End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422? at DVinfo.net

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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 February 13th, 2014, 03:18 PM   #1
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End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

Sony has just announced the NX3, basically dumping the MPEG HD422 codec out of a PMW 160 and replacing it with AVCDH, for $2000 less. Canon has moved to AVCHD for their C100, and kept the MXF codec for the C300 and above, cameras which cost many many thousands of dollars. Are we seeing the end of the MPEG HD 422 codec in 1/3-chip cameras, and where would you think the way forward is for the XF100/300 family?
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Old February 13th, 2014, 09:54 PM   #2
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

I can't imagine they would put out anything other than a 4k camera for their next handheld.
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Old February 14th, 2014, 05:41 AM   #3
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

Sony makes the PMW 160, 200, and 300 with 422 as does JVC with the HM750/790 however the HM850 does not support 422 internally. There are more expensive 3mos cameras from Sony and Panny that also support 422 internally and still other 3-chipers across a wide price range from $3k to $16K that support it via SDI or HDMI output. 422 10-bit is the new 2K love affair.

Canon's xf305 is it's top of the line 3mos whereas Sony, JVC, and Panasonic all have higher end cameras into which they are putting the codec internally. It's fair to view 422 mpeg-2 as a format for higher end cameras vs AVCHD for the low end with some low end cameras such as the C100 supporting 422 8-bit via external recorder.

Lastly, if you look at the time between the Canon A1s and the XF cameras, you'll see Canon took a very, very very long time. With the DSLR and Cinema cameras in the mix, I wouldn't hold your breath for a rev to the XF line. In Canon time, it's a young pup still and frankly, they may never revise it before moving to 3-chip 4K. But if you are not wedded to Canon, you have options with other manufacturers that historically do revise their 3-chip product line more frequently.
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Old February 14th, 2014, 06:59 PM   #4
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

I have thought about this a lot since I have an XF300 and I think Canon will have to come up with its own new codec or adopt Sony's new XAVC codec for the new XF camera. Mpeg-2 is finished. Why?

1080p60 Mpeg-2 can not do this framerate. Moreso than 4k, I believe any new camcorder can not compete without 1080p60. In my view, 4:2:2 is a given going forward. They have already "gone there" and memory is just too fast these days to not record the information.

Message to Canon - If you do take 4:2:2 recording away in the XF350 you will lose me as a customer!

I hope we see an updated XF line because Panasonic has the PX270 coming out and its codec lineup is about the best anybody could want. We will see if the lens and servo motors can compete with the XF300.
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Old March 24th, 2014, 08:01 AM   #5
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

Watched the final episode of "Wild Burma-Nature's Lost Kingdom" by BBC wildlife last night. One of the camera men was using a XF105. Most of the cameras in shot were Pannie 2/3 chippers with some rather nice Canon glass attached. Shows though that its "horses for courses" as far as BBC wildlife where sometimes you need a small compact portable camera.

I'm one who laments the lack of an updated XLH1. Still very good quality with my nanoFlash attached but a helluva mess of cables batteries monitor etc.

Presumably they will shoot 4K in due course, even if they have to broadcast as 1080p, but it looks as if 4K broadcasting a way off yet, and look at the price of 4K TVs.

Ron
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Old March 24th, 2014, 10:52 AM   #6
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Hiddelston View Post
Sony has just announced the NX3, basically dumping the MPEG HD422 codec out of a PMW 160 and replacing it with AVCDH, for $2000 less.
I would have said that Sony finally released an update to the venerable NX5, which was already an AVCHD camera. They upgraded the sensors to full 1920x1080, added simultaneous recording to both SD/MS slots, but dropped HD-SDI and the HXR-FMU memory unit attachment. And dropped the price $1000 less than the NX5. No need to mix product lines.
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Old April 2nd, 2014, 06:33 PM   #7
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

As seen in another thread today, Canon did release a successor to the XF100/105 - the XF200/205, and they did retain the mpeg2 codec. But, since that won't do 1080p60 they got creative and added that - but only in .mp4 format.

They also kept the chip about the same size, but added a 20x zoom instead of 10x, and surprisingly it keeps the 1.8--2.8 aperture. It has improvements in image stabilization, some of the physical buttons, the IR mode, and it has three rings for focus, iris, and zoom, rather than one with a switch.

It has an OLED panel, will simultaneously record from the xlrs and the 1/8" jack, and has a rotating side grip.

So, I'm surprised at how much of the legacy features they did keep. Most of the predictions in this thread were pretty far off.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 06:01 AM   #8
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

It's important to note that the XF100 and XF200 are single chip versus the XF300 which is 3 chip. IQ from such a small single chip suffers vs 3-chip. This should be considered in a addition to the compression formats supported.

