Even though we often concentrate on consumer devices, today we’re examining the Canon XF400 Professional camcorder.
Canon has long dominated the market for video and photography, but recent shifts in customer purchasing habits have compelled other manufacturers to adjust in some way.
Sales of consumer camcorders and digital SLR cameras have reached multi-decade lows due to the proliferation of powerful smartphone cameras. Therefore, it seems sensible that many casual users would select their current “good enough” smartphone over more expensive secondary and tertiary options.
The professional market will always want the highest caliber, specialized video, regardless of consumer behavior. To solve the issue of the shrinking consumer market, Canon created a novel approach.
The consumer-oriented VIXIA GX10 and the professional XF400 and XF405 virtually entirely share internal components and specs. Although there isn’t a significant price difference between them, Canon separates the versions primarily based on the form factor and available inputs and outputs.
Two cameras that cross the consumer and professional markets are the product of this intriguing technique. The VIXIA GX10 would likely be seen as relatively high-end by most consumers, while the XF400 and XF405 would probably be regarded as pro-grade equipment at the lower end of the range by most professionals.
While 4K recording undoubtedly seems like a game-changing capability, experts know that producing high-quality video requires much more than having many pixels. So will video pros discover that the Canon XF400 meets all their requirements at a fair price? Let’s examine this little 4K shooter’s features in more detail.
Every time we examine professional-grade equipment, the specifics and intricacies are much more critical. Consumers may rely their judgment on a product’s look or the few aspects they are familiar with, whereas professionals thoroughly research products before making a purchase. So we’ll quickly examine the XF400 and XF405 to learn some broad facts about the cameras and Canon’s target market before further researching the specifics.
The XF400 and XF405 are small, portable camcorders. While the camera body resembles the VIXIA GX10 almost exactly, Canon has included a removable grip for the XF series. In addition to giving users more grip choices, this handle attaches to the camera’s hot shoe and transmits power and data. This enables many more inputs, controls, and lighting choices, which we’ll discuss in a moment. The handle may be removed for more straightforward storage or essential operation when the extra capabilities aren’t needed.
We should take a moment to clarify certain misunderstandings that Canon’s naming scheme may have contributed to. First, from the XF100/105 to the XF200/205 and XF300/305, Canon preserved the XF moniker. Therefore, it would be reasonable to presume that the XF400/405 followed in the footsteps of earlier generations of goods with a similar designation.
Unfortunately, Canon either made an odd or misleading decision. According to their public statements, the “4” on the XF400/405 stands for “4K video support,” not “replacement for the XF300/305.” Don’t worry if this has you perplexed. Like you, we were confused.
For a few key reasons, most notably the availability of broadcast-conforming video standards, the XF300/305 continue to be immensely popular among video professionals, broadcasters, and mobile news crews.
In addition to not supporting the same standards, Canon replaced the three lens rings that allowed for easy zoom, focus, and brightness adjustment with a single round in the XF400/405. However, before we examine the results of those decisions, let’s quickly recap what the XF400/405 loses from the popular features that made its predecessors so well-liked for professional video.
If you’re familiar with Canon’s earlier XF family devices, you’ll immediately notice the XF400’s smaller size. Without the lens cover and eyecup, the XF300 measures 6.0 x 9.3 x 15.0 inches and weighs 6.5 pounds when fully loaded. The XF400 reduces weight and physical size. This camera appears relatively modest at 3.8 x 5.3 8.4 and 3.7 pounds, barely touching the scales.
If you frequently use a tripod, size and weight are less important, but if you typically shoot while holding the camera for an extended period, the smaller size may be advantageous. The tiny size may affect steadiness in the eyes of some videographers. However, it is a question of personal choice.
The 0.24 inch, 1.56 million pixel viewfinder of the XF400 boasts about 100 percent field of vision. As a result, many people can prefer the 3.5-inch wide flip-out LCD screen. Additionally, it has a broad color spectrum, an anti-reflective surface, and a wide viewing angle.
Numerous audio, video, and data connectors are included on the Canon. The camcorder’s USB mini-B port and Hi-Speed USB provide data transfer. Video is output via an HDMI remote connection, while audio is entered via a 3.5 mm mini stereo jack or two-channel XLR 3-pin connectors. Gigabit ethernet connectors also make it simple to transport data through computer networks.
A dual SD card slot that can accommodate up to SDXC-compliant cards enables relay recording or simultaneous backup using two cards.
Detail & Features of the Video
The VIXIA GX10 and the XF400/405 use Canon’s new 1-inch CMOS image sensor as their main imaging component. Even though it might not be as broadcast-ready as the XF300/305, this big CMOS chip produces excellent footage. Detail is what light means to cameras. Daylight film may seem nice since a smaller image sensor can capture less light, but low-light situations will come out entirely black and lack sufficient detail.
Progressive scanning is supported at 24, 30, and 60 frames per second for the XF400’s 4K, Full HD, and 720p resolutions. Given that several 4K cameras in the same price range only allow 30 frames per second for 4K footage, 4K at 60 fps is a fantastic feature. Although many people would not perceive the difference, more frames per second result in significantly smoother film, especially in scenes with fast action.
Dramatic slow-motion photos may also be captured in the 120 frames per second shooting mode, but only at 1920 x 1080 full HD quality.
The XF400 has a new lens construction created to enhance performance while maintaining a thin, small, and light profile. Canon is known for its excellent optics. The new lens, which has a 15x optical zoom, retains the best quality and color over the 1-inch sensor and the entire zoom range.
Dual Pixel Autofocus and 5-axis picture stabilization from Canon significantly increase stability, lessen vibration, and maintain focus on your subject even in dynamic conditions.
