LAS VEGAS -- Canon has long since compressed its consumer camcorder line to one product -- three variants of a single model -- and based on this year's announcement it looks like it can't be bothered to put much energy into updating that. The new models, the Vixia HF R600, R60 and R62, branded Legria in the UK and Australia, are identical to last year's HF R500, R50 and R52 with one exception: they now incorporate NFC to initiate Wi-Fi connections and to support Canon's newwireless backup and streaming device.
And the R5xx series was nearly identical to the models it replaced, essentially making the new ones 2 years old before they even ship.
The R62 will now ship with the higher-capacity battery that's still optional on the rest of the models.
The company views this as the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" approach, but I think Canon's definition of "ain't broke" needs some tweaking from what I suspect is a rather shortsighted "still selling well." True, they're fine products, but it does reinforce the feeling that Canon has pretty much surrendered any sort of interest in evolving camcorder technology in favor of concentrating on dSLR-based solutions.
Scheduled to ship in March, they'll be priced the same as their predecessors: $450 for the R62, $400 for the R60 (probably £250) and $300 (likely AU$350, £222) for the R600.