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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 19th, 2018, 12:00 AM   #46
Old Boot
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Re: I pre-ordered the XF400 - thoughts?

Where, oh where, is our great Canon going? Maybe they wish to return to making photocopiers? Oh, BTW, does anybody still purchase photocopiers? No? Hmmm.? My trusty, superb XF300 would seem to be where Canon topped-out. Regarding the reactions of our loyal Canon colleague in the last post, kinda indicates that their R&D Dept is more r&d, meaning, downsized.

Do I want a 4K, fully featured XF-ed XF? Hell yes! Do I need 4K for paid work? Hell no. And so, maybe Canon know this and presently are squeezing the last bit of juice and are content to move on. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Yeah, and it’s only business.

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Old February 19th, 2018, 06:18 AM   #47
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Re: I pre-ordered the XF400 - thoughts?

Whats in a name?. Had Canon called it the XA-400 more folks would likely have fewer gripes for many are based on expectations created by the earlier XF series. The lack of comments on the consumer variant VIXIA GX10 is telling.

Not many reviews on B&H either.
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Old May 30th, 2018, 01:37 PM   #48
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Re: I pre-ordered the XF400 - thoughts?

Following up this thread. We have been using three XF-405s side by side with our C200 and C300 MKII to shoot a documentary of women outrigger racing. This involves shooting video from the front of a bouncing, bucking 18' Boston Whaler on rough ocean with 10-15' swells. We were trying to shoot these races with the C200 and C300 MKII and the cameras were not idea for that application. So the C300 MKII and C200 stay on shore, shooting post race interviews and b-roll, while the XF-405s are out on the chase boats on the ocean for hours at a time.

Some observations, based upon a lot of the subjects in this thread.

1. There is no waveform. Our camera ops are not happy about that. There is the typical Canon exposure meter though and there are zebras, two sets. Peaking works. DPAF is quite good and I like how the face detection can be on at the same time as the normal AF, as you know, you have to choose between on or the other on the C200. Between putting the Hoodman H400 on the LCDs and upping the luminance and brightness, we are getting overall decent exposure when shooting in bright daylight. Not ideal, but it works.

2. The battery release on the bottom isn't the optimal design. Fortunately for us, we are shooting handheld, so it's not an issue. Also, if you have a tripod with a smaller QR plate, like our Sachtlers, you just pop the camera off of the head to change the battery, not a big deal. They should have made it a side release but they didn't. If you use the longer Manfrotto or Miller plates, then it's a PITA, you do have to loosen the plate to release the battery. Only an issue for certain people.

3. The user mappable knob is mapped to manual iris. Works great, the iris is right where it should be, near the lens.

4. It's cool that you map the handle lens servo and the grip lens servo to different zoom speeds. I cradle the camera from underneath with my left hand, use my right hand on the handle and shove the camera into my chest, giving me three points of contact. Paired with the internal IS, I can get pretty steady shots at long focal lengths.

5. The lens hood with the built in lens cap is really good for us. When I switching lenses on a rocking boat with the bigger cameras. doing the lens cap dance is always a pain. Just bring able to flip the lens hood in and out is very helpful.

6. When the camera is switched to WDR, it adds 9dB of gain. No way to defeat that other than to shoot standard color profile but we are shooting WDR to match the C200/300 MKII better. Not a big deal for us but if shooting indoors, something to be aware of.

7. The camera basically looks like our C200 shooting .MP4. Which is a pretty good looking signal.Really liking shooting 4K 60p at 150 Mbps on a camera this small and light.

8. Menus are a combination of typical Canon C series and a consumer camera. There are some functions you can do on a C-series camera that you cannot here, but overall, easily navigable and make sense for the most part.

9. Audio is good quality, XLR block on handle is typical Canon, easy to use and figure out. We aren't using the camera for interviews but it would work well for that other than too much DOF for a lot of people's taste. 1" imager is a good compromise on a camera like this.

10. The two lens ring design could bug some people. I pretty much am using the servo to change FOV and mostly DPAF so it is fine for me. But if you are used to a three ring setup, might bug you.

11. Two SD card slots are nice, we have been duplicate recording which is a good safety thing on a fast paced and challenging environment like we are shooting in.

12. EVF is tiny, but usable. Wish it was the larger size.

Overall, so far, the XF-405 is proving to be a great solution for our documentary. It's not the camera that will satisfy every Canon user but overall, it's pretty solid. If they added waveform, side release battery and perhaps C-Log, I would buy one. But as it is, we are using them for the remainder of the year to shoot our boat footage. I have not used them in low light so I cannot comment on how it performs in that situation. But in action sports, shooting from a boat, the XF-405 has proven to be very handy for our production challenges.We could have gone for a Sony or Panasonic but then matching footage between the boat cameras and our shore A and B cameras would not be fun.

For any of you in this thread, if you have specific questions, fire away, we've been shooting with three this year so far and will be shooting with them through the end of the year.
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Old June 1st, 2018, 04:23 AM   #49
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Re: I pre-ordered the XF400 - thoughts?

Thanks for the informative post!

If you have a chance to try it in poor light please share you impression of the results.
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Old August 5th, 2018, 12:05 PM   #50
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Re: I pre-ordered the XF400 - thoughts?

I've been looking into possibly buying an XF400/405 for a smallish, run-and-gun, easy to travel with camera. I was able to get one for a couple weeks to try out. It takes a little getting used to. I really wish it was closer to xf100 or 200 in terms of buttons and menu and really wish it had 4.2.2 internally. Wish the iris was controllable on the lens ring and not programmable to the little tiny dial (which takes some digging to figure out how to do). It also seems like it takes forever to power up…and it doesn’t come with an external battery charger, you have to plug the camera in to charge (come on, really?)

That being said, image quality looks very good, and I like the lens. I have to play with the touch-screen AF a bit more to get comfortable with it, but from what I’ve seen in some demo videos, it does work well.

I was worried about having to remove the tripod plate to change batteries, I use a manfrotto plate (for 501 series heads) and it’s small enough (barely), so that’s not really an issue for me. Another complaint I’ve read is that if you record externally, you cannot also record internally at the same time…it seems to work fine for me (on a ninja blade)…you just set it to record internally in the menu, but leave the Rec Command and HDMI timecode activated (maybe this was fixed in a firmware update, I don’t know).

Trying to decide between the xf400 and the Sony Z90. The Canon seems to get a lot of hate, while the Sony seems to get a lot of love (unfortunately, I don’t think I can get my hands on the Sony to really try it out). If you dig deeper, the Sony seems to have some annoyances as well. From what I’ve gathered reading and watching videos….is that the Canon has a better lens, softer/more cine look to the footage (Sony’s looks much sharper, almost too sharp), Sony has a few more buttons, but the menu is clunky, Canon has better AF and IS while Sony has more profile options, internal 4.2.2/10bit etc….

At this point, I’m leaning towards the Canon (mainly because I also own a C100 and the footage matches up pretty closely). It’s not a perfect camera, but at this price point and size, I don’t think there are any perfect options.
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