This month the Royal Australian Airforce celebrated it's 90th anniversary at the Avalon International Air Show.
I wanted to try my hand at shooting some footage at a big air show like aircraft footage guru Yannick Barthe but was worried the 5D mk2 was going to be too difficult a beast to give me the depth of field, auto focus, and stabilisation I needed.
Thats where Graeme Carlton and Michelle Tuddenham of Canon Australia helped out by allowing me to trial out Canon's new prosumer flagship the XF305.
The XF305 is like the old XHA1 on steroids. This camera boasts full HD 1920 x 1080 recording direct to CF card with options we all wanted such as under and over cranking plus quality glass, and audio capture. I forgot how much functionality they put into these cameras after shooting exclusively with a HDSLR since the first 5D came on the market.
I had only a couple of days to shoot with the camera and my inexperience showed with me trying to muscle my way through the first day shooting full manual wasting a lot of shots due to poor manual focusing. I wised up on day two and banged on full auto and went to work. Ahh!!! that was better.
For those who have never shot an airshow it's a lot harder than it looks and I have a new appreciation for those guys who make a living from it. All the usual camera geeks were at the show and the XF305 stood out above the rest and gained quite a few comments.
The light on both days was dull and muddy even though there was full sunshine. The sky looked more grey/brown than blue so I decided to go black and white to give a bit more of an artistic flair. Hope you all like my choice....
The XF305 was the right choice for this job and if I had the time I would of added some 5D footage in also but I was still there to enjoy the show and looking through a small LCD monitor all day kind of spoils the experience.
Thanks again to the guys at Canon Australia for the XF305 and I hope I will be able to have another crack with the camera to shoot what I'm more familiar with, Landscapes.
The lens of the XF300 is an incredible performer. Despite the relatively small sensor, a blurred background can be achieved. The bokeh has a pleasant creamy look, at least to my eyes. You can also notice CA at wide angle, but normally CA is a non issue for this camcorder.
I was able to zoom in until the zoom readout figure says 66. This is as close as you can zoom in while being able to focus on objects almost touching the lens.
Foreground object distance to lens: approx. 1 inch
Lens settings: Iris set to 2,2, Zoom: 66 (start) 0 (finish), ND filter off
Camera settings: 1080/25p, Cinegamma1, Sharpness-3, 0db