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Canon XF300 Review

Canon’s first foray into the realm of professional solid-state video acquisition was accomplished with the production of the XF300 Professional Camcorder. The XF300 is the latest addition to Canon’s well-regarded XH family of tape-based camcorders. It records Full HD footage on more cost-effective Compact Flash cards by utilizing the most recent HD technology, as well as Canon’s recently created MPEG-2 4:2:2 codec.

There are three 1920 x 1080 CMOS sensors, multiple bit rates (up to 50Mbps), variable resolution and frame rates, industry-standard MXF file wrappers, a newly developed L-Series 18x zoom lens, HDMI/Component/Composite outputs, and full image customization. All of these features are contained within a sleek and compact body.

The XF300 is the ideal instrument for applications such as ENG, documentaries, independent features, and event videography because of its high levels of picture quality, ergonomics, and control.

MPEG-2 50Mbps Codec

The Canon XF Codec, which is an adaption of MPEG-2 for the Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder, offers the widest possible compatibility with the current industry infrastructure and non-linear editing (NLE) systems.

And by making use of an MXF file wrapper, not only can audio and video be bundled into a single file, but also essential information may be included. The continuous bit rate of 50 Mbps that the codec delivers is the bandwidth that is required to capture the better resolution and color of the XF300 in breathtaking detail.


A sampling of colors in a 4:2:2 ratio

The XF300 is capable of supporting the maximum possible HD quality, with a resolution of 1920 by 1080 in Full HD, a bit rate of up to 50Mbps, and 4:2:2 color sampling. When compared to HDV and other codecs that employ 4:2:0 color sampling, the color resolution that may be achieved with 4:2:2 color sampling is twice as high. 4:2:2 retains the greatest quality image for usage in post-production procedures like as chroma keying, color grading, sophisticated compositing, and effects. It also allows ultra-fine transitions in tone and color.

Compact Flash cards are used for recording.

  • The XF300 differs from other camcorders in that it does not use a proprietary memory system.
  • recordings onto Compact Flash (CF) cards, which are convenient, affordable, and widely accessible. The
  • CF card slots on both sides of the camera, in addition to a wide variety of recording options
  • providing file copying and backup, hot swapping, relay recording, and pre-recording capabilities.

The use of file-based recording makes workflow more efficient by cutting down on the amount of time spent transferring video to nonlinear editing (NLE) systems. In addition, information may be added throughout the process of acquiring a picture, and imagery can be inspected immediately after recording in order to guarantee that each shot is appropriately caught and registered.

CMOS image sensors with a resolution of 1920 by 1080 from Canon three in total

The XF300 camcorder, which was newly designed and is manufactured solely by Canon, includes three native 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensors, which allow for exceptional Full HD video recording with very little noise. These 1/3-inch sensors make it possible to construct a lens and body that are more compact, which results in more mobility and faster shooting.

Multiple options for frame rate, resolution, and bit rate

The XF300 Professional Camcorder has a wide variety of recording modes, resolutions, and frame rates, making it a very versatile piece of equipment that can function in practically any kind of production setting. Users will discover that the camcorder can handle any task, as it can record at resolutions ranging from the best quality 50Mbps Full HD to the HDV-compliant 25Mbps. In addition, the XF300 Professional Camcorder provides users with a broad selection of frame rates from which to choose. You may customize the appearance of your video by selecting the appropriate option from 60i, 60p, 30p, and 24p.

Image Processor with DIGIC DV III Technology from Canon

The XF300 is equipped with Canon’s powerful DIGIC DV III Image Processor, which results in improved shading, more lifelike tonal gradations, more customizable image settings, and a reduction in battery consumption. Genuine Canon Face Detection is also powered by DIGIC DV III, which serves as the high-speed engine for the feature. Mobile videographers will find the ability to zero down on a single person of interest among a larger group of people quite useful.
Genuine Canon 18x HD L-Series Lens

A genuine Canon 18x HD L-Series lens with a wide and amazing zoom range of 29.3 – 527.4mm is included in the Canon XF300 Professional Camcorder. This lens was designed with the same high degree of optical accuracy as is used in Canon broadcast and photography lenses (35mm equivalent). The lens uses High Index – Ultra-low Dispersion (HI-UD), Ultra-low Dispersion (UD), and aspherical components in order to eliminate chromatic aberration while giving a resolution of 1,000 TV lines.

Instant AF

When capturing video in high definition, achieving and maintaining perfect focus is more important than ever before. Instant AF is a proprietary method developed by Canon that combines an external autofocus sensor with the company’s famous autofocus system to achieve rapid and precise focusing.
The combination of the two sensors shortens the amount of time needed to focus—even in conditions with low light, poor contrast, or high brightness—and improves the camera’s ability to concentrate on challenging scenes.

SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer

In addition, the XF300 comes equipped with a newly developed SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization technology (lens shift) that features three different modes: Standard, Dynamic, and Powered.

A Comparison between Slow Motion and Fast Motion

The XF300’s Slow Motion Mode and Fast Motion Mode provide users the ability to record at a frame rate that is different from the playback frame rate, giving the impression of either fast or slow motion during playback. Because the camera is capturing real frames and altering the playback rate, there is no loss in picture quality, and the camera is able to retain the highest possible image quality.

Recording at Regular Intervals

Users are able to set the camera to capture a predetermined number of frames at predetermined intervals when they make use of this capability. Because the method may be used to study natural events over lengthy periods of time, it is appropriate for use in applications that include time-lapse photography. The interval may be set anywhere between one second and ten minutes over 25 different levels. In addition, frame recording is allowed, which enables a set number of frames to be captured at once. This feature is perfect for applications such as clay animation projects.

Brilliant Ergonomics

The XF300 establishes a brand-new benchmark with regard to the ergonomic design of tiny professional camcorders. It has been developed from the ground up to provide the highest levels of use and comfort when shooting handheld. The controls are perfectly positioned, giving the impression that the camera is an organic extension of the operator’s body. The revised architecture of the XF300 makes it very easy to understand how to use the camcorder, which is another benefit of this model. The button layout, camera menu system, and camera controls will feel instantly intuitive to consumers who are new to the product as well as those who are switching from other products.

4″ 1.23MP LCD Monitor

LCD monitors with 4″ displays and 1.23 megapixels give users a broad, precise region for vital focus confirmation as well as an almost entirely usable field of vision. The display may be opened on either the right or left side of the camera body; it rotates freely around the body of the device. In addition to this, the display has an extra forward mobility of 35 degrees beyond its typical position.

Viewfinder with a High Resolution of 1.55 Megapixels

Because of its 0.52-inch, 1.55-megapixel color electronic viewfinder (EVF), the XF300 allows for easy viewing as well as the accurate judgment of composition, focus, and color. The field of view coverage is nearly 100%. Adjusting the angle of the viewfinder provides an extra level of user comfort and is necessary when utilizing the LCD display as a monitoring tool. When you are hand-holding the camera, you may utilize the EVF as a cheek pad to give yourself three points of contact and increase your stability. During longer recording sessions and long days of filming, this makes it a lot simpler to control and operate the camcorder.

System for Edge Monitors to Assist with Focus

A red and green monitor appears at the bottom of the LCD display when using the new Edge Monitor Focus Assist technology from Canon. Additionally, the display depicts three red focus check regions that are spread out throughout the screen. The focus state of the focus check boxes is displayed by the red waveform, while the overall focus of the picture is displayed by the green waveform. The user is able to intuitively tune focus within a scene and swiftly alter the zone of focus thanks to this dynamic focus feedback.


In standby and record mode (on both the LCD panel and the EVF), the XF300 operator has access to two peaking modes as well as a magnify focus help feature. This makes it very simple for the operator to verify and confirm the camera’s vital focus.

Exceptional Customization

Users of the XF300 have complete manual control over all of the camera’s features, allowing them to adjust their shooting to a variety of creative and technical obstacles. Users have access to a wide range of customizable options, including Custom Picture Settings, Custom Functions, and Custom Display Options, which allow them to adapt the camera to their own requirements for creative work and production. When using several XF305 and XF300 camcorders, it is possible to store any combination of these elements to an SD memory card for a simple and streamlined setup and matching process.

Personalized Options for the Photograph

You have the ability to manually configure a wide range of image quality improvements and then save those settings as one of nine distinct presets. These are the parameters that may be altered: gamma, black level, black gamma, low key saturation, knee, sharpness, noise reduction, skin detail, selective noise reduction, color matrix, white balance, color correction, and setup level.

Individualized Workflows

The operation of the XF300 may be further fine-tuned by making use of the custom functions that are available. This makes it possible for the camcorder to accurately reflect the way you shoot. Adjustments may be made to a total of 12 distinct elements, such as the Shockless Gain, the Shockless White Balance, the AE Response, the Iris Limit, the Iris Ring Direction, the Focus Ring Control, and the Character Record. In addition, the XF300 is equipped with 13 control buttons that may be programmed to perform a variety of different purposes.

Personalized Presentation

Utilizing the Custom Display option, you are able to program up to 32 display components to generate an LCD/EVF that is tailored to your precise requirements. There are a variety of options available for selection, such as Zoom Position, Audio Level, Remaining Record Time, Exposure, Object Distance, and Time Code, amongst others.

