Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

The BBC’s DV solutions department have today placed an official order for 50 units of the Canon XF305 compact HD camcorder with CVP, the UK’s largest supplier of Canon HD equipment.

The XF305 is the first compact camcorder to provide 50Mb/s recorded data rate, thus satisfying the BBC’s stringent quality requirements for HD broadcast applications.  It records onto solid state CF (Compact Flash) media and has been chosen by the BBC as the successor to the hugely popular Sony HVR-Z1E tape based HDV camcorder.

‘”We are delighted that the BBC has placed this order with us as it clearly demonstrates that not only is the Canon XF305 the BBC’s preferred handheld HD camcorder but that CVP is the BBC’s preferred supplier” commented Phil Baxter, CEO of CVP.

HDW…Having looked at this camcorder at ProVideo 2010 last month it produced stunning pictures I am therefore not surprised that the BBC have “approved” this HD camcorder. Canon have been very clever with this camcorder, 50Mbs and 4:2:2 should be the minimum specification that we should expect from any video manufacturer yet eyebrows were raised when the Sony Hi-end Super 35mm F3 camcorder was released only this week and once again no 50Mbs or 4:2:2 unless you take it out of the HD SDI socket into a NanoFlash.

We see this time and time again with video manufacturers…they give us a great product but with a deliberate Achilles heal only to bring out a higher spec version next time round, this has cost Sony at least one sale as most freelance cameramen will not touch an HD camcorder that’s not 50Mbs minimum spec.

Cameramen are a suspicious lot and it comes from our fear of cables, how many times has a duff cable caused mayhem…we are not fans of what we call in the business “Christmas Trees” camcorders with lots of cables sticking from one machine to another, it’s a recipe for disaster so my point is make the camcorder capable from day one…we don’t like add on’s that have a potential to break down or go faulty.


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.

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