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What about the new Canon XF705

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Don Scioli
What about the new Canon XF705
on Sep 18, 2018 at 10:04:58 pm

Any comment on the new Canon XF 705. I'm continually amazed by the picture quality and usability of the XF 300 I use for most of our shoots. Regardless of the situation, the camera always performs excellent and the picture quality is great. I hope the new one is as dependable and visually flexible as the 300


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Blaise Douros
Re: What about the new Canon XF705
on Sep 18, 2018 at 11:08:18 pm

Looks nice for ENG, maybe some corporate stuff. Most of what I work on tends to need the larger-sensor look, and I do prefer interchangeable lenses. But the footage looks nice, if I was still shooting all-in-one camcorders, I would look hard at this.


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Richard Swearinger
Could you elaborate for us DSLR people?
on Sep 24, 2018 at 6:32:47 pm

I completely understand your preference for being able to use the lenses you think best fit the project. But in the hands of a smart cinematographer, does sensor size really matter any more?
I've only shot with DSLRs and C100s so what comes out of a real video camera is a mystery to me. Lens aside, are camcorders noticeably inferior?

What difficulties would you foresee with 1" cameras like the XF705 and its brethren? They seem to have excellent codecs plus 10-bit color and nice bit rates.
And we have better grading software and know a lot more about how to use cameras than we did in the days of the Panasonic DVX100 and the chainsaw Canons.
A 1" inch sensor is about the same size as Super-16mm film and Darren Aranofsky and Wes Anderson seem to have made that work.
Or are you saying that 1" camcorders restrict you to a certain indie film look?


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Blaise Douros
Re: Could you elaborate for us DSLR people?
on Sep 24, 2018 at 7:22:42 pm

In a nutshell, yes. And let me be clear--I'm not bashing this camera. For certain fields, this is a great system. But for ultimate flexibility, it's not what I'd choose.

Fixed lenses are often only so-so in terms of quality, speed, color rendering, etc, and if you need a different look, or a macro lens, or an ultrawide, you're sort of stuck. Even in the hands of a smart cinematographer, you can only do so much with a given system--that's why we have so many options available to us today ☺ The out-of-focus areas on a full frame sensor with a 50mm lens don't look identical to a 1" sensor on a 25mm lens, even though the FOV is theoretically the same. On a large sensor, I can deepen my DOF by stopping up, but there's almost no chance I can get equivalent shallow DOF on a small sensor, even with a ridiculously fast lens.

I'm sure the files coming out of this camera would be perfectly good, and nice for color grading. Sometimes smaller sensors in all-in-one camcorder systems aren't as good in lower-light situations, and can be noisy in any case, but I haven't used a new one in awhile, so maybe it's getting better. I used to use a Canon XA20 and Canon 5DIII side by side--same codec, pretty close in terms of when they were designed--but the 5D blew away the camcorder in terms of noise, performance in less-than-ideal light, and versatility.

My point is, though, there's a lot of demand for a certain cinematic look these days that tends to come more easily with larger-sensor, interchangeable lens systems, and the demand for ENG-style all-in-one camcorders is more limited, mostly to ENG and corporate communications-style stuff. Everyone else wants the movie look, for better or for worse.

Now, if you're in a situation where you need autofocus...that's a whole different story. For that, I'd choose an ENG camera all day long, and would take a good hard look at the XF705.


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Don Scioli
Re: Could you elaborate for us DSLR people?
on Sep 24, 2018 at 8:11:13 pm

To be the fair, the XA20 is not as good a camera as say my XF300 which I find has a superior picture quality to just about every DSLR and compares quite favorably to the Alexa in ungraded image quality. You just have to adjust the in camera pictures right for a great image. I assume the 705 will have the same quality and flexibility. Also, the zoom lens on the XF300 is quite good, similarly as crisp as a comparatively priced prime , certainly not a Cook or Arri.


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