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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 September 13th, 2014, 11:47 AM   #1
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XF300 OK for Event?

I already posted this in a different thread, should not have it was the wrong thread, Sorry for the Double post.

Anyhow,

Hey Guys,

I'm not that experienced with camcorders and I'm getting ready to shoot a sales/marketing presentation, in a Sheraton hotel event room, about 150 people will attend. I think the XF300 would be a decent camera, maybe even overkill, as the final delivery is for the internet, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The event will be 2-days of 4 hour mornings, with a break after about 2 hours.Audio is critical.

My experience is with shooting DSLR's. Lots of B roll stuff, and some interviews.

I have a small budget, and the equipment I will be using will be rented, so I have some choice, not a lot but some. The XF300 is not real expensive to rent so,my thinking is, it has a good zoom length, it can record to CF cards, I think 64 gig cards will be great for the length of record times, and it records good audio, right?

However, I'm concerned that the XF300's reputation for low-light performance is lacking. I don't want grainy video. I guess the question is what is the beginning level of low-light on a XF300?

Will be shooting wide mostly with depth of focus needed. Some rooms can have good lighting and some not, I can't get there to evaluate it before the shoot. I feel that the XF300 is up to the task, based on what I have researched on, I'm just really concerned about the low light performance.

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated, Chime in Please!
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Old September 13th, 2014, 09:41 PM   #2
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Re: XF300 OK for Event?

You are correct. The XF300 has a very nice picture when there is enough light, but it's 1/3" sensors struggle in low light. You'd probably get better results with a Sony PMW-200 or PMW-300 if you can rent one of those instead.

MASTERING THE CANON XF305 & XF300 CAMCORDERS
http://www.vortexmedia.com/DVD_PMW200.html

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Old September 14th, 2014, 11:25 PM   #3
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Re: XF300 OK for Event?

If I run into a low light event I use my C100. You might want to price one of them out to do the job. If the price is right you can boost the ISO quite a bit and have no noticeable gain. I've shot a lot of stuff with my xf305, and it can get grainy at +18 db. If you can shoot fine with it under that, you should be ok. I usually boost to 6 with no problem.
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Old September 15th, 2014, 03:12 AM   #4
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Re: XF300 OK for Event?

Totally agree with Al, +6DB is the max you want to go with the XF300 unless you want to see the noisy grain.
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Old September 18th, 2014, 09:43 PM   #5
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Re: XF300 OK for Event?

Well, I was talked into a Canons XA-25 it was even cheaper than the XF300, and it has 1/2 " sensor. From what the rental company ATS told me it was a very popular camera for shooting events like I explained to them. So we will see. The reviews were pretty good of what I found also.

Thank you all for your input,

Leon
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Old September 19th, 2014, 12:20 AM   #6
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Re: XF300 OK for Event?

It will likely be not much different than the xf300. The XA25 seems like it might be a nice option for your price. The zoom and overall ergonomics of the 300 is better. Good luck on your shoot.Let us know how it turned out.
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Old September 26th, 2014, 01:12 PM   #7
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Re: XF300 OK for Event?

XF200/205s also have the 1/2" sensor so they can work better in low light too....but all of them are nowhere near the low light capabilities of the big chip cameras....

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Old September 26th, 2014, 02:56 PM   #8
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Re: XF300 OK for Event? The XF200/205 are getting bad reviews

as someone who owns both the XF300 and a XF100 I can say that I try to keep the gain to no more than 6db..I shoot mostly at 1920x1080 at 30p which gives me some extra light..I sometimes have to lower the shutter to 30 but the results are nice. I always use some LED ligths..it can't be avoided...
if lights are not an option then I use my Canon 70D with the Sigma 18-35 f1.8.
However, the XF300/XF100 combo has been great for live events where there are tons of light. I also downloaded some picture profiles that habve made the picture quality better-some noise reduction there etc and I can now combine the footage from both cameras.
for weddings etc I must always use one Aputure Amaran LED-for the grand entrance at least..
I also put a small LED on the camera with a dimmer for some shots. It cannot be avoided...

as per the Canon XF200, I don't think it has 1/2" sensors! no way...
here is the spec from Canon: 1920 x 1080, 1/2.84″ CMOS Sensor
so it's not better than what I have now...in fact the reviews at B&H are really bad for its low light performance...I think people just expect to see DSRL performance and this is not going to happen...simple...
but they are great for a lot of events..I couldn't do some of my projects without them..but for others I must rely on my Canon 70d and some fast lenses (but some lights are always needed to get the right look on interviewees-I bring a light stand to move the light off the camera)...
I'm happy with my investment (3 years now) and I'll wait and see what 's better for lifestyle/live events.

Erick in Toronto
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Old September 26th, 2014, 03:39 PM   #9
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Re: XF300 OK for Event?

You're right, I was just shaving off the 84 part....I'm throwing my self off the building in a minute!

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Old September 27th, 2014, 02:41 AM   #10
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Re: XF300 OK for Event?

Just for awareness:

The XF20x cameras are NOT exact form factor replacements for the XF10x camera; they're a little larger and a half kg (over a pound) heavier than the 100 series.

In my case, I was thinking about wholesale replacing my stable of three 105's for the extra reach of the 205's 20x lens, maybe slightly better low light capability, and 1080p60 (even if mp4). But I may just get one for the reach and be done with it, to keep my multi-cam setup from growing in size and weight too much.

Agree that if low light is your first priority, you just need to go to larger sensor cameras.
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Old September 27th, 2014, 09:16 PM   #11
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Re: XF300 OK for Event?

FYI - I just read a few reviews of the XF200 on the B&H website and the first two were very negative about the image noise and light performance. You might want to check the camera out before making a purchase.
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Old September 29th, 2014, 08:34 AM   #12
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Re: XF300 OK for Event?

When reading on-line reviews be sure to assess the point of view of the person posting the review, especially reviews that are at the extreems of positive or negative. The poster may have requirements (or expectations) that are outside the designed application of the device, or may have a separate agenda.
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Old January 14th, 2015, 11:30 AM   #13
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Re: XF300 OK for Event?

I hope this thread is still active..just curious about new cameras for events. What would be a real upgrade from a Canon XF300? I guess 4K is something to consider...I like the form of the C100/300 but no 4K even on the mkII...the autofocus is helpful for events,,,
what would you guys go for? I'm sticking to my Canon XF300 and XF10) for now and for shallow depth of field I have a Canon 70D with the Sigma f1.8 18-35mm...ok for the cost..
what is the camera to get? I would like it to have some decent slow mo for sure...it add a lot to a production.
thanks
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Old January 15th, 2015, 07:08 AM   #14
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Re: XF300 OK for Event?

Sticking with your XF300/XA10 may well make sense for your business model, especially if it does what you need it to do.
My take is no need to shoot 4K if you are not going to deliver 4K to a paying client in the near future.
On the other hand, if largely a hobby, do what makes you happy.
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Old January 17th, 2015, 11:01 PM   #15
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Re: XF300 OK for Event?

I really can't agree more with Don. Both of his points on business model and a wish to experience and then, this is mine, to upskill yourself through non-business projects, could be enticing. What one must also consider are all the additional investments needed to be made to allow 4k to be a workable creative editing process.

My last project was all XF300 full HD plus some SX50 stills as some graphical b-camera impromptu snappies.

I'm happy!

Grazie
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