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    #11
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    Well to answer my own question, that's a resounding no. In my opinion the XF405 sensor isn't up to scratch for a low light shoot like a concert.

    It's a surprisingly fun little camera for good light doco work. It's never going to rival the IQ or ergonomics of a `C`class camera but on a budget it doesn't do too badly.

    However get the gain up past the mid teens - around 21db in my case out of necessity - and it all goes muddy and noisy fast. So yes, it scraped through but no, I won't be hiring one again for a night interior shoot.


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    #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by xandix View Post
    I have made an Metall Bracket to "Lift up" the Cameras to can change the Battery without remove from the Tripod.

    Attachment 128090
    Do you need weapon permit for that?


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    #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmcdonald View Post
    Well to answer my own question, that's a resounding no. In my opinion the XF405 sensor isn't up to scratch for a low light shoot like a concert.

    It's a surprisingly fun little camera for good light doco work. It's never going to rival the IQ or ergonomics of a `C`class camera but on a budget it doesn't do too badly.

    However get the gain up past the mid teens - around 21db in my case out of necessity - and it all goes muddy and noisy fast. So yes, it scraped through but no, I won't be hiring one again for a night interior shoot.
    There just to be such an elegant solutions to expose the scene correctly, here is an excerpt from my Yashica manual:



    "...a lamp symbol will appear in the Exposure Window and recommend the use of movie-light. "


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    #14
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    To update, we tried shooting one of our races last week utilizing three XF-405s. I played around with the camera a few days before and I have to say that overall, my experience with it is very good, although the camera is definitely not without it's quirks.

    1. In bright daylight outdoors, all of the focusing issues went away, DPAF worked well and out of the all of the footage we shot on three of them, only a few shots had focusing issues, about the same ratio as our C200 A camera.
    2. If you put the camera into WDR, the camera automatically adds 9db of gain. Took me a while to figure out why this was happening, the manual, as most prosumer cameras have, is not very clear about a lot of things. If you go to standard color profile, 0db gain is possible, WDR, 9db, anything below is grayed out. Lame but not a big deal as the images when shot outdoor are obviously plenty lit and saturated.
    3. The whole battery release on the bottom was a none issue as we were shooting handheld mostly and only had one unit on a Sachtler tripod with the older small tripod plate. But yes, if you are using a tripod with a longer tripod plate, I could see how this would be a PITA to deal with.
    4. We have plenty of batteries, 828s and knock offs, we were only getting about 90 minutes from each but that wasn't a big deal for our shoot.
    5. It's very nice to have a small and light weight camera that shoots 4K 60p at 150 Mbps. There were several times when we were hanging over the rail on the front of a bouncing, bucking 18' Boston Whaler in 15' high swells. If we would have had our C200 or the rented C300 MKII we had in that position, it would have been much more difficult to shoot there. For some situations, small, fixed lens servo is just better than S35 digital cinema camera with a non-servo lens.
    6. I liked how face recognition is just on while the DPAF area tracking is also on. As you know, on the C series cameras, it's kind of either or.
    7. We just used the large area and the touchscreen for the DPAF and generally had pretty good amounts of keepers. I think the hunting and weirdness others have experienced is simple lack of illumination. DPAF is not good in super low light or underexposure.
    8. Sound and image look good, I tried some preliminary grading and the footage is pretty hard to tell from C200 .Mp4, it's basically the same, perhaps with a little more softness compared to a sharp lens like the 70-200 2.8 IS II but very usable for our needs.
    9. The lack of a Waveform was the biggest complaint I received from our operators. The little exposure guide gets you in the ballpark as long as you understand how to read it and take it with a grain of salt.
    10. We used Hoodman H400s on the screens with a boost on the luminance and brightness and it worked fine. The EVF is a little tiny but semi-usable.

    Overall, for specific situations, like ours where we need multiple cameras in multiple locations, running and gunning, trying to be unobtrusive with the smaller size and profile and you want the cameras to match up with the C series cameras, the XF-400/405 is a good choice. Not perfect, but for us, the right tool for these race shoots as support for our C200 and C300 MKII. If Canon put a slightly larger battery that lasted longer and was top or side load rather than from the bottom, waveform, better lower light performance with DPAF, and perhaps added C Log, I would buy one. As it is, we will be using them for the remainder of our racing season. The audio setup is very familiar, the handle, weight and size are really great when you want to appear more like an amateur or tourist, which can be very helpful in many documentary situations.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by laverdir View Post
    Do you need weapon permit for that?

    Good Question!

    No one has yet wanted to see my gun license.....
    .....but filming in crisis areas could be difficult.....



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    #16
    Senior Member Jaime Valles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    To update, we tried shooting one of our races last week utilizing three XF-405s. I played around with the camera a few days before and I have to say that overall, my experience with it is very good, although the camera is definitely not without it's quirks.

