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Canon to unveil new solid-state camcorder

At NAB (booth C4325) Canon will introduce a new high-definition camcorder that records to Compact Flash cards and takes advantage of the company’s proprietary DIGIC DV III Image Processor and a newly developed MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mb/s codec. The new models XF305 and XF300 capture images at 1920 x 1080 resolution and store them within an MXF wrapper for easy compatibility with nonlinear editing systems from Adobe (Premiere Pro CS4), Apple (Final Cut Pro), Avid (Media Composer) and Grass Valley (EDIUS).

The XF305 and XF300 camcorders are similar in features except the XF2035 includes (uncompressed) HD-SDI output, genlock, and SMPTE time code (in/out) terminals for multicamera or 3-D productions. Both will ship in June.

The HD camcorders include three native 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensors, a fixed Canon 18x HD L-series lens, a 1.55-megapixel color electronic viewfinder, a built-in stereo microphone and dual XLR inputs for external audio sources, and a rotating 4.0in, 1.23-megapixel LCD monitor that can be positioned at either the right or left side of the camcorder body. (The camcorders also support 16-bit PCM audio at 48kHz with automatic and manual audio level adjustment.)

The camera’s monitor can display the camcorder’s built-in waveform monitor and vectorscope, as well as show peaking, edge-monitor-focus. It also allows users to magnify the image for critical focus applications.

Each model also includes the new Canon XF Codec for accurate chroma keying, color grading and compositing. 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.

The new camcorders also feature hot-swappable dual card slots and support UDMA CF cards for maximum video capture performance and provide variable bit rate recording of 50Mb/s, 35Mb/s and 25Mb/s and variable frame rates for slow and fast motion effects.