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Canon's crystal ball

Canon's crystal ball

Canon set up shop this week in the Jacob Javits convention center here in NYC to showcase its wares, both hard and vapor. Although there was only one real product announcement--the company's new HDV broadcast camcorder, the $9,000 XL 1H--there were some interesting products that we expect to see this winter.

For instance, there's the as-yet-unnamed, medium-format, 10-pigment-ink printer. Canon reps weren't allowed to disclose what colors it uses, so I'm going to speculate wildly, based on the print samples I saw (but couldn't take with me!): black, two shades of gray, cyan, yellow, magenta, light cyan, light magenta, red, and green. With a stated price of "less than $900," Canon is clearly trying to unseat Epson as the darling of the photo community.

Also on display were the DC10 and DC20 camcorders, the company's debut DVD-recordable products--which are already on sale everywhere in the world but North America, where they're not even officially announced. No one could comment on the holdup, but we know it has something to do with American litigiousness. Grr. Canon also has some Wi-Fi-enabled PowerShots on deck, but those aren't much fun to look at.

Other big imaging news was this week's announcement of the collaboration with Microsoft on the Vista Windows Color System architecture. Canon's contribution is the Kyuanos profile-connection space, displacing Kodak's ICM engine. I'm reserving judgement 'til I see the working implementation, but it seems to have all the right specs. Good riddance, sRGB!