Generally there has been one major problem with professional cameras and camcorders: they were huge. If you wanted mega performance, you had to deal with a mega huge body. But thanks to innovations at the smallest levels of technology, that's beginning to change. DSLR
-like image quality is slowly coming to smaller Micro Four Thirds cameras, and now Canon
is offering professional-level video capture quality in some of their smallest camcorders yet.
The new XF105 and XF100 are the company's smallest pro camcorders, with both utilizing the XF codec in the XF305 and XF300. If you aren't familiar with that, it's a MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps codec used mostly in higher-end units, which you'd probably have a hard time holding on your shoulder. These camcorders include in-camera features enabling the easy set-up and capture of high-definition 3-D video when two XF105 or XF100 camcorders are paired, as well as Canon's built-in infrared low-light feature enabling the capture of HD video in complete darkness. Both models record to Compact Flash (CF) cards and feature hot-swappable card slots, with the main difference between the two being HD-SDI output and genlock in/SMPTE time code (in/out) terminals available on the Canon XF105.
There's also a 10x HD zoom, native Full HD 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensor, and a total weight of under 3lbs. No mention of pricing, but they should ship in early 2011.
Canon Introduces Two New Compact XF-Series Professional Camcorders: XF105 AND XF100
Both Models Feature MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps Recording, Built-In 3-D and Infrared Shooting Options
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Aug 31, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today announces the new Canon XF105 and XF100 Professional Camcorders for mobile HD video capture in a compact form factor. Canon's smallest professional camcorders, the new XF105 and XF100 utilize the same Canon XF Codec featured in the Canon XF305 and XF300, introduced earlier this year. The Canon XF Codec is an MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps codec used for exceptional high-definition image quality, full non-linear editing (NLE) systems compatibility and efficient, robust workflow. These camcorders include in-camera features enabling the easy set-up and capture of high-definition 3-D video when two XF105 or XF100 camcorders are paired, as well as Canon's built-in infrared low-light feature enabling the capture of HD video in complete darkness. Both models record to Compact Flash (CF) cards and feature hot-swappable card slots for maximum performance. Differentiating the two models are industry-standard HD-SDI output and genlock in/SMPTE time code (in/out) terminals available on the Canon XF105. The XF105 and XF100 camcorders are ideal for Electronic News Gathering, documentary and independent filmmaking and event videography.
"Whether used as a companion to the XF305 or XF300, or as a stand-alone camcorder, the XF105 and XF100 are geared for a wide range of applications where high image quality, extreme portability and efficient workflow are of the utmost importance. And with true stereoscopic 3-D production and infrared recording capabilities, they allow users to expand into new markets," stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. "This week we will be exhibiting both the Canon XF105 and XF100 at Canon EXPO 2010 in New York and demonstrate the versatile low-cost capabilities."
The Canon XF105 and XF100 Professional Camcorders feature a Genuine Canon 10x HD Zoom lens which provides the mobility and optical performance required by the most demanding professionals. Each model includes a Canon developed and designed native Full HD 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensor and the new Canon XF Codec for extreme color detail required for accurate chroma-keying, color-grading and compositing for digital filmmaking. For finer transitions in tone and color, 4:2:2 color sampling offers twice the color resolution of HDV and other 4:2:0 formats. And to maximize compatability with existing industry infrastructure, video, audio and metadata are combined in an MXF (Material eXchange Format) File Wrapper, a widely supported open-source format. The Canon XF Codec is currently compatible with leading software programs widely used within the video production and broadcast industries including those available from Adobe, Apple, Avid, and Grass Valley.
To maximize the camcorders' adaptability across various production environments, Canon has equipped each model with the ability to record at multiple bit rates, resolutions and variable frame rates for slow and fast motion.
Genuine Canon 10x HD Zoom Lens
The Canon XF105 and XF100 Professional Camcorders feature a Genuine Canon 10x HD Zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 30.4mm -- 304mm. For professional looking results, both models offer an eight-blade iris which yields natural, smooth background blur with reduced lens diffraction. The lens also features a SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) system featuring Dynamic and Powered IS modes for optimal performance in the greatest variety of situations.
DIGIC DV III Image Processor
The proprietary Canon DIGIC DV III Image Processor and Canon Full HD CMOS Image Sensor render native 1920 x 1080 HD video, capturing natural, lifelike colors with remarkable tonal gradations and detail. The DIGIC DV III Image Processor also powers Canon's innovative Face Detection Technology, an autofocus option that can significantly reduce the effort required when camera operators work alone, such as in news gathering applications.
Compact, Comfortable Ergonomics and Operation
Weighing less than 3lbs, these models are designed to maximize comfort while shooting and enable fast on-the-go recording with both a top and side grip option. Each camcorder also features a convenient, freely rotating 3.5-inch, 920,000 dot LCD monitor and .24-inch 260,000 electronic viewfinder with approximately 100 percent field of coverage. The LCD monitor provides a display of the camcorders' built-in waveform monitor to aid in achieving accurate exposure while shooting. Additionally, the LCD can show peaking, edge-monitor-focus and magnify the image, enabling users to confirm critical focus, an essential objective in all HD production.
Affordable 3-D Shooting
Canon offers built-in features to assist with 3-D production, including OIS Lens Shift to aid in optically aligning two XF105 or XF100 camcorders and a Focal length Guide for displaying the zoom position of each camera in relation to each other and calibrating the zoom distance. This adjustment can be done through the menu system while the camcorder is mounted to a rig or tripod. Once aligned, the amount of the angle-of-view change is displayed after zoom adjustment, preventing camera misalignment and simplifying adjustment.
The Canon XF105 and XF100 include an infrared feature enabling the capture of HD video shooting in conditions with little to zero ambient light, which is ideal for Military and Law Enforcement markets, as well as Nature and Wildlife videographers. The XF105 and XF100 also feature an infrared emitter with a diffuser as well as a Green or White color option to shoot pleasing infrared imagery even in complete darkness.
The Canon XF105 and XF100 Professional Camcorders feature dual XLR inputs for external audio sources as well as a built-in stereo microphone. The new camcorders support 16-bit PCM audio at 48 kHz with automatic and manual audio level adjustment
Both the Canon XF105 and XF100 are scheduled to be available in the first quarter of 2011.