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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 May 3rd, 2013, 09:40 AM   #1
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XF300 question

Hello all, I'm looking at getting the XF300 since the price has dropped. I shoot weddings and have been approached shoot motorcycle races and quarter midget go karts, but I had to turn them down since I don't have a true run & gun camera. Currently I have a T2i with ML 2.3 and a 5DM3. A few questions I have for the XF300 users is

1). How big of a difference is the low light performance is it between the XF100 and XF300? I've rented the 100 and wasn't too impressed with low light. Please keep in mind it could have been do to, I didn't know much about using the XF100 when I rented it.
2). Is DOF that big of a problem on the XF300? I have a HV30 and I am able to get DOF out of it providing I zoom in a use a screw in filter on my wide angle lens and open the aperture.
3). Although the C100 is a little out of my price range would it be a good fit for run & gun? And is the image quality better than the XF300 IQ?
4). How hard is it to pull focus on a C100? As for my 5DM3 I have a 5" Indi Pro monitor and on my T2i I use a Seagull view finder.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
David A
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 07:40 PM   #2
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Re: XF300 question

Dave, I own an xf305 and a C100, along with a 5D mkiii. I have owned an xf105 in the past along with an HMC150.

The 305 has superior low light to the xf100. Definitely. The 100 has infrared, something I did use to creative advantage exactly once. For run and gun I often chose the 305 over the 105 and even the 5Dmkiii. Why? Because the codec held up better in some cases than the mkiii. Not always, and not everywhere. But sometimes.

DOF is a problem on the 300, especially with wide angle. Of course, on telephoto it's not that big a deal. To be clear, sometimes I *want* huge DOF in Wide Angle! But you have to keep an eye out for dust and rain drops on the lens at wide. Still, the C100 is far superior overall. It's like the best of a 5D and a, well, what, a camcorder. The C300 is really the ultimate cross between an xf300 and a 5D, but it's really expensive for a small operator. I personally am not sure it's over twice the price given. Yes, it's better. I would have loved to have felt it was worth it. I can buy a Atomos for 4:2:2 but really can't replace the LCD for run and gun easily. I do love what I'm doing with the C100 and have not felt a need to shoot with the 5D since getting it (!). I'll likely grab the 5D for jobs that need a special look, or require a lot of stills to go along with the video. Nice thing is, all lenses I have work on my C100 too. One camera case to bind them all. The precious...(G)

The C100 is an excellent choice for run and gun, as is the xf300. It's a question of what you need to do. The 300 has a great long and wide lens. No lens changing, much better Codec. The quality of the C100 image is excellent, but but not as good as the xf300. If you *really* think you need to broadcast on a major channel or go theatrical, the MXF 4:2:2 is the way to go.

You can throw away your 5" monitor and your seagull finder on either the xf300, C300 or the C100. Pulling focus on the C100 is definitely harder than on the xf300. But not enormously harder. The xf305 viewfinder is wonderful . I miss it on the C100.
If you are doing a lot of weddings this summer, and can pay back the C300, I'd buy that. It's the best of the lot. Also Canon is giving away the cameras on lease. Zero interest. All expense to your business. Keep your $15k or whatever in your pocket and pay the lease out of jobs. It's a win for you. But ask your accountant first (G).

Have fun.

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Old May 3rd, 2013, 08:59 PM   #3
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Re: XF300 question

Dave I own the XF100 and XF300 and just today bought a C100. I own all of them as they have different strengths.

For motorcycles and go karts I could see the continuous AF of the XF camera a big plus. Also the fact that you don't have to swap lenses.
For weddings I'd go with a C100. I've not shot any weddings so don't listens to me too much. I mainly say that because the C100 seems to be much better in low light than either of the XF cameras.

So I guess you are kind of stuck in the middle really. My advice if it's possible would be to go to a shop and have a try of both an XF300 and C100 and have a look at the image and noise for yourself.

I've not shot anything with the C100 as I only got it a few hours ago so I can't comment on image quality but from what I have seen and heard it's excellent.