    1. In bright daylight outdoors, all of the focusing issues went away, DPAF worked well and out of the all of the footage we shot on three of them, only a few shots had focusing issues, about the same ratio as our C200 A camera.
    2. If you put the camera into WDR, the camera automatically adds 9db of gain. Took me a while to figure out why this was happening, the manual, as most prosumer cameras have, is not very clear about a lot of things. If you go to standard color profile, 0db gain is possible, WDR, 9db, anything below is grayed out. Lame but not a big deal as the images when shot outdoor are obviously plenty lit and saturated.
    3. The whole battery release on the bottom was a none issue as we were shooting handheld mostly and only had one unit on a Sachtler tripod with the older small tripod plate. But yes, if you are using a tripod with a longer tripod plate, I could see how this would be a PITA to deal with.
    4. We have plenty of batteries, 828s and knock offs, we were only getting about 90 minutes from each but that wasn't a big deal for our shoot.
    5. It's very nice to have a small and light weight camera that shoots 4K 60p at 150 Mbps. There were several times when we were hanging over the rail on the front of a bouncing, bucking 18' Boston Whaler in 15' high swells. If we would have had our C200 or the rented C300 MKII we had in that position, it would have been much more difficult to shoot there. For some situations, small, fixed lens servo is just better than S35 digital cinema camera with a non-servo lens.
    6. I liked how face recognition is just on while the DPAF area tracking is also on. As you know, on the C series cameras, it's kind of either or.
    7. We just used the large area and the touchscreen for the DPAF and generally had pretty good amounts of keepers. I think the hunting and weirdness others have experienced is simple lack of illumination. DPAF is not good in super low light or underexposure.
    8. Sound and image look good, I tried some preliminary grading and the footage is pretty hard to tell from C200 .Mp4, it's basically the same, perhaps with a little more softness compared to a sharp lens like the 70-200 2.8 IS II but very usable for our needs.
    9. The lack of a Waveform was the biggest complaint I received from our operators. The little exposure guide gets you in the ballpark as long as you understand how to read it and take it with a grain of salt.
    10. We used Hoodman H400s on the screens with a boost on the luminance and brightness and it worked fine. The EVF is a little tiny but semi-usable.

    Overall, for specific situations, like ours where we need multiple cameras in multiple locations, running and gunning, trying to be unobtrusive with the smaller size and profile and you want the cameras to match up with the C series cameras, the XF-400/405 is a good choice. Not perfect, but for us, the right tool for these race shoots as support for our C200 and C300 MKII. If Canon put a slightly larger battery that lasted longer and was top or side load rather than from the bottom, waveform, better lower light performance with DPAF, and perhaps added C Log, I would buy one. As it is, we will be using them for the remainder of our racing season. The audio setup is very familiar, the handle, weight and size are really great when you want to appear more like an amateur or tourist, which can be very helpful in many documentary situations.
    Let this be a lesson to you all: RENT BEFORE YOU BUY. It's the only way to know if a particular camera is the right tool for the job. In Puredrifting's case (outdoor daylight action video) the XF400/405 worked great. In my case (indoor nightclub moody atmosphere concert) the XF400 was a complete bust.

    Glad to hear it worked out well for you, PD. I think I'm still on the lookout for my ideal event video camera. Honestly, I'd love it if Canon made something like this:

    81WG6Lcm4VS._SL1500_.jpg

    1. Comfortable, lightweight shoulder mount design with no need for additional rigs or cages
    2. 1/2" 4K Dual Pixel Autofocus sensor
    3. DPAF face and object tracking like the 1DX II
    4. MP4 internal recording at 150 Mbps to dual SD card slots
    5. 4k 60p, 1080 at 120p
    6. 4K RAW output via HDMI or SDI for external RAW recording
    7. Parfocal servo zoom with manual focus and aperture rings (constant f/2.8 aperture throughout zoom range)
    8. High-res viewfinder built in for shoulder mounted shooting
    9. Flip-out LCD for tripod work (full touchscreen autofocus tracking)
    10. Clean images up to 6400 ISO
    11. XLR inputs on top handle (with audio controls that are easy to access)
    12. Canon LOG available


    I would pay good money for a camera like that.
    Jaime VallÚs
    AJV Media
    Video, Photography & Graphic Design: www.ajvmedia.com


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    #17
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    What this project has shown me thus far is that it's not wise to buy a camera and get locked into it and try to make it work under every set of circumstances. We've been using the C300 MKII and my C200 for on shore b-roll and lots of stand up interviews, both are perfect for that. Ideally, we wanted to rent the Perfect Horizon System for the boats and have my C200 with the 100-400 F4.5-5.6 IS II. But for budget and other reasons, that just didn't work out. So the XF-405s handheld, when our chase boat can get in fairly close 15-25' away, has given us enough keepers to tell the story. It's not ideal and at first I balked at my co-producers idea to shoot on the water with $3k cameras in .MP4 versus C200 Cinema RAW Light that we are shooting on everything else, but in the end, the small, light and inexpensive XF-405s have turned out to be the perfect tool for the job at hand. I am even shooting some b-roll on shore with my iPhone 8 Plus and the Crane M and it's giving us some wonderful footage and the small size and footprint allow us to look more like tourists and less like a professional film crew. That allows us to capture shots that just wouldn't be possible with a big pro looking camera. For documentaries, GETTING the shot is much more important than getting the shot that looks good. That's been my lesson so far on this film.

