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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 September 5th, 2011, 01:20 AM   #1
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XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

Hi everyone :)

I have a question for XF100 owners since from where I'm from there are non (I don't even think that the XF100 is available here).

I do club/venue events (parties, gigs, etc - aftermovies..). 90% of my work is in clubs with bad lights (dark, the only light comes from the lasers and similar). So far I'm filming this with my Canon 7D and sometimes with friends 5D mark II.

The 7D and 5D are nice cameras until I need to move and shoot. So far I only have a homemade "holder" for the 7D so it is less of a problem for holding it still. But when I need some moving shots (trough the crowd, etc..) there are always problems with everything (focus, shaking, etc.)

Looking at all of the gadgets that can be bought for a DSLR to make filming easier (folow focus, rigs,..) I started thinking about a pure camera for this work (since all of the gadgest do cost a lot here - basiclly the same as a XF100 if I order it from somewhere else).

Considering I cannot try any of the cameras in this price range (due to our distributors) I have ask on forums.

Is the XF100 capable of producing quality footage in a bad light indoors clubs? Or should I look at some other camera in this price range?

I saw some bad light videos made with XF100 and they were ok, but none of them was shoot inside a club/venue... :/
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Old September 5th, 2011, 09:35 AM   #2
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

It all your work consists of dark venues, I would personally steer clear away from the XF 100. While it holds it own when compared to other camcorders in the same target range, low light performance is still lacking. The camcorder will do okay if you have an on camera light, but still, I wouldn't recommend this if what you are shooting are all low lit places.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 03:37 PM   #3
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

Sergej is the XF100 at the top of your budget range? If yes then I think it's hard to get a better low light video camera in this price range. If no then have a look at the XF300, but it's about twice the price. I own both the XF100 and XF300. I have only used the XF100 for videos for myself (holidays etc) rather than commercial use. For what I haved used it for I have been very impressed with the low light quality. If your work demands the absolute very best quality then the XF300 might be a better camera to get.

These are just my thoughts so others may say different. ;)

Andy S
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Old September 7th, 2011, 03:44 AM   #4
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

Well, the xf100 money is pretty much my top budget range.

Considering that, anyone else agrees that this kind of money cannot buy a better low light camera?
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Old September 7th, 2011, 07:14 AM   #5
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

you can't compare DSLR and fixed lens camcorder performance in low light, XF100 has 1/3" chip and fixed f:1.8 on wide/ f:2.8 zoomed lens, how is that possible to compare it even to 60D, which is APS-C sensor, is like 20 times larger than 1/3", and let's say f:1.2, or f:1.4 lens? there is no way that any fixed lens camcorder can give you the same , or even better image in low light, even with newer sensors, that don't show gain as much and you can go 9 and even 12db safe;
Low light performance is mostly based on sensor size and lens speed, again- mostly, so if you want better low light performance than 5Dmkii you need to narrow your search to interchangeable lens camcorders with at least APS-C size sensors, and that my friend starts at about double price of 5Dmkll
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Old September 11th, 2011, 06:53 PM   #6
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

The DSLR sensors may be larger, but also have more pixels. The XF100 has about 2MP, typical DSLR 10-12MP, so the light sensitivity at the same f-stop of an DSLR is maybe 5 times better (assuming otherwise similar sensor technology).

I don't know if the XF100 can actually compete with the DSLR with the right presets, AFAIK there is no presets for the DSLRs(?). In clubs you'll have lot's of bright spots, I think the problem is more one of reducing noise than getting something on the sensor.

Anyway, I've a friend who shoots events, discos and clubs with a Canon DSLR and a standard zoom. Footage is absolutely horribly noisy for full-body shots, usable possibly because clips are so short in the edit that you hardly notice. For half-body she uses a cheap video light and it looks surprisingly good.

Bring a portable light, I think that's the advice regardless of which cam you choose.

