Canon has announced a successor to its XF705 camcorder in the form of the brand new XF605.
The XF605 takes a similar concept to the previous XF705 but places it within a much smaller body. If you've used the 705, you'll know that it was a bit of a beast, but a capable one at that. The XF605 comes in at 600g lighter than its predecessor, with a total weight of 2kg.
Canon XF605 specifications
The XF605 can record 4K at 50/60p with 4:2:2 colour resolution and 10-bit tonal precision. Moreover, in what has become a standard expectation these days, the device can record 120p in FHD resolution.
Image information is captured via a 1-inch CMOS sensor and processed with a DIGIC DV 7 processor.
1-inch sensor sizes are a great compromise between creative control over field depth and manageable focus on the fly. Coupled with Canon's famed Dual Pixel autofocus system with head and eye detection and 5-axis image stabilisation, the XF605 should make for an efficient day-to-day workhorse.
Although they are still servo-linked, the integrated lens features three control rings for focus, zoom, and iris. The lens is, however, designated within Canon's top tier L series. The 35mm equivalent focal length ranges from 25.5mm through to a rather massive 382.5mm with a maximum aperture of f/2.8, although this drops to around f/4 at the long end.
The camcorder also features a three-position motor-driven ND filter stage with ND1/4, ND1/16, and ND1/64 settings. Canon went to great lengths with the engineering of this system to make it much lighter and thinner than before.
Another new feature of the XF605 is a new type of multi-function hot shoe. The new shoe is compatible with all previous hot or cold shoe accessories, but it is designed for Canon's new range of accessories for the XF605. The first of these is the CA-XLR2d-C XLR microphone adaptor (try saying that in a hurry). The XF605 already has two XLR inputs with phantom power, but this new adaptor allows an additional two XLR inputs that can be individually assigned to audio channels three and four. It sounds like a great idea, giving you complete flexibility to record four independent audio tracks. More accessories for this shoe will be available in the future.
Usefully, these audio channels can be laid down by the camera as separate audio files with timecode embedding, making it easy for users who might need to send a file for transcription or review quickly.
The user interface has undergone a revamp from previous models to take full advantage of the touch screen. Although physical buttons are still an option, all functions can be adjusted with touch now.
The XF605 features capabilities that are we expect of an all-in-one camcorder, such as clear-scan shutter adjustment and a 3-second pre-record cache. Although these days, I would perhaps expect a slightly larger cache setting. Live streaming is also catered for with support for different protocols and remote control so it can operate alongside Canon's PTZ cameras. The 605 can also function as a webcam via its USB-C plug.
External monitoring can occur via 12-G SDI or HDMI, while Genlock and TC are all present and correct. Power is via easy to obtain BP series batteries. Power draw looks very good with around 13.6W in 50p with LongGOP 260Mbps recording and 12.1W at 25P intraframe at 410Mbps.
The device features 11 assignable buttons with over 100 assignable functions. Curiously gain is handled differently to most camcorders in that there's a boost button, which takes the device to around +6db. Canon is calling this "High Sensitivity Mode", although it is just gain. So if you want higher gain, you will need to assign it to one of the assignable function buttons. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer the traditional style L, M, H physical switch!
The recording formats for the XF605 are either XF-AVC, which, as I alluded to earlier, can be intraframe or to an MP4 container recording either H.264 or HEVC LongGOP compression. Both of those format types can record full 4:2:2 10-bit imagery. In addition, simultaneous recording of lower resolution proxy files is possible. The footage records to SD card via one of the two media slots. These can be set to simultaneous, individual, or relay recording, depending on your requirements at the time.
Finally, the XF605 is compatible with the new Canon Content Transfer Mobile app, which allows footage transfer to broadcast servers and the editing of metadata. In addition, the metadata system on the camcorder is compatible with the NewsML-G2 standard.
Once again, it's good to see that the all-in-one camcorder is still going strong. If the XF605 matches the build quality of the XF705, this will be a device that users can depend on for years to come. Unfortunately, it's all too easy to fall into the mirrorless full-frame trap when a camcorder like this would be much better suited to bread and butter workhorse filming.
The Canon XF605 will retail for £3,599 ex VAT. Find out more on the Canon website.