This story begins with me sending back my Canon XF100 as a second camera to the C300, as a single chip camera it was not cutting the mustard.
I was hoping to be using a Panasonic AC160, as the pictures match the C300 (colour wise) perfectly. I was amazed how the Panasonic and the C300 matched but one detail let the 160 down and that was VBR (Variable Bit Rate).
I saw some fantastic footage using the Panasonic in PH 21Mbps mode, especially close ups, but on occasions I would see less than acceptable footage creeping in, which was the bad end of the Variable Bit Rate. Having 21Mbps to start off with does not give you much latitude when the bit rate starts to drop, so with a heavy heart I sent the AC160 back.
By now I was running out of options, the PMW-100 was a non starter so I was faced with the NX70, EX1r or the Canon XF305.
The NX70 is on back order and to be honest I already had two NX70s and sold them. They are great cameras but not what I am looking for. The EX1r is also a great camera but being tied to SxS again after selling all my SxS cards did not help matters.
The Canon XF305 was in stock at Preston Media so with a bit of wheeling and dealing I got myself a 305. Out of the box this camera is poor so be warned you will need to set up a Custom Picture not only to make the colours more natural but to cut the noise down.
As usual Canon send these cameras out with the NR set to “Automatic” which has a detrimental effect on picture quality so switch it off and set it to 2.
Although the Canon has 3 chips, 4:2:2, 50Mbps and the magical CBR (Constant Bit Rate), I cannot match the colours to the C300 as good as I could with the Panasonic AC160 but the pictures from the 305 are stunning.
I need a run and gun camcorder for everything other than interviews and the Canon XF305 will be a great stable mate to the C300.
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