REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonXF300 Professional Camcorder
 
4.7

(based on 66 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (49)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Zoom range/performance (48)
  • Great picture quality (38)
  • Large clear LCD (36)
  • Easy to use (35)
  • Image stabilization (29)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (6)
  • Complicated to operate (3)
  • Heavy (3)

Best Uses

  • Documentaries (37)
  • HD shooting (31)
  • Weddings (26)
  • Movies/short films (23)
  • Independent films (15)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro videographer (20), Enthusiast (13), Semi-pro (13), Business owner (11), Professional artist (7)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (58)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Incredible Quality, very few flaws

(Woot, first review)

Here we go. The Camera came in today not a couple hours ago. I've tested the XF300 against two other cameras I had on hand: the...Read complete review

(Woot, first review)

Here we go. The Camera came in today not a couple hours ago. I've tested the XF300 against two other cameras I had on hand: the DVX100b and the Canon HF S10.

In a picture resolution point of view this camera wins out. (NO DUH, 3MOS sensors and a huge lens in comparison with the DVX and the S10). Colors were far superior to the DVX and of course superior to the S10. The only caveat so far is the Iris isn't as customizable as the DVX, the DVX was able to open wider and take in a bit more light. In terms of low light I found this to be on par with the DVX, granted that quality loss due to gain was probably negated because of it's HD capability.

The Lens easily defeats both the DVX and the S10. It's got a far better DOF ( not as good as /w a 35mm adaptor but who has those anyway? ) than the DVX or the S10. It's got an incredible zoom range and it's three rings offer unparalleled manual control. Granted though, the iris ring is a bit hard to reach, it's situated in a little ravine between the camera body and the rest of the lens.

The File format, Canon XF, proved quite bulky, so no editing on a lightweight machine. In comparison with DV and AVCHD, CanonXF is a monster. 50 Mbps only allowed for 82 mins max of recording time on a 32GB CF card. No, there is no way to simultaneously record to two CF cards, just to debunk that myth. The CF cards tuck nicely into two compartments in the rear end, making it quite secure against dust and other extremes (just don't go and drop it :P ).

The camera's physical properties were, sadly, the worst of the S10 and the DVX. This doesn't warrant a loss of a star: The camera's pros far outweigh that. Here is a checklist of interface quirks I found by my own use:

1. The camera is VERY forward heavy. It is also uncomfortable to hold the camera on the lens barrel because of a thick lip on the right side of the camera. The lip makes it difficult to get a firm grasp.

2. The menu controls are actually divided over many parts of the camera. There is an analog stick on the top of the camera right under the VCR controls, but the actual menu button is under the audio volume controllers. The analog controller is a bit hard to reach because it's a bit too far away from the top grip. Best recommendation is, when using the menu, use both hands.

3. The Autofocus is redundant. There is an AF controller on the camera body and on the lens. Remember not to set them contradictory.

The Features:

The HDMI and the Component out allows the camera to hook up an external LCD screen in place of the onboard screen. It's pretty useful right now for footage reviewing but I personally don't use Hd-SDI.

There is a toggle for Full auto and manual, which saves you time from returning all the dials back to Auto. It's good if you're shooting on the run.

There are actually THREE (count them yourself when you buy one :P ) recording switches. One on the handle, one on the top handle, one right under the lens.

The variable frame rate is actually a very cool feature. I tested it by having someone run past the camera doing 3 FPS. Nice motion blur, pretty good production potential for action shots and the sorts.

Overall very good camera. VERY HEAVY too, but it's HD. If you're buying this camera go for it, but keep in mind the things I delineated above. Good luck!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

The Next Iteration of Canon

I've been using this Camcorder for almost three months now and use it for outdoor sports primarily. Having come through the ranks of Canon, from still in the 70's through the XL1,...Read complete review

I've been using this Camcorder for almost three months now and use it for outdoor sports primarily. Having come through the ranks of Canon, from still in the 70's through the XL1, GL2, XL2, AH1X, and now the XF300.

