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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 December 25th, 2013, 09:30 PM   #1
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Making the move, possibly?

So at the first of the year, I'm making the move to replace my Sony Z1u/V1u setup with the purchase of two cameras. I was looking at the XF300 last year, but waited a year to see what else came out. CF/SD recording is big at least for me since I do a lot of hours, sometimes 6 to 8 yours x2 cameras. I also am researching the Sony HXR-NX3 which actually hasn't been released yet. It records to SD cards and SDHC. Although It's not easy to compare the apples especially the low light capability. I'm sure anything will be an upgrade from HDV, but I want to get the biggest bang for my buck since I keep my cameras till I have to replace them.

So I'm open to any thoughts or opinion. It's a load of change for the purchase so I want to get it right. Thanks in advance and Happy Holidays to all my DVINFO friends.
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Old December 25th, 2013, 11:32 PM   #2
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

I upgraded to the XF305 this summer from an XHA1s and it was seriously one of the best moves I've ever made. I absolutely love the camera. I know the price is higher but it is totally worth it.
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Old December 26th, 2013, 12:54 AM   #3
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

As usual, it depends what you are shooting. I have both the xf305 and the C100. They are both fabulous cameras, and I use them in different ways. I must say, as much as I love the xf305, I usually shoot the C100. But that's me. what do you shoot?
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Old December 26th, 2013, 03:56 PM   #4
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

They guys at BH just told me that the Sony only does 422 to HDMI and not to the cards. That's probably enough to make me buy the Canon.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 10:12 AM   #5
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

For as many pro cameras that Sony has it amazes me that very few of them can do 4:2:2 to their cards. I'm not bashing the company though because their top end stuff is killer.
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Old December 28th, 2013, 12:44 PM   #6
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

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Originally Posted by Steven Davis View Post
They guys at BH just told me that the Sony only does 422 to HDMI and not to the cards. That's probably enough to make me buy the Canon.
STOP! The problem is that you're not comparing the right cameras. The HXR-NX3 is a low-end camera, $1500 cheaper than the XF300, and it's not even part of Sony's XDCAM lineup. Forget about it.

If you want to compare apples to apples you should be comparing the XF300 to the PMW-160. Both of them record 50 Mbps HD422, have three 1/3" sensors, and are priced the same. The PMW-160 has a lot of extra features not found on the XF300, but at least they are both in the same league.

However, if you can afford to take a bigger step up than that, you might want to take a closer look the PMW-200 or PMW-300 with 1/2" sensors. That may or may not be worth the extra cost to you, but they are worth considering.

BTW, I'd much rather have a PMW-100 than an HXR-NX3, and the 100 is several hundred dollars cheaper and blows the NX3 away in features and performance. So if money is tight, the PMW-100 is the camera to be looking at.

My 2 cents.
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Old December 28th, 2013, 01:27 PM   #7
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

Doug is talking sense, compare similarly priced cameras.

you should also take a long hard look at the ex1r, it's the only one in this range with the larger sensors which make a difference in low light and get you a bit shallower depth. the pmw-200 is the newer version with the better codec, but years of use from a wide range of pros will tell you the ex1 is a solid solid performer. looks like they go used for well under 5K in excellent condition
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Old December 29th, 2013, 10:28 PM   #8
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
STOP! The problem is that you're not comparing the right cameras. The HXR-NX3 is a low-end camera, $1500 cheaper than the XF300, and it's not even part of Sony's XDCAM lineup. Forget about it.

If you want to compare apples to apples you should be comparing the XF300 to the PMW-160. Both of them record 50 Mbps HD422, have three 1/3" sensors, and are priced the same. The PMW-160 has a lot of extra features not found on the XF300, but at least they are both in the same league.

However, if you can afford to take a bigger step up than that, you might want to take a closer look the PMW-200 or PMW-300 with 1/2" sensors. That may or may not be worth the extra cost to you, but they are worth considering.

BTW, I'd much rather have a PMW-100 than an HXR-NX3, and the 100 is several hundred dollars cheaper and blows the NX3 away in features and performance. So if money is tight, the PMW-100 is the camera to be looking at.

