Canon XF300 & XF305

April 7, 2010 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital Video Cameras | 16 Comments |
News image

Canon has just launched the XF300 (pictured) and XF305 digital video cameras that are the first models to use the new MPEG-2 Full HD (4:2:2) recording codec recently adopted by the manufacturer. Equipped with a Canon L-series HD Video Lens combining a 29.3mm equivalent wide angle with fast maximum aperture (f/1.6) and 18x zoom, 3CMOS sensor system and a DIGIC DV III processing engine, these cameras record videos industry-standard MXF (Material eXchange Format) files to Compact Flash memory cards, using data transfer rates of up to 50Mbps and rich 4:2:2 colour sampling. The Canon XF300 and XF305 also feature a 1.55-million-dot EVF with 100% coverage plus a 4” LCD screen with a resolution of 1.23 million dots. Slow and fast motion video recording also expands creative possibilities, with a total of 20 different frame rates on offer. In addition, thes XF305 model features industry-standard HD-SDI output, genlock, and SMPTE time code (in/out) terminals for multi-camera or 3-D productions.These are not found on the XF300.The Canon XF305 is scheduled to be available in late June for an estimated retail price of $7,999.The XF300is expected to cost $6,799.

Canon UK Press Release

Redefining professional handheld video: Canon launches first MPEG-2 Full HD (4:2:2) file-based camcorders

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 7th April 2010 – Canon today redefines the professional handheld video camera market with the launch of the XF305 and XF300 – two revolutionary, file-based video cameras that are the first models to use the new MPEG-2 Full HD (4:2:2) recording codec recently adopted by Canon.

Designed to offer exceptional image quality and seamless workflow compatibility for a wide range of professional uses, the new XF models feature technology unrivalled in their class.

An outstanding, all-new camera system comprises a Canon L-series HD Video Lens, 3CMOS sensor system and highly advanced DIGIC DV III processing.  MPEG-2, Full HD video is recorded as industry-standard MXF (Material eXchange Format) files to Compact Flash memory cards, using data transfer rates of up to 50Mbps and rich 4:2:2 colour sampling, capturing more colour information for post production.

XF305 and XF300 combine excellent imaging systems with a design that delivers advanced mobility and versatility. The broad feature set and adaptability of these models will allow users to shoot in almost any situation and for any given purpose, from independent filmmaking to commercial broadcast.

Market leading performance

XF305 and XF300 have been designed to provide outstanding image quality. For the first time ever in a handheld professional video camera, the new models utilise the MPEG-2 Full HD recording codec with 4:2:2 colour sampling at up to 50Mbps, capturing broadcast-quality footage in stunning detail.

In order to take full advantage of this advanced codec, which offers twice the colour resolution of HDV and other 4:2:0 recording formats, Canon has developed a new HD video system combining its renowned DIGIC DV III processing power with an advanced sensor system and specially developed 18x Canon L-series lens, manufactured to meet stringent broadcast standards. The 1/3 type Canon 3CMOS sensor system offers exceptional colour accuracy, wide dynamic range and low noise. High-speed data readout technology developed by Canon also minimises rolling-shutter skew that can occur in other CMOS camcorders.

Seamless workflow integration

Both new XF models record industry standard MXF files, an open-source file format compatible with major file-based workflow systems used by professionals today.  At the time of launch, XF camcorders are fully compatible with major editing and processing software packages from Adobe Systems Incorporated, Apple Inc., Avid Technology Inc. and Grass Valley, ensuring videographers can immediately integrate XF305 and XF300 into their workflow.

Video shot on the new XF camcorders will be written directly to a Compact Flash (CF) card in one of the two available slots. While recording, the card not in use can be exchanged to ensure hours of uninterrupted video capture. Both models also support relay recording, allowing capture to seamlessly continue on a second card as soon as the first becomes full.

For easy viewing and management of clips on the move, both models are supplied with Canon’s XF Utility software for PC and Mac, which enables users to back-up clips, edit metadata stored in the MXF files, preview clips and write them back to a CF card.

Canon optical excellence – high quality, L-series lens

Canon lenses are already favoured by the majority of broadcasters, providing outstanding resolution, contrast and low chromatic aberration. The new XF305 and XF300 feature an L-series HD Video Lens, combining a 29.3mm wide-angle with fast maximum aperture (F1.6) and a versatile 18x zoom – providing stunning performance from the wide to the tele ends of the zoom.

The zoom and focus rings have physical end stops when used in manual mode, for fast and repeatable operation.  An independent iris ring allows control of aperture, while two rocker controls are available for manual control of zoom. Canon’s unique Instant AF system also provides fast and accurate auto focus.