As a sports camcorder it is not a great fit primarily due to the fact that there are too many controls spread all over the body in inconvenient places on the exterior. It is very easy to accidently change setting of the volume, eyepiece menus, etc. But the biggest problem is the actual workflow for post. This is really poor and Canon should sort this out. It works slightly better in Adobe Premier as the MFX files are recognized without the container, but not so in Final Cut Pro. Sifting through the sub directories to grab the actual video file is a slow process unlike the JVC's running in .mov. Also the audio in is clunky and if miss-set an enormous problem to reset.

The shotgun mic clamp is also a Mickey Mouse affair and not much better than the AH1X.

On the upside is picture quality, and for the price, really great. Unfortunately it is not great in low light and worse than any other Canon I have owned which is surprising as their consumer CMOS based cameras are phenomenal.

The lens auto zoom is also not very crisp but since most cameras in this range don't even have auto zoom well you will think you are back in an XL1. The zoom rocker switch is the best I have ever used.

Like any new camera it probably takes some time to get used to but for me I am lukewarm on this camcorder.

Reviewed by 66 customers

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Make A Custom Setting!

By Sunshine Studios

from New Jersey

About Me Semi-pro Videographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Great Picture Quality

Cons

  • Factory Defaults Stink
  • Poor Factory Defaults

Best Uses

  • Documentaries
  • Indoors/Low Light

Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

I've had the XF300 for over a year now, and I think it is a gggggreat piece of equipment......however, you have to learn how to work it....that means it isn't easy!

First off, I recommend purchasing a good tutorial DVD on the XF300, that is, one that is independent of Canon itself. This will be much easier than reviewing the manual, although you should also keep such handy.

Secondly, DO NOT USE the Canon presets on the XF300. Canon's camera picture default settings will produce an over-contrasted work.....and you'll wind up being disappointed. What to do? Well, look up what other pro's have done & use their custom picture (CP) settings---of course, making minor adjustments to suit your own tastes. Such CP settings are available via google or at pro sites.

Finally, be very, very careful when filming.....as it is pretty easy to 'hit' any of the side controls......so make sure you have your settings appearing on the XF300 monitor while filming.

Don't let any of this scare you, as the XF300 is a fine camera.......it just takes a little work to get the most out of it.

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(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Wonderful Piece of Equipment

By RezBilly

from Galisteo, NM

About Me Semi-pro Videographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Good in Low Light
  • Great Picture Quality
  • Great Sound
  • Great Zoom
  • Large Clear LCD
  • Zoom range/performance

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Documentaries

    Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

    I am using the XF300 for documentary interviews. It has a full range of features, some I have not tired. However, it is no more complicated than my old Sony Handi-Cam VX2000! The videoI have shot is stunning. Perhaps, after hours of use, I may have a suggestion, but I can offer no criticism, except it was expensive. I chose it because it meets BBC standards for broadcast.

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    • No

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Amazing camera

    By Mike Hayes

    from Amarillo, Texas

    About Me Video Enthusiast

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Good Image Stabilization
    • Good in Low Light
    • Great Picture Quality
    • Great Sound
    • Great Zoom
    • Large Clear LCD
    • Zoom range/performance

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Online Science Videos

      Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

      Wow. Everything I was expecting and more. I purchased this camera to better my YouTube videos for students. I am a teacher and making videos to help my students review and to keep caught up has become an extension to my classroom. It was an out of pocket expense I was willing to make, as I see how beneficial it has become for students. I hate butying something and cutting corners only to wish later I would have spent a bit more for a better quality product. This camera has every trick in the book. I know I have a steep learning curve ahead, but I am excited about the potential of this camera and what I will learn. I also purchased the 3 hour Vortex Media workshop video and it was worth it!

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Good product, I recoomend it to anyone!

      By Media Inventive

      from Virginia Beach, VA

      About Me Pro Videographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Great Sound
      • Great Zoom
      • Large Clear LCD

      Cons

      • Poor In Low Light

      Best Uses

      • Documentaries
      • HD Shooting
      • Home Movies
      • Movies/Short Films
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

      Great product, good quality video, and great service from B&H guys. I do like their professionalism.

