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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 November 13th, 2011, 10:06 AM   #1
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Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

Are there others that have come to the same conclusion and if so what camera did you purchase? I am at present looking at Panasonic AG-AC160 or Sony NX5U but am open to other suggestions.
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Old November 13th, 2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

If you don't need the broadcast quality 50mbps, 4:2:2 codec of the XF300, then yes, you can save money and go with cheaper cameras. I've looked at the AC160 and it is a very good camera. I like the image, the form factor, etc. It has an AVCHD codec, just like the NX5U. It uses much cheaper SD cards. You can save even more if you go with the AC130, which is a truer comparison to the XF300, as both lack HD/SDI ports.

That said, I think the XF300 is worth its cost. I prefer the focus ring with its true stops, rather than the infinitely rotating ring the AC160 has.
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Old November 13th, 2011, 12:52 PM   #3
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

Greg,
Could you give us some idea of what you want to do with the camcorder? If you want to do green screen work, the XF300 should be a good choice. The Panasonic AG-HPX250 would be an alternative to that. But if you want to achieve very shallow depth-of-field, then you'd want a large sensor camcorder, like the Panasonic AF100 or the Sony FS100. Or maybe you're looking for a shoulder-mount unit, or a small camcorder to use in tight places. We'd like to help, but you need to give us a bit more info.
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Old November 13th, 2011, 06:18 PM   #4
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

The Sony PMW-EX1R or EX3 are 1/2" 3-chip alternatives to the XF30x. Here's a comparison:
Canon XF305 Review with sample footage. | XDCAM-USER.COM

I would consider the NX5u and AC160 downgrades from the XF305.

What exactly isn't the XF305 doing for you?
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Old November 14th, 2011, 08:34 AM   #5
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

Thanks for the questions to pinpoint my concerns.
I use my cameras for weddings, dance recitals and graduations.
I am moving from the XH-A1 and before that a Panny DVX100. Because I am purchasing two cameras I need to keep each one in the four thousand dollar range.
I definitely need:
1. A long zoom range
2. Auto-focus capability because of the limited skill of my second camera operators. The DVX100 had consistent and quick auto-focus but the XH-A1 was easily fooled.
3. An improved audio selection system. XH-A1 is ergonomically backward while the DVX100 was perfect.
4. The LCD screen must be larger than the XH-A1.
5. I must have an Iris ring like the XH-A1.
6. I want to use SD or CF cards and not P2.
7. I only record to HD.
8. It would be nice but not essential if the camera worked with my Merlin.
9. The ergonomic placement of buttons cannot be overlooked.
10. Easily matching the XH-A1 video would be nice but not essential.
Because of price and features needed it looks like I am limited to the Sony NX5U or the Panasonic AG-AC160/AG-AC130.
Advice appreciated.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 09:29 AM   #6
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

I think your $4,000 price limit is the end of the discussion. The AC-130 is probably your best option but it does not have PCM audio. Maybe one AC-160 and one AC-130 would be the best approach.

Just an opinion from me - your post title says "Don't see value in XF300". I think this could be worded a bit better. Value is not just on price alone. The XF has some features that are worth more imho (color matrix, very smooth servo motor, great lens, 4:2:2 codec) Maybe look at a used version if the price is outside of your budget.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #7
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

Tim from my perspective I really don't see the XF300 value in a 1\3 inch camera that is overpriced at $6500.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 01:31 PM   #8
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

Greg,

It looks like the options are AG-AC130 or Sony NX5U. The Panasonic would have very slight advantages in LCD size and zoom range. The Sony might have a slight advantage in audio performance. The AG-AC160 should equal the Sony's audio performance, but it's a bit over your stated budget.

(The XF300 might not have value for your applications, but 50Mb/s recording and 4:2:2 color encoding have a lot of value for some. I've seen many posts by happy XF300/305 owners, raving about the image quality.)

Ken
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Old November 15th, 2011, 01:15 PM   #9
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post
Tim from my perspective I really don't see the XF300 value in a 1\3 inch camera that is overpriced at $6500.
That's your perspective but it's not a replacement for your XHA1s it's a competitor to the similarly priced Sony EX1r.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 02:48 PM   #10
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

Quote:
Don't see value ...
Same can be said about anything from luxury cars to trophy wives.

The answer is simple - don't buy it. However, others may see things differently with respect to their applications, recommend you not assume that your values work for them.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 09:20 PM   #11
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

I use an XF305 and had an XHA1 before. The XF305 is well worth double the price of the XHA1. The image is beautiful, the lens is astounding, the limiters on the audio work correctly so you get really good sound, and the workflow is a dream. The chips produce an image like my 2/3" broadcast camera did: rich color with open shadows while still having good "snap" in the midtones. It's got mojo that Canon never had before. And the on-screen feedback thru waveform monitors, peaking, zebras, etc makes using it so much easier. It's out of your price range but it's certainly worth the money.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 07:43 PM   #12
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

I was torn about getting the XF300 just due to cost, but I must say it is a dream camera for me. Every time I look at footage I am amazed at how sharp and clean it is. It blows away any of the other video cameras I have owned.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 11:40 PM   #13
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

Again, for me it's all about the image and capture ergonomics. The XF300 delivers this for me everytime I use it.

I've just bolted on a Follow Focus onto my rails and this one device, worked in conjunction with the peaking on black and white, makes every shot I do now in the bag.

I held back for a goodly 8 years for my first HD camera. The XF300 is it. I have no regrets, only a wish to get out there and keep filming with it. Did I say "filming"? Now that's revealing of me!

Love it. ....

- g
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Old November 17th, 2011, 11:00 AM   #14
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

Thank you all for your perspectives on the XF300 especially from those that own one and enjoy it. Owning two XF300's is out of my league but two Panasonic AG-AC160 is a budget stretch I can handle.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 12:52 PM   #15
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Re: Don't see value in XF300. Alternative?

The XF300 seems a bit more vulnerable to these sorts of value comments particularly because it chose to go down the path of 1/3 inch chips. Take for example, the Panasonic AG/AC-160 AVCCAM, a much cheaper 1/3 inch competitor with the announced free upgrade to 1920x1080/60p/50p. They can do that because AVCHD, the consumer codec had the foresight to build in a migration to spec AVCHD 2.0, which supports full raster 60p/50p. The Canon mxf 50 mbps 4:2:2 long gop codec and for that matter, the Sony XDCAM codecs have the same problem, no pathway to 1080/60p/50p, they are not likely to see an upgrade. The EX1R would seem to maintain its value over the 1/3 inch cams because its slight DOF advantage is inherent and cannot be duplicated by 1/3 inch, plus had the benefit of a 2 yr head start into the ENG markets, where they are widely used and even replacing the bulkier, power hungry 2/3 inch shoulder cams.
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