@Al - Do you really think the XF300 is better IQ than the C100? I'm not saying you are wrong it's just a lot of people on hear mention never using XF300s after acquiring a C100/C300.
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Old May 4th, 2013, 10:02 AM   #4
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Re: XF300 question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Solaini View Post
@Al - Do you really think the XF300 is better IQ than the C100? I'm not saying you are wrong it's just a lot of people on hear mention never using XF300s after acquiring a C100/C300.
Yes, I think that the 4:2:2 color space is better, and the xf305 has a very good look to it. But it's more for us pixel peepers.My clients can't tell and just want a good story, well told. I agree that the C100 is very close, and for the interchangeable lenses, DOF, ergonomics and other pluses, I also don't anticipate using my xf305 much in the future. I am going to work on matching all three camera looks, so I can interchange them. The 305 would be great for wide establishing shots, set up to run through a performance, maybe some slow crawls to zoom in from the front, while I shoot close ups and other work with the C100. No need for a 5D anymore for this. The 5D will go with me on all trips where I anticipate needing to shoot stills for stock and some video. While some don't like the video look to the 5D, I'm quite happy with what I'm getting, once lightly sharpened.
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Old May 4th, 2013, 09:33 PM   #5
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Re: XF300 question

I have not used the C100, but do use the XF300 and 5DMKIII. I think this really depends upon the use and job requirements. There are times when you need the AF and deep DOF. There are times when you prefer to have shallow DOF. Both of these situations come up on jobs. So it is to your benefit to have both styles of camera. In my view, SDOF and run & gun do not go easily in the same sentence!

I really like the look of the XF300. I sold an EX-1 to go to the XF300 and I think it was a great move. The C100 is not on my radar due to the reports of the viewfinder being poorly implemented. I do not trust camera LCDs and prefer to use viewfinders for exposure. Maybe Canon will add a better viewfinder and codec on the next model.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 09:25 AM   #6
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Re: XF300 question

TIm. I appreciate your point of view, but I would have to say that I haven't seen an VF that accurately shows exposure. Maybe I just don't know how to read it. I do agree that the LCD on even the xf300 doesn't show exposure accurately, neither does the C100. But the C100, IMHO, seems to do a better job. For exposure, I usually end up relying on waveform anyway, which always ends up giving me quite good results.

As to R&G, in my short time using the C100, even with the flaws of the LCD, (which are minimal to be clear), I am choosing to pick up the C100 over anything else. I know you said that you haven't tried it yet, but when you do, I think you'll be quite happy with much of the layout and design. I carry a 24-105 F4 (and just nudge the ISO to get more exposure), and a 10mm Sigma lens, (for an occassional wide overview) and I get a pretty wide range of POVs. I can leave a 70-200mm in the bag or in the trunk of the car for that once in a while need. Add a lav and the standard on camera shotgun, and it's pretty self contained. Another nice feature, that my xf300 doesn't have is a 3.5mm jack. I can plug a carry around Rode Lav into it when needed and if I'm close to the talent. I use an extension cord to get the talent 6' back or so on the lav. Works fine. In fact, works great.

The xf300 is a great R&G camera. The codec is superb. The lens wonderful. When it came out, it was the best I could find. I think that the C100/300 is likely to be the wave moving forward. If I could only afford one camera to buy, it would be the C100 today.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 10:16 AM   #7
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Re: XF300 question

Hey guys, thanks for the reply's. I'm now thinking about the C100 or if I can figure out a way to get the C300, I may try going for it. From reading some of the post on this site I noticed a lot of people don't like the viewfinder on the C100. I'm not sure if that will cause me an issue or not. I've also read that the IQ of the C300 was far superior over the 5DM3. As for both the C100 and C 300 doesn't have 720 @ 60 fps, I don't think that would be an issue for me. I very seldom use 720P on my T2i or 5DM3 and slow it down in post. Although that being said if I were to start shooting races, that could come in handy and I guess thats where the XF300 would come in handy.

Al, you mention in the post below
The C100 is an excellent choice for run and gun, as is the xf300. It's a question of what you need to do. The 300 has a great long and wide lens. No lens changing, much better Codec. The quality of the C100 image is excellent, but but not as good as the xf300. If you really think you need to broadcast on a major channel or go theatrical, the MXF 4:2:2 is the way to go. I also agree with you that if you have a good story line the client will not be able to tell a difference. I do like the look of the 5DM3 and I'll usually sharpen in post no more than 17%.

Based off of your experience, would it be a good run and gun fit for a wedding reception and dance floor activity? When I rented the XF100 I will admit that it was easy to use when taking shots of people on the dance floor. I used my generic 160 LED light on the camera and adjusted the intensity to where it wasn't as bright and it did help on the noise issue. As for broadcat I don't see a need for that. If I did ever need it I could always get the Atomos Ninja 2.

Andy, congrats on the addition of your C100. Maybe you can eventually share some footage. You're correct I am stuck in the middle. I would like to see the footagep in person, but there are no camera shops in the tulsa area that has the C100. the closes is in the Dallas area, which is about a 4 hour drive. I have went to a local shop and recordr footage on the XF300.

Tim, you're correct I can see times that the XF series would come into play as well as the 5DM3.

