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Video Cameras

Canon's compact pro camcorders get a big update

A larger sensor and longer lens are among the improvements Canon incorporates into its top-of-the-line consumer and compact pro models.

Canon XA25 Canon USA

Canon expands its pro/prosumer camcorder options with the addition of the Vixia HF G30 into the product line above the G20, which was announced only a few months ago at CES. The G30 has a lot of enhancements to match its $1,699.99 price -- the G20 is only $1,100 -- including the addition of two new pro variants of it for the run-and-gun and broadcast (ENG) crowd.

Among the enhancements are a larger version of its HD CMOS Pro sensor (1/2.84-inch vs. 1/3-inch for the G20) plus a new version of its image-processing chip, Digic DV 4, for a claimed increase in dynamic range. The lens jumps to a 20x zoom 26.8 - 576mm (35mm equivalent) f1.8-2.8 from the G20's 10x, retaining the same 8-blade aperture. While it's still AVCHD, and now supports 1080/60p in that format, it also boosts MPEG-4 support to a 35Mbps 1080/60p codec.

The XA25's HD/SDI port. Canon USA

The camcorder integrates a 3.5-inch OLED touch screen and ups the resolution of its EVF to 1.56 megadots. Interestingly, it has no internal memory -- the G20 does -- but adds Wi-Fi.

As the XA10 is a pro version of the HF G10, the XA20 ($2,499) and XA25 HD ENG ($2,999) are pro versions of the G30, with the same corresponding step-up features. The XA20 adds a run-and-gun handle with 2 XLR inputs and manual audio controls to the G30's feature set; the XA25 builds on the XA20 with an HD/SDI connector for output of uncompressed video.

All three camcorders are scheduled to ship in June.

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