Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

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.


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.

10 thoughts on “Now filming with Canon C300 and XF305

  1. I appreciate your posts and input. It gives much needed perspective. One thing though: better punctuation would make the experience much more smooth.

  2. “People in glass houses should not throw stones” comes to mind, I don’t think “much more smooth” is grammatically correct either Sherlock !

  3. Any thoughts on doing one of your excellent reviews of the xf305 Philip? Would be interested to hear your thoughts on it

  4. Philip why don’t you tried the Panasonic AG-HPX250. Same sensor, optics, and colors like AC160 but with AVC-Intra 100 recording. Better than 50Mbs MPEG-2 of Canon. Perhaps P2 cards too expensive?

    In your opinion which is the best multipurpose (news, doc, sports) videocamera in 2000 – 4000 euro range?

    Many thanks…

  5. This is why you get low traffic. When criticized you come out swinging. You have a blog, and when someone disagrees with you (and you have LOTS of errors. Like FCPX XF compatibility) you get rather testy. You’re beginning to be a lot like EOSHD with the attitude. Now, I have matched my XF300/100 with C300’s very well. I’ve even matched the XF lines with the MK3. Just how many cameras have you bought over the past 1 1/2? I got an idea. If you want a multicam shoot to match, use 2 or 3 of the SAME CAMERA! Or learn to profile a camera using test charts and calibrated monitors! AF100, F3, Fs100, NX70, AC160, c300, xf100 and 305! Pick one and get going!

  6. Hi Dan, I am not getting into expensive media, been there with SxS and both Sony and Panasonic need to have a viable alternative to their overpriced SxS & P2 cards. The microP2 card although shown at NAB will not be available till Spring next year and the question we are all asking is it also limited or will you be able to run AVC intra 100 on a class 10 SDHC card ?

  7. I would be really interested to hear about how you manage your tapeless work flow now that you have moved over to shooting on the Canon C300 and XF305. How do you back up your footage, how do you future proof it to ensure it’s safe and how do you archive it? Just an idea for a future blog!

  8. What Pic Profile settings do you advise for matching XF300/305 to Canon c300 Shooting CLog. I would appreciate any advise please

  9. WOW somebody has cash reserves and a nice disposable income to buy a 305 outright!!! Lucky you!!

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