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Old September 12th, 2017, 07:56 AM   #1
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Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

Full press release with pics at:

Canon Launches Three 4K UHD Camcorders at DV Info Net

They seem to be continuing the XF series line with the model numbers XF400 and XF405, however the design seems to my eye to be more of an XA type than XF.

The only difference between the 400 and 405 is that the 405 includes SDI.

The third model is the VIXIA HF GX10 which is identical to the XF400 in most all respects except it lacks the top handle, and therefore the XLR inputs as well.

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Old September 12th, 2017, 11:03 AM   #2
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

Could this be the camera I've been waiting for? A single 1" sensor seems to be the sweet spot for compact 4K camcorders. Dealer reviews on YouTube seem to make a big deal of the auto-focus inherited from the C100 etc.

Has anyone got their hands on one yet? How does it compare to the Sony and Panasonic rivals?

Looks like it has everything except the magic zoom-speed thumb-wheel I love so much on my XH-A1s, and something tells me no one else care about that.
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Old September 12th, 2017, 11:36 AM   #3
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

I notice they never show how to shoot in manual mode and change the shutter speed and aperture using the touch screen, on the fly. I bought my XH-A1 and SF-300 because the three ring lens adjustment. Also, the 500 mm equivalent lens.
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Old September 12th, 2017, 12:54 PM   #4
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

I care about it, Ed!
It's one of the features I appreciate the most on my XH-A1S camcorder.
I don't understand why Canon has discontinued this really useful feature.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 06:29 AM   #5
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

i have a EOS 1DX mark II and if you need auto focus the dual pixel auto focus is the best out there
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Old September 13th, 2017, 09:09 AM   #6
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

(regarding three control rings on the lens barrel)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig W. Scribner View Post
I don't understand why Canon has discontinued this really useful feature.
I wouldn't say they discontinued it, Craig.

It's just not on this particular camcorder.

The XF400/405 is roughly the same size as the XF100/105, which is also single-ring. It's a physical space constraint.

Having already said that the 400/405 seem to be more XA than XF, I'm really hoping they'll do a larger version, say the size of the XF200/205, big enough to have three control rings on the lens barrel like a proper camcorder. And give it the dual-swing LCD design as found on the XF300/305.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 09:51 AM   #7
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

Looks like the XA series to me....

I wonder how this will compare to the Sony AX100 and X70.

It's about time for Sony to update the AX100 isn't it?
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Old September 13th, 2017, 10:01 AM   #8
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

They have UHD 50/60P that neither of the Sony's have and in fact one has to move all the way up to the Sony FS7 to get UHD 50/60P in the Sony line. The Panasonic HC-X1 would be the closest competition I think. Three rings , a longer zoom and a little more expensive ?
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Old September 13th, 2017, 11:14 AM   #9
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

Well, Sony just lost the prosumer market. If there's no PXW-Z180 or Z200 answer with 60p, I'm gonna recommend people wanting to produce 4K 60p content to get these instead. I've seen the UX180's footage and it doesn't handle dark noise very well.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 12:36 PM   #10
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

Being the parent of two Canon XF300s, this new offspring is tempting since it's smaller and 4K, but not sure if this isn't just a gap filler for Canon... or maybe it's a woopsy 'we should have done this a while ago..' Not sure. I love my XF300s though. Solid cameras.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 01:34 PM   #11
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

These are a bit on the pricey side. I'm betting that Sony is charging them a high price for those 1inch type sensors. Interesting that Canon is still holding out on oversampling their 4K. They are still doing the old 1:1 readout and taking the Bayer pattern RGGB resolution loss.

Seems like some pretty nice little cameras though.

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Old September 13th, 2017, 02:43 PM   #12
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

CMOS sensors in Canon cameras are *not* outsourced. They're made (grown?) entirely in-house by Canon.

It's been that way since 2010 at least. That year during the quinquennial Canon Global Expo in New York (my second one to attend), they made a big marketing push about the entire imaging chain -- lens, sensor, processor -- being "all Canon" and it's been that way ever since.

They've been manufacturing CMOS long before that. They had missed out on CCDs, although Canon made the machines that made CCDs, the ones they put in camcorders back then were in fact outsourced. Consumer-grade cheapie PowerShot point & shoots are outsourced, and maybe that's what you're thinking of.

But the CMOS chips in professional Canon cameras such as all D-SLRs, pro video camcorders like these, G-series PowerShots and Cinema EOS... they've been making those themselves for quite awhile now.

