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The XF300 Professional Camcorder represents Canon's entry into professional solid state video acquisition. Following on the heels of its widely respected XH line of tape-based camcorders, the XF300 takes advantage of the latest HD technology--along with Canon's newly developed MPEG-2 4:2:2 codec--to record Full HD video to affordable Compact Flash cards.
Nearly everything you'd want in a handheld, pro-level camcorder is here in one sleek package: three 1920 x 1080 CMOS sensors, multiple bit rates (up to 50Mbps), variable resolution and frame rates, industry-standard MXF file wrappers, a newly developed L-Series 18x zoom lens, HDMI/Component/Composite outputs, and full image customization. With its exceptional levels of image quality, ergonomics, and control, the XF300 is the perfect tool for applications such as ENG, documentaries, independent features, and event videography.
MPEG-2 50Mbps Codec
Canon's adaptation of MPEG-2 for the XF300 Professional Camcorder, named the Canon XF Codec, ensures the widest compatibility with existing industry infrastructure and non-linear editing (NLE) systems. And by using an MXF file wrapper, video and audio can be wrapped in a single file along with important metadata. The codec's 50Mbps constant bit rate provides the bandwidth needed to capture the XF300's superior resolution and color in spectacular detail.
4:2:2 Color Sampling
The XF300 supports the highest HD quality, with Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, up to 50Mbps bit rate and 4:2:2 color sampling. 4:2:2 color sampling provides twice the color resolution of HDV and other codecs that use 4:2:0 color sampling. 4:2:2 provides ultra-fine transitions in tone and color and maintains the highest quality image for use in post production processes such as chroma keying, color grading, advanced compositing and effects.
Record to Compact Flash Cards
Unlike other camcorders using proprietary memory systems, the XF300 records to cost effective and readily available Compact Flash (CF) cards. The camcorder features two CF card slots and offers versatile recording functions including relay recording, hot swapping, file copy & backup, and pre-record.
File-based recording facilitates workflow by reducing transfer times when moving video to nonlinear editing (NLE) systems. Additionally, metadata can be input at image acquisition, and imagery may be reviewed immediately after recording to ensure every shot is captured and logged correctly.
Three Canon Native 1920 x 1080 CMOS Image Sensors
Newly designed and manufactured exclusively by Canon, the XF300 camcorder incorporates three native 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensors, which deliver outstanding Full HD video recording with minimal noise. These 1/3-inch sensors enable a compact lens and body design, for greater mobility and quick shooting.
Multiple Bit Rates, Resolution, & Frame Rates
Multiple recording modes, resolutions and frame rates make the XF300 Professional Camcorder creatively flexible and able to work in virtually any production environment. From the highest quality 50Mbps Full HD, to the HDV compatible 25Mbps, users will find the camcorder capable of taking on any job. The XF300 Professional Camcorder also offers a full range of selectable frame rates. You can choose between 60i, 60p, 30p and 24p settings to achieve just the look you want.
Canon DIGIC DV III Image Processor
The XF300 features Canon's powerful DIGIC DV III Image Processor, which provides enhanced shading, lifelike tonal gradations, new custom picture settings and lower power consumption. DIGIC DV III is also the high-speed engine which powers Genuine Canon Face Detection. On-the-go videographers will appreciate the ability to track one subject in a crowd of people.
Genuine Canon 18x HD L-Series Lens
Inspired by the same high level of optical precision used in Canon broadcast and photographic lenses, the Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder incorporates a Genuine Canon 18x HD L-Series lens that features a wide and impressive zoom range of 29.3 - 527.4mm (35mm equivalent). The lens incorporates High Index - Ultra-low Dispersion (HI-UD), Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) and aspherical elements to minimize chromatic aberration while delivering a resolution of 1,000 TV lines.
When shooting high definition video, sharp focus becomes more critical than ever. Canon's proprietary Instant AF system combines an external AF sensor with Canon's legendary auto focus system for fast and accurate focus. Together, the two sensors reduce focusing time--even in low-light, low contrast, or high brightness situations--and improve focusing performance on difficult subjects.
SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer
The XF300 also incorporates a newly designed SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization system (lens shift) with three modes: Standard, Dynamic and Powered.
Slow Motion & Fast Motion
Slow and Fast Motion Modes allow the XF300 to record a different frame rate than the playback frame rate, resulting in either a fast or slow motion effect during playback. Since the camera is recording real frames and modifying the playback rate, there is no quality loss and maximum image quality is maintained.
With this feature, users can program the camera to record a specified number of frames at specified intervals. The technique can be used to observe natural phenomena over extended periods, making it ideal for time-lapse applications. The interval can be set in 25 levels ranging from 1 second to 10 minutes. Frame recording is also possible, allowing a specified number of frames to be recorded--ideal for projects such as clay animation.
The XF300 sets a new standard for ergonomic design in compact pro camcorders. It is designed from the ground up to maximize handheld shooting comfort and usability. Controls are ideally placed making the camera feel like a natural extension of the operator's body. Additionally, the XF300 features a redesigned layout to make using the camcorder highly intuitive. New users and users switching from other products will find the button layout, camera menu system and camera controls immediately familiar.
4" 1.23MP LCD Monitor
A 4" 1.23-megapixel LCD monitor provides a large, accurate area for critical focus confirmation and approximately 100% field of view. The display is freely rotating--able to open on both the right and left side of the camera body. The display also features an additional 35° of forward movement past normal position.
