Canon XF705 4K UHD and HD: the Return of the Camcorder


With the XF705 4K UHD and HD camcorder, Canon has dusted off and re-invigorated the camcorder, which is good news for those who work with virtually any kind of video production. Camcorders have many advantages over interchangeable-lens, large format cameras. They are compact and relatively lightweight for the amount of zoom they offer, and the XF705 Camcorder is no exception. It is packed with features and improvements that you would expect to find in cameras twice as large. This camcorder features 15x power optical zoom with 5-Axis Optical Image Stabilization that is sharp enough to use for 4K origination. It is also Canon's first camcorder to use H.265/HEVC compression, which provides the same image quality as H.264/AVC codec found in most other cameras at about half the file size. This increases the amount of video you can record onto each memory card, and you can use the H.265 codec when shooting either 4K UHD or HD in 10-bit. For those with legacy projects, or who need H.264/AVC, fear not—the XF705 can still shoot in that legacy format.

Perhaps the most exciting news is that the XF705 Camcorder supports HDR in camera, with a choice of HLG and PQ. Encoding your HDR video with HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) is an excellent choice for live broadcast and streaming, providing an HDR image ready to displayed right out of the camera. Of course, if you are working on narratives or other projects that are going to require a color-correction session, that is when encoding using PQ (Perceptual Quantization) is a better choice, because it gives you more flexibility during your color-correction sessions.

The XF705 Camcorder features two SD card slots, as you would expect, and can record using "relay recording" or simultaneously records to two cards at the same time, even when shooting 4K. The camcorder supports 4K capture up to 60 fps, or Full HD at 120 fps. HDMI 2.0 and 12G-SDI connectors make it simple and painless to output 4K to monitors or external recorders. Included with the XF705 is Canon's newest compact power adapter, the CP200L, which is available by itself and is ideal for powering your camera from mains power when you can't power-down the camera to change batteries.

The Canon XF705 represents a grand leap forward from Canon's more modest XF405, and the company may have just created a UHD complement to its Cinema EOS line. If you are into the camcorder form factor, or even if you aren't, the Canon XF705 deserves a look. For more information on Canon's camcorders, be sure to visit the B&H SuperStore, or check them out on the B&H Website.