MXF Wrapper

Information Exchange Format (MXF) is a container format that has been defined globally for the transfer of video and audio material. The XF300 employs MXF as its file structure since it is compatible with it. When using the MXF file format, it is possible to combine audio and video into a single file, in addition to including essential information. Not only will the XF300 benefit from the maximum degree of compatibility with NLE systems thanks to MXF, but it will also benefit from compatibility with high-end network systems that are utilized by a large number of networks and production studios.


Aside from giving the professional user complete control over the image, the Canon XF300 also gives the user complete creative freedom when it comes to the camera’s inputs and outputs. The camera has an HDMI Output, a Component Video Output (using the included DTC-1500 cable), a Composite Video Output (BNC and 3.5mm), a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Terminal, and a Remote Control Terminal (compatible with LANC protocol).

Audio Equipment

In addition to a stereo microphone and two XLR audio inputs with +48V phantom power, the XF300 features a built-in headphone amplifier. While the XLR connections allow for interconnection to external microphones and other professional audio devices, the built-in microphone delivers superb audio quality even in high-stakes scenarios. You have the option to use both the XLR input and the built-in microphone at the same time if you so want.

Audio is captured using the 16-bit PCM format at a 48kHz sampling rate to ensure the highest possible quality and fidelity. In addition, users may choose between automatic and complete manual gain control for both the built-in microphone as well as the XLR inputs. It is also possible to lock the dial, which will prevent any alterations in the recorded audio level.

The Waveform Monitor as well as the Vectorscope

During the recording process, videographers rely on these capabilities to validate the exposure and color levels that have been captured accurately. The Canon XF300 camcorder contains a waveform monitor and vectorscope that are incorporated right into the camera, which is a feature that is often only available on the pricey external equipment. The waveform monitor provides a comprehensive analysis of the overall brightness of the image as well as its RGB components. Because the onboard vectorscope allows real-time analysis of picture hue and saturation, it is simple to evaluate the color balance and observe how the white balance modifications have affected the image.

Bars of Color with a Tone of Reference

There are two distinct options available for the color bars: Type 1 (in accordance with SMPTE) or Type 2 (in accordance with ARIB); 1 kHz Note on the tone of reference: -12dB, -18dB, 20dB or OFF


The manufacturing process is not complete without a flow of work that is unobstructed and effective. The XF Codec is supported by some of the most prominent brands in the industry, including Adobe, Apple, Avid, and Grass Valley. This offers the greatest level of compatibility with the non-linear editing software and hardware that is already in place.

Intelligent Battery System

The XF300 is able to use Canon’s newest Intelligent Lithium-ion batteries, the BP-955 and BP-975, without any issues. These batteries provide feedback to the camcorder on the amount of remaining run time (down to the minute) as well as data regarding wear, allowing the user to stay fully aware at all times. When out in the field, the remaining battery life may be immediately assessed thanks to four LED LEDs located on the exterior of the battery. Additionally, current Canon BP-900 series batteries may be utilized with the camcorder without modification. Additionally, batteries can be added and withdrawn even when the AC power cord that was given is attached.

Taking Photographs

The XF300 has the capability of capturing still images at a resolution of 1920 by 1080, making it suitable for applications such as storyboarding, continuity, and publicity shots. During the recording process, still, photographs may be saved to an SD memory card, and during playback, individual frames can be “grabbed” for later viewing.

Software for Canon XF Cameras That Comes Bundled

The XF Utility program offered by Canon provides a streamlined initial step in the process of organizing and playing back your clips, and it is compatible with usage on platforms offered by both Mac and Windows. In addition, the program has the capability to tag, add, and update metadata, as well as manage lists of clips that may be shown in a variety of formats. In addition to that, it is an effective method of backing up many types of media.

Canon XF300 specifications


Built-In ND FilterMechanical Filter Wheel with 2 Stop (1/4), 4 Stop (1/16), 6 Stop (1/64) ND Filters
Minimum Illumination0.8 Lux


Optical Zoom Ratio18x
Maximum Aperturef/1.6 to 2.8
Filter Size82 mm
Video I/O1 x BNC (Composite) Output
1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRRS A/V (Composite) Output
1 x HDMI Output
Audio I/O2 x 3-Pin XLR Mic/Line Input
1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Headphone Output
Other I/O1 x Mini-USB
1 x 2.5 mm Sub-Mini (LANC) Control


Operating Temperature32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C

Packaging Info

Package Weight13.4 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)18 x 12 x 10″

Canon XF300 Price

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