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Re: Canon XF300/305 and Sony XDCAM EX1/3

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Radim Palus
Re: Canon XF300/305 and Sony XDCAM EX1/3
on Feb 16, 2012 at 9:13:46 pm


I know this thread is already quite old, but I would like to add my experiences for other users.

I own and XDCAM EX1 and have tested thoroughly the XF305, so I know both cameras very well.

As I shoot a lot in low light conditions, XF305 is not the choice for me, because there is a huge difference in sensitivity (unfortunately I don't remember the numbers - but maybe 2 stops). Specially when You switch to 720p, You gain even more sensitivity. Also I like the 1/2 inch sensor in the EX1, which allows me to have a more shallow DOF with long lens. The lens quality from my point of view is excellent on both models - only the XF305 (or 300) has a bit wider and much longer lens. On the other hand, when having the iris completely opened and zooming from the wide edge to the other, the image goes visibly darker (on the EX it is not very noticeable).

Other aspects:

1) the handling of the EX1/3 lens is much better - when focusing/zooming/adjusting iris in manual mode - on the XF You are limited by the position of the XLR connectors and the iris handle is not hardware based - on the EX it is and has F stop marks. The zoom rocker on the EX is much better.

2) the camera handle on the EX1/3 is very practical as You can change its position

3) the LCD on the XF305 is little bigger and looks little better - but both are excellent in quality. The EX1 had a bad viewfinder but on the EX1R it is already improved

4) the picture profiles are from my point of view better on the EX and offer better gamma settings - it took me a long time to get a reasonable image from the XF305

5) the XF seems to have a better image stabilizer, but both are very good

6) as it was told - CF cards on the XF are very practical and cheap. On the EX You can use SDHC/SDXC cards with an adapter - I use it for 2,5 YRS and it works perfectly. Only the SDHC cards are small and more sensitive compared to CF, which are more robust and have better price/performance factor.

7) the XF has more features in the menu - waveforms, etc.

8) as it was said the XF's codec is superior to the EX's

9) maybe it's a tiny detail but I like the EX lens cap which is part of the original mattebox (which is also more advanced than on the XF) - you can't loose it and it's simple to open/close with a simple pull

10) as the EX have a larger sensor, it consumes more power - so with the XF305 Your batteries will last longer

11) The EX1 is not well balanced. With the EX1R it should be better but not as much as with the XF305. If You're about to shoot a lot of hand held, You should consider this - after some time of handheld shooting with the EX1R Your hand will be aching - so I shoot a lot with the camera hanging on the neck

12) The EX's seem to be more robust than the XF's - specially if You focus on the door of the battery compartment of the XF's.

13) The XF305 is bigger than the EX1, so You need a bigger bag.

So my summary is - I like the image look of the EX very much - subjectively more than from the XF305. What is the most attractive for me on the XF is the codec, otherwise the bigger sensor and sensitivity of the EX is much more important for me. If I need High-End image quality, I can use an HD-SDI external recorder. And what is also important to know - I own the EX1 for 2,5 years and it had no failure at all. I don't know the XF in the long term usage.

All the Best!


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