While the image of the amateur camcorder user still revolves around a parent recording baby's first steps, Canon knows that at least some of us want high-quality footage without venturing too far into pro camera territory. Witness its new VIXIA HF G30, which rolls in image quality and control that are still rare outside of big shoulder-mounted cams. It includes a larger CMOS sensor than its ancestors, a new DIGIC DV 4 processor and an equally fresh 20X (26.8-536mm equivalent), f/1.8 lens; together, they should cut back on visual artifacts, improve stabilization and produce a gentler depth of field effect. Canon is also expanding its WiFi support to include DSLR-like remote control of the camcorder through the web browsers of most modern devices. The upgrade rounds out with a handful of firsts specific to the G series, such as dual recording in AVCHD and MP4 as well as a 3.5-inch, OLED touchscreen. Be prepared to sacrifice some time and money for the upgrade in home video quality, though -- Canon doesn't ship the HF G30 until June, when it will cost a not-quite-pro-level $1,700.
If you really do make a living from moving pictures, Canon also has a pair of compact pro models that share the same underlying technology. Both the XA20 and XA25 (pictured after the break) carry the same 20X lens, DIGIC DV 4 processing, WiFi and OLED display as their home-oriented cousin, but throw in pro-level expansion such as XLR microphone inputs and holders, independent audio level adjustment and (on the XA25) SDI connectors. The two will ship later in June and should carry premiums that lift their official prices up to $2,699 and $3,199, although we're seeing them on Canon's site for $500 less -- we've reached out and will let you know how much they cost in practice.
Update: Canon tells us that the real pricing sits in between. The XA20 will cost $2,499, while it will take $2,999 to call an XA25 your own.
The New Canon VIXIA HF G30 Camcorder Opens Up New Possibilities For Video Enthusiasts And Advanced Amateurs
Features Include a 20x Zoom Lens, Newly Designed HD CMOS Pro Sensor, MP4 Recording and Wireless Capabilities
MELVILLE, N.Y., April 3, 2013 – Unveiling an outstanding device for video enthusiasts and advanced amateurs, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced a new flagship camcorder, the VIXIA HF G30 camcorder. This new camcorder features a powerful 20x Genuine Canon HD Video Lens, MP4 recording, and built-in Wi-Fi® capability with dual band wireless support, making the VIXIA HF G30 camcorder a great device to help preserve inspirational moments in stunning image quality. Whether capturing a once in a lifetime trip or creating a movie, avid videographers will enjoy the sophisticated capabilities of this powerful device in a compact body.
"The new VIXIA HF G30 camcorder opens up new possibilities for advanced amateurs looking to explore their creative potential with professional-level performance and wireless capabilities in a consumer camcorder." said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.
The newly designed 20x wide-angle (35mm equivalent: 26.8mm - 536mm) f/1.8 HD Video Lens has been designed to offer advanced amateur videographers wide-angle and powerful zooming without compromising quality. The new lens was built using the same Hi-UD (Hi Index Ultra Low Dispersion) technology found in Canon's XF professional camcorder line, helping to reduce chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range. A new 8-blade circular aperture on the lens utilizes the same technology found in Canon's popular EF series of lenses, which helps create a more natural, smoother out-of-focus area than previous G-Series models. In addition to the lens, the VIXIA HF G30 camcorder features a dedicated manual focus ring as well as a custom key, a feature commonly found in professional level video products. While utilizing the manual focus ring, shooters can switch between the focus and zoom feature when using the Focus/Zoom Selection Switch located at the back of the camera. Precise adjustments are right at a user's fingertip with the ring, allowing users to create videos quickly and smoothly.
The size of the new HD CMOS PRO Image Sensor was increased 1/2.84-inch over the previous sensor, answering the demand for performance from the newly designed lens. The new image sensor, combined with the new DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor and SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization, work together offering high sensitivity and wide dynamic range, while providing images with low noise, more depth, and enhancing vibration control. The SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization feature includes a new Dynamic Mode. This mode helps to substantially reduce image distortion, even when shooting while walking, resulting in steady video.
The new VIXIA HF G30 camcorder features a variety of improvements over the prior G-Series models designed to help enhance the overall shooting experience and inspire users to capture creative content from virtually anywhere. For the first time in the G-series lineup, both 1080/60p MP4 (35Mbps) and AVCHD Progressive (28 Mbps) recording are available through the newly introduced Dual Recording feature. Now, users can experience great output flexibility, whether sharing short clips with friends and family or editing a more in-depth video. The VIXIA HF G30 camcorder also supports cinematic recording at Native 24p, allowing for maximum resolution and high image quality, and the easy to use pull-down conversion helps prevent loss of image quality. For added convenience, two SD memory card slots are available, while the Relay Recording feature automatically continues to record on the second SD memory card1 once the first one becomes full.
