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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 2nd, 2014, 02:44 PM   #1
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XF100, XF200 or something else?

I have a client who wants to make a number of tutorial videos regarding their particular line of business. They are talking about a 2 camera scenario shooting against a greenscreen. Branding/info will then be added in post. They intend to buy one of the cameras and lights. They want me to use my own XF300 as the other camera. Thus I will be the Director, cameraman and editor.

Thus far they have been advised to look at the XF100. Therefore the XF100 will be the locked off wide shot (involving full length shots of presenter/guest) and I will use my XF300 to get close ups. Incidentally the genlock option on the XF105 seems unnecessary for them given the footage from both cameras will be sync'ed during editing with potentially only a 50th of a second sync difference (in PAL). That's acceptable for their intended Net viewing audience.

Right now I am unclear whether their budget will only allow them to go to the older XF100 or if it might stretch to a XF200. In due course I'll know more.

However at this stage my question is whether the XF200 brings anything significant to the table 'for the described scenario' over and above the XF100? It's unlikely they'll ever use the camera for much else, so other features/versatility is a reasonably moot point outside this scenario.

Finally I realise there are alternative camera options. Thus far the Sony PXW-X70 stands out. Can anyone suggest others together with potential pros/cons?

Thank you for any advice given.

Last edited by Nigel Davey; December 3rd, 2014 at 03:00 AM.
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 03:47 PM   #2
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Re: XF100, XF200 or something else?

Don't have time at the moment for a long answer, but I've used and loved my XF100 for 3 1/2 years. With the right settings it still gets a great image and the 4:2:2 codec is great for green screen. The XF200 adds a longer zoom, three separate rings, etc., but is still an essentially 1/3" chip and will never have 4K. So, after months of comparisons I've just bought the X70. Still testing, but cleaner image, cleaner gain, longer zoom, 1080p60, and the 1" chip does make a difference in depth of field. Has 24 bit sound internal also. Cheaper than the XF200 and will have a 4K upgrade in the next few months.

For an all round camera I went with the X70, but for your specific purpose a used XF100 would still be a good option. I'm keeping mine :-) For your situation I just don't see that the XF200 adds anything.
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 09:37 PM   #3
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Re: XF100, XF200 or something else?

For purchase, I would go with the Sony X70. That is what I plan to do, fairly soon.
For your specific project, I assume in London you could rent XF100's or XF300's.
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 12:56 AM   #4
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Re: XF100, XF200 or something else?

I don't know the Sony but have owned the XF100 and still own an xf305. Your requirements suit your choices fine. They match pretty well for wide and close up. I don't think from your description it's worth the 200, though it seems like a nice camcorder if you need a long lens.
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Old December 4th, 2014, 07:05 AM   #5
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Re: XF100, XF200 or something else?

Just an observation: The lack of much discussion, one way or another, of the XF200 is curious. It is a product that didn't fit in the current the market?
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Old December 4th, 2014, 07:42 AM   #6
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Re: XF100, XF200 or something else?

As an XF100 owner who just upgraded to the Sony X70 instead of the XF200, I think most people consider the XF200 an odd mix of features. It does add the longer lens and three rings, etc. of the XF300, and the addition of 1080p60 is good, but I think the number of people who are willing to pay $3500 for a camera that only has a single 1/3 inch chip and will NEVER do 4K is getting more limited by the day.

The X70 was over $1K cheaper and will add 4K soon. It also has a 1 inch chip.

The Panasonic X1000 is the same price as the XF200 and has many of the same features (still essentially a single 1/3 inch chip) but already does 4K - at 60p.

I think the competition in this price range is just too compelling.
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Old December 8th, 2014, 07:52 AM   #7
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Re: XF100, XF200 or something else?

My first thought along with Richard is to rent another XF300 for the shoot(s). Then you know your cameras will match and be equal. Problem solved and you are the hero for saving them money compared to owning a camera.

This is unless they plan on producing their own videos down the line and they are using you as a consultant on this job... Hopefully that is not the case or you can charge for it :)

BTW, just my opinion but if you do have to mix a "better" camera with a 'less than better' camera, I would think about using the better camera for the wide shot as you need more resolution/detail from this POV. Close ups are more forgiving and in a studio you would probably be fine with a 10-12x zoom.

That is unless you know the wide shot will hardly be used. In that case I would put your best camera with the most used shot.
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