updated 07:55 pm EDT, Tue July 13, 2004
Canon XL2 camcorder
Canon today announced its professional series , which offers an evolutionary design and new professional features, including a choice of 60i, 24p or 30p frame rates, 4:3 or high resolution 16:9 aspect ratio, new 680,000 pixel progressive scan CCDs, and a full line of customizable controls for cine-looking results. Along with its new 20x interchangeable lens, the new Mini-DV camcorder offers completely customizable broadcast and feature film quality acquisition tool. It also offers many adjustable settings, interchangeable lenses, image stabilization, 4-channel audio, and a built-in BNC connector. It will ship in August for $5,000.
Canon says the 3CCD progressive scan system utilized by the XL2 camcorder provides 16:9 (962 x 480 pixels) and 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) recording. Utilizing third-generation signal processing LSI (large scale integrated circuit), it improves Signal/Noise ratio to realize higher resolution than XL1s camcorder. The XL2 camcorder also features 60i, 30p, 24p (2:3 and 2:3:3:2) frame rates to create virtually any desired look and feel. When shooting 30p, users can capture 30 full frames per second and when shooting sports, users can freeze an image, capturing the full frame, or slow motion down to produce an "instant replay" effect.
The Canon XL2 camcorder offers users the ability to customize their video recordings using a number of variables: Gamma, Knee, Black, Color Matrix, Vertical Detail, Sharpness, Coring, Noise Reduction, Color Gain, Color Phase And Film Grain. Each one of these can be adjusted independently, thereby giving the camera operator precise control over the "film-like" appearance of their video.
It also offers both automatic setting as well as manual fine adjustments of Master RGB Gain; Setup Level; Master Pedestal; Skin Detail; Program AE; Gain; AE Shift and Lock; White Balance; Shutter Speeds; Aperture Control; Zebra Pattern; Clear Scan and Interval Timer. It offers three custom presets of camera settings, which can be recalled at a later date or shared with another XL2 camcorder via IEEE 1394 connection.
Canon's new camcorder also offers adjustable white balance--to true white or manually set to either outdoor (5600K) or indoor (3200K) and the ability to store three custom white balance settings. Video gain is now available in seven steps from -3dB to +18dB, including a new +3dB gain setting. The XL2 camcorder's open architecture and modular design allows users to build their ideal camcorder system with interchangeable lenses, viewfinders and shoulder mounts. The Canon XL2 camcorder remains the only Mini-DV camcorder that users can customize to fit the needs of specific shooting applications. The camcorder permits the use of most Canon and third party accessories. The shoulder pad and XLR Audio connectors are now built in to the camera body.
The Canon XL2 offers interchangeable lenses and adapters, including an array of wide angle, manual and auto focus zoom lenses as well as fixed-focal length and telephoto lenses. In addition to accepting the full line up of Canon's XL lenses, Canon is launching a new Professional L-series 20X Optical zoom lens. The new lens incorporates Fluorite elements for superior contrast, resolution and color fidelity through the reduction of chromatic aberration. This 20x IS Optical zoom lens offers a fast f/1.6 to f/3.5 aperture and offers 51.8mm to 1036mm (35mm equivalent) range at an aspect ratio of 4:3.
Canon's optical image stabilization (OIS) system corrects camera shake instantly "so even hand held shots, at full telephoto, and shots taken from a moving car, are smooth and steady. Because it is optical, it can compensate for a greater degree if camera shake and avoids any loss in image quality, unlike some electronics image stabilizers."