Operation is intuitive and seamless with the new vividly brilliant 3.5-inch Organic LED Touch Panel Display that utilizes Electrostatic technology. This newly integrated technology allows users to control focus, exposure, and track shooting subjects with the simple swipe or touch of the screen - similar to the experience found on a smartphone or tablet.
The new seesaw-style zoom mirrors the design of professional-grade camcorders and offers improved ease-of-use over prior G-Series models. The VIXIA HF G30 camcorder features a Mini Advanced Accessory Shoe as well as a cold shoe, allowing users to add external microphones or additional lighting. In addition, the audio jack includes headphone and microphone terminals. The VIXIA HF G30 camcorder is compatible with the optional Canon WM-V1 Wireless Microphone, and optional GP-E2 GPS Receiver. The GP-E2 can be connected to the camcorder using a USB cable, providing location and time information of your recording, which can be a very useful tool for editing and archiving purposes.
Advanced Wireless Connectivity
For shooting situations that make capturing the perfect shot difficult, the VIXIA HF G30 camcorder's new Wi-Fi Remote feature allows users to control the camcorder remotely and change settings via a versatile web browser when using your tablet, smartphone or PC. With the dual band wireless support (5GHz and 2.4GHz), users can select from two wireless frequencies to help improve signal strength in areas with increased signal interference.
No matter the level of user, consumers recognize the need and convenience of uploading and sharing their video quickly. While using the Movie Uploader app, you can connect the camcorder to an iOS tablet or smartphone, available for free download in the Apple App store, allowing users to view, save or even upload videos previously recorded on the camcorder without the hassle of cables or wires.
Professional Controls and Shooting Assist Functions
The VIXIA HF G30 camcorder has been packed with several professional features to give the user a level of comfort and operability. The VIXIA HF G30 camcorder includes advanced features like manual color temperature adjustment (2,000K-15,000K in 100K increments), color bars with test tone, manual shutter speed and aperture control, a built-in Remote Control Terminal (which supports LANC protocol). Despite its compact body the VIXIA HF G30 camcorder features the new 0.24-inch high-resolution (1.56-million-dot) angle-adjustable color viewfinder (CVF) with a large-sized eyecup. The CVF can be tilted at a 45-degree angle, improving operation during low-angle shooting. The new zoom lever inherits the same level of zoom operation as found in professional level cameras, allowing for the shooter to quickly zoom in and out, and respond to almost any shooting scenario.
Pricing and Availability
The VIXIA HF G30 camcorder is currently scheduled to be available in June with an estimated retail price of $1,699.99.
Canon U.S.A. Introduces Two Ultra-Compact Professional Camcorders Enabling Wireless Digital Content Transfer And Remote Operation
New Canon XA25 and XA20 Camcorders Include a 20x HD Zoom Lens, Simultaneous MP4 and AVCHD Recording, a 3.5-Inch Organic LED Touch Panel Display, and Wireless Connectivity for Digital Content Uploading or Remote Operation Via Tablet or Smartphone
MELVILLE, N.Y., April 3, 2013 – Strategically integrating some of Canon's sophisticated next-generation imaging and wireless technologies, the new XA25 HD and XA20 HD professional camcorders from Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, provide an impressive combination of professional features and optics in a compact design. Ideal for run-and-gun style videography, or electronic newsgathering (ENG), both models weigh only 2.6 pounds, allowing for extreme mobility and portability. Both camcorders feature multiple shooting-assist functions and enhanced key components such as a newly developed Genuine Canon wide-angle 20x HD zoom lens with an ENG-style "rocker" zoom control and built-in real-time optical image stabilization. Delivering outstanding low-light performance and image quality, the Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders are equipped with a new high-sensitivity 2.91-megapixel 1/2.84-inch HD CMOS image sensor and the new Canon DIGIC DV 4 image processor.
Additional features include simultaneous recording of multiple bit rates and Full 1080p HD formats - including 60p and native cinematic at 24p - on two separate SD cards. Users can simultaneously record Full 1080p HD video at 60p in either AVCHD Progressive (28Mbps) or MP4 (35Mbps) format for crisp moving images, or record at a lower bit rate and transmit MP4 (3Mbps) format video to cover and quickly upload breaking news via wireless FTP file transfer. The cameras' dual SD slots allow for relay recording for long periods without interruption.
