At NAB next week, Canon U.S.A. will introduce its new XA25 HD and XA20 HD professional camcorders, which integrate some of Canon’s next-generation imaging and wireless technologies. 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. The XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders are both 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 (28 Mbps) or MP4 (35 Mbps) format for crisp moving images, or record at a lower bit rate and transmit MP4 (3 Mbps) 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,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, imaging technologies and communications group, Canon U.S.A. “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. 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.”
The wide-angle 20x HD zoom lens in the XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders features a 35 mm equivalent zoom range of 26.8 mm – 576 mm. The MOD (minimum object distance) of this lens is only 60 cm, enabling users to capture close-up shots, particularly useful when filming in narrow, tight quarters. Canon’s real-time optical image stabilization and vibration correction helps reduce picture shake, even when shooting while walking, which is particularly useful for run-and-gun handheld videography.
The camcorders feature a handgrip with an 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 custom key dial provides quick access to frequently used set functions.
The XA25 and XA20 are also the first Canon video cameras to feature an Organic LED (OLED) electrostatic touch panel. This 3.5-inch, 1.23 million-dot touch panel displays vivid, clear video images allowing for intuitive operation and menu access. Five custom buttons on the panel allow operators to assign settings according to their own 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.
The XA25 HD 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 new 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.
The Canon XA25 HD ENG camcorder and XA20 HD professional camcorder are scheduled to ship at the end of June 2013 for estimated retail prices of $3,199.00 and $2,699.00, respectively.