Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

The XF305, one of Canon’s first file-based professional camcorders, combines an MPEG-2, 50Mbps, 4:2:2 codec with a Canon L-series lens and 3 Full HD CMOS sensors for superb HD video stored on CF card.


MPEG-2 MXF recording to CF cards at up to 50Mbps (4:2:2)
Comprehensive NLE support
18x wide angle Canon L-series lens
3 x 1/3 type Full HD Canon CMOS sensors
HD-SDI, Timecode, Genlock
10.1 cm LCD (1.23M dots); 1.3 cm (1.55M dots) EVF
Variable frame rates
Set your own standard: professional, file-based Full HD

Capture high quality HD to CF cards
The XF305 records MPEG-2 MXF (Media eXchange Format) files – up to 1920 x 1080 Full HD at 50Mbps (4:2:2) – to CompactFlash (CF) memory cards. CF media is inexpensive and widely available: dual card slots allow filming to continue without interruption.

Flexible editing
Integrating seamlessly with existing workflows, movies shot on the XF305 are captured as industry-standard MXF files compatible with all major editing packages.

18x wide-angle lens
Drawing on Canon’s broadcast lens expertise – and informed by the feedback of professionals – the lightweight 18x L-series HD Video Lens delivers superb optical quality. Unique Ultra-Low Dispersion (Hi-UD) elements are used to prevent chromatic aberration. Separate rings offer independent control of Focus, Zoom and Iris (F1.6) – with full manual control available, end stops are provided for the focus and zoom rings.

3x Full HD CMOS
Full HD at 1920 x 1080 resolution is captured via three 1/3 type 2.07 Megapixel Full HD CMOS sensors – designed and manufactured by Canon in-house. High speed scanning minimises the effects of a rolling shutter.

10.1 cm LCD and 1.3 cm EVF
The 10.1 cm (4”) LCD screen can be positioned either side of the camera. Offering superior resolution (1.2M dots), the Focus Assist tool helps achieve sharp images. A built-in Waveform Monitor (WFM) helps verify exposure and other shooting parameters. Alternatively, a 1.3 cm (0.52”) Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) is available.

Variable frame rate
A wide range of frame rates is available, from 12 to 50 fps. This gives cameramen the freedom to alter the capture rate for additional creative flexibility.

Professional jackpack and independent audio
HD-SDI output is the industry standard, outputting uncompressed Full HD with embedded audio and Timecode. Genlock In and Timecode In/Out allow the XF305 to be used in a multi-camera shoot. Audio can be captured via twin XLR inputs and also with the front-mounted stereo microphone.

Custom pictures
Twenty-six Custom Picture options can be adjusted to achieve the perfect look. These can be stored in-camera – via SD card – and settings can even be transferred between camcorders.

CPS support *
Canon’s exclusive CPS Video Support offers a priority repair service, guaranteeing quick turnaround.

Start shipping June 2010  Estimated price for XF305 $7999 (£5253)

HDW : Well true to their mock-up we now have the 305 and the 300 Pro camcorders. Canon predicted they were going to produce 50Mbs, 4:2:2 spec camcorders and true to their word they have. This is clearly aimed at the low budget broadcast market with these specs the main differences between both camcorders are HD SDI, Time code and genlock the same three features that separated  the last two Canon camcorders. As usual we see the standard Japanese 1/3″ stock CMOS chipset so you can bet these camcorders won’t set the heather alight in the low light dept.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

8 thoughts on “Canon XF300 and XF305 Pro Camcorders ($7999 XF305)

  1. US$7999 estimated for the 305?? How can this compete with the NXCAM or even the HMC150 for that matter?

  2. To be fair to Canon and you don’t often catch me defending manufacturers this is not in the same league as an NXCAM, 4:2:2 and 50Mbs take this camera into broadcast spec, it should on paper out perform an NXCAM or the older HMC150.

  3. Agree although I’m still not sure that’s the right price point. I’ll take a look at it at NAB.

  4. Don’t kid yourself in low light the 1/2″ EX cameras are better and I don’t need to see the Canon to tell you that !

  5. This is a fairly substantial camera for the money…it’s not an NXCAM with these specifications. Sadly for Canon this camcorder would have been full HD broadcast spec had they choose 1/2″ chips :[ Sad.

  6. Just read an article on DVX USER that shows the 1/3 sensor of the new Panasonic HPX370 to be better in low light than the 1/2 Sony EX3. Interesting to see how the XF series goes. Could HD warrior be wrong?

  7. I think you will find ‘on paper’ the Panasonic HPX370 to be better in low light than the Sony EX-3. I prefer to see the results via the camera itself. 4:2:2 10 bit is definitely going to help the HPX370 lets be honest it can’t be as bad as the HPX301 which was shockingly bad even at 0Db. Lets not forget the EX-3 has been the benchmark for low light till the PMW-350 but the EX-3 is an older camera now and you would expect the newer ones to play catch up at some point in time.

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