updated 12:45 pm EST, Mon January 9, 2012
Models offer Wi-Fi, DLNA support
Canon has announced six new VIXIA-series camcorders. All of the units support HD resolutions up to 1080p, and rely on flash memory, instead of discs or hard drives. Three top-end models include the HF M52, HF M50 and HF M500, which together share 10x lenses and identical CMOS sensors, as well as 3-inch touchscreens, and the ability to record in MP4 format, a standard often used by iOS and other mobile devices.
The M52 and the M50 respectively incorporate 32 and 8GB of internal flash memory, as well as several other exclusive features, such as HD-to-SD downconversion and DLNA support. The cameras also build in Wi-Fi, which Canon says can be used not just for DLNA but uploading videos to Facebook and YouTube through an iOS app. The M500 is a comparatively stripped-down model, with no internal memory; instead it records to SD and SDXC cards. The M52, M50, and M500 are due to ship in March at prices of $750, $650, and $550.
Below the M500 are the HF R32, HF R30 and HF R300. These use less impressive lenses and sensors, but still retain features like 3-inch touchscreens and MP4 support. The R32 and R30 have 32 and 8GB of internal memory, as well as support for Wi-Fi uploads, relay recording, and HD-to-SD. Like the M500, the R300 is a cheaper option limited to SD/SDXC storage. For 2012, though, all of the R-series cameras have been upgraded to use both optical image stabilization and Canon's Intelligent IS system. The hardware will ship in March at costs of $550, $450, and $350 for the R32, R30, and R300.
Also due at the same time is an accessory for the M-series VIXIAs, the WP-V4 Waterproof Case. The gear allows shooting at depths as much as 130 feet while still providing control. Pricing has been set at $599.