Sources:

Top Five CMOS Sensor Makers of 2016 -- (Canon is fourth in world market share)

Top 10 manufacturers of CMOS Image Sensors for 2012

Canon develops 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor for video capture at DV Info Net

Canon develops 250 Megapixel CMOS sensor at DV Info Net

The Story Behind the Development of Canon's Most Advanced CMOS Sensor

Canon to Sell CMOS Sensors to Other Companies for the First Time
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Old September 13th, 2017, 04:39 PM   #13
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

I have been told by a reliable source (to me anyway) that Canon does buy 1 inch-type Sony sensors for the XC10. Its true that Canon makes their own full frame and APSC sensors.

Now, my source tells me that Canon reps have been told to say "The image sensor is completely designed by Canon" This is completely true. But the fab is done at Sony.

The truth is....you could market your own "Chris-Sensor" and have Sony fab it for you. You can "design" it yourself too. You simply check off all the Sony patented options for your chip. There are allot of designs and features you can pay for. After you select all your options, Sony builds them for you and charges you based on your choices. Yes, Sony services the entire imaging industry in this exact way. And, yes,..."you" completely "designed" the sensor!

I was not told specifically if these new models have Sony fab sensors. But if its similar to the XC10, than I sure suspect so. These agreements of sale are protected buy NDA's from both parties so Canon and Sony are not allowed to discuss the topic. (Neither is Panny on the GH5 being a Sony sensor and Sony's 5k/6k scaling algorithm)

Anyhoo...this is not something I can state as "fact". My source cant discuss it publically and that means nothing to anybody here. For you guys, this is just crazy "speculation" but for me, I believe my source. ;-)

Take this all for whatever you think its worth to you.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 05:34 PM   #14
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

Well, sure, design is one thing and manufacturing is another.

But I've got my sources, too. So I'll have to put this out in the form of a question... why would Canon outsource the manufacturing, when they can do it themselves? Specifically at their Ayase plant in Kanagawa... where they manufacture CMOS chips.

Not just for Full-Frame sensors, but smallers ones too... say, for video cameras.

I can name *one* of my sources... it's Reuters:

Canon to build $451m factory for key camera part

That's the newer of their two semiconductor factories. The other's in Oita. Each cranks out about 250,000 wafers per month... so again I have to ask, why would they outsource it?

Or, to put it another way, I'll just say that I seriously doubt it's outsourced.

However I will agree with you wholeheartedly that they're overpriced. We just disagree on the reason why they're overpriced.

You stated your speculation for the reason why, and now I'll state mine: Canon has an annoyingly consistent habit of pricing new product about 20% too high. It's always been that way and always will be. Eventually their prices come down, thankfully, but you have to wait them out. But the brand new gear is always tagged higher than it should be and that's just a steadfast corporate operating model and nothing more. Regardless of where the sensor comes from.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 07:37 PM   #15
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Re: Canon USA launches three 4K UHD handheld camcorders

Why would Canon buy from Sony when they own their own plant? Simple, why does Samsung, the #2 industry sensor maker buy their cell phone sensors from Sony...the exact same reason why Canon and Panasonic does!

Sony has industry pattents on sensor technology GALORE! Sony has a TON of them that they guard with their life. For instance, Sony has the pattent on A/D conversion right on the chip itself. Every line is read from analog and converted to digital immediately right at the end of every single row! Canon or other sensors must collect their analog signal and send it down the main board to get digitized by a secondary encoder to become digital. This process collects noise as it leaves the sensor before its finally digitized. Sony's EXMOR patent has instant digitization before it even leaves the chip. Ever wonder how Sony gets sooo much dynamic range and high signal to noise ratio from tiny sensors? Thats half of it right there.

Again, Sony can liscense their vast number pattented designs to you to build in your own factory. Or, you can just pay Sony to do it for you. Nobody makes small sensors as clean as Sony does. Their factories incedibly state of the art. They fab so many sensors a month for the entire industry that it has given them an enormous amount of experience over other companies like Samsung and a dozen others. If you try to steal a Sony pattent without leasing it, their legal department will crush you. The image sensor business is cutthroat and loaded FULL of pattents and NDA's

So....why retool your CMOS waffer machines and dies and cutters...spend tons of money trying to develop a small sensor that DOESNT violate any Sony pattents...and "hope" it comes out as good as a small Sony model? If your chip cant beat Sony's chip, than all your money goes to waste.

Easier way? Go to Sony, ask to see their catalog, pick the options you want and buy them. You save money and you get the best small sensor in the industry. You wont have to "re invent the wheel" and just take advantage of the years of 1inch-type work that Sony has already accomplished. This also frees Canon up to work on their larger sensors instead. (Which are already falling way behind Sony and Samsung. (NX1 sensor was damn good)

Look at mighty Samsung! Look at Apple and LG! They all buy Sony made sensors. There is a reason why Sony owns close to half of the entire sensor industry. Love Sony or hate them...but holy crap, they engineer and pattent excellent image sensor technology.

Last edited by Cliff Totten; September 13th, 2017 at 08:08 PM.
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