I think the XF200 shows Canon responding to XF100 criticisms no doubt from it's large customers.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 08:30 AM   #9
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

I agree this camera is a surprise, but when I look at it, the camera makes sense. The XF100 needs an update more than the XF300 imho. The XF200 falls right in between the two.

I was thinking only about the XF300 in this thread which I still think Canon is in a bit of a jam with Mpeg-2 and 1080p60. I dislike any mention of AVCHD. Yes it is fine, but they can do so much better. CF and SD cards are as fast as internal hard drives now. No excuse to use a 4:2:0 codec imho.

Maybe they are waiting to announce the XF400 at NAB. Maybe not.

Once you go to 4k we might not see 1/3" chip cameras anymore. The little Sony with a 1" sensor is making very nice images. This is going to turn the industry upside down as they will have chip size as large or larger than the expensive broadcast cameras. Tough to keep the product lines differentiated this way.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 10:34 AM   #10
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

Yes, the XF10x and 20x are single chip, but despite that I've read several times that the real world image quality stays surprisingly close to the 300 series.

It doesn't matter though, because when I bought my XF100 in May 2011, it was the best camera within my $3K budget. As compared to consumer cams, it has many pro features that I've enjoyed learning to use and would miss. I love the 4:2:2, waveforms, custom picture settings, physical buttons, etc.

But there's little here that would make me upgrade. I'd use the longer zoom, the three rings, and a few other things, but I can live without them - I'm already doing it. I don't expect the IQ to be substantially better - that's the only thing that would make me upgrade - testing will tell.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 11:31 AM   #11
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

With the recent offerings from Panasonic and Sony, namely the PX270 and the Z100, I think the XF305 is hanging out there like the red-headed stepchild. Both the PX270 and the Z100 offer far better specs than the 305, and for less money. I think Canon is going to have to drop the prices on the 300/305 substantially if they don't offer a new model.
Of course, having said that I have to admit that if such a price drop does happen I will be first in line to buy one as I love the camera and it would fit my needs perfectly!!

Last edited by Scott Hiddelston; April 3rd, 2014 at 11:37 AM. Reason: Afterthoughts
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 01:39 PM   #12
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dixon View Post
Yes, the XF10x and 20x are single chip, but despite that I've read several times that the real world image quality stays surprisingly close to the 300 series.

It doesn't matter though, because when I bought my XF100 in May 2011, it was the best camera within my $3K budget. As compared to consumer cams, it has many pro features that I've enjoyed learning to use and would miss. I love the 4:2:2, waveforms, custom picture settings, physical buttons, etc.

But there's little here that would make me upgrade. I'd use the longer zoom, the three rings, and a few other things, but I can live without them - I'm already doing it. I don't expect the IQ to be substantially better - that's the only thing that would make me upgrade - testing will tell.
I totally agree with you and am in the same boat. I shoot weddings with my XF 100 and love it. The only exception is low light, and I haven't seen anything that indicates the 200 will be any better. If there is a significant improvement over noise, Canon can have my money- but I think the limitation with the smaller single sensor is going to hold it back.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 01:50 PM   #13
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Hiddelston View Post
With the recent offerings from Panasonic and Sony, namely the PX270 and the Z100, I think the XF305 is hanging out there like the red-headed stepchild. Both the PX270 and the Z100 offer far better specs than the 305, and for less money. I think Canon is going to have to drop the prices on the 300/305 substantially if they don't offer a new model.
Of course, having said that I have to admit that if such a price drop does happen I will be first in line to buy one as I love the camera and it would fit my needs perfectly!!
But today the XF300 and C100 are both $5000 (C100 $5500 w/autofocus). You know they won't drop the price much, with the XF200 at $3500 and the 205 at $4000.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 01:53 PM   #14
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

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Originally Posted by Greg Huber View Post
I totally agree with you and am in the same boat. I shoot weddings with my XF 100 and love it. The only exception is low light, and I haven't seen anything that indicates the 200 will be any better. If there is a significant improvement over noise, Canon can have my money- but I think the limitation with the smaller single sensor is going to hold it back.
Yes, I was hoping for 4:2:2 1080p60 (not as 4:2:0 .mp4), better low light, cleaner gain, and in my wild dreams, recording to 10 bit ProRes 422 internal :-)
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 03:30 PM   #15
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Re: End of the line for 1/3" chip MPEG 422?

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Originally Posted by David Dixon View Post
But today the XF300 and C100 are both $5000 (C100 $5500 w/autofocus). You know they won't drop the price much, with the XF200 at $3500 and the 205 at $4000.
Well unless one is wedded to the Canon workflow, I cannot see a customer paying $6000 for the 305, when every feature and a whole lot more is available on the Panasonic PX270 for $250 less and in the Sony X100 for $500 less. Nor can I see them passing up 1080 60p, 10-bit 4:2:2 recorded and 100-200 Mb/s capability to save $250-$500 by buying the XF300. But who knows.
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