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      • No

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Satisfied, but not perfect

      By Diskprotek

      from Bay Area

      About Me Video Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Large Clear LCD

      Cons

      • Poor In Low Light

      Best Uses

      • HD Shooting
      • Home Movies
      • Sports

      Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

      Overall, very satisfied with this product. I film primarily sporting events (football, ice hockey, volleyball and soccer). The HD quality in decent lighting is very crisp. The direct recording to CF cards is a big improvement.The only issue I have thus far is that its ability to take quality video in low lighting is not so good. I compared it to video shot in similar lighting on my XH-A1 and there is no improvement. The sensors definitely generate a lot of snow in low lighting.

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      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Happy Camper

      By Techweenie

      from Saint Louis, Mo

      About Me Video Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

            Actually, I'm more pleased than I thought I would be. I was quite concerned that the camera would be more of a beast than I had expected for handheld work. It does fine at shorter focal lengths of course. And, the lowlight performance is better than I had expected, too. I really worked hard and researched carefully before pulling the trigger for this, and I'm glad I did! The glass is wonderful, and the focus aids (peaking, magn) are quite useful with the 18x high quality flexible glass when going long. I would only wish for 4 channel audio and it would be nice to have a side mount eyepiece I guess, keeps it shorter.

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            (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Excelent performance for money!

            By Video Maker

            from Chicago IL

            About Me Pro Videographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Good Image Stabilization
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Large Clear LCD
            • Zoom range/performance

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Documentaries
              • HD Shooting
              • Movies/Short Films
              • Travel
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

              I wasn't to keen on Canon as I always worked with Sony. After doing research I decided to get it and I love it! picture is excellent, and I love flexibility with all programmable buttons. some things could be made more accessible and not buried in menu but we will always find something to complain about. Overall excellent value for money especially when you consider cost of Sony cards, batteries etc...

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              • No

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              XF - 300

              By Canon fan

              from Portland, OR

              About Me Video Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Image Stabilization
              • Good in Low Light
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Great Zoom
              • Large Clear LCD
              • Zoom range/performance
              • Zoom Range Performance

              Cons

              • Complicated To Operate
              • Complicated To Use

              Best Uses

              • HD Shooting
              • Travel

              Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

              Have been a Canon camcorder fan for 12+ years. Will take some time to feel comfortable with new tapeless format.

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              • No

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great for on the fly

              By Aesman

              from Romeoville IL

              About Me Semi-pro Videographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Great Sound
              • Great Zoom
              • Large Clear LCD
              • Zoom range/performance

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Documentaries
                • HD Shooting
                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Movies/Short Films
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

                I use for event/Weddings & short films ,what I like is ease of use on the fly after a fair amount of training experience with it ,nice custom pic menu also great lens . What I don't like is not as good in low light as I expected but a draw back of all small sensor cam corders ,it takes some getting use to coming from DSLR video but the ease of uses and on the fly capability is well worth the price.

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Big results small-ish package

                By Ian1234

                from santa cruz, CA

                About Me Pro Videographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Good Image Stabilization
                • Good in Low Light
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Sound
                • Large Clear LCD

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                • Documentaries
                • HD Shooting
                • Movies/Short Films
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

                I use this product for just about everything in the books. From events, to sports, to creative work. The 4:2:2 recording is a big plus. The one main Con is the ergonomics, this camera just doesn't have them right. The camera is too large and heavy to be a handheld camera but it is. A simple rig or just propping it against you shoulder (similar to the XL1) generally fixes the problem.

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                • No

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                (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                It like hitting the big times!

                By Roy

                from Charleston, SC

                About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Good Image Stabilization
                • Good in Low Light
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Sound
                • Great Zoom
                • Large Clear LCD
                • Zoom range/performance

                Cons

                • Bit Heavy

                Best Uses

                • HD Shooting
                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

                Simple to use and still you can get lost in the menu. The picture quality rival any thing I have seen with even more expensive cameras. The lens is not interchangeable but still amazing.

