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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 July 8th, 2012, 06:26 AM   #31
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

Adding gain does not have to be a bad thing, just see how well a sony fs100 or a 5d markIII perform at very high gain levels with very clean images as result, it's all about how the camera's handles the gain, 21db gain looks cleaner on my sony cx730 then 6db gain on my canon xh-a1 and from what I have seen neither the xf100 or xf300 are that well performers when it comes to handling high gains. I"l take a camera that can give me a usable image at very high gain values any day without the need for the painfully slow neatvideo, many always say you need to add light but often that's not an option like the performances Al showed, then you need a camera that can cope and I"m sure that under these circumstances you"d be very happy having a ex1 or 3 in your camerabag.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 11:07 AM   #32
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

Sorry Les, I guess I mistook the 24p for the 1/30th shutter. I would like to see samples of people's work with an EX3 in similar lighting to be convinced the price of selling off his 100 for a EX3 is going to buy him enough light gathering to make a significant difference. (I think Portland has a rental house that he could rent a EX3 to try it out, by the way).

My 305 is very similar to an EX3 in light gathering from what I've seen, and I wouldn't trade it for that reason (maybe to get interchangeable lenses). To be clear, I don't believe I could have successfully filmed the church songs with an Ex3, xf300, or any other smaller sensor camera. The 7D saved the footage. To me, the cameras are tools, and I try to grab the right one for the job. The stage performances I shot are a lock down, I dislike the 7D MOV footage vs. the 305/105 since I have the light and the 4:2:2: makes a big difference. Also, I can't move around due to a paying seated audience. I get plenty of light when the performers show up and the mains are brought up.

The clubs are a wildcard, and some like it dim. I just leave my 100 in the trunk of the car on those occasions and grab anything larger sensored. A T3i or T2i can do just fine in those jobs. For less than $2k ( since you rarely need anything more than a 50mm lens and I could shoot 80% of the club dates with a 18-50mm zoom), you can have a B cam that can go down to F1.8 or less, and still hold up well in post. (the T2i's do tend to overhead in prolonged use). Also a good tool for close up interviews to drop out the background, (maybe an interview between sets in the back room), since the smaller sensors only do a good job of that when you engage the telephoto. To get decent sound, switch out your shotgun you use on your 100, if you can't' get a board feed (or add it to the board feed for atmosphere), I shot all these club shots with a standard 'long' shotgun mounted as far back as I could. It worked ok. But he likely has more to do with the 100 to make sure he doesn't need to spend the money.

And be sure to stay at the Jupiter Hotel when in Portland. A unique experience (G)
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Old July 8th, 2012, 11:38 AM   #33
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

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To be clear, I don't believe I could have successfully filmed the church songs with an Ex3, xf300, or any other smaller sensor camera. The 7D saved the footage.
I have said it a few times in other topics on this forum but my Sony cx730 is equally light sensitive compared to my T2I (which should be comparable in lowlight to the 7d) paired with a 35mm f1.4 (wide open) and at 1600 ISO and the noise levels are not much worse then on my dslr. If you don't believe this I will make a side by side shot. I"m just trying to say that if the 7d saved the footage this small sony handicam wonder can too. (edit: as long as you don't zoom in completely)

Last edited by Noa Put; July 8th, 2012 at 01:34 PM. Reason: extra info
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Old July 8th, 2012, 03:23 PM   #34
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Bergstein View Post
...I would like to see samples of people's work with an EX3 in similar lighting to be convinced the price of selling off his 100 for a EX3 is going to buy him enough light gathering to make a significant difference. (I think Portland has a rental house that he could rent a EX3 to try it out, by the way).
Not only do you and I violently agree the OP should rent an EX1 or EX3 to verify it, I even provided a link to a rental house in Portland in post #19: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

Given the OP's sample and the XF300 a stop slower than the EX, I'd expect it to also be an improvement over the XF100.

Also, please note the numerous times the OP has stated the importance of a servo zoom. This is why he has rejected the numerous suggestions of DSLRs and why the EX3 is on the table.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 05:08 PM   #35
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

Hi Michael.

I have been shooting in low light situations for many years and I have tried a variety of different cameras in all sorts of lighting conditions.

I have gone through the Canon XL1, the Sony Z1, the V1, the JVC HD 110, the JVC HD201, the HM 100, the Panasonic DVX100, the HVX200, the HPX 251 and the JVC HM 790 as well as the EX3 and EX1R.

And I can honestly tell you that the EX1R and EX3 are the best of the bunch when it comes to getting the brightest images.

