Canon’s New XF305, XF300 Pro Camcorders Will Hit Streets in June

Canon U.S.A. has announced the Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders will be released this June. Both new models employ an MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps codec – Canon XF Codec – for capturing and recording native 1920 x 1080 video onto affordable, universally available Compact Flash (CF) cards. Uniting video, audio, and metadata into a single file, the Canon XF305 and XF300 use an MXF (Material eXchange Format) File Wrapper, a widely supported open-source format, to maximize compatibility with existing industry infrastructure and non-linear editing (NLE) systems. The Canon XF305 and XF300 are engineered for multiple production applications including broadcast news, documentary and independent filmmaking and event videography.

Canon will be demonstrating a variety of professional applications for the Canon XF305 and XF300 at the Company’s booth at next week’s NAB show.

The Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders include a Genuine Canon 18x HD L-series lens, providing documentary filmmakers and news camera operators with the focal-range versatility required in the field. Designed with input from professional users, each model includes three Canon native 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensors, and the new Canon XF Codec for extreme color detail required for accurate chroma-keying, color-grading, and compositing for digital filmmaking.  For finer transitions in tone and color, 4:2:2 color sampling offers twice the color resolution of HDV and other 4:2:0 formats. In addition, Canon’s XF305 model features industry-standard HD-SDI output, genlock, and SMPTE time code (in/out) terminals for multi-camera or 3-D productions.

“The creation of HD video content continues to grow across every market category,” says Yuichi Ishizuka, EVP and GM, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “We are proud to introduce the new Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders, which provide extraordinary image quality, a generous array of features and seamless integration with file-based workflows, all at an attractive price. These camcorders provide the convenience, production cost and quality that the HD video market has been asking for.”

Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders also use of CF cards. In addition to rugged, solid-state construction and the speed and ease of file transfer to computers, CF cards are cost effective and widely available, unlike proprietary memory systems. The new Canon camcorders feature hot-swappable dual card slots and support UDMA CF cards for maximum performance.

To support the swift adoption of the Canon XF Codec, Canon has worked in cooperation with major editing and post-production software developers, including Adobe, Apple, Avid, and Grass Valley, to ensure compatibility with leading software programs widely used within the video production and broadcast industries.

The the Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders feature a Genuine Canon 18x HD L-series lens with a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 29.3 – 527.4mm and a Full Manual Focus mode with mechanical “hard” end stops and distance markers for professional operability and repeatable manual focus. Canon utilized HI-UD (high-index, ultra low dispersion), UD and aspherical lens elements to minimize chromatic aberrations and provide a compact size and weight to the lens – while also delivering a resolution of approximately 1,000 TV lines. The lens also features a new SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) system featuring Dynamic and Powered modes for optimal performance in the greatest variety of situations.

At the heart of Canon’s XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorder models is Canon’s proprietary DIGIC DV III Image Processor, which ensures natural, lifelike colors and captures tonal gradations and shadow detail with remarkable accuracy. The DIGIC DV III Image Processor also powers Canon’s innovative Face Detection Technology, an autofocus option that can significantly reduce the effort required when camera operators work alone, such as in news applications.

To maximize the camcorders’ adaptability across various production environments, Canon equipped each model with the ability to record at multiple bit rates, resolutions and variable frame rates for slow and fast motion. 

Additional professional features include variable-interval (for time-lapse) and frame-record for stop-motion animation, and a photo feature for frame-grabs.

The Canon XF305 and XF300 are designed to maximize shooting comfort and usability. The well-balanced design allows the operator to comfortably control the camcorder and easily maintain a steady shot while minimizing arm fatigue. Each camcorder also features a convenient, freely rotating 4.0-inch, 1.23-megapixel LCD monitor that can be positioned at either the right or left side of the camcorder body, allowing for easy viewing even in the most difficult shooting positions.

The LCD monitor also provides a display of the camcorders’ built-in waveform monitor and vectorscope to aid in achieving accurate exposure and color levels while shooting. Additionally, the LCD can show peaking, edge-monitor-focus and magnify the image, enabling users to confirm critical focus, an essential objective in all HD production.

The Canon XF305 and XF300 models also come equipped with a 0.52-inch, 1.55-megapixel color electronic viewfinder, providing ample resolution for critical focus and approximately 100 percent field-of-view coverage for accurate judgment of composition.

The Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders feature a built-in stereo microphone as well as dual XLR inputs for external audio sources. The new camcorders support 16-bit PCM audio at 48 kHz with automatic and manual audio level adjustment

Canon’s XF305 Professional Camcorder is scheduled to be available in late June for an estimated retail price of $7,999. Canon’s XF300 Professional Camcorder is scheduled to be available in late June for an estimated retail price of $6,799.

Check out the Canon XF305 and XF300 Professional Camcorders at NAB at booth C4325.

Canon, Focus Enhancements Join Foreces on CF Cards for HDV, Mini-DV Camcorders

Canon U.S.A and Focus Enhancements have announced the Focus Enhancements FS-CF and FS-CF Pro portable Compact Flash DTE recorders offering HD video recording to Compact Flash (CF) cards for Canon’s line of HDV camcorders and Mini-DV camcorders. The new Focus Enhancements FS-CF units support 1080 24F, 25F and 30F, 50i and 60i frame rates in both QuickTime and M2T file formats. Additionally, 1080 60i and 50i are supported in the MXF OP Atom format.

The new FS-CF Pro DTE recorder provides additional features such as video playback on the unit’s color LCD, MPEG-4 proxy file generation, wireless metadata logging, and much more. The Focus Enhancements FS-CF and FS-CF Pro DTE recorders are ideal for professional cinematographers and videographers looking to upgrade their existing Canon HDV equipment to a seamless file-based workflow. By utilizing solid state recording, ingest time into NLE systems is eliminated – saving time for busy professionals. Additionally, dual-recording onto tape and CF cards provides valuable backup footage on separate media.

Both the FS-CF and FS-CF Pro units feature a single card slot for recording to industry standard Type 1 CF solid-state media. Once video footage has been recorded to user-supplied CF cards, the FS-CF units are easily connected to both Windows and Mac systems via USB 2.0 from the FS-CF unit itself or the CF card can be read via standard memory card readers for a seamless workflow with popular NLE systems.

FS-CF and FS-CF Pro are expected to be available through Canon authorized dealers in late April for an estimated retail price of $995 and $1,295 respectively.