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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old January 14th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #31
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To date RED has very much nailed it's colours to RAW rather than a video codec, a change would involve a change in company philosophy. That's not to say that they couldn't bring out a limited frame rate say 3k 35mm sized sensor to keep data rates down, but again they tend to go for the higher numbers in their sensors and it wouldn't come anyway soon regardless, they've got enough on their plate to keep them going for years.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #32
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If this camcorder has the same (or better) low light ability as the HMC150, I'm sold! I would love a built in/optional memory drive like the NXcam has. The only thing I hated about my A1 was the grain of the high gain settings. If it can compete in that area, I'm all about it. A solid-state XHA1 is nothing to write home about......but the mention of a whole new design is very promising :).

Now will this be announced or released around NAB?
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Old January 14th, 2010, 03:46 PM   #33
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Oh well, a dream slowly dies.

Thanks for the report Chris. Very informative and very accurate.

Guess I gotta save up a TON more money because those RED cameras sure are going to be expensive (kitted out).
Robert-

Don't fret to much...the dream is not dead, its just been pushed back for a bit. You know that Canon knows they have a winner with the 5D/7D technology and once they can work out a deal that satisfies the still division (a video configured camera that won't take away a chunk of sales from still), I think we will see the camera that we'd all like to see. Maybe that is at the end of the year, maybe that is next year but, as I have posted here before, the video division does look at this site often and they are reading what everyone has to say. This new camera that comes in a few months is the much needed update of a series of cameras that as a group, were/are the sharpest of the under $10k cameras with, by far, the best glass.

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Old January 14th, 2010, 03:48 PM   #34
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It's awfully tough to sell me on a cam that's essentially pure speculation as to what it will actually be at this point. Canon simply hasn't offered hardly any detail yet or really confirmed anything, aside from it having a chassis that will look pretty similar to an XH-A1/G1 (from the mock up photos) and that it will record onto flash memory cards. That's just not much to go on. Don't get your wallet out quite yet!
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Old January 14th, 2010, 09:38 PM   #35
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Robert-

Don't fret to much...the dream is not dead, its just been pushed back for a bit. You know that Canon knows they have a winner with the 5D/7D technology and once they can work out a deal that satisfies the still division (a video configured camera that won't take away a chunk of sales from still), I think we will see the camera that we'd all like to see. Maybe that is at the end of the year, maybe that is next year but, as I have posted here before, the video division does look at this site often and they are reading what everyone has to say. This new camera that comes in a few months is the much needed update of a series of cameras that as a group, were/are the sharpest of the under $10k cameras with, by far, the best glass.

Jim Martin
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Look at how many camcorders (in the professional realm) Canon has offered up for sale at once, in the marketplace at any given point in history. Look how often they offer something completely unorthodox in the pro video arena. Look at what the realistic potential market share would likely be for a prosumer camcorder built around video DSLR technology from the 5D/7D. The prospect of Canon putting out a thoroughly unorthodox prosumer video camcorder, essentially aimed at a niche market (built on technology that does have some serious problems at this point no less, like overheating issues), strikes me as about as safe a bet as a Beatles reunion tour.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 06:59 AM   #36
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I hope that Canon will still offer a camera with interchangeable lens.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 07:58 AM   #37
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I would more than bet that an interchangeable lens camcorder is a definite.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 12:27 PM   #38
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As I've pointed out in the article, an "XL F" model (a continuation of the XL series) is pretty much inevitable.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 12:43 PM   #39
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Would it be practical to put three 1/2.6" CMOS chips (similar to the chips in the HF-S series consumer cams) into that chassis, and still have at least a 10x zoom range? That could make for a pretty sweet cam.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 12:55 PM   #40
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Agreed, but that would spell the end of the line for the XL series (which must be a 1/3" lens mount), and I don't think Canon is willing to do that. I think they place a high value in supporting the XL lineage and also on very long zoom ratios, which are the two main reasons why this next one is 1/3" -- of course I could be wrong, but we'll find out soon enough.