The XF400 footage we captured is excellent, in our opinion. The idea that we can shoot video with a more excellent resolution than broadcast TV and Blu-Ray discs still seem incredible, especially when seen on a 4K screen.
The big picture sensor was the star in low-light situations. The video was crisp and detailed without crushed blacks or the excessive ISO noise found in a lower-quality camera or our smartphone test shot.
Even while the XF400 captures videos of excellent quality, its omission of some functions is causing more controversy than its inclusion of others. As noted, pros loved the XF300/305 for its small size, portability, and high-quality video. However, contrary to what the naming scheme would suggest, the XF400 does not target the same market niche.
The single lens adjustment ring is the first immediately noticeable difference. Professional cameras typically have lens rings that allow users to swiftly change the zoom, focus, and brightness without taking their hands or eyes off the camera. Therefore, it looks pretty odd that just one adjustment ring is included.
In addition to a separate manual dial that can be set to control aperture, shutter, and gain, the camera has buttons on the side to move between focus and zoom.
We can’t imagine any skilled filmmaker or camera operator feeling comfortable without immediate access to these parameters, even if you can alter them to include the settings you change the most frequently. Switching back and forth between focus and zoom would be pretty annoying.
The other significant distinction is more of a technical nature. The XF300’s integrated 50Mbps 8bit 4:2:2 codec is one of the factors that contributed to its success. If you think this is nonsense, you’re probably not the camcorder’s intended market. The XF300 and 305 are entirely broadcast compliance, to put it simply. Only a highly compressed 8-bit 4:2:0 codec is present in the XF400/405.
Additionally, several modern cameras include HDR broadcast standards compliance for better color depth and brightness management. Some users may not consider the lack of this capability very important, but as time goes on and more cameras and screens enable HDR, the XF400’s durability may be impacted.
The presence of 3G-SDI output in the XF405 distinguishes it from the XF400 as a single distinction. If you need this capability, be sure to select the appropriate model.
Canon XF400 Specifications
|Actual: 13.4 Megapixel (4268 x 3148)
Effective: 8.29 Megapixel (3840 x 2160)
|Built-In ND Filter
|Mechanical Filter Wheel with Clear, 2 Stop (1/4), 4 Stop (1/16), 6 Stop (1/64) ND Filters
|1.7 Lux at 1/30 Shutter Speed
0.1 Lux at 1/2 Shutter Speed
|Optical Zoom Ratio
|Max Digital Zoom
|f/2.8 to 4.5
|Not Specified by Manufacturer
|Minimum Focus Distance
|Macro: 0.4″ / 1.0 cm
Entire Zoom Range: 23.6″ / 60.0 cm
|Built-In Microphone Type
|2-Channel 16-Bit 48 kHz AAC Audio
4-Channel 16-Bit 48 kHz LPCM Audio
|FTP, MP4, H.264
1920 x 1080 at 50i, 59.94i (4.0 to 9.0 Mb/s)
|1 x Mini-HDMI Output
|2 x 3-Pin XLR Input
1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Microphone Input
1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Headphone Output
|1 x Barrel (8.4 VDC) Input
|1 x Mini-USB
1 x RJ45 (LAN)
1 x 2.5 mm Sub-Mini (LANC) Control
|Articulating Touchscreen LCD
|23 to 113°F / -5 to 45°C
|Canon BP-8 Series
|Box Dimensions (LxWxH)
|14.8 x 12.7 x 12.55″
The Canon XF400 and 405 appear to be experiencing a minor identity crisis. While the XF300/305 models from the previous generation were genuine portable broadcast cameras, Canon seems to be attempting to cash in on the name’s recognition by omitting a few essential capabilities.
Without a doubt, the video we recorded was excellent. However, while the XF400 would be perfect for our personal use and family films, the VIXIA GX10 offers a comparable image sensor at a significant cost reduction.
Most of the additional inputs and controls wouldn’t be required for a typical customer. On the other hand, the majority of video or broadcast pros require more features than the XF400 can provide. As a result, most professionals would go elsewhere because of the manual controls’ limitations and lack of broadcast compatibility.
Essentially, Canon must be positioning this for a smaller group of professionals and semi-pros that require more than a consumer shooter but are unconcerned with the missing capabilities.
Wedding videographers, low-budget documentarians, and other similar technology users can be in the sweet spot. In addition, many professionals anticipate Canon will soon develop a more worthy replacement for the XF300/305 to fill the gap left by the absence of a 4K camcorder that is broadcast-ready.
The XF400 is a fantastic option for seamless, gorgeous 4K footage as long as the fewer manual options and absence of broadcast-compliant codecs aren’t deal-breakers for you.
Canon XF400 Price
Is the Canon XF400 discontinued?
There are no plans to stop selling the Canon XF400, so if you are interested in purchasing one, you can do so now.
What is the price of the Canon XF400 camcorder?
The Canon XF400 camcorder can fluctuate anywhere from $2,000 to $2,500 depending on the location and merchant, but the average cost is somewhere in the middle of those two numbers.
What size sensor does the Canon XF400 have?
A CMOS camera measuring 1-inch square is built into the Canon XF400.
What battery does Canon XF400 use?
A Canon BP-828 battery can be found inside the Canon XF400.
What is the price of a 400D camera?
The Canon 400D camera is no longer manufactured and can only be obtained pre-owned or refurbished. Therefore, condition and age are both factors that affect pricing.
Is Canon 400D suitable for photography?
The Canon 400D is an excellent choice for photography, especially for amateur and beginning photographers.
Is Canon 400D a professional camera?
Although it is not considered a professional camera, the Canon 400D can produce pictures of a very high standard.