder.
It will look even worse on a deep dof camera such as the XF-series. I've seen a lot of poorly shot documentary footage where the focus is on the backwall instead of the speaker. Never seen anything like that even with poorly shot DSLR footage. It's just way more difficult to spot where the focus actually is when everything is in focus. And when looking at a very sharp HD footage from the xf300, the focus is very apparent compared to the lcd. Not so with DSLR's as they are not that sharp to begin with. And they also lack autofocus which is great, people will actually have to focus.
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Old August 17th, 2011, 02:21 AM   #14
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

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Originally Posted by Jonathan Shaw View Post
Also I suppose it depends on what work you do, for general corporate / event / low end broadcast I would go straight to the XF300. If you want to do multi camera shoots and use a 7D for a few money shots great. But for the entire event it is a big risk.
Yes, these 1/3 inch cameras are great for event work. But where the DSLR's shine is narrative work. You do double audio anyway and everything is controlled. The positives outweight the negatives.

The xf300, great as it is for event work, is just not cutting it for narrative as none of the small sensor cameras do. Pick the camera depending on what you do. And on how rich you are ;)
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Old August 17th, 2011, 08:13 AM   #15
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Re: XF300 vs. 7d

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Originally Posted by David Rice View Post
Filming a Bald Eagle flying past you? forget it. Following any kind of fast moving object, forget it.
Filming a Bald Eagle and filming a wedding is a slightly different thing, and being event videographer myself I would recommend at least to try DSLR as video tool to anyone who likes to film, i love Canon DSLRs and probably will use them as long as they will support (and improve) video capability;
Mark, I would check 60D as a possible alternative to 7D, it has flip LCD, longer battery life and never overheats, 7D does;
and speaking about Bald Eagle, with the practice you can follow focus fast moving object,
do you think that cameras used for the sport events have autofocus?
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