Maybe I should look at the XF100 and a C100 combo. Decision, decisions.

David A

Last edited by Dave Ande; May 6th, 2013 at 01:19 PM.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 02:20 PM   #8
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Re: XF300 question

Dave if I were you I wouldn't push for getting a C300 but if you could muster that kind of cash I would certainly say get a C100 and XF300 which I think would be around the cost of a C300. Then you would have the best of both worlds. You could also look at the XF100. I really like mine and unless it's in bad light (which neither of the XF camera excel in anyway) then it's not easy to tell the difference between the two. The only difference and it's a big one for me shooting aviation is the longer lens on the XF300.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 03:46 PM   #9
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Re: XF300 question

Andy, it would be nice if I had the additional cash to get both the XF300 and C100, but I really don't have it. The only reason I thought about the C300 was do to Canon 0% lease option to business customers. I may be able to swing a C100 and XF100, but it would still be a stretch. What are your thoughts regarding only shooting weddings with the C100 and no racing events? Do you have any problems when it comes down to the wedding party marching in do to focusing using a shallow DOF? I didn't think it would be this hard of a decision, but it is.

David A
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Old May 6th, 2013, 05:40 PM   #10
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Re: XF300 question

Dave I don't shoot weddings so I don't want to suggest anything in case I'm wrong. Having only had the C100 for a couple of days I would say if the light isn't good then it would be the camera I would go for instead of the XF's.

Hopefully someone with knowledge of weddings can answer your specific wedding questions. I would have thought given some practice with focusing you should be able to get people coming in in focus. (I only say practice as I don't know how much focus pulling you have done and if you are like me and have done very little I think I would need a bit of practise to nail it in a live situation).

At the end of the day whichever camera you go with you can be sure they are all really excellent camera in my opinion, it's just they done some things better than each other.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 10:45 AM   #11
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Re: XF300 question

Al,

I need to get your settings for my XF300 I have terrible low light results at weddings. I love it in the studio or outdoors when I can have ample light but my indoor event shots have a brownish tinge which is just awful! I set my white balance correctly every time but it never seems to compensate. I never pump my gain which I'm sure hurts but I've always been able to correct color but not grain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Bergstein View Post
Dave, I own an xf305 and a C100, along with a 5D mkiii. I have owned an xf105 in the past along with an HMC150.

The 305 has superior low light to the xf100. Definitely. The 100 has infrared, something I did use to creative advantage exactly once. For run and gun I often chose the 305 over the 105 and even the 5Dmkiii. Why? Because the codec held up better in some cases than the mkiii. Not always, and not everywhere. But sometimes.

DOF is a problem on the 300, especially with wide angle. Of course, on telephoto it's not that big a deal. To be clear, sometimes I *want* huge DOF in Wide Angle! But you have to keep an eye out for dust and rain drops on the lens at wide. Still, the C100 is far superior overall. It's like the best of a 5D and a, well, what, a camcorder. The C300 is really the ultimate cross between an xf300 and a 5D, but it's really expensive for a small operator. I personally am not sure it's over twice the price given. Yes, it's better. I would have loved to have felt it was worth it. I can buy a Atomos for 4:2:2 but really can't replace the LCD for run and gun easily. I do love what I'm doing with the C100 and have not felt a need to shoot with the 5D since getting it (!). I'll likely grab the 5D for jobs that need a special look, or require a lot of stills to go along with the video. Nice thing is, all lenses I have work on my C100 too. One camera case to bind them all. The precious...(G)

The C100 is an excellent choice for run and gun, as is the xf300. It's a question of what you need to do. The 300 has a great long and wide lens. No lens changing, much better Codec. The quality of the C100 image is excellent, but but not as good as the xf300. If you *really* think you need to broadcast on a major channel or go theatrical, the MXF 4:2:2 is the way to go.

You can throw away your 5" monitor and your seagull finder on either the xf300, C300 or the C100. Pulling focus on the C100 is definitely harder than on the xf300. But not enormously harder. The xf305 viewfinder is wonderful . I miss it on the C100.
If you are doing a lot of weddings this summer, and can pay back the C300, I'd buy that. It's the best of the lot. Also Canon is giving away the cameras on lease. Zero interest. All expense to your business. Keep your $15k or whatever in your pocket and pay the lease out of jobs. It's a win for you. But ask your accountant first (G).

Have fun.

There is no script for your life. Nor second takes.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 03:50 PM   #12
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Re: XF300 question

Well guys after reading all responses and giving it serious considerations, I think I'm going with the C100. I can take the extra money and save it for a rainy day. Thanks to all for your replies.

David A
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