I always bring a 300 W halogen lamp which I mount in the camera shoe and point it towards where ever I am filming. If this still is not enough I have the foundation for doing a little color correction in post and the images turn out great. If you are able to try the EX1R or an older EX1 give it a go. I am sure they will not let you down.
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Old July 9th, 2012, 12:32 AM   #36
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

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Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
Not only do you and I violently agree the OP should rent an EX1 or EX3 to verify it, I even provided a link to a rental house in Portland in post #19: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

Given the OP's sample and the XF300 a stop slower than the EX, I'd expect it to also be an improvement over the XF100.

Also, please note the numerous times the OP has stated the importance of a servo zoom. This is why he has rejected the numerous suggestions of DSLRs and why the EX3 is on the table.
Whatever, Les. These are all tools. A servo zoom is a positive feature, but the OP might re-consider, due to other features, like low light ability, which is alo important. He hasn't experienced enough tool variety yet to know for sure which has precidence. He should spenda few more months learning his xf100.

Not sure where you came up with the extra 'stop' for the EX over the 305. The examples I've seen comparing the two don't show me a stop difference.i spent months comparing the two before buying the xf305, i didn't see one example that would lead me to think there was a stop differnce between them. I seriously was going to buy the EX3 until i spent time researching the xf305. I think they are very similar, regarding light gathering ability. I wouldn't choose either for his requirements! As to the choice of tools, I already saidthe the best bang for the buck for latitude in low light is a hdslr, or an Af100 like camera, and i stand by that, from experience. If the OP wants to go for an ex or xf, then he does so without benefit of trying a variety of tools to find the right one. He might like the AF100.

As to tool choice, I can use a pickup to do the job of a dump truck, but it's ineffiecient, and the wrong tool. As is choosing a small sensor to do club work, week after wek.

I'm not a Canon 'fanboy', just a working professional that wants the right tool in my hand for job. I think the EX 3 is a great tool but dated. Today, i think the xf300 is a better choice. Tomorrow, it might be a different choice.
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Old July 9th, 2012, 02:32 AM   #37
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

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Not sure where you came up with the extra 'stop' for the EX over the 305.
I saw below video last year about the xf300 almost loosing a full stop in 1080p compared to 720p, not sure whether this was a mistake the tester did but if this is the case that might be an issue if you need good low light capability and you need to film in 1080p


Also, the only video that I ever found back that showed more significant difference is below one, but then again, who can be sure it was done right

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Old July 9th, 2012, 06:40 AM   #38
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

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Originally Posted by Al Bergstein View Post
...Not sure where you came up with the extra 'stop' for the EX over the 305. ...
It came from when I was shopping the two.... here's one reference I located from back then:
Raw samples of Canon XF300 & Sony EX1R
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Old July 9th, 2012, 08:43 AM   #39
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

One thing I haven't seen mentioned (unless I missed it - sorry if I did) is that the lens of the 305 is a 1.6 and almost a stop faster than the EX1. I know you can change lenses on the EX3 but a good zoom is expensive and the 305 zoom is great, both optically and in terms of smoothness/controllability.

I'm not a fanboy of anything but just offers this in case it helps.
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Old July 9th, 2012, 09:46 AM   #40
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

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Originally Posted by Stewart Hemley View Post
One thing I haven't seen mentioned (unless I missed it - sorry if I did) is that the lens of the 305 is a 1.6 and almost a stop faster than the EX1. I know you can change lenses on the EX3 but a good zoom is expensive and the 305 zoom is great, both optically and in terms of smoothness/controllability.

I'm not a fanboy of anything but just offers this in case it helps.
Over what range of focal lengths, preferrably given in 35mm equivalent, is the f-stop 1.6?
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Old July 10th, 2012, 08:11 AM   #41
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

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Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
It came from when I was shopping the two.... here's one reference I located from back then:
Raw samples of Canon XF300 & Sony EX1R
I see Doug J's quote which I respect. I have his xf305 video, which was very useful. Everyone on that thread seems to agree they are very close in capabilities. I have shot xf100, xf305 and 7D footage and the choice, if sent into a low light nightclub is not even a choice. I'd grab the 7D first. I'd work around the limitations of sound recording with my Marantz 661, good shotgun and a field mixer, and get the better footage. It just doesn't seem worth trading out 100 or a 305 for another small sensor camera when your job is to record low light situations. The latitude in the larger sensor cameras is much better, from my experience. Shadow detail when needed is much greater. Colors more vivid because gain is minimized.

I've not tried working with an AF100 or Sony FS100 (?) but would assume they would be excellent choices, other than the lack of a servo zoom, for clubs. Again, in clubs, I can usually move around to avoid needing a servo zoom, and for the price of a xf100 I can buy multiple bodies of a 7D or T2i, outfit it with an external battery pack which lasts all day and night, and put an A cam on a tripod and a B cam on my shoulder. Avoid the 12 minute rule by going back and stopping the camera after every song. I've done that. It works, but is timeconsuming. So if I had to do over again, and wanted to live shooting clubs, then I'd seriously consider the Sony or AF100 large sensors.

