Canon delivers its first high definition camcorder


John Archer

Following is the press release from Canon on its first HD camcorder. So if you’re fed up with waiting for Sky or next-gen DVD decks to deliver movies in HD, you can make your own!</P><P>”Canon, leader in photographic and imaging technology, is pleased to announce the launch of the new High Definition camcorder XL H1: the next generation XL series video camcorder.</p><P>As the new flagship in Canon’s digital video camcorder range, the XL H1 records HDV in 1080/50i to miniDV cassettes (MPEG-2 at 25Mbps), using Canon’s new DIGIC DV II engine for HD processing. With a further progressive shooting mode (25f), the 1/3” 1.67 Megapixel 3CCD XL H1 boasts the highest resolution in the HDV class. The camcorder’s comprehensive range of inputs and outputs includes onboard HD-SDI output (via BNC connector), Timecode input/output, Gen lock input and XLR audio line level input support.</p><P>With its black pro-styling, the XL H1 allows existing XL users working in miniDV to upgrade to HD production, without interrupting existing workflows. Incorporating real professional connectivity, this new addition to the current X family of XL2 and XM2 camcorders is likely to become the tool of choice for production houses, studios and freelance moviemakers eager to make the transition to HD production. A complete set of shooting modes is available to users offering a comprehensive range of video capture options at 25f and 50i.</p><P>New lens for High Definition quality<br>Benefiting from Canon’s existing expertise in the broadcast lens market, the XL H1 features a new Fluorite 20x optical zoom HD video lens. Specially developed by Canon engineers, this lens delivers the increased quality necessary for High Definition images.</p><P>The XL 5.4-108mm ‘L’ lens with high performance Vari-angle Prism Optical Image Stabilisation (VAP OIS) delivers outstanding true-to-life video images. Compatible with Canon’s XL interchangeable lens mount system and with a new multi-coating (SR coating), ghosting is virtually eliminated and chromatic aberrations dramatically reduced. Along with in-camera Focus Assist (Magnifying, Peaking), the lens offers a wide range of focal lengths and includes selectable function buttons on the barrel. With a circular diaphragm creating a beautiful background blur effect, a new electronic focus ring mechanism is attuned to the most sensitive adjustments. The lens has twin selectable Neutral Density filters (1/6 and 1/32) and preset function with new memory back-up. The camera remembers focus and zoom points for different lenses even if they have been detached, returning to them at variable speeds with pin-point accuracy.</p><P>With the XL H1 body, the new XL lens provides users with Distance Display data on the enlarged widescreen 2.4” Electronic View Finder (EVF) and features a mechanical shutter for 1920 x 1080 pixel still image capture (to SD/MMC card). With DIGIC DV II, dual path processing allows for the simultaneous capture of still and video images, an ideal tool for storyboarding.</P><P>Real professional versatility in the studio<br>Ideally matched to the majority of worldwide (1080i) HD transmission standards, the XL H1 is a cost-effective way for TV studios, production companies, freelance moviemakers and other videographers to make the switch to High Definition production. With built-in HD-SDI functionality, the XL H1 provides a professional standard of connectivity, opening a wider range of production possibilities for users. The XL H1 can be integrated into a professional studio environment: Gen lock input support allows the camera to be used as a part of a multi-camera shoot.</p><P>Digital cinema functions for filmmakers<b>With bolstered digital cinema functions, including new Gamma and Colour Matrix settings (Cine2 ), the XL H1 delivers a look suited to film transfer. The XL H1 features switchable frame rates and captures 25f video.</p><P>Advanced image control and Audio Lock<br>The XL H1 has an expanded range of precise advanced image control functions. It features two Noise Reduction filters (NR1 and NR2), Colour Matrix, White Balance Colour Temperature and Sharpness Detail controls, and Auto Knee. Full manual control over an extensive range of settings and shooting variables is available: custom presets can be stored to SD/MMC card. Audio Lock provides for a professional level of synchronisation between audio and images.</p><P>Customised 60i/30f/24f video (Optional)<br>The XL H1 can be customised for both 50i/60i and PAL/NTSC recording. This optional upgrade must be performed by an approved Canon Service Centre.</P><P>New “CONSOLE” image control and storage software (Optional)<br>Canon’s new optional CONSOLE software for PC allows remote control of the XL H1. CONSOLE features control over images, with custom preset, wave & vector monitor and Focus Assist functions. It also allows remote camera control, including operation of the zoom, focus, white balance, iris and shutter speed settings. CONSOLE further manages the recording and playback of HDV data and DV data. This software is available for download.</p><P>XL H1 Key features <br>* Support for HDV and DV, with SD and HD live output via HD-SDI/SD-SDI 1/3” 1.67 Megapixel 3CCDs delivering the highest resolution in the class<br>* Full range of connectivity, including HD-SDI output, Timecode input/output, Gen lock input and XLR audio line level input, suitable for a variety of professional users<br>* New 20x Fluorite optical zoom HD VIDEO lens with XL interchangeable lens mount<br>* Focus Assist (Magnifying, Peaking)<br>* Full manual control over an extensive range of settings and shooting variables, with custom presets saved to SD/MMC card<br>* Vari-angle Prism Optical Image Stabilisation (VAP OIS)<br>* Four channel audio recording and Audio Lock: lock mode DV only</p><P>This camcorder is available in selected Professional Dealerships only. For more details call 08705 143723 or visit Canon’s <A HREF="" TARGET="_blank">website</A>.

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