XF605 firmware updates: Canon XC Protocol and more
Since Nina and Charles first used the XF605, Canon has further invested in the camera with a range of firmware updates that improve productivity. Canon Europe’s Paul Atkinson takes us through the key improvements that they can now enjoy, with the headline feature being Canon XC Protocol support, first introduced in Canon's PTZ cameras, and now implemented in the XF605 in response to the growth in demand for livestreaming capabilities.
"There are various protocols within the industry that allow either control or IP streaming. Canon XC Protocol does both, using Canon's free software controller or the paid-for RC-100 hardware controller," says Paul. Previously, the XF605 could be remotely controlled as a solo camera, but now crucially it can be used as part of a multi-camera setup, for example with PTZ cameras as seen in Charles' roundtable discussions and live gig shoots, all controlled via a single point.
"The most likely scenario is that the XF605 would be a static central master camera – for example, filming a wide shot of the main speaker at an event – integrated into a multi-camera system of PTZ cameras doing their thing, panning, tilting and zooming." The core technology inside the XF605 and Canon's PTZ cameras is similar, too, so the image quality will be comparable, making for an ideal system of cameras for livestreaming and for easy grading in post.
The firmware update doesn't stop there. Further highlights include higher quality 4K ALL-I IntraFrame data rates. "Users were previously limited to a data rate of 410MB/s, but now with the latest firmware update, they can enjoy 4K ALL-I 50p at up to 500MB/s or 60p up to 600MB/s," says Paul.
Vertical shooting has also been added to accommodate how smartphones have changed the way in which we consume images and the trend for high-resolution vertical signage within retail environments such as airports.
"Obviously you will turn the camera to film vertically, but in a normal camera the orientation of the image on the screen remains the same, which makes viewing impractical," says Paul. "Now, if you turn the camera onto its side in vertical mode, it will correct the live view image to vertical format for you. Moreover, it will then change the GUI to be vertical, and touchscreen operation works in this format, too."
For something like Nina's football shoots, Face and Eye Detection AF really comes into its own and it's now available in the Slow & Fast Motion modes up to 120p. "There are two modes of face detection; Face Priority and Face Only," says Paul. "Face Priority sticks on subjects that remain in the frame, while Face Only keeps the point of focus even if the subject leaves the frame, and then activates again when it detects a face re-entering the frame."
With a host of other improvements made in response to user feedback including from broadcasters, the XF605 continues to improve and accommodate for a range of shooting scenarios.