Previously only available in Canon broadcast TV lenses, high index, ultra-low dispersion (Hi-UD) glass is placed at the front of the lens path in order to suppress chromatic aberration. Hi-UD combines with ultra-low dispersion (UD), ultra-high refractive index aspherical (UA) and two double-sided aspherical elements, providing sharp, detailed images, free from chromatic aberration.

Engineered using the highest quality Canon optical components, the lens has been designed to perfectly complement Canon’s 3CMOS sensor system, capturing up to 1,000 lines of horizontal resolution. A new image stabilizer (IS) system offers three modes of stabilisation - Standard, Dynamic and Powered - providing impressive camera shake correction. 

Easy operation, effective performance, enhanced durability

XF305 and XF300 also feature a 1.55 million dot EVF with 100% coverage and a unique, front-mounted, high-resolution LCD system that can be easily switched from left to right to suit any individual and shooting situation. The largest LCD in its class at 10.1cm (4”), with a 1.23 million dot resolution, the screen offers unparalleled clarity and flexibility for High Definition shooting.

The new XF models feature completely revised ergonomics, incorporating feedback from professional users.  An enhanced control layout provides intuitive operation and the centrally positioned grip achieves optimum balance. These design enhancements combine to ensure that individual XF operators can film comfortably, over prolonged periods of time and in varying conditions.

Extensive customisation

Both XF models feature a wide range of user customisation options, providing unmatched versatility and flexibility. Users can configure up to 26 Custom Picture parameters, controlling more than 50 individual, image-related variables. XF operators can also assign one of 30 individual functions to each of 13 customisable buttons, allowing them to optimise the camcorder for their personal shooting preferences, environmental or stylistic considerations.

A variety of industry standard gamma curves can be selected, offering videographers the ability to choose the exact style to suit their intended use. For example, footage can be optimised for a specific customer or for transfer to film.

Up to nine ‘customised pictures’ can be stored to each body, including three protected settings supplied as standard - VIDEO.C, CINE.V and CINE.F. Preferred settings can be saved and transferred from one camcorder to another via SDHC cards – particularly useful for maintaining a creative style across camcorder bodies or for organisations that may want to ensure uniform set-up across multiple camcorder units. 

Slow and fast motion video recording also expands creative possibilities. Fast motion shooting allows videographers to speed up recorded action by capturing fewer frames per second. Slow motion recording captures more frames per second, enabling users to slow footage down during playback at the normal frame rate. Videographers have a total of 20 speeds to choose from, providing an advanced selection of options to capture a range of visual effects.

Advanced audio and connectivity
Both models record 16-bit linear PCM audio at 48kHz, providing the high quality audio signal required for professional or broadcast content. An integrated microphone records stereo sound, with the option of connecting external microphones or other sources via two in-built XLR terminals.

For enhanced integration in the studio or multi-camera shoots, the XF305 also features an HD-SDI output, GENLOCK input and Timecode input/output.

Canon Professional Services
XF305/XF300 owners qualify for membership of Canon Professional Services (CPS) Video. The CPS Video service offers professional users of Canon products exclusive, free access to a range of benefits, such as a priority repair service and direct support from Canon Professional Representatives across Europe.

Availability
The XF305 and XF300 will be available in the UK and Ireland from June 2010. 

Canon USA Press Release

CANON’S NEW XF305 AND XF300 PROFESSIONAL CAMCORDERS RECORD NATIVE 1920 x 1080 4:2:2 VIDEO DIRECTLY TO COMPACT FLASH CARDS

Both Models Utilize an MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps Codec for Exceptional High Definition Image Quality, Full NLE Compatibility and an Efficient, Robust Workflow

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., April 7, 2010 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today announces the Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders. Both new models employ an MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps codec – Canon XF Codec – for capturing and recording native 1920 x 1080 video onto affordable, universally available Compact Flash (CF) cards. Uniting video, audio and metadata into a single file, the Canon XF305 and XF300 use an MXF (Material eXchange Format) File Wrapper, a widely supported open source format, to maximize compatibility with existing industry infrastructure and non-linear editing (NLE)systems. Priced under $8,000 per model, the Canon XF305 and XF300 are engineered for multiple production applications including broadcast news, documentary and independent filmmaking and event videography. Canon will be demonstrating a variety of professional applications for the Canon XF305 and XF300 at the Company’s booth# C4325 at the 2010 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders include a Genuine Canon 18x HD L-series lens providing documentary filmmakers and news camera operators with the focal-range versatility required in the field. Designed with input from professional users, each model includes three Canon developed and designed native 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensors, and the new Canon XF Codec for extreme color detail required for accurate chroma-keying, color-grading and compositing for digital filmmaking. For finer transitions in tone and color, 4:2:2 color sampling offers twice the color resolution of HDV and other 4:2:0 formats. In addition, Canon’s XF305 model features industry- standard HD-SDI output, genlock, and SMPTE time code (in/out) terminals for multi-camera or 3-D productions.