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                • No

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                (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Canon XF300 w/ custom picture settings

                By Paco

                from Toronto

                About Me Pro Videographer

                Pros

                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Sound
                • Great Zoom
                • Large Clear LCD

                Cons

                • Poor In Low Light

                Best Uses

                • Documentaries
                • HD Shooting
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

                I decided to upgrade from a XHA1s to Canon XF300 and I can say under typical lighting conditions the Canon XF300 records much better video even at 35mbps. Since I do lots of events where lighting conditions are less than ideal (although I always use at least one or two F&V LED lights), I checked the internet for custom pics settings and the one that I prefer the most is the truvid2 which looks natural but with some colour vibrancy.The video noise once the gain goes up to 9db (I sometimes even go as high as 12db but not higher)is objectionable but adjusting the noise reduction setting to 2 (as some other videographers recommended) made a big difference.
                When I do interviews etc and I can get some good lighting then of course I shoot at 0db and that gives cleaner footage. I can always grade footage in post with magic bullet looks but for don't always have the time for that.
                I wish I could compare it first hand to a Sony EX1r but I haven't been able to...
                I still use my XHA1s as a second camera and the footage looks softer of course but usable. To make them match better I try to shoot neutral and then adjust in post if needed.
                I'm wondering if using a Canon XF100 would be a better option...but the thought of paying over $3k in Canada for it is a too much! I could get a 5D MKII for that and more...hmm.
                anyone has the XF300/XF100 combo?
                I'm happy with the Canon XF300 AFTER making adjustments-videotaping with setting straight out of the box is not an option for me.

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                This Camera is awesome.

                By Lroar

                from Trinidad & Tobago

                About Me Pro Videographer

                See all my reviews

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Good Image Stabilization
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Zoom
                • Large Clear LCD
                • Zoom range/performance

                Cons

                • Poor In Low Light

                Best Uses

                • Documentaries
                • HD Shooting
                • Home Movies
                • Movies/Short Films
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

                This is a super camera as regards to ergonomics, ease of use, features and picture quality.
                The reason for only 4 stars however is, you cannot set an assignable button for slow-motion, there's no 1/8" stereo input socket and the poor low light filming.

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                • No

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                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great Camera, Great Color Resolution

                By JPenn

                from Bath PA

                About Me Video Enthusiast

                See all my reviews

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Sound
                • Great Zoom
                • Large Clear LCD
                • Zoom range/performance

                Cons

                • Complicated To Operate
                • Poor Still Image

                Best Uses

                • Documentaries
                • HD Shooting
                • Movies/Short Films
                • Travel
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

                My previous camera, for almost 10 years, was a Canon XL1s so I am kind of used to the Canon camcorder architecture. I will be using this camera for shooting instructional videos, and web content. The menu system does take some getting used to. There is a full auto switch located within easy reach when you need to "Run and gun" and the full auto mode works like a champ. I could go on and nit-pic about the power switch and hand strap but there are other cameras out there that have there own issues too. I love this camera, great picture, great color.

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                • No

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                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Nice camera

                By fbcbootie

                from Greenville, SC

                About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Good Image Stabilization
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Zoom
                • Large Clear LCD
                • Zoom range/performance

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • HD Shooting
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

                  I use this camera in a house of worship and a studio environment. Great quality, many features. I wish it had a firewire output.

                  I use my camera with Final Cut Pro X and have just recently learned from Canon that they do not have a driver to allow bringing the XF300 footage directly into FCP X on Mountain Lion. This issue does not apply to the Lion OS. Canon would/could not tell me if a Mountain Lion driver was in the works or not. The files are .MXF and must be converted using a third-party tool for use in FCP X on Mountain Lion. I can live with it, but it is a little frustrating.

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                  • No

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                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  "Nice piece of equipment for the money"

                  By riverkev

                  from Naugatuck, CT

                  About Me Video Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Good Image Stabilization
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Great Zoom
                  • Large Clear LCD
                  • Zoom range/performance

                  Cons

                  • Mxf Files
                  • Poor Still Image

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • HD Shooting
                  • Movies/Short Films

