Canon Intros 13 Camcorders

vixia-hfs10Based on Canon’s new camcorder lineup, announced this morning, two things are clear: the company is focusing on high-def, and the flash format, in particular. And while these aren’t Canon’s first camcorders with an industry-leading 24Mbps bit rate, this remains one of the line’s top selling points. Canon also unveiled a faster DiGIC DV III processor and a new HD CMOS sensor, which allows for instant autofocus (AF). We saw demos of this back in November; the fast response time is impressive. As for ease of use, Canon introduced Video SnapShot Mode, which records four-second clips, which users can string together, with music, to create a video slideshow. If you’re never sure when to stop filming, this one’s for you. Note: this feature is only available on flash models. Canon is still deciding prices for these models. For now, here’s a rundown of the models and their specs. High-Def Models With the exception of the HV40, all of the new high-def Vixia camcorders have a maxiumum bit rate of 24Mbps, and all of them have optical image stabilization (IS) and instant  AF. As with the standard-def models, each of them has a 2.7-inch LCD that powers on the camcorder when flipped open. vixia-hf20At the top of the line are  the Vixia HFS10 (pictured above) and Vixia HF20 (at right), two full HD flash models running on the new DiGIC DV III processor and the latest CMOS sensor. While both have 10X optical zoom, Video Snapshot and Pre-Record modes, and face detection, the HFS10 has 32GB internal memory, while the HF20 has none (just an SD/SDHC slot). The first of two high-def flash models, the Vixia HFS100 has 10X optical zoom, and shoots 6-MP video and 8-MP photos. The Vixia HF200 (right) upgrades to 15X optical zoom, but shoots 2.99-MP video and 3.3-MP stills. At 12 ounces, the HF200 is 3.9 ounces lighter than the HFS100. Both have face detection, Video Snapshot Mode, Pre-Record mode, and an LED video light. vixia-hg21The Vixia HG20 and HG21 (right), the two high-def HDD models, are identical, save for their capacity: the HG20 has 60GB; the HG21, 120GB. They have 12X optical zoom, shoot 1920 x 1080 movies and 1920 x 1440 photos, and run on the DiGIC DV II engine. They both lack face detection, and Video Snapshot and Pre-Record modes. The Vixia HV40 is Canon’s new high-def MiniDV model. It has 10X optical zoom, shoots 1920 x 1080 movies and snaps 1920 x 1440 photos, and runs on the DiGIC DV II engine. Like the HDD models, it lacks face detection, and Video Snapshot and Pre-Record modes. It also has a MiniSD slot. Standard-Def Models These models have a few things in common: they all have electronic– not optical– IS, and a 2.7-inch LCD that powers them on. They all have a CCD– not CMOS– sensor, and all lack face detection, a feature that’s standard in Canon’s high-def flash camcorders. fs22The FS21 and FS22 (right), the two standard-def dual flash models, are identical in everything except their capacity: the FS21 has 16GB internal memory; the FS22, 32GB. Both have 37X optical zoom, Video Snapshot mode, and Pre-Record mode; shoot 0.71-MP video and .8-MP photos; run on the DiGIC DV II engine; and have an LED video light and USB interface. The FS200’s primary recording media are SD and SDHC cards, so this model is ideal for people who want to store their movies on a card and don’t need to shoot in high-def. At 7.9 ounces, it’s tied with the FS21 and FS22 for the lightest camcorder of the bunch. It has 37X optical zoom, Video Snapshot and Pre-Record mode and an LED video light; runs on the DiGIC DV II engine; and comes in red, silver, and blue. dc420The DC420 (right) and DC410 are the two new DVD models. They’re largely similar spec-wise: both run on the DiGIC DV II engine, have 37X optical zoom, and have an SD/SDHC slot. But while the DC410 shoots .45-MP videos and photos, the DC420 shoots .71-MP movies and .8-MP photos. While the DC410 alone has a built-in lens cover, the DC420 has a USB interface. ZR960. The new standard-def MiniDV model has 37X optical zoom, and is the only model of the bunch that runs on DiGIC DV, the oldest iteration of Canon’s processing engine. It is the only one without a memory card slot.

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  1. jim moseley Says:

    interested in the cannon hf 200 to shoot wildlife. Once you past the optical 15x , how far into the digital zoom can you go before you see even the slightest pixilation?


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