“The creation of HD video content continues to grow across every market category,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “We are proud to introduce the new Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders, which provide extraordinary image quality, a generous array of features and seamless integration with file-based workflows, all at an attractive price. These camcorders provide the convenience, production cost and quality that the HD video market has been asking for.”

Further adding to the low total-cost-of-ownership of the Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders is their use of CF cards. In addition to rugged, solid-state construction and the speed and ease of file transfer to computers, CF cards are cost effective and widely available, unlike proprietary memory systems. The new Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders feature hot-swappable dual card slots and support UDMA CF cards for maximum performance.

To support the swift adoption of the Canon XF Codec, Canon has worked in cooperation with major editing and post-production software developers, including Adobe, Apple, Avid, and Grass Valley, to ensure compatibility with leading software programs widely used within the video production and broadcast industries.

Genuine Canon Optics with Image Stabilization
Leveraging the Company’s expertise as a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance optics, the Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders feature a Genuine Canon 18x HD L-series lens with a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 29.3 – 527.4mm and a Full Manual Focus mode with mechanical “hard” end stops and distance markers for professional operability and repeatable manual focus. Canon utilized HI-UD (high-index, ultra low dispersion), UD and aspherical lens elements to minimize chromatic aberrations and provide a compact size and weight to the lens – while also delivering a resolution of approximately 1,000 TV lines. The lens also features a new SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) system featuring Dynamic and Powered modes for optimal performance in the greatest variety of situations.

DIGIC DV III Image Processor
At the heart of Canon’s XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorder models is Canon’s proprietary DIGIC DV III Image Processor, which ensures natural, lifelike colors and captures tonal gradations and shadow detail with remarkable accuracy. The DIGIC DV III Image Processor also powers Canon’s innovative Face Detection Technology, an autofocus option that can significantly reduce the effort required when camera operators work alone, such as in news applications.

To maximize the camcorders’ adaptability across various production environments, Canon equipped each model with the ability to record at multiple bit rates, resolutions and variable frame rates for slow and fast motion.

Additional professional features include variable-interval (for time-lapse) and frame-record for stop-motion animation, and a photo feature for frame-grabs.

Refined Ergonomics and Operation
The Canon XF305 and XF300 are designed to maximize shooting comfort and usability. The well-balanced design allows the operator to comfortably control the camcorder and easily maintain a steady shot while minimizing arm fatigue. Each camcorder also features a convenient, freely rotating 4.0-inch, 1.23-megapixel LCD monitor that can be positioned at either the right or left side of the camcorder body, allowing for easy viewing even in the most difficult shooting positions.

The LCD monitor also provides a display of the camcorders’ built-in waveform monitor and vectorscope to aid in achieving accurate exposure and color levels while shooting. Additionally, the LCD can show peaking, edge-monitor-focus and magnify the image, enabling users to confirm critical focus, an essential objective in all HD production.

The Canon XF305 and XF300 models also come equipped with a 0.52-inch, 1.55-megapixel color electronic viewfinder, providing ample resolution for critical focus and approximately 100 percent field-of-view coverage for accurate judgment of composition.

Audio Flexibility
The Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders feature a built-in stereo microphone as well as dual XLR inputs for external audio sources. The new camcorders support 16-bit PCM audio at 48 kHz with automatic and manual audio level adjustment

Canon’s XF305 Professional Camcorder is scheduled to be available in late June for an estimated retail price of $7,999. Canon’s XF300 Professional Camcorder is scheduled to be available in late June for an estimated retail price of $6,799.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), a top patent holder of technology, ranked fourth overall in the U.S. in 2009†, with global revenues of US $35 billion, is listed as number four in the computer industry on Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies 2009 list, and is on the 2009 BusinessWeek list of “100 Best Global Brands.” Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. At Canon, we care because caring is essential to living together in harmony. Founded upon a corporate philosophy of Kyosei – “all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future” – Canon U.S.A. supports a number of social, youth, educational and other programs, including environmental and recycling initiatives. Additional information about these programs can be found at http://www.usa.canon.com/kyosei. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting http://www.usa.canon.com/rss.



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16 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Marco Frissen

Can someone explain why the above ~30mm lens can have an aperture of F1.6 and photo lenses cannot?

3:26 pm - Wednesday, April 7, 2010

#2 Chris

Because the sensor is smaller in a video camera. Also less resolution needs to be resolved.

