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XF200 around the corner, wasting my time to buy the XF100?

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Alexander Freedman
XF200 around the corner, wasting my time to buy the XF100?
on May 1, 2014 at 2:17:44 pm
Last Edited By Alexander Freedman on May 1, 2014 at 2:39:38 pm

Hello all,

I recently shot a friend's wedding (check it out below) and, even though it's my first wedding, it has given me the confidence to get serious about my hobby and shoot more. That being said, I need to get serious about my equipment and I was hoping you all could provide some advice.

check it out here!

I currently own a Canon Vixia HF G20 and I borrowed a Sony PMW-100 for the wedding. I'll need to purchase a pro level camera to replace the Sony and was looking at the Canon XF100. I've worked in videography for a couple years and am no stranger to pro cameras (currently using a Panasonic AF100 at work) so I'm not worried about a learning curve but, with the XF200 right around the corner, I am worried I'd waste my money buying the XF100 now.

As with most starter videographers, I'm on a tight, tight budget and saving a grand by going with the XF100 (maybe more if the price drops after the XF200 comes out) is really appealing. I just wonder if the XF200 is so amazingly better that it's worth stretching my budget for? I know it'll be hard to know for sure until the XF200 comes out but B&H's video preview of it is pretty exciting:

From what I can tell, the XF200 offers (just to name a few):
-A larger sensor but it seems that's really just for better image stabilization, not image quality.
-20x zoom which is pretty awesome in a compact camera.
-Zoom/Focus/Iris rings which are nice, but not a necessity for me.

Is it FINALLY offering 1080/60p at 50Mbps? I can't find a clear spec on it except for "MP4 format supports 1080/60p at 35 Mbps" ... but I wonder, I did some 1080/60i shots with the G20 for the recent wedding then deinterlaced in FCPX and wasn't heartbroken over the image quality. Thoughts?

I'm open to other camera options other than the XF100/200 but, this might be the kicker, I'd really like to keep as compact as possible so I can use my Glidcam HD2000 interchangeably between my G20 and future camera.

I'd like this purchase to last me for years to come and ultimately, I'm just trying to figure out if the XF100 will do that or if I need to bite the bullet and do the XF200.

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance!

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Jason Goodwin
Re: XF200 around the corner, wasting my time to buy the XF100?
on Jul 18, 2014 at 6:27:52 am

I'm trying to make the same decision. The XF100 is a great camera with video quality rivaling the full frame 5D mk iii. Even better, It supports pro formats and as a camcorder is much more suited to video work then DSLRs. I've been doing all my video on DSLR so having pro audio inputs too at that price is a true godsend. The best advice I think to consider tho is that a camera is only 1/3 the purchase.

Included with a camera purchase, is also tripods, lights, memory, cases, filters, lens attachments, audio, and then there's post processing. You'll need a work station that can handle the larger file sizes.

If you already got all that stuff covered or figured it all into your budget then I'll continue. These are some the pros and cons I'm considering so I thought I would share:

I understand the XF100 only records in MXF files. The XF200 can record in more MXF formats as well as MP4 simultaneously onto a separate SD card.

xf200 has 3 rings vs 1. I'm sure its one of those things you won't miss until you have it.

Xf200 has a touch screen, I use a t4i sometimes and this is an excellent and useable feature. Ads an artful touch to autofocus shots.

20x zoom. Say it with me. 20X ZOOM. Us wedding videographer want this. We want this badly.

The XF200 also has more up to date specs than the XF100. You'll get wifi, which is great when paired with an iPad. Also for running and gunning the XF200 has more image stabilization. I don't want to spend all my money on a glide cam, so that's $500 back in my budget just for buying the xf200.

Also, if you're considering the xf100 on price alone I might recommend the XA20 for an additional $1000 in savings. It's a tiny camera that boasts many great features at only $1500. It has the same lens as the XF200 with wifi, xlr inputs, the only draw backs I've noticed is changing settings through the menu is a chore, and the battery bumps my cheek when I use the eye cup. But still, small sacrifices for huge savings.

The XF200 does do 1080/60p but not at 50Mbps. So you're MP4 will be 35 Mbps at 1080/60p but at 50Mbps you get 1080/60i or 720/60p.

