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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 7th, 2012, 06:58 AM   #1
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Canon XF305 used on TV Drama

As a freelance director, my usual work is as one of a team of directors on "Pobol y Cwm", a BBC Cymru/Wales daily "soap" shown on S4C.
We use two Panasonic AJ-HPX3100Gs, either in the studios or out on the street backlot,
We also use one of these cameras for our location shooting.
Since sometimes, a location could be a small bedroom, or car interior etc, by the time the camera is kitted up with an HD zoom lens, matte box, follow focus etc, you're looking at a footprint of almost three feet!
This can be rather limiting to say the least, plus the weight of the camera for moving positions quickly.
Faced with a recent shoot involving small rooms, as well as shooting actors unobtrusively in Cardiff City centre, I was able to persuade our series producer to allow me to use the XF305.
Needless to say, it performed brilliantly, and integrated easily into our usual audio workflow, as well as with our location video monitors. The images were superb - using Alan Roberts's settings of course - with all the material being graded in-house.
Since this was something of an experiment, our focus-puller didn't have time to get a suitable follow-focus unit, but appreciated the fact that the lens can be set to allow repeatable focus shifts, and not just the continuously rotating focus ring.
I believe this little camera has earned respect amongst our crews, and has already been booked to be used again soon for some car interiors.
All in all, an excellent 'B' camera for even tv drama, and was even the 'A' camera on some scenes...
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Old June 7th, 2012, 02:01 PM   #2
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Re: Canon XF305 used on TV Drama

I agree. This camera fits in right along side the 2/3" cameras. I really am impressed with my XF300 and see it as an upgrade from the EX-1.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 03:57 AM   #3
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Re: Canon XF305 used on TV Drama

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Davies-Rollinson View Post
Needless to say, it performed brilliantly, and integrated easily into our usual audio workflow, as well as with our location video monitors. The images were superb - using Alan Roberts's settings of course - with all the material being graded in-house...
All in all, an excellent 'B' camera for even tv drama, and was even the 'A' camera on some scenes...
I started watching this on holiday a while ago and still catch up occasionally on iPlayer when the mood takes me. Do you happen to know the TX date for the scenes involved?

When I finally go tapeless it will be to one of these. I might miss the 20x lens on the XH A/G1's but in all other respects it's a vastly better camera, but has, I believe, enough in common to make an easy(ish) transition.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 04:10 AM   #4
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Re: Canon XF305 used on TV Drama

Hi Colin,
The TX dates are 16th - 20th July, with an omnibus version of the whole week on Sunday 22nd. July.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 05:18 AM   #5
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Re: Canon XF305 used on TV Drama

Hi Robin,

You mentioned using Alan Roberts' settings. Did you use his knee settings too? I find that his knee point of 85 blows out the whites? I'd like your thoughts on that...

Thanks,

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Old June 8th, 2012, 03:38 PM   #6
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Re: Canon XF305 used on TV Drama

Hi Jerry,
Yes, the knee settings were the same, but we don't seem to have has any problems with whites. Personally, I like to underexpose a little anyway, but even on some of my own material that I've shot with my own camera, when some whites seemed a little hot, I was surprised how much detail was actually there if I corrected the curves in post.
What have you changed the knee to may I ask?
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Old June 8th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #7
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Re: Canon XF305 used on TV Drama

I did a lot of experimentation before settling for a knee of 95 and a slope of 10. This gives just enough knee effect to push the exposure a little without losing much highlight detail. If I set Zebra 2 at 100, I know that not much crushing will occur until I see the Zebra pattern. After that, it's a judgement call based on the situation in hand...
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