‘San Francisco Chronicle’ adds video to Web site with Canon HD camcorders

The “San Francisco Chronicle” newspaper is using online video at SFGate.com to attract readership and cover the Bay Area in ways it never did before.

SFGate.com is among the top five newspaper Web sites nationally for daily visitors, so the “Chronicle’s” staff photographers are now capturing video reports as well as still images with four Canon XH A1 HD camcorders. Video is captured at full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution in either video color space or digital camera color space.

Upon their purchase, the Canon XH A1 HD camcorders were immediately put to use by two full-time still photographers to shoot video for the newspaper’s Web site. Since then, additional photographers have been outfitted with video cameras as well. When the XH A1 HD camcorders first arrived, staff photographer Carlos Avila Gonzalez had been familiar with Canon still cameras but was new to video. The camera’s intuitive user interface allowed him to quickly get familiar with the new medium.

He said he could relate a lot of what he was trying to do with video to his vast experience with Canon digital still cameras. Within a few months he was shooting video for the Web site and simultaneously still frames for the print edition of the “Chronicle.” The images look really good in the newspaper, Gonzalez said, and several stories have run both online and in the paper using stills from the video he shot.

The Canon XH A1’s digital stills are stored to a memory card (SDHC, SD, or MMC), which can also be used for camera-to-camera transfer of custom image settings. Still images captured in video color space include time code and camera set-up metadata while still images captured in digital still color space include Exif metadata.

Also included are numerous advanced still camera features, such as auto-exposure bracketing, selectable metering modes, continuous shooting and the option to attach select Canon EOS System Speedlite flashes. The XH A1 HD camcorder includes a Canon 20X HD video zoom L-series lens (incorporating fluorite and ultra-low-dispersion elements). An optional 0.8x HD quality wide angle adapter is available as well.

The XH A1 HD camcorder also features super-range OIS (optical image stabilization), which combines gyro and feedback from the image sensors to provide image stabilization through a wide range of camera motions.

For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

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