Quote Originally Posted by gibbygoo View Post
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.
You're absolutely right that this was not a thorough review of the XF400. I was hoping to put together a comprehensive review after using the camera on several paying gigs. But because of the issues I mentioned in the original post, I saw no need to use the camera anymore, as it simply didn't suit my needs. But, you're right, I probably should have named the thread "XF400 first impressions" instead of "review."

The Manfrotto tripod plate I used wouldn't slide farther forward to allow me to remove the battery with it still attached. Now, it's entirely probable that the plate I was using was not a standard Manfrotto plate, since I have a lot of them here and most are knock-off generic plates from Ebay. (They work with 3 different Manfrotto tripod heads and with a Sachtler FSB-8, so I assumed they were all the same as the brand name plates, but they may not be.) I definitely believe you that your long plate fit the XF400 properly and allowed you to exchange the battery, so I stand corrected on that. However, if I'm not mistaken, I think you'd still have to remove the camera from the tripod head in order to change batteries, and that alone is enough of a deal breaker for me.

As for not even looking at the footage on my computer before deciding the camera wouldn't fit my needs, I didn't have to. It doesn't matter if the image quality was as good as an Alexa. I knew the footage was unusable because the autofocus was going haywire. It's not that it wasn't quite as good as my C100. It was hunting for focus constantly. It would focus on the pianist for a few seconds, then suddenly shift to the curtain in the background, then to an audience member's silhouetted head in the foreground, then to nothing, making the entire screen one big blur. It behaved like this the entire concert, so I had to write off that angle. Luckily, there were 3 other cameras capturing the event. But even before going to the moody jazz concert, I tested the camera at home and the autofocus was mediocre at best.

The C100 with DPAF is great, but it's *old* these days. Right now, it costs only $2000 brand new, which is $700 less than the XF400. I expected the XF400 to have an easier time getting things in focus, because it has a smaller sensor with significantly shallower depth of field. And I expected the focus tracking selection to be as straightforward as the Canon 1DX Mark II, but it was made unnecessarily complicated, which left me puzzled.

The reason I wanted the XF400 was to use it for event recording in typically dimly lit venues and have the autofocus track the performer's face. I tried it, and it wasn't able to do what I needed. Lots of people on DVX User do the same type of work as I do, so I thought I'd share my experience with the camera. That's all. I repeatedly stated that the camera wasn't good for my needs, which may be different than yours. Pudedrifting successfully used several XF400 cameras on speedboats for a project recently, and I'm sure lots of others have found it to be a great camera, such as yourself. I absolutely recommend that anyone interested in this camera rent it first to make sure it works for them before buying it.