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Canon XF305 vs Canon 5D mk 3

by Oliver
(London, UK)

Question: I have a large budget for my camera/s for my film making. I will be doing a lot of "run and gun" style shooting which a DSLR will be good at because it is small. But this may be shown on a television program or put on Blu Ray with is why a Canon XF305 would be good.


I am not sure what to get. I am not bothered about if it has XLR or detachable lenses or any other thing like that. All I need to know is if a Canon 5D Mk 3 is suitable for broadcast?


Desktop Documentaries | Answer

A GoPro is suitable for broadcast as is a Flip camera or any camera for that matter. To answer your most pointed question, "Is a Canon 5D MK 3 suitable for broadcast?" The answer is Yes, the Canon 5D mk 3 is suitable for broadcast.

To address another point of your inquiry, you may want to go with the Canon XF305 if you are doing "run and gun" shooting.

One drawback with shooting video with DSLRs is the ability to focus on the go. Yes, with a Canon 5D and quality lenses, you can get background blur (bokeh) much better than with a traditional video camera.

But if you are moving a lot and your subject is moving, you may find that a video camera will give you what you need.

My question to you is, are you shooting documentary style or with more of an artistic impression? Go with the DSLR and good lenses if you want artistic. Go with a video camera if you are trying to capture the action.

You may want to read this article about Magic Lantern if you decide on a Canon DSLR. Among other things, Magic Lantern will help you with run and gun focusing.

Another Article To Consider:
How To Choose A Camcorder

Canon XF305 High Definition Professional Camcorder


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Comments for Canon XF305 vs Canon 5D mk 3

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Feb 13, 2013
Broadcast Quality
by: Chris Dodd

I would avoid shooting on DSLR if your intended outlet is broadcast.

BBC et al have produced guidance on the cams they approve as being HD. The XF305 is the cheapest on the list, which also applies to indie producers.

Feb 13, 2013
broadcast requirements
by: Desktop Documentaries

Just to make a clarification.. footage for documentaries can originate from all kind of places (think about archival home movies, film, etc).. so it's not so much what you shoot on.. although you ALWAYS want to gather the best quality footage you can... but it's how you OUTPUT and encode the final product from your editing system. And each broadcast entity and region has their own specs for how they want you to deliver your show. So it really comes down to WHERE you plan to broadcast your footage and finding out what their specs are.

Something you can do is check with local production houses who supply productions to the broadcasters you're interested in and get their input.


Sep 16, 2014
Canon C300
by: Desktop Documentaries

As a quick follow-up, even though there is no such thing as a "broadcast quality camera", of course all broadcasters want the very highest and best quality content they can get.

Broadcast quality is not only about beautiful images but great storytelling, fantastic sound quality, good lighting, unique content, etc. With that said, the one camera that seems to pass muster with the BBC and that many professional documentary filmmakers use is the Canon C300. Not cheap, but definitely gets the job done. You can always mix in other formats such as film, GoPro footage, DSLR clips, etc, as long as the overall quality is there, shouldn't be a problem getting accepted (at least from a technical point of view) by the big TV broadcasters. Hope that helps clarify things!

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