Six Vixia High Definition flash memory camcorders – three compact Vixia HF M-series models and three entry-level Vixia HF R-series models – have been announced by Canon for its 2012 lineup.
Select models have Wi-Fi connectivity, the option to capture videos in MP4 or AVCHD file format and full Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) compatibility. The latter allows wireless transmission of videos to DLNA-compatible HDTVs.
The HF M52, HF M50, HF R32, and HF R30 models have the ability to upload videos directly to social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook over a Wi-Fi network, or to mobile devices such as an iPhone or iPad utilizing a free Movie Uploader app.
There’s improved low-light image capture, and a new Intelligent Image Stabilization (IS) system.
Canon says the new models feature a 20 percent improvement in low-light performance compared to previous models as a result of enhancements made to Canon’s HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor. The sensor boasts a minimum illumination rating of 1.2 lux.
Another enhancement to select models is the ability to export content directly to an external hard-disc drive through an optional USB adapter for simple file sharing and archiving without the need of a computer.
The HF M-series is equipped with a new Audio Scene Select menu that streamlines the selection of custom audio selection. Users select the environment that is being captured – a musical performance, a speech, a forest – and the camcorder will automatically adjust settings, including microphone directionality, frequency response, wind screen, volume level, and microphone attenuator. While users will still be given the option to make these adjustments manually, the new audio settings menu makes the optimization of the audio levels quick and easy for casual users.
The new Intelligent IS system will change intuitively through one of four IS modes – Dynamic, Powered, Macro, and Tripod. When the record button is pressed and the subject is walking, the Intelligent IS system will employ Dynamic stabilization to help reduce camera shake automatically. However, if the subject is detected to be very close to the camcorder, Macro (or Hybrid) stabilization will activate to counter shift camera shake; if the subject is far from the camcorder at extreme telephoto distances, Powered IS will activate to help counter slow, large-scale camcorder shake.
Canon’s Smart Auto mode intelligently detects and analyzes brightness, colour, distance, and movement to automatically select the best of 38 available pre-set setting selections for the scene being recorded. The Touch & Track feature allows users to select any subject on the Touch Panel LCD screen with their finger, which the camcorder will then track to ensure sharp focus and proper exposure.
The camcorders also include built-in Cinema-Look Filters to give the look of a variety of cinematic styles by compensating for the colour, gamma and other aspects of the image’s quality. Some models have Relay Recording for seamless uninterrupted video recording from one memory source to the next. When the primary recording media is full, the camcorder continues to record the scene by switching to the next memory source.
All Vixia camcorders with built-in memory feature HD-to-SD downconversion, which enables users to convert recorded high-definition video to standard-definition files while preserving the original HD footage. These down-converted files make it even more convenient to share video online or create a DVD.
The HF M52, HF M50 and HF M500 flash memory camcorders offer HD video in an ultra-sleek, compact and lightweight body, now 15 percent smaller when compared to 2011 M-Series models. Recording Full HD 1920 x 1080 video, the HF M-series features a Canon 10x HD Video Lens and enhanced HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor for high video resolution, outstanding low-light performance and a wide dynamic range.
All three models include a newly designed Flat Touch Panel 7.6 cm (3.0-inch) LCD screen for a large display and an improved menu system and button layout, and now also record in MP4 file format.
The HF M52 and HF M50 incorporate 32GB and 8GB of internal flash memory, respectively, and feature HD-to-SD downconversion.
They also include Wi-Fi connectivity, and DLNA connectivity.
The HF M500 records directly to a SDXC-compatible card slot.
The Vixia HF M52, HF M50 and HF M500 camcorders are scheduled to be available in March for an estimated retail price of $749.99, $649.99 and $549.99, respectively.
The HF R32, HF R30 and HF R300 camcorders are aimed at the budget-conscious consumer.
All three models, which are 21 percent smaller when compared with the R-series models from 2011, include a Canon HD video lens with 51x advanced zoom, 3.28-megapixel Canon Full HD CMOS image sensor, a 7.6 cm (3.0-inch) full-flat Touch Panel LCD screen, Touch Decoration, Smart Auto, and Advanced Video Snapshot.
New for the 2012 R-series lineup, all three models feature Canon’s Intelligent IS with optical image stabilization allowing the camcorders to automatically switch between stabilization modes.
All three models feature MP4 file format recording while both the HF R32 and HF R30 include Relay Recording, HD-to-SD downconversion, and Wi-Fi uploading capabilities.
The HF R32 and HF R30 incorporate 32GB and 8GB of internal flash memory, respectively, and the HF R300 records directly to a SDXC-compatible memory card slot.
The Vixia HF R32, HF R30 and HF R300 camcorders are expected to be available in March for an estimated retail price of $549.99, $449.99 and $349.99, respectively.