Canon lifted its pre-NAB veil of silence with news of upgrades to their XF305 and XF300 Camcorders. This information did not make it into our April NAB issue–so here’s the rundown. New firmware for the XF300-series camcorders includes Canon’s 3D Assist Function (to simplify 3D set up), updated Scan Reverse function, Double Slot Recording for instantant backup, and the option to disable Relay Recording. Canon will be demonstrating 3D with their XF305 and XF300 at NAB booth # C4325.
Canon’s 3D Assist Function facilitates the setup of two XF305 or XF300 Professional Camcorders. The new firmware includes the ability to perform OIS (optical image stabilization) Lens Shift to aid in optically aligning two XF305 or XF300 camcorders and a Focal Length Guide to display the zoom position of each camera in relation to each other and help calibrate zoom settings. This adjustment can be done through the menu system while the camcorders are mounted on a rig. Once aligned, the amount of the angle-of-view change is displayed after zoom adjustment. This is similar to the 3D shooting functionality found in Canon’s XF105 and XF100 camcorders.
The new firmware updates the Scan Reverse function of XF300-series camcorders to allow recorded images to be flipped on the horizontal axis, vertical axis, or both simultaneously — for working with 3D mirror rigs.
This new function allows the camcorders to record simultaneously to both card slots for instant backup of important footage and files. Almost like RAID recording.
Relay Recording On/Off
Relay Recording, records to the second CF card as the first fills up, and it can now be turned off to prevent capture from automatically being recorded to the second card. This permits the second card to be protected from recording and used only when designated or to allow the user to only copy or back up select takes to the card.
The XF300-series camcorders use Canon’s XF Codec, anMPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps codec for 1920 x 1080 HD video recording onto affordable Compact Flash (CF) cards. Video, audio and metadata are recorded as a single file. The Canon XF305 and XF300 use an MXF (Material eXchange Format) File Wrapper, a widely supported open-source format.
The Canon XF305 (under $8,000) and XF300 (around $6,700) Camcorders include a Canon 18x HD L-series lens. Canon’s XF305 model has HD-SDI output, genlock, and SMPTE time code (in/out) connectors.