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Canon XF305/XF300 - Why 1/3 inch sensors?

29 April 2010

Last night was the launch of the new Canon XF300 and XF305 MPEG2 camcorders. Unfortunately I couldn't go as I was talking at the Midlands area IOV meeting but Yoann kindly went in my absence. One question I was dying to have answered was why go to all the trouble of having 50Mbps data transfer rates and 4:2:2 colour sampling yet only use 1/3" sensors.

I understand that one of the speakers last night said they would trade in their EX1 for a Canon XF. But there was no quantifying of that statement with regards imagery. Are we to believe that these 1/3" CMOS sensors are at least the equal or better than the 1/2" ones to be found on the XDCAM EX range? They do need to be good - £6k for a 1/3" sensor camera is looking quite expenive.

It's a question I'm longing to find out and I'm ever hopeful I might get my hands on one soon so I can answer it!