Canon XF105 (pictures)
New small cameras seem to turn up all the time nowadays. Fortunately the latest ones, well the ones used for broadcast anyway seem to be provided with pretty standard XLR inputs and a useful array of manual controls on the outside of the camera – rather than buried in the menus.
The Canon XF305 HD Camcorder (PAL Version) illustrated here is a good example. XLRs on the side are easily switched between mic / line and also auto / manual level with switches on the body of the camera. The level controls are not easy to knock out of place either and it all lined up quite well to my Sound Devices 552 mixer. There is a headphone socket somewhere, but I can’t remember exactly where – they often take a while to find on these little ones!
The only level meter we could find (below) was very small and there did not seem to be a more detailed version available. We lined up somewhere between the 2 and the 0 of -20dB and that seemed to work just fine.