High Resolution, 1.55MP Viewfinder
The XF300 features a 0.52" 1.55 Megapixel Color EVF and approximately 100% field of view coverage for comfortable viewing and accurate judgment of composition, focus and color. The angle of the viewfinder is adjustable for additional user comfort and when using the LCD display for monitoring. The EVF can be used as a cheek pad to ensure three points of contact when hand holding and maximizing stability. This makes the camcorder much easier to manage during extended recording periods and long days of shooting.
Edge Monitor Focus Assist System
With Canon's new Edge Monitor Focus Assist system, a red and green monitor is shown at the bottom of the LCD display and three red focus check areas are shown across the display. The green waveform shows overall focus of the image, while the red waveform shows the focus status of the focus check boxes. Through this dynamic focus feedback, the user can intuitively tune focus in a scene and quickly change the zone of focus.
Two peaking modes and a magnify focus assist function are available in standby and record mode (LCD monitor and EVF), making it extremely easy for the XF300 operator to check and confirm critical focus.
Users of the XF300 have full manual control of all camera functions to adapt to both technical and artistic challenges when shooting. For maximum customization, users have access to Custom Picture Settings, Custom Functions and Custom Display Options to tailor the camera to match their creative and production needs. Any combination of these items can be saved to an SD memory card for easy setup and matching of multiple XF305 and XF300 camcorders.
Custom Picture Settings
You can manually set an extensive variety of image quality adjustments and store them as 9 different presets. The adjustments include: Gamma, Black Level, Black Gamma, Low Key Saturation, Knee, Sharpness, Noise Reduction, Skin Detail, Selective Noise Reduction, Color Matrix, White Balance, Color Correction and Setup Level.
The XF300's operation can be further fine-tuned through the use of custom functions. This allows the camcorder to truly match your shooting style. A total of 12 unique items can be adjusted, including: Shockless Gain, Shockless White Balance, AE Response, Iris Limit, Iris Ring Direction, Focus Ring Control and Character Record. And for quick access to commonly used functions, the XF300 features 13 customizable control buttons.
The Custom Display function lets you set 32 display items to create a custom LCD/EVF to suit your specific needs. Items that can be selected include: Zoom Position, Audio Level, Remaining Record Time, Exposure, Object Distance, Time Code and more.
The XF300 uses Material Exchange Format (MXF) for its file structure--an internationally standardized container format for the exchange of video and audio material. Using the MXF format, video and audio can be wrapped into a single file along with important metadata. With MXF, the XF300 will not only benefit from the highest level of compatibility with NLE systems, but also with high-end network systems used by many networks and production studios.
Aside from providing the professional user with complete control over the image, the Canon XF300 also provides complete creative freedom when it comes to inputs and outputs, including HDMI Output, Component Video Output (using the included DTC-1500 cable), Composite Video Output (BNC and 3.5mm), USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Terminal, and a Remote Control Terminal (compatible with LANC protocol).
A stereo microphone is incorporated into the XF300, as are two XLR audio inputs with +48V phantom power. The built-in microphone provides exceptional audio in fast-paced situations while the XLR inputs provide connectivity to external microphones and other professional audio devices. If you choose, the built-in microphone and XLR input can be used simultaneously.
Audio is recorded in 16-bit PCM format at 48kHz for amazing quality and fidelity. And both the built-in microphone and XLR inputs have the option for automatic or full manual gain control. To prevent variations in the recorded audio level, the dial can also be locked.
Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope
Videographers depend on these features to confirm accurate exposure and color levels during the capture process. Typically only found on expensive external units, the Canon XF300 camcorder has a waveform monitor and vectorscope built right into the camera. The waveform monitor shows a detailed view of overall image brightness and RGB components. The onboard vectorscope provides real-time image hue and saturation analysis, making it easy to check color balance and see the result of white balance adjustments.
Color Bars with Reference Tone
Two types of color bars can be selected: Type 1 (SMPTE compliant) or Type 2 (ARIB compliant); 1 kHz Reference Tone: -12dB, -18dB, 20dB or OFF
Smooth and efficient workflow is an essential part of the production process. Canon's XF Codec is supported by the industry's leading manufacturers: Adobe, Apple, Avid and Grass Valley. This ensures the widest compatibility with existing infrastructure and non-linear editing (NLE) software.
Intelligent Battery System
The XF300 is compatible with Canon's new BP-955 and BP-975 Intelligent Lithium-ion batteries. These batteries communicate remaining running time (down to the minute) and wear data back to the camcorder, so the user is well-informed at all times. On the outside of the battery, four LED lamps allow battery life to be viewed quickly when in the field. Additionally, the camcorder is compatible with existing Canon BP-900 series batteries. Batteries can also be inserted and removed while the supplied AC power cable is connected.
For applications such as storyboarding, continuity and publicity shots, the XF300 offers the ability to capture 1920 x 1080 still images. Photos may be captured to an SD memory card during the time of recording, as well as "frame grabbed" during playback.
Bundled Canon XF Utility Software
Compatible for use on both Mac and Windows platforms, Canon's XF Utility software provides a simplified first step in the process of managing and playing back your clips. Additionally, the software can manage lists of clips in a number of display formats, as well as tag, add and edit metadata. It also serves as an efficient means of backing up media.