New compact Canon camcorders can be paired for low-cost 3-D image capture

At the recent Canon EXPO 2010 in New York, Canon U.S.A. (opens in new tab) showed two new compact HD camcorders, its smallest “professional” models ever, which include in-camera synchronization features that can capture HD 3-D video when two camcorders are mounted on a side-by-side or mirror rig and tripod. The new models also include an infrared feature enabling the capture of HD video in complete darkness.

Facilitating what Canon calls “affordable 3-D shooting,” the new XF105 or XF100 camcorders offer OIS lens shift to aid in optically aligning two XF105 or XF100 camcorders and a focal length guide to display the zoom position of each camera in relation to each other and calibrate the zoom distance.

This OIS lens shift adjustment, which involves turning off the camera’s image stabilization and changing the interaxial distance by adjusting the back element of each lens, can be done through the camera’s menu system. Once aligned, the amount of the angle-of-view change is displayed after zoom adjustment, preventing camera misalignment and simplifying adjustment.

Weighing less than 3lbs, the new camcorders offer a single 1/3in CMOS chip and the same Canon XF codec used in the previously announced Canon XF305 and XF300 three-chip models. It’s an MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mb/s codec that results in high-quality HD images that can be easily edited by all of the most common NLE systems.

Both models record to CompactFlash cards and feature hot-swappable card slots, at 25Mb/s, 35Mb/s and 50Mb/s data rates. The XF105 includes an HD-SDI output and genlock-in/SMPTE time code (in/out) terminals, which the XF100 does not. Both models can be operated at variable frame rates for slow and fast motion. Additional professional features include variable interval (for time lapse) and frame record for stop-motion animation, as well as a photo feature for frame grabs.

Both the Canon XF105 and XF100 are scheduled to be available in the first quarter of 2011.