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– MPEG-2 recording at up to 50Mbps

– An 18X Canon L series lens from 30mm – 530mm equivalent

– Three full raster 1920-1080p CMOS sensors

– 4.2.2 colour encoding

– Use of standard Compactflash memory cards

Let’s look at each of these main features one at a time.

– MPEG-2 recording at up to 50Mbps

Because video needs to be highly compressed the nature of the codec used is critical, both for storage requirements and editing capability. The XF300 shoots at 50 Mbps, which is some 375 Megabytes per minute. An 8 GB card can therefore hold just 20 minutes of footage.

The most popular current compression codec for amateur (and some semi-pro cameras) is AVCHD. This is a very efficient codec but requires a lot of processing power to decode, and its only this year that some NLE’s have been able to edit it directly. Most people prefer to edit a more robust format such a ProRes, but transcoding AVCHD can be time consuming, and not appropriate in a fast-paced production environment.

Canon’s flavour of MPEG-2 is editable natively by many professional NLEs, with the exception of Apple’s Final Cut Studio, where it is handed by a provided Canon plug-in. This plug-in connects to Log and Transfer for transcoding (optional) and importing.

Many people like to transcode to a robust editing format such as ProRes 422. The plug-in does this quite rapidly – about 3X real-time. But if you set Log and Transfer to import inNativeformat, rather than a flavour of ProRes, all that will happen is that the file will be rewrapped rather than transcoded. The time that this takes is the same as simply copying the files off the card in the Finder, and the file size turns out to be less than half that of ProRes 422. This is my preferred approach.

It should be noted as well that the XF300 and XF305’s 50Mbps at Constant Bit Rate is the holy grail of minimum broadcast production standards. It is very rare for broadcasters to be happy with anything slower. That’s not to say that the 35Mbps that some other cameras in the under $10,000 range aren’t capable of lovely results, but they do fall below the threshold that some broadcast outlets regard as separating the species.

– An 18X Canon L Series Lens from 30mm – 530mm (equiv)

It doesn’t matter how good the codec, or how many buttons, bells, and whistles the camera might have. If the lens isn’t up to par, it’s all for naught. Based on the specs, and especially our early testing, the 18X L series zoom which Canon has attached to the XF300 is a killer. Not only is resolution extremely high (easily able to support the 1000+ lines of resolution that the sensors are capable of), but freedom from optical aberrations seems to be as good as anything seen from Canon or anyone else. For Canon to designate this lens an "L" lens means it’s their top team, and it shows.

The actual focal length is 4.1–73.8mm, f/1.6– f/2.8, making the factor to full-frame 35mm = 7.15X; thus giving the lens a range equivalence to 29.3–527.4mm.

At f/1.6, its widest focal range, this makes the lens one of the fastest in its class. It should also be noted that the lens is a true parafocal zoom, where focus does not shift as the focal length is changed.

– Three Full Raster 1920-1080p CMOS sensors

Many cameras, even expensive ones, do not have sensors that cover their full claimed spatial resolution. This is particularly true of CCD sensors, because of their higher cost of manufacture in large sizes. These camcorders typically use lower resolution sensors andres them up. The CMOS sensors in the XF300 are full raster, which means that they’re full size and resolution for true HD video, and require no in-camera scaling.

– 4.2.2 colour encoding

For some this is one of the more obscure specs, but it is also one of the most important. 4.2.2 colour encoding is something that has rarely if ever been seen in an HD camera in this price range. You can read more about ithere. It essentially means that the camera has twice the colour bandwidth of a more common 4.2.0 camera.

This robust colour signal lends itself to use with chromakey effects and heavy duty colour grading in post production. Most cameras in this price range are 4.2.0, which, simply put, means that while luminance information is given full bandwidth, colour information is given 1/2 the bandwidth.

– Use of Standard Compactflash Memory Cards

With the transition from tape to solid state recording the various camera makers have embraced different memory card technologies. Panasonic introduced proprietary P2 cards and Sony SxS cards. Both companies later embraced the much less expensive SD cards, either in new models or as afterthoughts, but concerns remain about the robustness of these in pro usage.

Canon took the sensible route of going with industry standard Compactflash cards (CF), which, when they fall on the floor are not so small as to be swallowed by the dog, as once happened to me with an SD card. (Sorry Boss – I’ll have that footage for you as soon a Fido has finish pooping in the back yard). They are also much less expensive than robust proprietary formats such as Panasonic’s P2 and Sony’s SxS.
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Introducing Okey Japan

Okey Japan cameras and Audio Visual Ltd. is a company dedicated to ensuring that you get your message across to your set audience either via Picture or Audio. We are base in West africa Nigeria, Okey Japn cameras and Audio Visual offers experienced high-tech Audio Visual and cameras Solutions for sale to corporate, event planners, movie producers and individual markets. We provide a complete range of Pro Video Studio, Lighting, Plasma / LED screens, Projectors, Video cameras, cranes, lenses and accessories for your event. Regardless of the size of the event, we supply premium, cost effective solutions to all sectors of business, industry and entertainment. We are happy to offer our services when ever needed and we currently deal on Audio Visual solutions.

We import high quality and innovative cameras and studio equipment of all international brands such as, Nikon, Canon, Sony, Samsung, Olympus, Panasonic, and other similar brands. Our full fledged studio equipment consists of – studio light, soft box, Fresnel, kin-flo, diffuser, track-dolly, tripod, jib, manual and automatic background, and other required equipment - for a perfect picture...
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