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09.25.2005
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Canon unveils HDV camcorder


The new XL H1 camera captures images in 1080/60i resolution at 25Mb/s. It can also record DV images as well as high-quality (1920x1080) stills at up to five frames per second.

The new XL H1 1080i HDV camcorder from Canon offers a range of features in form factor immediately familiar to users of Canon’s XL 1 and XL2 cameras. Addressing a variety of applications, the XL H1 is well suited to sports and newsgathering (30fps), independent filmmaking (24ifps) and even reality TV shoots (60i).

With three 1/3in interlaced native 16:9 CCD chips producing 1440x1080 output, the new H1 camera captures images at 1080/60i resolution at 25Mb/s, although it can also record DV images as well as high-quality (1920x1080) stills at up to five frames per second. Camcorder settings can be stored on the memory card and transferred to another camcorder so setup can be replicated. It comes with a removable 20x lens and Canon’s XL mount.

The XL H1 can be operated at a number of frame rates: 60i, 30i and 24i fames per second. It records video and still images to an HDV tape drive or an SD memory card (a 16 GB card is provided with the camera). The H1 camcorder is the first model to include Canon’s proprietary DIGIC DV II image processor, which can process HD and SD video signals as well as still photos, while maintaining the correct color space for each mode.

A professional jackpack at the back of the camcorder provides an uncompressed digital HD-SDI data transfer output (at 1.5Gb/s), SD-SDI output, genlock capability to link and match multiple cameras through a production switcher for a consistent look, and the SMPTE time code in and out. The HD-SDI output allows professionals to plug the H1 into any system with an HD-SDI input and work with live, unfiltered HD content.

The camera includes a new color electronic viewfinder and 2.4in 16:9 LCD monitor with safe-area marking built-in; a black-and-white mode; zebra pattern (70-100 IRE); horizontal and vertical flip and a distance readout, leveraging the 20X lens. This distance-to-subject feature can reduce the need for talent markings and saves time when setting up shots.

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