Canon 3D upgrades for XF300/305 and XF100/105

Canon XF305

I’ve absolutely no experience at all of shooting 3D. In common with many people out there, it’s a new technology that doesn’t apply to me. Yet.
But looking at the latest press release from Canon, it seems that it won’t be long before I’m thinking about it a whole lot more. New firmware released for the XF100 and XF300 series cameras adds a whole load of support for 3D recording, plus some other useful ideas that make a lot of sense. More details and my thoughts on the news below:

3D Shooting Capability with Axis Shift
Canon’s 3D Assist Function facilitates the setup of two XF305 or XF300 Professional Camcorders when used together to capture 3D HD video. The new firmware includes the ability to perform OIS Lens Shift to aid in optically aligning two XF305 or XF300 camcorders and a Focal Length Guide to display the zoom position of each camera in relation to each other and help calibrate zoom settings. This adjustment can be done through the menu system while the camcorders are mounted to a rig or tripod. Once aligned, the amount of the angle-of-view change is displayed after zoom adjustment, preventing camera misalignment and simplifying adjustment. This is similar to the 3D shooting functionality found in the Canon’s XF105 and XF100 model professional camcorders.
Scan Reverse for 3D Rigs
The new firmware updates the Scan Reverse functionality of XF300-series camcorders to allow for recorded images to be flipped on the horizontal axis, vertical axis, or both simultaneously to facilitate recording with 3D mirror rigs.
Double-Slot Recording
This new function allows the camcorders to record footage simultaneously to both card slots for instant backup of important footage and files. Ideal for use in production environments to ensure multiple copies are secured for each take.
Relay Recording On/Off
Relay Recording, an innovative feature to aid ease of use, where footage is seamlessly recorded to the second CF card as the first fills up, can now be turned off to prevent capture data from automatically being recorded to the second card. This allows the second card to be protected from recording and used only when designated or to allow the user to only copy or back up select takes to the card.

The last two modes are very useful for anyone, not just 3D film makers. The ability to make an instant backup as you record will be very useful for anyone operating away from a backup facility for the day. Say you’re on location miles from anywhere, no vehicle for power supply and the last thing you want to do is lose the day’s footage by dropping a card over the side of a boat or into a snow drift. Spread out the cards amongst the team and you have redundancy built in, even without a laptop.

I’m guessing that by turning on double slot recording, relay recording is automatically cancelled, but being able to turn that facility off as you need to is a useful feature.

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