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Video Cameras

Canon workhorse camcorders double their zoom

The lower-end ENG XF series gets two new models with 20X lenses.


Canon revs up its entry-level pro ENG camcorders, the XF series, with the XF200 and XF205. More steroidal versions of the compact XA20 and XA25, the XF200 and XF205 slide into the product line between the XF100 and XF300 series' at $3,900 and $4,400, respectively, though they're destined to replace the lower-end models.

Like the XA models they're built around the slightly-larger-than-1/3-inch (1/2.84-inch) sensor, though they're effectively 1/3-inch: Canon uses the extra pixels on the sensor for electronic image stabilization, though their new 20X 26.8-576mm f1.8-2.8 lens also has optical stabilization. The body has been redesigned to offer 3 separate controls rings -- for focus, zoom, and iris -- on the lens barrel. They're updated to the latest version of Canon's image processor, the Digic DV 4, which enables dual-codec recording: simultaneous low-bit-rate MP4 (35Mbps) and the company's XF codec, a flavor of 4:2:2 50Mbps MPEG-2. It can also stream 1.5Mbps MP4 proxy files over the built-in Wi-Fi. They also gain wired Ethernet.

As before, the two models are differentiated by 3G-SDI and HD-SDI outputs, genlock in, and SMPTE time code connections.

Canon plans to ship the XF200 and XF205 in mid-July.

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