Canon, a longtime
supplier of professional camera lenses to the broadcast market, has stepped up
its efforts in the professional camcorder arena with the launch of a new
solid-state camcorder line at NAB.
Canon has sold
HDV-format tape-based camcorders that use MPEG-2 compression with 4:2:0 color
sampling for several years, and has netted some significant sales from small
broadcasters and documentary filmmakers. But with its new XF305 and XF300
Professional Camcorders, the company is making a bigger push into the
electronic newsgathering market. Both new models use a new, high-quality MPEG-2 4:2:2 50-megabit-per-second compression scheme, the Canon XF Codec, and
1920 x 1080 high-definition video onto Compact Flash (CF) memory cards.
which come with two CF memory-card slots and are both priced under $8,000, also offer 35- and 25 Mbps recording modes
using MPEG-2 4:2:0 compression.
The new Canon cameras combine video, audio and metadata into a single
file and use the MXF (Material eXchange Format) file wrapper
to provide compatibility with third-party nonlinear editing and storage systems
from suppliers such as Adobe, Apple, Avid, and Grass
Valley. They include a Canon 18x HD
L-series lens and support standard professional features including HD-SDI
output, genlock, and SMPTE time code (in/out) terminals for multi-camera productions.
Other features include a freely rotating
4.0-inch, 1.23-megapixel LCD monitor that can be positioned at either the right or left side of the
camcorder body, a 0.52-inch, 1.55-megapixel color electronic viewfinder, and a
built-in stereo microphone as well as dual XLR inputs for external audio
sources. The new camcorders support 16-bit PCM audio at 48 kHz with automatic
and manual audio level adjustment
Both cameras are
expected to be available in late June, with the XF305 listing for $7,999 and
the XF300 listing for $6,799.