Another huge thing I think about the xf200 is the rotating handle. It looks like it will make getting some shots a lot more comfortable without having to hold your wrist at weird angles.

The only cons for the xf200 are 1.) it costs $3500 and 2.) there won't be any cheaper third party batteries available for a while. Which means back up batteries will cost you $200 until that happens. I'm sure WASABI will have something soon, but it could take awhile.

That's really all I can think of. In my mind, going with the xf100 means settling for less features but still getting a really solid camcorder with a professional look and most importantly dedicated buttons (vs the xa20 which must be operated via touch screen), but getting the xf200 means spending $1000 more. Looking at pricing trends in previous models, the price will drop as low as $2900 by summer 2016 and then something more new and exciting will be around for us to debate on purchasing. Best of luck! Post back, I'm interested to see what you decide on.

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Reto Kopp
Re: XF200 around the corner, wasting my time to buy the XF100?
on Jul 23, 2014 at 4:51:27 pm

I thought about the same question. And came to the same result.
Checked lots of Pro Camcorders, Sony, Panasonic, looks like nothing beats the Canon XF in Price vs Quality and technics. First wanted XF100. Then a friend of mine works with XF105 and XF305 and he had the chance to test one of the first XF200. He told me, its incredible. The bigger Sensor is just for IS, but this one is so much better because of the new Divic DV4, even compared to XF305. And autofocus is just way faster. You switch from one face to another and it's just BOOM!!!
And by the way, to shoot in XMF1080.30p 4:2:2 to CF Card and parallel in MP41080.60p 4:2:0 to SD Card is great. TWo weeks ago I shot an event with sportscars. I would liked to have better slomos from 60p footage, while they where drifting around the curves.
And as said before, 20X ZOOM!!!
My descition: I will get the XF200 and then I'm Happyyyy, because I'm Happyyyy... lalala...

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Robert Varnam
Re: XF200 around the corner, wasting my time to buy the XF100?
on Dec 3, 2014 at 9:15:15 pm

There are many great things about the XF200, and, in my view, it's a very definite improvement on the XF100. However, I'm really struggling with the image noise. Even at low gain, it's very intrusive.

I've put more of my thoughts here - . But I'd recommend checking other reviews and some footage before definitely settling on the XF200. The 300/305 are bigger and heavier, which is a problem for my needs. But I greatly prefer the image from them.

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Martin Duffy
Re: XF200 around the corner, wasting my time to buy the XF100?
on Jan 4, 2015 at 1:43:21 am

I am very confused here with regards to just how noisy the XF200/205 really is.

Just for a little background on myself I film fulltime and mainly film sport and also dance/theatre shows and have been at this caper for nearly 15 years.

I have used a XF300 for 3 years and recently filmed 8 dance concerts under typical lowish light using the 300 plus a friends XF100 and also a XA20. Here is my evaluation;

The XF100 and XF300 match up pretty well, the 300 is a touch sharper but by the time the video clip hits DVD I can\'t pick the difference. The 300 has a much more pro feel to it and feels better on the tripod as its heavier and the 3 dials at the front of the lens makes adjusting iris/focus in the heat of the moment so much more easier. I do wish though that the 4 inch LCD screen was closer, like another 6 inches closer to the operator. Its sort of further to the front of the camera. Personally I like having the LCD closer to my eyes. Also I find the LCD image quality of the XF100 a little more pleasing but this is not a biggi

The XA20 (same lens and sensor as the XF205) was not as nice to use as the XF100. Its zoom rocker was smaller (I like big). As far as image quality goes here is where I am really confused. For a few shoots we ran all 3 cams and popped the XA20 on a locked off wide. I found it to have no problems with low light in fact NO NOISE AT ALL. Weird thing was that in order to match the exposure we had to boost the XA20 to 12DB v 3DB on the XF300. I found the blacks on the XA20 nice and dark and rich and focus very sharp.

Here is a sample though this concert was in fairly good light so maybe not the best example.

XF300 and XA20 side by side with the 300 zoomed into stage and XA20 the locked off wide. XF100 up close near stage.

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