Canon’s Next Cam — Photos from SFO SuperMeet, Pt. 1

300xf-signI had reported previously that Canon Inc. has shown a non-working mock-up of their next generation file-based (flash memory) professional video camcorder at the InterBEE 2009 trade show in Japan last November. This past week, on Friday 5 Feb. 2010, Canon USA choose the FCP SuperMeet in San Francisco as the first public venue in which to display the same mock-up for a U.S. audience. Similar to the first unveiling at InterBEE, the unlabeled model was shown only under glass, however I managed to sneak a few photos when it was briefly out of its display case at the conclusion of the event.

300xf-glassHaving seen only a handful of low resolution web-optimized photos from overseas reports on the InterBEE show, I was anxious to take my own pictures and present some larger sizes and various angles of the new camera. Some twenty-odd images are presented here, divided between this page and two companions, revealing a few external features which, although they aren’t labeled, should provide some clues about what to expect once the press release carrying the official announcement of this camera finally arrives. Except in a few cases regarding specifications that have been confirmed by Canon USA, pretty much all of my commentary that follows is a series of educated guesses based on my knowledge of the Canon XH series of tape-based HDV camcorders upon which this next-generation file-based (that is, tapeless) version is based.

600xf-sideproThose who are familiar with the Canon XH series camcorders can probably make some good guesses as to the identities and functions of most of these unlabeled buttons and switches…

600xf-sideobThe left and right channel audio level pots are obvious, but the switch in front of each? Line / mic level impedance selectors, or manual vs. auto gain?

600xf-backobThe battery well at the back sure seems like it takes the familiar BP-9xx series batteries, but the dual card slots are not as obvious as to whether they’re Compact Flash or SDHC / SDXC. They certainly appear to be big enough for Compact Flash.

600xf-lensobThe left side of the lens barrel shows a window adjacent to the focus ring… wonder if it could be a meters / feet distance readout, which would seem to imply easily repeatable racks.

600xf-offfrontWhat is the purpose of the button just in front of the zoom control ring?

600xf-frontobTake note of the geared teeth immediately in front of the focus control ring and between the zoom and iris control rings. Looks like this camera is ready out of the box for external rails-mounted follow focus and zoom controllers.

600xf-offlensThere’s the Instant AF housing, which first appeared on the older XH series. Are the slide switches on top of the XLR jacks module intended for +48v phantom power, or something else?

Move on to Page Two or Page Three of this article…


About The Author

After completing my degree in Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas, I managed a video production studio "back in the tape days" while waiting for the digital video revolution to arrive and for the internet to become mainstream. Things started to get interesting in November of 1997 when I launched The XL1 Watchdog, my first web site dedicated to digital video technology. In January of 2001, that site morphed into DV Info Net — the Digital Video Information Network. More than fifteen years later, the longevity of DV Info Net is exceeded now only by its popularity and reputation as one of the leading technology information resources in the broadcast and professional video markets.

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