First Look: Canon XF605 Camcorder

For a time shorter than I would have liked, I managed to get my hands on a Canon XF605 last week.

Sadly it got purloined by Canon for an Urgent Job so I could not really give it a full test, but here is what I found.

The first thing that struck me was how heavy it was. According to the specifications, total weight is 2Kg (by way of comparison my Panasonic PV100 was 1.5Kg and the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K is 1.2Kg sans lens)

Canon says it is an ideal camera for media, sports and broadcast journalism, and even push the mobility angle, but I am sure for me at least, I’d want access to a tripod as much as possible.

Or maybe I am just getting old and feeble. It just felt heavier than simply ½ a kg more than the PV100.

But in truth, having reviewed just about every XF model since they the ranges’ inception, that is the only negative I could find during its short stay here.

So what do you get for you’re a-little-under-$7k?

Specifications and Goodies

I’ll get to the specs in a minute; one of the major selling pints of the XF605 is connectivity. For example, vi an App called – wait for it – the Canon Content Transfer Mobile App (whew, snappy naming huh?), you can transfer recorded data either wirelessly or via a cable to iOS devices and then transfer to ftp servers back at base.

I couldn’t find any mention of Android so perhaps that is down the track.

You also get ethernet connectivity, SDI, USB, HDMI and recording is to twin SD cards. Speaking of which you can simultaneously record to both cards and in different formats. For example, card A might contain XF-AFC whilst card is in MP4, or card A is 4K and card b is 2K. You can even just record audio to one card and video to the other.

The imagery is captured to a 1 inch CMOS sensor and processed by Canon’s trusty DIGIC DV7 engine. This allows the capture of 4K/60p / 4:2:2 10 bit HDR video, or alternatively, 120fps full HD.

In front of all this of course is the glass, and Canon has opted for a lens giving 15x optical zoom (25.5 to 382.5mm) and a focal length between F/2.8 and 4.5.

There is a switchable built in 3 density ND system and image stabilisation is optical. For control you get 3 rings.

Autofocus is something that Canon also trumpets about with the XF605 with touch focus and face detection AF being built in as is a “dual pixel” system to tell the user if the focus is at the front or back.

There is a swag of custom picture settings too as you can see from the table.

Ergonomics

Canon has been making the XF series for a while now. I think our first review was back in around 2008 and there was a model or two before that off memory. As such, they have the ergo-thing pretty much down pat.

All the controls are where controls should be, ditto connectivity points etc etc. So really nothing to see here we haven’t covered before. Just that weight thing as mentioned, but as also said, that might just be me.

I’ve always felt the XF series was built a bit like the Hi-Lux ute. It’s been designed to do a job and do it efficiently and without any fuss.

You can pick one up and within a few moments have worked out how to best use its capabilities and just, well get on with it, knowing the results will always be there.

So, as always, well done Canon. I reckon the rental places will be buying these in droves.

Go and have a test drive.

All the fine details on specifications etc can be found here.

 

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