Photography and Art

Press Release: XF305 & XF300 Pro Camcorders

7 April 2010

Canon has introduced two high end handheld video cameras for the professionals. The XF305 and the XF300 make use of the new MPEG-2 Full HD (4.2.2) recording codec. With the capability to capture videos using data transfer rates up to 50Mpbs from the 3CMOS image sensor high quality movies can be produced for filmmaking or broadcasting. Both cameras an L series HD video lens with an 18x zoom and a 29.3mm wide angle view. The lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.6.


Press Release:

Redefining professional handheld video: Canon launches first MPEG-2 Full HD (4:2:2) file-based camcorders

United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 7th April 2010 – Canon today redefines the professional handheld video camera market with the launch of the XF305 and XF300 – two revolutionary, file-based video cameras that are the first models to use the new MPEG-2 Full HD (4:2:2) recording codec recently adopted by Canon.

Designed to offer exceptional image quality and seamless workflow compatibility for a wide range of professional uses, the new XF models feature technology unrivalled in their class.

An outstanding, all-new camera system comprises a Canon L-series HD Video Lens, 3CMOS sensor system and highly advanced DIGIC DV III processing. MPEG-2, Full HD video is recorded as industry-standard MXF (Material eXchange Format) files to Compact Flash memory cards, using data transfer rates of up to 50Mbps and rich 4:2:2 colour sampling, capturing more colour information for post production.

XF305 and XF300 combine excellent imaging systems with a design that delivers advanced mobility and versatility. The broad feature set and adaptability of these models will allow users to shoot in almost any situation and for any given purpose, from independent filmmaking to commercial broadcast.

Market leading performance

XF305 and XF300 have been designed to provide outstanding image quality. For the first time ever in a handheld professional video camera, the new models utilise the MPEG-2 Full HD recording codec with 4:2:2 colour sampling at up to 50Mbps, capturing broadcast-quality footage in stunning detail.

In order to take full advantage of this advanced codec, which offers twice the colour resolution of HDV and other 4:2:0 recording formats, Canon has developed a new HD video system combining its renowned DIGIC DV III processing power with an advanced sensor system and specially developed 18x Canon L-series lens, manufactured to meet stringent broadcast standards. The 1/3 type Canon 3CMOS sensor system offers exceptional colour accuracy, wide dynamic range and low noise. High-speed data readout technology developed by Canon also minimises rolling-shutter skew that can occur in other CMOS camcorders.

Seamless workflow integration

Both new XF models record industry standard MXF files, an open-source file format compatible with major file-based workflow systems used by professionals today. At the time of launch, XF camcorders are fully compatible with major editing and processing software packages from Adobe Systems Incorporated, Apple Inc., Avid Technology Inc. and Grass Valley, ensuring videographers can immediately integrate XF305 and XF300 into their workflow.

Video shot on the new XF camcorders will be written directly to a Compact Flash (CF) card in one of the two available slots. While recording, the card not in use can be exchanged to ensure hours of uninterrupted video capture. Both models also support relay recording, allowing capture to seamlessly continue on a second card as soon as the first becomes full.

For easy viewing and management of clips on the move, both models are supplied with Canon’s XF Utility software for PC and Mac, which enables users to back-up clips, edit metadata stored in the MXF files, preview clips and write them back to a CF card.

Canon optical excellence – high quality, L-series lens

Canon lenses are already favoured by the majority of broadcasters, providing outstanding resolution, contrast and low chromatic aberration. The new XF305 and XF300 feature an L-series HD Video Lens, combining a 29.3mm wide-angle with fast maximum aperture (F1.6) and a versatile 18x zoom – providing stunning performance from the wide to the tele ends of the zoom.

The zoom and focus rings have physical end stops when used in manual mode, for fast and repeatable operation. An independent iris ring allows control of aperture, while two rocker controls are available for manual control of zoom. Canon’s unique Instant AF system also provides fast and accurate auto focus.

Previously only available in Canon broadcast TV lenses, high index, ultra-low dispersion (Hi-UD) glass is placed at the front of the lens path in order to suppress chromatic aberration. Hi-UD combines with ultra-low dispersion (UD), ultra-high refractive index aspherical (UA) and two double-sided aspherical elements, providing sharp, detailed images, free from chromatic aberration.

