Canon is going all flash memory for its 2010 camcorder lineup, while keeping last year's Vixia HV40 HDV tape product on the market for those hard core tape fans. There will be 12 new models in total, including nine high definition and three standard definition models. Read the full press releases here.
Canon's HD camcorders are dubbed Vixia and the top of the line is the HF-S series. For 2010, all HF-S models will feature dual SDHC card slots with relay recording, which allows users to capture uninterrupted video by automatically switching recording to next available memory card when the primary recording source (internal memory or SD card) becomes full. They will also feature a new image stabilization technology dubbed Powered IS, which lets users lock the lens at the telephoto end of zoom once they have the desired shot.
The HF-S series will also debut a new, 3.5-inch touch screen LCD with a new "Touch & Track" feature. You touch a moving object in the frame and the camcorder will optimize focus and exposure on that object during filming. A new "Smart Auto" mode will automatically choose the best settings based on the surrounding environment. The camcorders will be compatible with Eye Fi wireless SDHC cards enabling wireless transfer of down-converted standard definition videos or photos to your computer or web. Here's an overview:
- HF S21 ($1,399) offers 64GB of internal flash memory, a viewfinder, a 10x optical, 1920 x 1080 recording at 24MBps and an 8-megapixel sensor.
- HF S20 pares back the internal memory to 32GB and loses the viewfinder for $1,099.
- HF S200 records directly to SDHC cards with the same features as the HF S20 for $999. The HF-S models ship in April.
Vixia HF M-series is a step down from the HF-S. Its camcorders will include a single SDHC card slot, 24MBps HD recording, a 2.7-inch touch-screen LCD with touch and track and a 15x optical zoom lens with Powered IS. Models with internal memory will feature relay recording.
- HF M31 offers 32GB of internal memory for $799.
- HF M30 will offer 8GB for $699.
- HF M300 records directly to a memory card $679. They all ship in April
Due in March, a new Vixia R-series of HD camcorders will feature a 20x optical zoom lens, 1920 x 1080 recording at 17MBps, a single card slot and 2.7-inch LCD screens. Models with internal memory will feature relay recording.
- HF R11 ($699) features 32GB of internal memory
- HF R10 will have 8GB of internal memory and retail for $549 and comes in three colors: black, red and white.
- HF R100 records direct to card for $499.
In standard definition, three new models will offer 41x advanced zoom lenses. The FS31 ($349) boasts 16GB of internal flash memory. The FS30, 8GB and the FS300 ($299) records direct to SD cards and comes in silver, red and blue. They will ship in March.
(HF-S200, Photo courtesy Canon)