    The other documentary we are shooting is a completely different story, shooting almost all interiors, much more controlled circumstances. The C200, shooting RAW, with the 17-55 2.8 has been perfect for that project. Although I bought the C200, largely to shoot these two films, I would consider renting other cameras for other projects because no camera is the perfect tool for all projects. Could be a Go Pro, could be an Alexa, just depends on what you are doing.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    #18
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    Well, there's a flip side to that. I appreciate the sharing of thoughts, but it's also a bit curious to read reviews based on mere hours, not weeks or months. Yes, this camera has its quirks (not the least of which seems to be the inability to control the focus point with the joystick!!! -- which the OP didn't even mention). I've been using the XF400 on assignment for 6 weeks now, and I'm not even close to writing up a useful review for my fellow shooters.

    OP: "I haven't even looked at the footage on my computer yet. But I can already tell you it won't look good." Really??? Because the face/object tracking AF on a 1" sensor wasn't performing alongside a cine cam? It just seems to me that this person's assessment is premature, to say the least. All the OP had to say was, I tried it for a few hours in low light and the DPAF performance was disappointing compared to my super-35 chip C100's.

    The statement about the battery plate is curious. I have ZERO issue removing the battery with the LONG manfrotto plate. If the OP put his plate on positioned over the battery release, well, maybe he should just move it forward. Works for me.

    Anyway, I'm hoping to post an extensive review here some point. I'd just caution anyone looking to buy this cam (or anything) look close and hard at who's doing the review. I'm sure Jaime is a smart guy with lots of good observations, so no offense!!

    BTW, the image quality out of this little guy is absolutely phenomenal. It cuts beautifully with my C200. The DPAF does get wonky in low light, but it actually does GREAT with sports. The footage grades nicely.


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    #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gibbygoo View Post
    I appreciate the sharing of thoughts, but it's also a bit curious to read reviews based on mere hours, not weeks or months. Yes, this camera has its quirks (not the least of which seems to be the inability to control the focus point with the joystick!!! -- which the OP didn't even mention). I've been using the XF400 on assignment for 6 weeks now, and I'm not even close to writing up a useful review for my fellow shooters.
    Great in good light seems to be the consensus. I'm okay with writing it off after a few hours use as it just wasn't up to the task of covering a low light event. Unsurprisingly, in retrospect.


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    #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaime Valles View Post
    Let this be a lesson to you all: RENT BEFORE YOU BUY. It's the only way to know if a particular camera is the right tool for the job. In Puredrifting's case (outdoor daylight action video) the XF400/405 worked great. In my case (indoor nightclub moody atmosphere concert) the XF400 was a complete bust.

    Glad to hear it worked out well for you, PD. I think I'm still on the lookout for my ideal event video camera. Honestly, I'd love it if Canon made something like this:

    81WG6Lcm4VS._SL1500_.jpg

    1. Comfortable, lightweight shoulder mount design with no need for additional rigs or cages
    2. 1/2" 4K Dual Pixel Autofocus sensor
    3. DPAF face and object tracking like the 1DX II
    4. MP4 internal recording at 150 Mbps to dual SD card slots
    5. 4k 60p, 1080 at 120p
    6. 4K RAW output via HDMI or SDI for external RAW recording
    7. Parfocal servo zoom with manual focus and aperture rings (constant f/2.8 aperture throughout zoom range)
    8. High-res viewfinder built in for shoulder mounted shooting
    9. Flip-out LCD for tripod work (full touchscreen autofocus tracking)
    10. Clean images up to 6400 ISO
    11. XLR inputs on top handle (with audio controls that are easy to access)
    12. Canon LOG available


    I would pay good money for a camera like that.
    I used to own one of those cameras. It is a JVC GY-HD250U http://pro.jvc.com/prof/attributes/t...&feature_id=02 . It served me well for about 5 years. When I was at NAB NY last week, I told a JVC sales rep I would love for JVC to take the 1" sensor and processor in their new GY-HC500 series cameras http://pro.jvc.com/prof/attributes/f...l_id=MDL102557 and put in a body like the HD250U. Would not need a Frankenrig like I used to have for my C100.


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