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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 March 18th, 2012, 10:32 PM   #1
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Questions about Canon XF300

I have a few questions about the Canon XF300 I hope I can find answers on.

LCD/EVF:
Are either one good enough to pull a good focus?
Is a small 5-7" field monitor needed for focus?
When the LCD is being used, can you still see images in the EVF?

AUDIO:
What shotgun mic are you using for on camera audio?
Can both channels of audio be used as onboard or XLR simultaneously?
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Old March 19th, 2012, 01:42 AM   #2
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

Tyge, in answer to your questions:

1. LCD/EVF:
Are either one good enough to pull a good focus?
YES, personally I use the LCD

Is a small 5-7" field monitor needed for focus?
NO, I used to have problems with the Canon XLH1A but with the XF300 I get consistently great focusing. With the LCD and peaking controls built into the camera it has never been better. btw - I have glasses

When the LCD is being used, can you still see images in the EVF?
YES - this is configurable in the menu settings, I have it set for both all the time.

2. AUDIO:
What shotgun mic are you using for on camera audio?
I am using the NTG-3 however for most of the work I do I have radio mics connected to the XLR inputs.

Can both channels of audio be used as onboard or XLR simultaneously?

You have 2 channels and these can be set:

Both for internal Mic

One Internal and one external XLR

Both set to separate external XLR's

Hope this helps.

Regarding the focussing, I have found the XF300 to be the BEST I have used so far and the big LCD is a dream to have, used with the zebras and peaking correctly you can get some very nice out of the Cam shots.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 03:41 AM   #3
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

I agree with everything Alan has stated - except for one thing (and we talked about it when we spent a goodly hour at BVE recently): The LCD Monitor, though great, is NOT big enough to see detail I've now become aware of that I want to see, and then maybe re-frame and make use of. When I say detail, I'm not talking about detail to THEN focus I do truly mean detail. Once I've targeted my detail, and here's the thing, I now use a combination of the on-camera LCD Canon Peaking AND my SWIT 7" to focus.

I've seen far too much soft focus work on the networks, BBC news gathering-interviews to be too hard on my own attempts to now NOT employ any aid I can to ensure the sharpest of focusing.

The XF300 is a marvellous camera. And on this point, it will do exactly what the operator would expect. My own take on this is that I've invested in the SWIT and just feel that little bit more confident about framing and then refocusing.

Is a monitor essential? For me, yes. If I do quick and dirty run-gun, then no. For static interviews, for me, yes.

Grazie
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Old March 19th, 2012, 04:08 AM   #4
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

Very true Grazie - for the run and gun stuff I have been doing since having the XF300 the additional monitor is not an option. But, I would definitely recommend it when shooting in controlled circumstances for that extra piece of mind. That reminds me, another thing to add to my wishlist ;)
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Old March 20th, 2012, 01:50 AM   #5
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

Tyge, i'd agree with both of the responses.i love my xf305.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 10:01 AM   #6
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

Thanks for the information guys. I ran a XF100 for a few days a while back and had a few questions about it's big brother before I made the jump. Most of my shooting involves run and gun stuff so having an external monitor on anything other than a controlled interview would have been a bummer.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 11:05 AM   #7
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

Tyge,

you do not HAVE to use an external monitor - to be honest the LCD on the XF300/305 is huge compared to my XLH1A and I have gone 4 months without using an external monitor with no problems at all.

Use the tools readily available with the XF300 camera i.e. Peaking and the Magnify function.

My setup:

Peaking used nearly all the time and coloured RED - switchable with a button

Magnify - when pressed it zooms into the middle of your frame for better focus checking. Thank to a tip Grazie told me I have it automatically go black and white when pressed and the peaking is RED so very easy to check your focussing. The major benefit with this cam is you can pres Magnify during recording!!!!!

Something you could not do with the XLH1A.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 12:47 PM   #8
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

I'll just add that my 45 + year old eyes find the LCD GREAT for pulling focus - especially with peaking on. While they are always nice to have, no need for external monitor.

Senn 66 or Audio Technica 835 is the shotgun I use. Usually one ch. for wireless lav and 1 for shotgun - but can do the built in.

LOVE my XF300.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 01:10 PM   #9
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

I have those same 45 year old eyes, hence my concern about pulling a good focus with the LCD.
I plan on shooting with a shoulder mount that I either buy or build myself, so most of the time I use the EVF.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 02:23 PM   #10
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

Pulling a good focus is a breeze on this cam, peaking is your best friend, it is now a pleasure to go out filming knowing when you get back all the footage is in focus and exposure is nearly spot on too. You will not regret getting the XF300.

btw my eyes are 50+ and have had cataracts done in both eyes already ;)
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 02:15 AM   #11
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

While this camera has zeroed-in on the hard pressed operator, and all the features listed above are proof that Canon have delivered, I'll say it again - an external monitor gets me to detail I'm not aware of. Magnify, crops the frame. Peaking and so on are fab for ensuring focus. I'm purely flagging up my use of an external monitor to get to see, or be aware of detail. The LCD is big. Much bigger than my XM2! And even on that workhorse, I always, when I could, attached a low grade 7" screen. It brings an added dimension to my creative and valuing experience.

My eyes are well into their 60th year.

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Old March 23rd, 2012, 02:26 AM   #12
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

Tyge, here's something you need to consider as the years go by: Eyes loose accommodation and that's why we wear specs. Getting up close to your using LCD will put a further pressure on an eye's ability to accommodate "real" DoF and be comfortable with the nearness of that LCD.

I've had my brother-in-law optician make me my CameraRig specs.

My left eye has a regular distance and near bifocal. While the right eye has deep nearer sight upper half. They work. I can now see and range distance on my left eye and keep in focus the camera LCD.

Subject to my wallet, I'll use anything - monitor, specs - to get to the shot I want.

Good thread!

Grazie
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Old March 26th, 2012, 11:23 AM   #13
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

Since this thread was started to gain some real world information about the XF300, I guess this next question could go here instead of starting a whole new thread.

Has anyone used this monitor with an XF300/100 or any other video camera?
COOLLCD HD2 7 INCH HD LCD Field Monitor w/ HDMI in HDMI out Component in Composite in [COOLLCD HD2] - US$179.90 : COOLLCD.com

It seems to have all the right features for not a whole lot of investment.
If I'm reading it right, can be powered by the same Canon or knockoff F950/970 batteries, which would sure be handy to me.
(Run and gun shooter, take all my gear with me to the field in a backpack/fanny pack system)

EDIT:
I now realize that's Sony F950/970 battery powered. Shame. Now I'm wondering if I couldn't somehow convert the battery plate to the larger Canon batteries instead of the DSLR batteries that are offered as an option.
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Last edited by Tyge Floyd; March 26th, 2012 at 11:29 AM. Reason: battery confusion
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Old March 27th, 2012, 12:08 AM   #14
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

I was using the SmallHD monitor with it, but frankly, I found it unnecessary, unless you are planning to show it to your clients. For all practical purposes the LCD does just fine. Don't waste your money before you buy it. If you think you can use it, buy it, and then decide if you need an LCD. I don't.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 02:30 AM   #15
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Re: Questions about Canon XF300

Listen to Al. Don't waste your money. For Run n Gun, you're good to go.

I've bought low grade monitors for framing and seeing some detail. Now I've invested in a $500 High Res monitor I can really see the difference for the work I do. Save your money and when you're able/ready invest in a higher res Monitor, and more than one for sub $200.

Cheers

Grazie
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