Today Canon releases the Canon XF705, their new 1″-sensor camcorder, headlining features like 4k 50p internal capture, HDR-capability and a new file format. The Canon XF705 relieves the Canon XF405 as Canon’s new flagship broadcast camcorder, with 4:2:2 internal capture to SD-cards, Canon’s signature Dual Pixel AF as well as a 15x stabilised fixed zoom lens. Time to find out more.
The Same but Better
Basically, the Canon XF705 seems to offer most of everything the Canon XF405 had to offer and then some more. It still features 4k 50p/60p capture, the same 25.5mm to 382.5mm equiv. F2.8 – 4.5, 15x optical (probably 30x digital) zoom lens and the DIGIC DV6 processor, handling the output from the 1″ CMOS sensor. Canon’s reliable Dual Pixel AF (active or indicative) is still on board and so are two XLR-inputs in the handle and a touch-capable display, that can be folded away into the handle. The camcorder has an internal ND filter, two SD card slots and uses Canon BP style batteries.
So what is new?
The biggest improvements are found in the software. The Canon XF705 now offers internal 10bit 4:2:2 capture to SD cards even in 4k 50p. This is made possible by the new codec included in the camcorder, called XF-HEVC. In simple terms, XF-HEVC uses H.265 compression in tandem with the widely used MXF, as a container format. This format has to be highly efficient to allow the processing necessary for high-res, -bit-rate and -frame-rate shooting, even with the same processor used in the Canon XF405. The Canon XF705 also suits HDR-workflows, allowing shooters and editors to use both Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) and PQ based HDR workflows.
On the handling side, the lens now offers three control rings, for zoom, iris and focus, while the Canon XF405’s lens only had one control ring. Additionally, there is a zoom speed toggle on the handle and a zoom rocker on the right side’s handle. The SDI output connection was upgraded to 12G, sending out an uncompressed signal.
The improved codec and software efficiency in tandem with the SDI upgrade, allows for some workflow improvements too. For combined SDR / HDR workflows, the Canon XF705 is able to simultaneously record HDR internally, as well as output SDR via SDI, or stream it over a network connection for broadcast applications.
Here’s an overview of the most important features:
- 4k 50p in 10bit 4:2:2 internal capture to SD cards
- Dual Pixel AF
- 25.5mm to 382.5mm equiv. F2.8 – 4.5, 15x optically stabilised zoom
- XF-HEVC-codec (H.265 and MXF combined)
- 12G SDI with uncompressed output
- IP streaming
- HDR (HLG or PQ)
- Simultaneous SDR and HDR workflows
- 3 control rings on the lens
- Internal ND filter
The Canon XF705 presents an interesting option, mainly for professionals working in ENG, broadcast or documentary. We’ll gladly tell you more when we get our hands on one.
Are you an ENG-style shooter and is the Canon XF705 interesting to you, or would you stick with the smaller Canon XF405? Do you think Canon’s new flagship camcorder is well spec’ed, or are you missing something? And how confident are you in your editing machine’s capability to work with the H.265-based codec? Let us know in the comments!