"The nearly instantaneous rate by which video news is consumed and shared via TV, tablets and smartphones has fueled the immediacy by which journalists need to capture and deliver their content. The introduction of the XA25 and XA20 professional camcorder models are designed to provide these professionals with a compact, portable, and wireless system for content acquisition and uploading," stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. "In addition, the tremendous growth of independent and documentary filmmaking as well as innovative, creative online content may also benefit from the compact design, high-quality formats and long-range optics found in both models."
Advanced Canon Optics
Drawing from the many innovations developed by Canon for its EF-series lenses, the wide-angle 20x HD zoom lens in the new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders features a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 26.8mm - 576mm. The MOD (minimum object distance) of this lens is only 60cm, enabling users to capture up-close shots, particularly useful when filming in narrow, tight quarters. Canon's real-time optical image stabilization and vibration correction in five axes of 3D movement helps reduce picture shake, even when shooting while walking, particularly useful for run-and-gun handheld videography. An eight-blade circular aperture can help create a natural, smooth look for out-of-focus areas such as a blurred nighttime skyline, and is equipped with Canon's unique EMD (Electro Magnetic Diaphragm) technology for high-precision control.
Ultra-compact and designed with professional operability and multiple shooting-assist functions, the new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders feature a handgrip with accessible joystick and other controls, allowing for easily adjustable settings including a broadcast-style zoom rocker. Each camcorder's wide-angle 20x HD zoom lens can also be adjusted using a multipurpose ring on the lens that can switch between zoom or focus control. A convenient custom key dial provides quick access to frequently used set functions.
The XA25 and XA20 professional camcorders are the first Canon video cameras featuring an Organic LED (OLED) electrostatic touch panel. This 3.5-inch, 1.23 million-dot touch panel displays vivid, clear video images allowing for simple, intuitive operation and menu access. Five custom buttons on the panel allow operators to assign settings according to their unique shooting preferences. The camcorders also feature a 1.56 million-dot high-resolution adjustable-angle compact viewfinder, allowing users to see clearly even when filming in bright sunny conditions. The design also allows operators to use the viewfinder and check critical focus while recording.
Essential for broadcast and professional use, the Canon XA25 HD camcorder provides an HD/SD-SDI connector (BNC) to feed video directly to a microwave van, satellite uplink, or other TV transmission system. The positioning of the connector allows for handheld shooting while the SDI cable is attached. A recorder (sold separately) can also be attached to the SDI connector to make uncompressed recordings. The convenient ergonomics of the Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders also includes XLR terminals with phantom power, a microphone holder, independent audio level controls, multipurpose accessory shoe, and an infrared emitter, all combined in a detachable handle. For extreme low-light shooting, the cameras' infrared shooting mode makes possible the capture of HD video in conditions with little to zero ambient light. A green or white color option can provide pleasing HD infrared imagery even in darkness for documentary, undercover news, law enforcement surveillance and wildlife operation.
On-Board Intelligence and Wireless Features
In addition to the professional manual operation of the new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders, automatic features provide a variety of shooting-assist functions. Controlled by the new Canon DIGIC DV 4 onboard image processor, these sophisticated capabilities include the Canon Intelligent IS feature that automatically switches among four types of image-stabilization control based on shooting conditions (walking, macro, telephoto, and tripod). With real-time optical image stabilization, unnecessary shakiness is greatly reduced or eliminated during shooting. Canon Auto Focus (AF) features include natural-looking medium-speed, instant, and Face Detection AF, which can significantly reduce the effort required when shooters need to keep a particular face in focus in a jostling crowd or similar situation.
FTP file transfer of MP4 (3Mbps) format video to cover breaking news is enabled by dual-band wireless support (5GHz and 2.4GHz), which also allows for data sharing. A wireless remote feature also enables users to control the XA25 and XA20 camcorders via a web browser of the user's PC or mobile device. Camera videos can be played back or downloaded to a device using the web browser* of a PC or mobile device connected to the camcorder. In playback mode, video files can be uploaded to social media websites via the free Movie Uploader app, currently available only for iOS-related mobile devices**.
The new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders also support use of the optional Canon GP-E2 GPS receiver, which can be connected via USB cable to provide location and time information recorded during shooting. This capability supports editing workflow and can add valuable information for archiving purposes.
Pricing and Availability
The Canon XA25 HD ENG camcorder and XA20 HD professional camcorder are scheduled to be available at the end of June 2013 for estimated retail prices of $3,199.00 and $2,699.00, respectively.