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-   -   Talk me into buying this camera... (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xf-series-4k-hd-camcorders/477446-talk-me-into-buying-camera.html)

Josh Keffer April 23rd, 2010 11:08 AM

Talk me into buying this camera...
So a friend of mine just sold all of his cameras and bought a bunch of 5Ds. To this point I hadn't given them a lot of thought, but now I'm starting to wonder.

As for me, I'm finally ready to sell the old XL2 and move to HD. I'm excited about the XF cameras, but I'm now starting to question whether to go in this direction or move toward the DSLR route.

I'm looking for info on why to stick with a purpose-built video camera. What are the advantages over DSLR?

I may start a similar thread over on the 5D page if there isn't already something similar. Thanks in advance for your input!


Jeff Anselmo April 23rd, 2010 11:16 AM

Hi Josh,

I'm in a sorta similar boat, as we are ready to move to HD from our XL2. (Even the wife approves :)

But I am not in the market for a DSLR, unfortunately. Although I'm tempted by the specs and the videos I've seen from the 5D and 7D, we are and truly a "video" business. Which means that we dable into photography (we have a Nikon D80 for photo stuff), but we need to have a true video camera in our hands.

I am also looking at these new Canons, but I'll wait and see how they do first. I'm not in a hurry to purchase, so that's a luxury.


Chris Hurd April 23rd, 2010 11:43 AM


Originally Posted by Josh Keffer (Post 1518447)
What are the advantages over DSLR?

Here are ten advantages of the XF over a D-SLR:

1. Shot lengths much longer than four minutes per clip.

2. The ability to change focal length during a shot.

3. Longer focal length ratio (18x on XF). Most EOS
lens focal length ratios are on the order of 3x or so.

4. Always-on auto focus (critical for some applications).

5. The ability to operate the camera remotely (focus, zoom, record,
focus assist, etc.) via LANC controller mounted on the tripod pan handle.

6. Single-system sound with full audio controls and XLR inputs built in.

7. Headphone jack for monitoring audio (no D-SLR has one).

8. Image Stabilization (EOS lenses with IS create audible noise).

9. Superior ergonomics for hand-held work relative to D-SLRs.

10. Required video tools are built in (ND filters, WFM, vectorscope etc.)

I own three HD-equipped Canon D-SLRs -- an EOS 5D Mk. II, an EOS 7D
and a Rebel T2i. None of them can replace a real video camera, especially
the forthcoming XF series. They are excellent tools to add to your kit, but
they're not substitutes for your primary camera(s).

Josh Dahlberg April 23rd, 2010 09:50 PM

I enjoy using the 5D and 7D for my own projects, and for cutaways and low risk shots in corportate shoots. As a workhorse however, Chris is spot on.... if you try replacing a conventional video camera with a DSLR you can get stung.

Added to Chris' list are moire and aliasing issues, which are easy enough to work around on personal projects / indie film making, but not for daily work (unless you're happy asking cleints to change shirts because your camera is likely to go psychedelic on the collar).

That's why I always bring the 7D to jobs and use it opportunistically, but my next camera (to replace a Z5) will be the EX1r or XF300... that's the comparison I'm most interested in.

Robyn Sands April 24th, 2010 07:37 AM

I thought so as well- but I have seen and spoke to several event shooters who are now 100% DSLR and while they claim it does take a bit more attention- they are producing outstanding work.
I'm currently considering this camera as my A to a 5D B or just buy another 5D.

Chris Hurd April 24th, 2010 07:48 AM

A second 5D Mk. II body is certainly much less expensive than an XF 300, but consider this... with the XF 300 lens at full telephoto, you get an equivalent field of view of more than 500mm, and that's at f/2.8. You can't do that with a 5D Mk. II because there's no such lens for it. You can get close to it with a 7D due to the 1.6x crop factor with the EF 300mm f/2.8 lens, but that glass will set you back $4400. And it's a prime lens... no zooming.

Jimmy Toha April 24th, 2010 08:09 AM

Good points, thanks for elaborating it, Chris! They are the very factors which we often take for granted in a video camera.

Like a lot of us, I am very put off by the price. US$6800 is really not cheap! I'd be really happy if the price range falls on XH-A1/S area.

What would be ideal is if XH-A1S falls in price and XF series take over the spot. That way customers would still have a choice to either buy HDV camera at a more attractive price point, or to top up some premium to get the newer tapeless format camera.

Jim Martin April 24th, 2010 12:59 PM

The price of the XF300 will not go to where you hope....these cameras have a very tight margin and Canon has a long history of not lowering the cost. I agree with you that the $3500 price mark is very attractive and it has been the entry level price for around ten years (XL-1,PD150,170,XL-2,DVX100,etc)....I understand the hesitation but, by spending the additional money, you open the door for many more possibilites.....and I would argue the the small difference price between the 300 and 305, by going with the 305, you really open up your options.....with all the hard drive recorders out there and the higher codec levels that they offer (eg: NANO).
Its about expanding your employment opportunities by having a wide range availible to your clients...and the new ones you wouldn't have if you hadn't upgraded.

Jim Martin

Peter Moretti April 24th, 2010 02:35 PM

I believe you can use a nano w/ the 300 via its HDMI port.

Jonathan Levin April 24th, 2010 02:48 PM

Ok. How about a dumb question? What is Nano, and where can I learn about it in DVINFO?



Jim Martin April 24th, 2010 02:48 PM

Peter.....you are just smarter than me...actually, I always push SDI because HDMI is a dead end signal and on the set it seems someone always wants their own monitor so one must loop.....and loop.....and loop again....

Jim Martin

Tito Haggardt April 24th, 2010 02:51 PM

Convergent Design nanoFlash Forum at DVinfo.net

Jonathan Levin April 24th, 2010 03:29 PM

Thanks for that. So Nanoflash is sort of a firestore, or P2 store storage device. Are these relevant since this camera and others that shoot to card and that you don't gain anything quality wise. In other words, isn't the image only as good as how it gets processed internally in the camera?

I realize that the nanoFlash hs much higher BR capabilities, but doesn't the camera dictate that?

And at 2800.00US....ow.

Learning something new...


Jim Martin April 24th, 2010 05:22 PM

As far as I know, coming out HD SDI on the 305 should be just like the previous Canons....1.48GB uncompressed.......the device you are recording on to dictates the codec and level...

Jim Martin

Josh Dahlberg April 24th, 2010 06:03 PM


Originally Posted by Robyn Sands (Post 1518778)
I thought so as well- but I have seen and spoke to several event shooters who are now 100% DSLR and while they claim it does take a bit more attention- they are producing outstanding work.

Oh I agree - my company has been producing beautiful work with DSLRs for 18 months - and for event shooting you could get away with them exclusively (albeit with work arounds).

However, I don't think DSLRs present a robust solution for all tasks - I can think of a number of corporate shoots we've done in the last year where for various reasons (attire, interview duration, required set-up time, audio limitations), we would have been left red-faced if we didn't have a conventional camera on hand.

In a year or two, particularly when run-time and moire/aliasing have been sorted, I think I may be ready to switch over completely - I'd much rather spend 7K on a set of zeiss primes for a DSLR than buy another camcorder :-) But at present, for my company anyway, I need a camera I can rely on in any situation, and the XF may be the one.

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