                  Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

                  I am using this camera to increase the quality of my documentaries. They include the impaired Naugatuck River in Connecticut and its wildlife as well as documenting the rescue, rehabbing and release of birds of prey in Connecticut.I am an amateur and was unfamiliar with a camera with this much control. It took the Vortex Video and experimenting with the xf300 to feel real comfortable. It took only 4 days to figure out nearly all the commands. This short time surprised me. I am stunned at how beautiful this camera is. It helps having basic DSLR experience to understand its basic manual operation(s). The FX capabilities are exciting just by themselves. There are negatives of course. I use an HP desk top with 8gb ram, 1.5tb space and a pretty good processor. I use Sony Vegas Platinum 10. Though I can view the xf300 clips with the canon xf utilities, until I upgrade my computer system and NLE software "and" convert the mxf files to mov files my clips will be locked away on a hard drive while I continue to take and edit AVCHD footage with my older [$] HD camcorders. I was aware of this problem prior to the purchase of the xf300. With a budget of [$] for the camera and its accessories this was the camera I chose over others. I need to make it work in all kinds of weather/ under water and be spontaneous. The L series lens had much to do with my decision.Though I am a house painter and not a pro I was looking for the best that was within a budget. In my opinion the xf300 is as good or better than any within its price range. I feel that the xf300 is as good as the critics say. The 1/3 sensor is bound by physics and that is what it is. If you want better pay more.The xf300 is amazing for the money. I had great fear regarding these mxf files. I needed a smooth work flow. I was not looking to add to my many editing problems. I am patient and am confident with new software not unlike Final Cut ProX I can convert the wrappers if a proper procedure is followed. I expect Canon/Apple/Sony/Adobe has addressed any mxf>mov issues or they will soon. It is my belief people that ignored basic's ran into problems rewrapping the files. Make sure your software is ready for the task. Forewarned is forearmed. Don't blame it on the camera.

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                  (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Stunning picture

                  By DDP

                  from Seattle

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Great Sound
                  • Large Clear LCD

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Documentaries
                    • HD Shooting

                    Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

                    Coming from an A1 mostly for tapeless workflow since I had no issues with the A1 image or HDV. I was extremely surprised that the EX300 image would be that much better- it truly is a stunning picture and very post-friendly. I also have a 60D but the moire and alliasing was too much to take and a proper video camera just makes life easier.
                    I transfer to FCP6 using the naitive Sony codec and it's flawless and the file sizes are more manageable.
                    The EX300 seems to be a real under-the-radar camera but it's not because of the image- HDSLR's are just all the fasion.
                    Also a note regarding the power switch some have complained about- absolutely no issues with it for me.
                    My only knock is that I utilized the automatic zoom switch on the A1 conastantly and I do miss that function.

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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Lot of camera

                    By docmaker

                    from Sarasota, FL

                    About Me Pro Videographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Good Image Stabilization
                    • Great Picture Quality
                    • Large Clear LCD

                    Cons

                    • Complicated To Operate

                    Best Uses

                    • Documentaries
                    • Movies/Short Films

                    Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

                    I'm a documentary filmmaker focusing on nature. I bought this on several reccommendations from B&H as well as my web research to replave my Sony HDV cam. The complaints about the power/select switch are justified. This is the worst thing on the camera. The second issue is that a lot of functions I would like to see assignable to buttons remain buried in menus. Also, why can't Canon make 60p work in 1920x1080? That being said, this camera is capable of shooting gorgeous images, but plan to invest a lot of time learning its settings.

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                    (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Class leader for this camera format

                    By soundman1024

                    from Denver, Colorado

                    About Me Pro Videographer

                    Pros

                    • Balance
                    • CF Cards
                    • Easy to Use
                    • Great Picture Quality
                    • Great Zoom
                    • Large Clear LCD
                    • Size
                    • Value

                    Cons

                    • Heavy
                    • Poor In Low Light

                    Best Uses

                    • Documentaries
                    • HD Shooting
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

                    At my old job we retired our well worn SD cameras with XF300s and a 100. We were looking over the market looking at the Panasonic, Sony, and JVC offerings in competition with this Canon, and none seemed to compete with it on value, image quality, or portability.

                    Image Quality
                    Image quality is what has impressed me most with this camera. We use the scene file as it came from the factory. It's easy to hear pixel peepers get worried about recording in long GOP or only shooting 50mbps, but the lens, imager, and signal processing in tandem are nothing shy of brilliant. With proper exposure and focus everything comes out crisp, with all the detail you would expect from a camera five times the cost of this one. No moire, no stair stepping, no nonsense, no chroma subsampling, no snaps at keyframes, just a beautiful picture.