6:59 pm - Wednesday, April 7, 2010

#3 ldtowers

Quite frankly a bit of a joke. Costs more than the EX-1? Smaller sensor size? The reason people have been jumping on the 5 &7Ds; are the sensor sizes. This camera with those sensors, or at least a 4/3 micro 4/3s would have been killer. As is it's an also ran.

4:40 am - Thursday, April 8, 2010

#4 Anders

I agree - the 1/3" sensor size was a disappointment.
But 50 Mbit/s data transfer with 4:2:2 colour sampling
(EX1r 35 Mbit/s and 4:2:0)
and a better wideangle to the lens - 29,2 mm vs 31,4 mm perhaps doesn't sound as a big difference but it is - and for me as a documentary filmmaker makes it interesting enough.

But as said - the smaller sensor size was disappointing...
Anders, Sweden

6:59 am - Thursday, April 8, 2010

#5 m3 real card

I have noticed that the major camera manufacturers are finally responding to the needs of independent film makers, and competition from Red, by offering better higher quality recording codecs at reasonable prices. Although this camera is a step in the right direction, they could have hit a home run by equipping the camera with a superior 35 mm sized sensor like in the D5 or D7.

7:00 am - Thursday, April 8, 2010

#6 Logan

So because it records in Mpeg-2, does that make it not work with Apple Computers? I had that problem with a HDD camera I bought 2 years ago and had to return it cause my Mac wouldnt recognize it.

8:29 pm - Thursday, April 8, 2010

#7 mpegger

for mpeg use mpeg-streamclip, it's free, most editors use it

8:43 pm - Wednesday, April 14, 2010

#8 ldtowers

The recent Panasonic announcement of the AF100 really demonstrates what a joke the canon camera is. Too little too late.

4:10 pm - Thursday, April 15, 2010

#9 Cards Home Business In Australia

Here is a simple tip. You can recycle old content. I have been blogging for six years now. While I have retained many of my readers new ones show up all the to time. So every so often I roll out an old post

12:44 pm - Saturday, April 24, 2010

#10 Terence

Canon makes a big deal of the cost-effectiveness of CF media. Not quite true. If you want to take advantage of Chroma 4:2:2 you have to record at 50 Mbs at CBR. Fast CF cards are expensive compared to fast SDHC. In Canada at least, to comfortably get that write speed on a CF we're talking around $300 for 32GB. Hmm.

2:05 pm - Thursday, April 29, 2010

#11 Canons RETARDED

This is so ####### lame. I waited for ever thinking Canon would have enough sense to put together a proper video camera with a decent size sensor, and interchangeable lenses. Panisonic has one comming very soon4/3 rds sensor, interchangable lenses. Im no rocket scientist, But i have enough sense to know who ever bulds a fullframe sensor, interchangeable lenses into a camcorder will steal the market and EASILY. Looks like scarlet is the only hope. that is if they ever get the god damn thing released. jesus christ, im so ####### fed up with these new cameras that are missing the most important elements in film making. all I have to say is the only thing canon will sell are dslr's and comsumer crap. their proline is a joke. stupid assholes.

2:51 am - Friday, May 7, 2010

#12 Small Business Insurance

Thanks for the great content and information. I am always browsing the internet looking for good content to get ideas for my easy home based business blogs and articles. You have some real good content here so just keep on doing what you are doing as good stuff like this is always hard to find.

5:58 am - Friday, May 7, 2010

#13 ldtowers

Red's Scarlet is not at all the only hope. Scarlet is a 2/3 inch sensor, much smaller than the panasonic 4/3"

Full frame is not at all necessary nor necessarily desirable. 4/3 is really a wonderful compromise. It is quite a bit more forgiving for focus than full frame; very important when you have a smaller camera. Yet you can easily get close to the full frame shallow depth of field by simply adding an ND filter and opening up the iris. DOF will be better than, for example, an EX-1 with expensive lens adapters plus without any of the chromatic aberrations and miscellaneous compromises associated with them.

9:50 pm - Friday, May 7, 2010

#14 DSAVVY

Visual impact has a great review on the xf305 and if you need any help they will explain everything for you as most of the sales team know about their cameras.

2:59 pm - Thursday, July 22, 2010

#15 Joe Corel

I'm in the market for the canon XF100 camera. However I am hearing horror stories from professionals that have tried to open the MXF codec these cameras use and they have huge problems working with this filetype in video editors. Apparently it cause their computers to continually crash and uses up all of their ram leaving their computers non-functioning. Is this something you have heard about? I'm talking in pro video programs such as adobe premiere CS5 as well as Avid.

Thannx for any info from anyone!!

5:42 am - Thursday, January 27, 2011

#16 ldtowers

The xF100 is not worth considering. wait for the new panasonic af100. It uses a proven codec, and has a 4/3 sensor. Canon blew it on this one.

4:58 pm - Friday, January 28, 2011