Engineered using the highest quality Canon optical components, the lens has been designed to perfectly complement Canon’s 3CMOS sensor system, capturing up to 1,000 lines of horizontal resolution. A new image stabilizer (IS) system offers three modes of stabilisation - Standard, Dynamic and Powered - providing impressive camera shake correction.

Easy operation, effective performance, enhanced durability

XF305 and XF300 also feature a 1.55 million dot EVF with 100% coverage and a unique, front-mounted, high-resolution LCD system that can be easily switched from left to right to suit any individual and shooting situation. The largest LCD in its class at 10.1cm (4”), with a 1.23 million dot resolution, the screen offers unparalleled clarity and flexibility for High Definition shooting.

The new XF models feature completely revised ergonomics, incorporating feedback from professional users. An enhanced control layout provides intuitive operation and the centrally positioned grip achieves optimum balance. These design enhancements combine to ensure that individual XF operators can film comfortably, over prolonged periods of time and in varying conditions.

Extensive customisation

Both XF models feature a wide range of user customisation options, providing unmatched versatility and flexibility. Users can configure up to 26 Custom Picture parameters, controlling more than 50 individual, image-related variables. XF operators can also assign one of 30 individual functions to each of 13 customisable buttons, allowing them to optimise the camcorder for their personal shooting preferences, environmental or stylistic considerations.

A variety of industry standard gamma curves can be selected, offering videographers the ability to choose the exact style to suit their intended use. For example, footage can be optimised for a specific customer or for transfer to film.

Up to nine ‘customised pictures’ can be stored to each body, including three protected settings supplied as standard - VIDEO.C, CINE.V and CINE.F. Preferred settings can be saved and transferred from one camcorder to another via SDHC cards – particularly useful for maintaining a creative style across camcorder bodies or for organisations that may want to ensure uniform set-up across multiple camcorder units.

Slow and fast motion video recording also expands creative possibilities. Fast motion shooting allows videographers to speed up recorded action by capturing fewer frames per second. Slow motion recording captures more frames per second, enabling users to slow footage down during playback at the normal frame rate. Videographers have a total of 20 speeds to choose from, providing an advanced selection of options to capture a range of visual effects.

Advanced audio and connectivity

Both models record 16-bit linear PCM audio at 48kHz, providing the high quality audio signal required for professional or broadcast content. An integrated microphone records stereo sound, with the option of connecting external microphones or other sources via two in-built XLR terminals.

For enhanced integration in the studio or multi-camera shoots, the XF305 also features an HD-SDI output, GENLOCK input and Timecode input/output.

Canon Professional Services

XF305/XF300 owners qualify for membership of Canon Professional Services (CPS) Video. The CPS Video service offers professional users of Canon products exclusive, free access to a range of benefits, such as a priority repair service and direct support from Canon Professional Representatives across Europe.


The XF305 and XF300 will be available in the UK and Ireland from June 2010.


Mini News

22 November 2012: Sigma 18-250mm now available in Sony's A-Mount

Sigma Imaging UK Ltd has announced that the 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM lens is now available at a suggested retail price of £499.99. Sigma's APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens will shortly be available in Sony's A-Mount for a suggested retail price of £1499.99.


17 October 2012: Firmware update for Sony NEX 7 v1.01

Sony NEX firmware update provides the following;

  • Addition of capability to enable or disable the MOVIE button
  • Addition of exposure settings of bracket shooting (three frames /1.0EV,2.0EV, 3.0EV)
  • Improvement of response for showing auto review image.
  • Improvement of image quality when using a wide angle lens
  • Improvement of indication when setting “Flexible Spot”.

Visit the link: http://www.sony.co.uk/support/en/product/NEX-7/updates

Firmware updates are also available for the a77, a65, and a57.


15 October 2012: Purchase Sigma's 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM ultra wide angle lens and claim FREE 77mm UV DG filter

From Monday 15th October 2012, Sigma Imaging UK Ltd are introducing a short term special offer that enables anyone who purchases Sigma’s multi-award winning 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM ultra-wide angle lens to claim a FREE Sigma 77mm UV DG filter worth over £60!

A Sigma Ultra Violet filter is the perfect accessory to protect your lens from damage to the front element. Sigma’s DG filters benefit from a special multi-layer lens coating, developed to counteract the highly reflective characteristic of image sensors.

Terms and Conditions apply. Visit www.sigma-imaging-uk.com or ask your local photographic retailer for more details of this offer and how to claim your FREE Sigma 77mm UV DG filter.