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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old February 24th, 2011, 02:09 AM   #1
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From XLH1 to XF300/305?

Since we've had a couple of camera failures recently, the boss has asked me to investigate the possibility of replacing our two XLH1's. Both are 3 years old this February.

Like you guys, I'm keen to see if Canon offer us an XLH1 replacement at NAB in April.

In the case of that not being forthcoming, I'm having a close look at the 300/305 models. I like the idea of a smaller camera, I like the idea of CF card recording, and the lens length seems to be a good compromise compared to our XLH1's with the both the standard HD lens and the cream "wide" lens. The price is good.

What I'm trying to figure out is what I might "lose", in terms of functionality, low light performance, DOF control, or preset customisability.

I suspect that some of you guys have already done this comparison, and may have some advice for me?

kindest regards

Matthew P
Brisbane
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Old February 24th, 2011, 04:13 AM   #2
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Re: From XLH1 to XF300/305?

You're going to lose the ability to change lenses for a massive starter. The whole point surely of owning a XLH1.

No sign of a replacement from Canon. Chris Hurd has suggested that there may not be a replacement. I find thus hard to believe given the effort Canon must have put into the XFs, which out perform , inter alia, the Sony EX1, so why not go the whole hog and out perform the EX3 as well ?
The BBC I understand ,uses XF305s "out of the box" but EF1s and 3s only with a nanoFlash attached.

The fact that Canon is a major if not the major maker of broadcast video lenses would also suggest, perhaps, they need an interchangeable lens version of the XFs,

Ron
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Old February 24th, 2011, 04:16 AM   #3
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Re: From XLH1 to XF300/305?

You'll lose the 'shoulder mount' obviously, unless you adapt the XF with some sort of shoulder mount system. Even though the XL is unbalanced, I like having it up there at the right height.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 06:58 AM   #4
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Re: From XLH1 to XF300/305?

Thank you Ron, Simon.

I did note that the 300/305 were the smallest/cheapest cams in the BBC approved list (apart from the barrel cams) so I guess that's something, albeit in the "independent production" list. I handled one at NAB 2010 and was quite impressed with what I saw.

Ron we've been able to monitor the usefulness of our XLH1's over the last couple of years and as we do mostly ENG with these cameras, the number of times we've changed out lenses has been very low indeed. Now that we have a 7D for really shallow DOF, it would seem to make the lens issue even less of a problem for us.

Simon we did identify the loss of shoulder mounting to be a significant issue, and some of the newer "cantilever" shoulder mounts look interesting, especially the folding ones.

I guess we'll wait till April and cross our fingers...

As always, your input is greatly valued.

Matthew P
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Old March 7th, 2012, 03:01 PM   #5
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Re: From XLH1 to XF300/305?

Okay, this post is over a year old so I would like to reopen this discussion concerning the gains and losses of upgrading to an XF100, XF105, XF300 or an XF305. Also, I am curious to know if the Canon replacement for the XLH1 is the Canon C300 as it has interchangeable lens.

Last edited by Maurice Covington; March 7th, 2012 at 03:02 PM. Reason: To get on the instant email update
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Old March 10th, 2012, 11:10 PM   #6
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Re: From XLH1 to XF300/305?

Could someone please post the URL for the BBC approved list of cameras?

Many thanks,

Harry.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:27 AM   #7
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Re: From XLH1 to XF300/305?

I'm really curious what the original OP finally ended up getting.

I'm coming from an XL2 so I have no experience whatsoever with an XLH1 (apart for ergonomics and lens interchangeability), and have since bought a Canon XF300.

But what I did miss most from the XL2 was running miniDV tapes. I miss the days of capturing endless long hours of footage into Premiere Pro. Oh, and I miss having to shoot on standard definition :)
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Old March 15th, 2012, 07:38 AM   #8
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Re: From XLH1 to XF300/305?

I don't know that he ever gave information regarding what he purchased. I actually picked up an XLH1A last night that was in MINT condition with all original packaging and accessories for $1,800.00. Aside from the fact that I can't really justify paying the money for the XF300, I think that I got the biggest bang for my buck. I don't k.ow much about the XF300 but from the little that I do know, I don't believe that there is enough improvement to justify the additional cost for the type of work I do. If you have the ability to use lights, I feel that a typical consumer will appreciate my footage just as much as he/she would had I shot it with an XF300.
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