Start with the rental of a ex3 at the place in Portland that Les suggested, and see if it gives you the light gathering that you want, with the servo. Then see if you can rent a large sensor camera there too. Then do your own tests. You'll know when you see it.

Lastly, working in clubs like this can create great vignettes, but ultimately the sound quality stinks. As an amateur serious musician, I'm sensitive to hearing clattering dishes in the background, people yelling, giving each other the finger (see, I did view your video -grin). I'm not sure I'd focus on working in clubs, as your ultimate quality is not going to be as good as a staged event. After a few years of trying club shooting, I try to avoid it whenever possible. Blues night once a year is my only exception as I can quickly club hop and get a wide array of shots quickly, and then head home. I found inexpensive day rates for stages here in town that allow me to *fake* a club, control the lighting and takes, and the customers are much more happy, as am I.

Here's a sample of one of my staged productions, avoiding the clubs. We get the whole hall for a ridiculously cheap price, which includes a stage lighting set, a snake that can isolate our sound guy in the lighting control board, and I can have the band fill the first few rows with friends if the need was for audience feedback. I've seen a few videos done in bars recently for professional music videos, where they hired the bar in the morning, and ran in the lighting kits to do it right. Camera A was my 7D, Cam B (left side) is the xf305, Cam C (right side) is a GH2 on a slider. I really liked the GH2 footage, but you can see it's almost impossible to truly match cameras. The 7D comes closest to the xs100 or 305. The GH2 would be a better match for a Panasonic HMC 150/160 or AF100, using AVCHD, which tends to be contrastier than the Canon footage.

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Last edited by Al Bergstein; July 10th, 2012 at 08:46 AM.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 08:45 AM   #42
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

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I have shot xf100, xf305 and 7D footage and the choice, if sent into a low light nightclub is not even a choice.
That shows both Canon's are no great low light perfomers, especially since the xf305 seems to loose nearly a full stop in 1080p mode and the xf100 seems to be quite noisy at higher gains. I can take my small sensor cx730 and almost match it with my t2I with a F1.4 lens at 1600 Iso, when paired with a f.2.8 lens the small Sony outperforms my t2I at 3200 Iso. I"d be very comfortable shooting with that small handicam in a low light nightclub. If I had to do a multicam shoot with several camera's on a budget I definitely would not be getting myself some dslr's but shoot it with small handicams.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 12:49 AM   #43
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

Noa, i think you should go out, shoot some low light footage in some clubs and show us what you can do with that camera. It seems like a bunch of theory talk. When someone tells me how great their camera is at +1000 ISO i tend to want say, " show me. ". So please do.
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Old July 11th, 2012, 01:52 AM   #44
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Re: Looking at stepping up from XF100 to XF300

No problem, just tell me what F-stop the lens on your 7d had when you where shooting that footage in the club where your other camera's where no option and also what ISO you where using. Then just give me a few day's and I"ll show you it's no theory talk.

In the meantime I do have a very short video I did inside the house in very dim situations, it's no club but just to give an idea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkz5o...ature=youtu.be
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Old July 11th, 2012, 11:22 AM   #45
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New objectives, based on all the input

First, let me say this is the best forum I have ever joined, bar none. No others come close to having so many knowledgeable people who are willing to take the time to help. And without the help, I would be completely lost. Thanks.

So, the input has led me to change my objectives/boundaries:
1. I am dropping the requirement for zoom. Zoom never was the end objective, just a way to obtain intimate close-ups of the musicians.
2. I am going with two cameras. I can mount one camera on the Manfrotto for shots of the entire group, and I can walk around with the 2nd and shoot close-ups from different angles. (I’ll need guidance on how to sync the cameras). Transitioning between the two in the video will be much more pleasing than the distracting zoom……..and give me great creative latitude in editing. Also, it will enable me to edit out audience activities I don’t want seen (yes, that finger, Al).

I am really excited about getting past my mental block of doing everything with one camera…….I’m slow, but eventually I get it. :)

3. My primary goal is to get the best quality images I can get in the difficult club scene, within budget. I fully see the many advantages of a staged production that Al points out. But part of this is about capturing (selected parts of) the club scene and giving the performers feedback on how they performed in the un-staged situation.
4. I have substantially upped the budget to $20k max for everything. I am now in the process of selling some beloved audio recording gear to make this possible. I would be happy if I don’t spend all of it……although I would guess we will come up with ways to spend it. :)

Please give me guidance on how you would recommend spending this, for a two-camera setup to get the best images I can.

Right now, I am doing my homework on the FS100 as a candidate for the camera to be mounted on the Manfrotto. I have lots of questions including:
- Do I need a better lens? Which one?
- Should I record thru HDMI to external recorder?
- Is the FS700 worth the extra cost? (I haven’t seen the advantage yet, but may be missing it)
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