Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Canon's new 4:2:2 Pro camcorders announced

Canon has announced the new tapeless pro camcorders that they had hinted at several months ago. The XF305 and XF300 support dual Compact Flash memory cards and record HD at 50Mbps with MPEG-2 4:2:2 compression. Notably, neither of the cameras offers a removable lens.

Canon XF305

Both use Canon CMOS chips with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080. Canon previously announced they would be 1/3" chips.

The camera features are similar, but the XF305 model adds HD-SDI output, genlock, and SMPTE time code (in/out) terminals for multi-camera or 3-D productions.

The cameras are scheduled to be available in late June for an estimated retail price of $7,999 for the XF305 and $6,799 for the XF300.

My Take
Ouch! I'd really been hoping [you mean dreaming-Ed] that the list price would be in the $4-$5K range to compete with the Sony NXCAM HXR-NX5U. But at this price point these will be compared with Sony's EX1 and EX3. The XF300 camera competes with the EX1 in price, but the EX1 has 1/2" imagers, while the Canon's have 1/3". The EX3 is a little more expensive than the XF305, but has an interchangeable lens mount.

The cheaper Compact Flash cards is a big plus over the EX series. One distinction with the previous Canon models was that they used CCD chips; and that's no longer the case.

But, what about that 4:2:2? That's what will get most people's attention. I'm really interested to see how the picture quality pans out. I'll be waiting to see the reviews. Unfortunately, at that price, I don't see myself getting one of these cameras, no matter how good the image quality.

 Canon XF300

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