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Canon Announces the new XL H1 1080i camera

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Donald Berube
Canon Announces the new XL H1 1080i camera
on Sep 14, 2005 at 6:33:00 pm

My first impressions of the camera can be found here:

Following is the official Press Release from Canon USA:


New three CCD Camcorder Features Native 16:9 HD image Quality at 1080i; Adjustable Frame Rates of
60i, 30F and 24F; HD-SDI Output

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Sept. 14, 2005 - As Canon's first HD video camera, the XL H1 High Definition
(HD) camcorder and 20x HD video lens with Superior Canon Optics provide broadcasters with a
low-cost 1080i resolution option for ENG, Documentary or Reality TV production. Filmmakers will
aslo appreciate the extensive Cine controls and 24 Frame rate option the XL H1 camcorder offers.
Canon's "professional jackpack" features include uncompressed digital HD-SDI output for seamless
integration into broadcast studios or high-quality image transfer to non-linear editing systems.
The Genlock feature allows movie sets to easily synchronize camera settings acrosss multiple
camcorders and SMPTE time-codes in-and-out allow for streamlined tape and edit management.

"As FCC deadlines for transfering all television content to HD rapidly approach, broadcasters are
looking for low-cost acquisition options that do not require them to revamp their entire
infrastructure," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the Consumer
Imaging Group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. "By offering backward
compatibility with current SD-based infrastructure, the XL H1 HD camcorder combines the right
features at the right price to meet the demanding needs of television production and movie

HD Resolution and More
The XL H1 camcorder has three 1/3 inch 16:9 interlaced CCDs that capture images at 1080i
resolution. The camcorder features selectable frame rates of 60i, 30 Frame and 24 Frame to allow
the user to adjust to the assignment at hand and can switch back to SD resolution if needed. At
the 30 Frame rate, broadcasters can capture high motion, like sports with conffidence that each
frame is captured individually and completely. Filmmakers can utilize the 24 Frame rate when
creating the look and feel of movie film. The 60i frame rate, meanwhile, delivers exceptional
resolution for shooting environments like ENG or Reality TV.

The XL H1 HD camcorder is the first model to include Canon's proprietary DIGIC DV II image
processor. DIGIC DV II is an image processor that can process both HD and SD video signals as well
as still photos, while maintaining the correct color space for eacch mode.

Make the Connection with the Professional Jackpack Terminals
The XL H1 camcorder's professional jackpack terminals consist of three key features designed to
streamline production: HD-SDI output (High Definition Serial Interface), Genlock and SMPTE Time
code input and ouput.

To streamline in-studio television production, the XL H1 model offers HD-SDI and SD-SDI output.
HD-SDI output allows professionals to directly connect to a TV control room or a non-linear
editing system. With this feature, users can plug their XL H1 camcorder into any professional's
system with an HD-SDI input and can deliver live, unfiltered HD content in all its' brilliant
detail. In contrast, with other HDV models on the market, the user must feed the HD signal into an
analog to digital signal converter box which adds an extra step, not to mention, an extra cost.
The XL H1 camcorder can also record to HDV Master recording media or Mini-DV tapes.

Multi-camera shoots with the XL H1 model are no problem thanks to the camcorder's Genlock
synchronization input feature. This feature allows many XL H1 camcorders to synchronize through a
switcher. With its SMPTE time code input and output, multiple cameras on a shoot can all lay down
the same time code. The XL H1 camcorder uses a customizable open-architecture approach, selectable
frame rates and multiple output options so professionals havee exactly the right tool, every time
they need it.

Take Total Cine Control
Each year, the number of filmmakers turning to video-based acquisition solutions for movie
productions grows. Moviemakers that shoot video place strong emphasis on delivering the "film"
look to their pictures. Canon's new XL H1 camcorder offers filmmakers the ability to customize
their video recordings using a number of variables, including: three color matrixes for a wide
range of color correction and two cine gammas for intricate adjustment of dynamic range,
customizablee: knee, black stretch, horizontal detail, coring, sharpness, noise reduction, color
gain, hue andd master color adjustments. Each one of these settings can be modified independently,
thereby giving the camera operator precise control over the "film-like" appearance of their video.

Still Image Recording for Better Workflow
In addition to its extraordinary video capabilities, Canon's XL H1 HD camcorder can capture still
images plus metadata at full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 dpi or 2.1 megapixels) onto a standard
Secure Digital (SD) Memory Card and MMC media. The "Photo" button located on the outside of the
camcorder allows users to capture still images at up to five frames per second. Camcorder settings
can be stored on the memory card and transferred to another camcorder so setup can be replicated.

The XL H1 camcorder's still image capture plus metadata feature provides an in-camcorder solution
for cinematographers and directors to check for scene continuity and provides added back-up to any
still photographers on set.

Field of View
Canon is launching a new multi-functional color electronic viewfinder (EVF) and 2.4" 16:9 LCD
monitor with Safe Area Marking built in; black and white mode; Zebra Pattern (70-100 IRE);
Horizontal and Vertical flip and a Distance Readout (using 20x HD Video lens).

As a menu option, users can choose to view Aspect Ratio Guides in the viewfinder. Canon provides a
choice of 4x3, 13x9, 14x9, 1.66:1, 1.75:1, 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 guides. The XL H1 HD camcorder
creates an exaggerated line in the viewfinder image, helping the camera operator to better see if
the image is properly focused.

The New Canon Lens Addition
The new XL H1 HD camcorder features Canon's XL-interchangeable lens mount. For the XL H1
camcorder, Canon drew upon its exceptional heritage and expertise in designing and manufacturing
lenses for photography and broadcast TV to create its new 20x HD video zoom lens with Superior
Canon Optics. This lightweight, high performance lens achieves fast, precise focusing and a unique
balance of focal length, angle of view and depth of field; key quality attributes that distinguish
Canon form some other brands.

In addition, it incorporates multiple Fluorite elements for superior contrast, resolution and
color fidelity through the reduction of chromatic aberration. The 20x HD video lens offers a fast
f/1.6 to f/3.5 aperture for users that shoot under the most demanding lighting conditions and a
close focusing distance form only 20mm away (when at wide angle). At an aspect ratio of 16:9, the
20x zoom range is an impressive 38.9mm to 778mm (35mm equivalent). At the 4:3 aspect ratio, it is
an equally impressive 47.4mm to 954mm (35mm equivalent). THe lens features a 72mm filter thread,
two independent ND filters (1/6, 1/32), focus and zoom presets, and optical image stabilization.

Canon's Super-Range 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 of camera shake and avoids any loss
in image quality, unlike electronic image stabilizers.

Other otpical image stabilizers use a gyro sensor to detect camcorder vibration (the data form
which controls a vari-angle prism that continuously corrects the path of the incoming light).
Canon's Super-Range OIS goes one step further by examining the image after the CCD receives it and
detecting any low-frequency vibrations missed by the gyro. This data is fed back to accelerate and
refine the movement fo the vari-angle prism. This greatly improves performance for low frequency
vibration, resulting in the most advanceed optical image stabilization available today.

Pricing and Availability
The XL H1 camcorder and the 20x HD Video Lens with Superior Canon Optics will be available as a
kit in November for an estimated selling price of $8,999.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A, Inc. dleivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The
Company is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America and is rated #35 on the
BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands." Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is a top patent
holder of technology, ranking third overall in the U.S. in 2004, with global revenues of $33.3
billion. For more information, visit

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