My 2 cents.
Yeah, the Sony was just one of them I was comparing. After all this I get why the Sony is so much cheaper. .
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Old December 30th, 2013, 07:35 PM   #9
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

Yes, not knowing the Sony camera line well, I couldn't advise you there, but you owe it to yourself to compare the right cameras. I would certainly take a close look at the Sony. Not sure what it has that the XF300/305 doesn't have, I was under the belief they were virtually identical, except for the use of standard CF cards in the Canon. But I can't say for sure. Sony is a great product line and Doug, who's videos I've bought in the past, really knows both cameras well, as he's done videos on how to get the best out of both of them.
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Old December 30th, 2013, 10:09 PM   #10
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

One has 1/3" inch chips and the other 1/2". How can they be identical? There are also ergonomic differences like the high flying mic holder on the PMW-200, the PMW-200's LCD that conflicts with most things on the shoe and Canon's zoom switch that disables manually zooming when you have the power zoom switched on and vice versa. Probably more. One might get used to these or, on the other hand, end up in the slipper farm from them. YMMV
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Old December 31st, 2013, 08:27 AM   #11
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

Les, if you go back and re-read my post you'll see that I'm recommending that he compare the XF300 to the PMW-160. Both of those cameras have 1/3" sensors and similar specifications. Apple to apples.

I also suggested that if he had the budget he might want to take a closer look at the PMW-200 or PMW-300 which I think give you even more bang for the buck. But not everyone has the budget for thoses. And I suggested that if he wants to spend less than the cost of a XF300 or PMW-160, then the logical choice is the PMW-100.

But the main point of my post was that he should NOT be comparing the XF300 to the HXR-NX3 because they have practically nothing in common.
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Old December 31st, 2013, 12:47 PM   #12
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

Steven Davis...definitely take the time to evaluate the different platforms.

IMHO, I made a mistake in getting the Sony HXR-NX5U (similar features to the Sony HXR-NX3 with AVCHD (H.264).

I eventually sold the 'NX5U' and purchased the new XDCAM 4:2:2 PMW-200 and am very pleased with my decision. I much prefer the workflow of XDCAM CODEC. I never really got comfortable with AVCHD. Though, I'm probably in the minority?

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

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Old December 31st, 2013, 02:03 PM   #13
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

Thanks guys. Happy New Year by the way!

I'm leaning towards the Canon since it fits our current business model. Call me old fashioned but, I like the fact that it records directly to CF cards. We sometimes walk away with 6 hours plus (x2) hours of coverage so the SxS card's price point themselves out of range. And I know with the Sony, it has an SxS adapter for the CF cards, but in live events, I really don't want to be fiddling with an adapter where seconds do matter, it's just something else that can spazz out.

I imagine in another five years I'll revisit the newer technologies. Thanks again for all the input.
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Old December 31st, 2013, 04:03 PM   #14
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

Steven, there isn't an adapter to use CompactFlash cards in a Sony camcorder. The CF cards are too large.

However, there are adapters for SDHC, Memory Stick, and XQD cards. Out of those three, the only one that I would recommend is the XQD cards. I'm not going to give you the big sales pitch on them, but they blow CF cards out of the water in performance and reliablity. Do a Google search and compare the specifications. If you don't want to spend money on SxS cards (understandable) the XQD cards are a very, very good substitute.

I've never had an XQD card or an SxS card fail on me. But I've had two Canon approved CF cards fail on me with the XF305 -- and I don't even get me started on how crappy SDHC cards are in any professional camera.

If you go with XQD cards, you just put the card in the adapter and let it live there. Get an adapter (about $30) for each card and just leave the card in there. There's no fumbling around in the middle of a shoot.

There may be other reasons to choose one camera over another, but I certainly wouldn't choose the Canon just because it shoots on CF cards . . . just the opposite.
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Old December 31st, 2013, 04:22 PM   #15
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Re: Making the move, possibly?

Forgive my mis-type. Correct, it's the SDHC cards. I mix in my Nikon D800s so I was trying to keep media the same across the board. I was looking at the
Sony PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM Camcorder PXW-Z100 B&H Photo
Digital 4K Video Camera Recorder FDR-AX1 B&H Photo[/url] which uses XQD cards, till I called B&H and the dude told me that 4K has not caught up to 'low light' performance yet. So I moved my thoughts away from 4k. I'll take another look at it though. The XQD cards are atleast reasonable.
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