Is anybody going to the MacWorld FCP SuperMeet? They're billing "something super secret from Canon," and my bet is that the Canon USA guys will show up with this prototype. It wouldn't be much of a presentation if they didn't reveal at least some of the specs...
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Old January 15th, 2010, 01:44 PM   #41
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I seriously doubt Canon will move away from 1/3" imaging chips either, but if they did go with HF-S like CMOS chips, they could pretty much kick the competition (from Panny's HMC150 and the new Sony AVC cams) to the curb, in terms of low light performance and recorded image detail (as well as throw a bone to the shallow DOF crowd), and wind up with a camcorder that could be quite viable in the marketplace for even half a decade perhaps (and they do tend to prefer introducing only a very few prosumer camcorders every so seldom, yet ones that remain competitive in the marketplace for a number of years).
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Old January 15th, 2010, 02:03 PM   #42
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Maybe it's my eyes playing tricks on me, but looking at that mock-up again, I'd swear it looks just a little bit longer than the XH-A1/G1. My goodness, could that perhaps mean a longer lens to accommodate slightly bigger imaging chips?
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Old January 15th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #43
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Canon is definitely conservative. They never put out a prosumer camcorder that relies on anything even remotely science-fiction like, like trying to pixel shift progressive CCDs beyond belief, or test out a radical design that winds up yielding split screen issues, or come out with some new recording media that basically relies on technology that is still a few years away from being affordable (like gawd awful expensive, thoroughly non-standard flash memory cards, along with recording images encoded using a high bitrate codec, no less - yielding a whopping 10 minutes of recording time on a single card, or something nutty like that, that in order to have enough cards to store even an hour of footage without dumping the contents off to another device, cost enough at the time, that you might have needed to apply for a second mortgage).

That said, Canon always seems to offer up some innovation, that while it might perhaps break a convention, does not stress proven technology, but offers some sort of genuine real-world benefit.

Last time around, rather than get cute with CCD design, they simply used a pretty conventional approach (interlaced 1440x1080 CCDs) and delivered BOTH excellent interlaced AND excellent progressive recorded images - both, not just one, a bit sharper than any other camcorder, anywhere near it's class at the time. They innovated by breaking with the HDV spec, and recorded 24p images as natively progressive encoded images - clearly stepping a bit outside the formal HDV spec, but not exactly stressing proven technology at all. The end result was generally a pretty nice (and useful) improvement over what was being offered by other manufacturers at the time.

I'm going to make a prediction, as to what I think is the single most likely (conservative, yet effective) innovation Canon might offer up with their next new prosumer camcorder.

I think we may see Canon offer AVC encoded images, recorded to SDHC cards, but stepping outside the AVCHD spec a little by offering an option of 32Mbps encoding. That would really make a lot of sense, coming from Canon. It's not radically science fiction-like by any stretch of the imagination, doesn't stress technology significantly, and doesn't rely on anything particularly expensive, but would offer a real-world benefit, that is indeed a genuine improvement on what is currently being offered by any other manufacturer.

32GB Class-6 SDHC cards are quite reasonably priced nowadays (reasonably close to $100) and capable of storing almost exactly 2 hours of footage encoded at 32Mbps. Class-6 cards, by specification, would offer a minimum of 16Mbps sustained writing speed bandwidth headroom. (The SDHC spec calls for Class-6 cards to be capable of a minimum sustained writing speed of 6MB/second, which is 48Mb/second or 48Mbps).

Offering 32Mbps AVC encoding as an option, would offer image compression quality rivaling Panasonic's AVC-Intra, especially the 50Mbps flavor (for most typical footage), without requiring non-standard, expensive recording media. It would probably result in about the same kind of software incompatibilities as 24F "HDV" did - and essentially just as easy to fix. It would be innovative, in the real-world useful sense, and breaking a bit with convention, but not radical by any means.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 07:45 PM   #44
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Do you think it will have SD recording option?
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Old January 15th, 2010, 08:05 PM   #45
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That's a good question. Canon's consumer AVCHD camcorders don't offer an SD recording option. However, the newest VIXIA models announced recently at CES have an interesting in-camera HD to SD downconvert feature, which works in real-time playback, and offers a choice of making 9mbps or 3mbps standard definition copy of the selected HD material. If the new "XF" model (or whatever it's called) doesn't actually offer an SD recording option, here's hoping that it'll at least incorporate the same in-camera HD-to-SD downconvert function that the consumer camcorders have.
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