BR, Erik
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Old September 21st, 2011, 05:58 PM   #7
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

We shoot with both DSLR and XF100. Different tools.

In really low light the 5D2 with a 24L (f1.4) is my goto lens for sure..... BUT.... the XF100 is as good as a DSLR @ ISO800 and f2.8 at 0db and ISO1600 f2.8 at 6db. I rarely go above 6db (9db in a real pinch) or ISO 1600 (ISO2000 in a pinch on 5D2) or max ISO1250 on 7D!

Now, many will claim that f2.8 is wrong and I should be using f1.4, but that's ok as long as you only want a few inches in focus. If you want good DOF then the XF100 will kill the DSLR. Just add some Neat video noise reduction if needed and all will be good.

For shallow DOF use the DSLR.

For good DOF and/or auto focus use the XF100.

Different tools, use them appropriately.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 11:54 PM   #8
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

Sergej, I am in process of acquiring a xf100, and I've read everything I can find, and virtually ever review I've seen talks about the high-quality of the footage from the camera. At it's price point (most) everyone agrees you can do no better in low light.

Also, if you are on a tight budget, look at the XA10, same chip, less manual control, but you'd save $1000us.

I am happy to have read the above posts, and am very glad to add a proper videocamera to my tool kit.

I
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 12:26 AM   #9
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

Hire one and try it out.

Grazie
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 02:49 AM   #10
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

The xf100 is quite bad in even moderate low light compared to my 7d with an f1.4 lens. And it's one of the better low light camcorders out there!

But in no way is the XF100 nearly as clean as the 7d in low light. Used with an f1.4 lens I can do shots that would be just impossible with the xf100.

Yeah, with a stock zoom (f3.5 at wide) the 7d sucks and falls into the xf100 range.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 07:18 AM   #11
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

Mikko, you are right, but you are also missing the point of the thread. Sergej is not asking for a compairson to his DSLR. We all know a f/1.4 lens is superior in low light to any video camera, that is too obvious. But a F/1.4 lens in a club environment is nearly useless for run and gun work and when run at f/1.4 his focus issues would be worse, not better.

First, Sergej states his problems are focus and shakiness, which is the result of using his DSLR in a run and gun situation. His problem is common to many of us.

His question was how will the xf100 work in low light and he wants to know if he could do better for the money with another video cameera. At the price of the XF100 or XA10, no he cannot, at least from what my research has shown. I could be wrong, of course.
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Last edited by Jeff Harper; September 22nd, 2011 at 10:53 AM.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 01:23 PM   #12
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

Sergej, people are talking about the Panasonics AG-AC160 and AG-AC130, the AC130 is higher than you want, but I've talked to someone who has handled them and they claim these cams blow the Canon's we're talking about out of the water, and they are AVCHD, not MFX files. Not available yet, but these appear to be some outstanding cameras.

Good luck with whatever you decide. The choices are suddenly looking more complicated to me!
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 08:25 PM   #13
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

Hi. Curious about the above comment. I am looking into new cams and at this point its between the pana 130 and the xf100. Where/ how did you hear the panas blow the xf out of the water, especially given that theyre not even out yet? Do you mean on paper the pana is better (22x zoom etc.) Or has someone actual actually compared the two?
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 10:00 PM   #14
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

To clarify, I heard the ag ac160 blew the Canon out of the water, I've heard nothing about the 130, and I know nothing about either camera, to be perfectly honest.

Brad at Tapeworks Texas handled it briefly, and it seems to be based on conversations we've shared, Brad seems to know his gear very well. He is quite familiar with the Canon XF300 and XF100, etc, and he said when a Panasonic rep brought the cam for them to play with for a short time he was extremely impressed.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 10:30 PM   #15
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Re: XF100 for events - or maybe something else?

The 130 and the 160 are nearly identical, separated only by the 160 being ntc/pal switchable, having the capability of variable rates, and recording with lpcm audio (130 will record in ac3). At least i BELIEVE thats correct.
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