Canon’s two new camcorders point to the HDR future

Written by Andy Stout

CanonThe new $2499 XA30

The new Canon XA35 and XA30 are both aimed firmly at the prosumer market and, interestingly, are also considerably ramping up the dynamic range options available in this segment.

The lightweight 2.6lb HD units are based on their immediate predecessors, the XA25 and XA20, and feature a removable handle with professional audio XLR terminals. Both feature a newly designed 1/2.84-type 2.91 Megapixel HD CMOS Pro sensor, which Canon says with low-luminance noise of +3dB will give better performance, not only in low-light, but also at the infrared end of the spectrum via the IR lamp in the detachable handle.

A 20x zoom wide-angle lens offers a 26.8–576mm (35mm equivalent) focal range and makes the most of Canon’s 5-axis Optical Image Stabilization System with Dynamic IS. The lens also features an 8 blade circular aperture to give enhanced bokeh.

The main thing that jumps out though is that both the XA35 and XA30 feature two new settings - Wide DR and Highlight Priority. According to Canon, the Wide DR mode relies on technology ported over from the Cinema EOS line-up and means the cameras are able to achieve 600% dynamic range without the need for any additional work in post, a significant jump on the previous unit’s 300%. Highlight Priority, meanwhile, makes it possible to capture visual characteristics that might otherwise be lost due to compression, thus improving images in the mid- to high-brightness range.

Both feature Full HD (60p and native cinematic at 24p) 1920x1080 recording capabilities with dual SD card slots, recordable to AVCHD (28Mbps) and MP4 (35Mbps). The XA35 also features an HD/SD-SDI output. Both also feature the first slow (0.4x) and fast (1200x) recording options in the XA range.

Both units will be available the end of November 2015 for an estimated retail price of $2999 (XA35) and $2499 (XA30) respectively.

More after the break.

Canon introduces the XA35 and XA30 - exceptional imaging performance for handheld video camera users


United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, 11 November 2015 – Canon today announces the addition of two new handheld video cameras to its X-series, the XA35 and XA30. Designed for professionals and enthusiasts alike, the highly compact and lightweight models feature a newly developed HD CMOS Pro sensor which provides higher sensitivity and improved low-light performance. Both cameras also include new Wide Dynamic Range (DR) and Highlight Priority settings, making them suitable for shooting everything from news and documentaries to weddings and corporate films.

First-class image quality and video processing performance

Utilising Canon’s heritage in optical expertise and advanced technologies, the newly designed 1/2.84-type 2.91 Megapixel HD CMOS Pro sensor has enhanced sensitivity with improved signal-to-noise ratio. As a result, images are crisp and clear, even in low-light environments. Low-light shooting opportunities are further boosted by improved infrared performance, ideal for users capturing nocturnal wildlife or night-time documentaries.

The 20x zoom wide-angle lens offers a 26.8–576mm (35mm equivalent) focal range and employs Canon’s intelligent 5-axis Optical Image Stabilization System with Dynamic IS. The lens also features an 8 blade circular aperture to give enhanced ‘bokeh’.

The XA35 and XA30 feature two new settings - Wide DR and Highlight Priority. In Wide DR mode, the cameras are able to achieve 600% dynamic range, resulting in bright images with high contrast that retain detail in both highlight and shadow areas, without the need for post-production. When using the Highlight Priority setting, users are able to produce footage with more natural tones and richer colours, particularly in areas of high brightness, perfect for scenes with bright skies and reflective surfaces.

Both models also feature slow and fast recording modes, supporting a range of shooting scenarios with interval recording options up to a maximum of 1200x normal speed.

Discreet and portable, ideal for on the move

Compact and lightweight, the XA35 and XA30 are perfect for news gatherers and journalists who often need to record discreetly whilst on the move but don’t want to compromise on quality. The cameras are also exceptionally easy to use, featuring extensive automatic functions, ideal for corporate and education environments.

The XA35 and XA30 have the same popular ergonomic design as seen in their predecessors, the XA25 and XA20. Easily attached or removed to suit the shooting situation, the removable handle with professional audio XLR terminals provides maximum flexibility for users.

Integration and connectivity

Featuring a HD/SD-SDI terminal, the XA35 will integrate with existing equipment for onward transfer or transmission and includes embedded audio and timecode signals. Providing users with the ability to export uncompressed high resolution digital video in real time, it’s the perfect compact video camera for live TV and news gathering environments, allowing users to complement footage from other broadcast cameras on-set.
The cameras also support high quality AVCHD (up to 28Mbps) and MP4 (up to 35Mbps) file formats and include dual SD card slots, providing instant back-up through simultaneous recording or the option for relay recording at longer events, ideal for wedding videographers.

Both the XA35 and XA30 are dual-band Wi-Fi enabled which allow remote control of the camera, wireless file transfer/upload and browser preview, all with the use of a smartphone, tablet or computer. The cameras are also compatible with Canon’s GP-E2 GPS receiver, meaning GPS data can be embedded in the metadata of video footage. This feature allows accurate recording of the location where footage was captured, ideal for both journalists and legal purposes.

Tags: Production

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