Advanced Video Editing

Canon XF300

Recording Audio


The Canon XF300 uses two-channel linear audio recording and playback at a sampling frequency of 48 kHz. Audio can be recorded using either the built-in microphone or an optional external microphone using the XLR terminal.

Use the AUDIO IN switch located just in front of the side grip. Set to INT for internal microphone or EXT when using external microphones. 

Always monitor the audio using headphones, whether for recording interviews or b-roll.

The Built-In Microphone

  • The AUDIO IN switch needs to be set to INT
This microphone can be configured to record different audio options. In the menu, go to Audio Setup and then Audio Input and Int. Mic Low Cut. 

The Low Cut Filter provides the following options:

Off - for recording audio under unusual conditions
LC1 - for recording mainly people's voices
LC2 - for reducing background sound of wind when recording on windy days. Some low frequency sounds might be suppressed when using this setting. 

You can also change the sensitivity of the built-in microphone using the Int Mic Sensitivity submenu

Normal - for recording audio under unusual conditions
High - For recording audio at a higher volume (+6 dB)

In addition, when audio levels are too high, you can change the mic's attenuator, which helps to soften the sound. Open the Mic Att submenu and select On.


Using an External Microphone

You need to attach the microphone using one of the XLR terminals located just in front of the side grip. You then need to switch between the internal mic and the external. 

  • Select a recording channel (CH1 or CH2) and plug in the mic 
  • Set the AUDIO IN switch to EXT using the desired channel
  • Set the XLR terminal switch (located on the front of the terminal) to the following options

LINE - this input is used when connecting an external device, like an audio board, to the camera
MIC - use this input when connecting the stick microphone (hand held) or the wireless
MIC + 48V - use this setting for microphones that use phantom power (drawing power from the camera). You need to connect the microphone first before turning on the phantom power. 

You will likely only need to set the XLR terminal switch to MIC when using either one of the external microphones.

Like the internal microphone, you can set the external mic's sensitivity and attenuator by going into the Audio Setup submenus and select the XLR1 or XLR2 Mic options.


Adjusting the Audio Level

The camera can set the audio levels automatically or they can be set up manually. The CH1 and CH2 thumb wheels, located on the side of the camera near the back, are used to adjust levels in either the built-in mic or external depending on where the AUDIO IN switch is set. 

When both CH1 and CH2 are set to the built-in microphone, changing the level of one will automatically be applied to the other. 

To set the audio levels to automatic

  • Switch both the AUDIO LEVEL switches to A
For manual adjustment:
  • Switch the desired channel under AUDIO LEVEL to M
  • Turn the thumbwheel to the desired level 
0 corresponds to no audio, 5 to o dB (nominal audio levels) and 10 to +18 dB

But you really want to adjust the audio level according to the audio meter displayed in the viewfinder. The optimal levels are -12 dB.

The audio meter might show that there are audio levels, but it doesn't say whether the audio is distorted. 

Always monitor the audio using headphones, whether for recording interviews and b-roll.