                    Over the course of a year with these cameras the only times I ever felt like I saw optical imperfections or compression artifacts came from when shots had poor exposure and needed extreme colour correction. To be fair, I'm thinking of a few shots that were overexposed by about 2.5-3 stops. Even the best shooters have moments they aren't quite ready for - with this camera's image pipeline those shots can be made usable.

                    Speaking of overexposure, this camera seems to respond extremely well to overexposure. I've never used a camera - including RAW modes on Canon and Nikon SLRs - that responded as well to recovery in post. The headroom on the top is amazing.

                    The high gain performance isn't the best of things. I'm mainly editing, not shooting, so I don't really know what to consider the upper threshold for usable. It's clean without lights in about 60% of interiors, and it doesn't take a lot of light to get a clean signal. With LED lights it doesn't take a lot of gear to keep everything looking clean.

                    Value
                    The value of this camera is difficult to overstate. Here are the merits when considering its competitors.
                    Canon - CF cards are readily available in major cities in an emergency, batteries last forever and are reasonably priced, internal optics are top notch.
                    Panasonic HPX250 - You'll pay an obscene amount for P2 cards - by the time you get enough card to shoot for a day you'll add $2k to the cost of the setup. Batteries are similarly affordable, but don't have the stamina or handy meter the Canon batteries have.
                    Sony - You're stuck at thin raster 35mbps unless you add the bulk and expense of an external recorder, or you've go the same issue as P2 cards if you go with the internal SxS method. I've only used external batteries when using the EX1R, and I don't remember the battery situation there.
                    JVC 700 - Once again, thin raster, but the SD cards are affordable enough to leave on the shelf for important projects, but the added expense of some Anton Bauer batteries and a good zoom lens will push the price way up.

                    When considering what you get and what you're pay the Canon is a clear winner - the caveat to this is if you need the TC options of the XF305. The HPX250 might be a better option if you need TC in and hour - but that's if you can live with the coarse look of Panasonic footage.

                    Ergonomics
                    This is the most logically lain out camera I've worked with. All of the controls are where you expect to find them. The audio routing/phantom controls are by the XLR inputs, the audio level controls are on the back near the audio meters, the gain and white balance are where they belong, the screen opens on both sides so you can interview on the right and still see the picture, it's brilliant.
                    Unfortunately every camera has its issues. There are three ergonomic problems in my opinion.
                    • There are two different MF modes. There's a switch that toggles between AF and servo-motor driven MF. In servo-driven MF you turn the focus ring, which fires the servo motor to focus. There's also a MF clutch wrapped around the lens barrel which makes a physical connection between the ring and the focus mechanism, no servo motor involved. The MF clutch is fantastic, but it can get confusing to get back to AF if you have both MF modes going on.
                    • The ring/rocker switch for the focal length/zoom control is a bit annoying. In ring mode it adds hard stops on the ring, but it's still a servo motor firing the zoom mechanism. I'd prefer both always active to having hard stops.
                    • The menu is operated from the back using a Menu button, a wheel, and a Set button. It would be far more intuitive if the wheel clicked in instead of having a Set button.

                    Overall I'm quite willing to say this is the best camera I've used. It outshoots the HPX500 by quite a bit, and you could buy a few of these for the cost of one of those HPX setups.

                    If you need a camera of this format it's positively brilliant. If you need TC support you may be able to find better value elsewhere, if you need shallow depth of field this can do it if you're zoomed tight and focused close, or look elsewhere, and if you need low light response look elsewhere, but if none of those are your needs go for it! If in doubt rent it and give it a fair go.

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                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Solid camera

                    By Mark

                    from Rochester, MN

                    About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Great Picture Quality
                    • Great Sound
                    • Large Clear LCD

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Documentaries
                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Movies/Short Films

                      Comments about Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder:

                      Got it to film educational talks. Excellent quality and versatlity. I purchased two 32gigCF cards with it and they work fine

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