Reprinted from a Canon press release:

Canon’s three new digital camcorders expand ease-of-use and dramatically enhance the capability and affordability of video for entry-level users. In stores beginning in March for estimated selling prices of $399, $499 and $599, Canon’s ZR80, ZR85 and ZR90 models pack advanced features into a sleek, compact design that allows consumers to capture and print memorable milestones and everyday events with ease.

“Consumers want to use video as often as they do digital still photography, but have waited for the price-to-benefit offerings to become greater,” Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ). “Canon’s new ZR line of Mini DV camcorders break new ground in the marketplace by affordably placing much-asked-for feature-sets, user-friendly product design and Canon image quality into the hands of more people than ever before.”

“As consumers become more accustomed to digital still photography, we have seen an increase in market demand for high-quality, low cost digital video,” said Ron Glaz, director, IDC Digital Imaging. “Canon’s new ZR camcorders focus on this growing market demand, providing low cost video solutions that support easy video transfer to computers and viewing on home entertainment systems.”


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The Mark of ZR
Focused on creating a series of truly consumer-friendly Mini DV camcorders, Canon has added an array of new features to the ZR line that help to make the first-time user’s experience as fun and easy as possible. Enhancements found in the ZR80 (estimated selling price of $399), ZR85 (estimated selling price of $499), and ZR90 (estimated selling price of $599) digital camcorders include:

  • Skin Detail Mode that automatically recognizes and softens skin tones when shooting close-ups of people, to reduce skin imperfections and create a more flattering appearance;
  • Extended battery life thanks to lower power consumption (up to 12 hours continuous recording using the optional BP-535 battery pack);
  • End Search feature that locates the end of the last recorded scene with one touch of the button, removing the danger of accidentally recording over previously shot footage;
  • To record Motion JPEG – short movie clips saved to the SD Memory card for easy email attachment – users can record for the full capacity of the memory card (ZR90 and ZR85 models only);
  • To Transfer Video Footage stored on the Mini-DV tape onto an SD card inside the camcorder, which will convert and encode Mini-DV video into Motion JPEG so that consumers can e-mail or stream their video on the web (available on the ZR90 and ZR85 only);
  • Still Image Capture to an SD card (on the ZR90 and ZR85 only), creating XGA resolution digital still photos that can be emailed or directly printed on any PictBridge compatible printer;
  • Simultaneous Photo Recording that permits e-mail-ready image capture (VGA) on a separate memory card while recording high quality video to the digital videotape;
  • Selectable Focusing Points feature permit users to opt for automatic sharp focus in one of three areas of the frame – left, right and center;
  • Selectable Display Languages that offer information in the LCD or Viewfinder in a choice of English, French, Spanish, German Italian, Russian, Chinese and Japanese; and
  • The “My Camcorder” feature that permits users to personalize their start-up screen.

    Zoom To The Head Of The Class
    Beginning with the superior optics Canon lenses are renowned for, this trio continues the ZR tradition of offering one of the longest optical zoom range in its class: 18x on the ZR80, 20x on the ZR85 and 22x on the ZR90 models. Factor in the equally extraordinary 360x digital zoom on ZR80 model, the 400x digital zoom on the ZR85 unit and the phenomenal 440x digital zoom on the line leading ZR90 model and it is clear that the image capture capabilities of these camcorders far surpass the entry level class.

    Matching the quality, clarity and precision of Canon’s lenses (born of decades of creating and crafting precision “glass” for 35mm and broadcast cameras) these three Canon digital camcorders also feature such impressive optical innovations such as:

  • A high quality image stabilization system that instantly helps to correct camcorder shake even when shooting hand held at full telephoto;
  • An automatic slow shutter speed – ranging from 1/30 to 1/500 – for low light shooting; and
  • A night mode setting that automatically selects a slow shutter speed and increases the sensitivity of the camcorders’ CCD, permitting extreme low-light shooting and a brighter image without sacrificing color.

    ZR90 Model’s Top-Tier Exclusives
    With a 22x Canon optical/440x digital zoom lens, the ZR90 Mini DV Camcorder features Super Night Mode and Night + Mode (selected from the camera’s menu). This set of additional low-light shooting options enhances the camera’s image sensitivity and capture capability.

    Augmenting the Night Mode setting found on the ZR80 and ZR85 models, Super Night Mode actually adds light to a dark scene as needed with an unobtrusive white LED light positioned on the front of the camera. When the Super Night Mode setting is engaged the LED light automatically turns on and off as needed. Similar to Super Night Mode, Night+ Mode allows the user to turn on the white LED light and keep it on as long he/she chooses.

    The ZR90 Mini DV camcorder also features S-Video In/Out capability and a supplied WA-30.5 Wide Conversion Attachment. Particularly useful when shooting in tight spaces or when very close to a subject, the Wide Conversion Attachment expands the camcorder’s field of view from 54mm to a wide 32mm. In the photo mode, the wide attachment expands the field of view from 48mm to 29mm.

    The DIGIC DV Difference
    Canon’s proprietary DIGIC DV system seamlessly blends the company’s imaging and electronics expertise to achieve superior quality video and photographic results. DIGIC DV makes it possible to achieve accurate color reproduction for both video and digital photos, by employing two different color techniques to maximize video quality on a TV and still image quality for print or computer display.

    Direct Printing with PictBridge Technology
    The ZR85 and ZR90 models are PictBridge compatible, facilitating direct printing with Canon’s CP200 and CP300 dye-sub card photo printers, Canon PhotoDirect Bubblejet printers and any PictBridge compatible printer regardless of manufacturer.

    The ZR85 and ZR90 models come bundled with Canon’s DV Messenger2 software (Windows only) that allows the camcorder to be used for Internet Video Chat through IEEE1394 and using Windows XP’s Windows Messenger program. DV Messenger2 also facilitates sharing of video clips, transfer of digital photos and even control of the other person’s camcorder (only with their permission, of course). ZR80 camcorder customers can download the DV Messenger2 software free of charge from

    The ZR series Mini DV camcorders feature a 2.5″ LCD Screen, a Color Viewfinder, an IEEE 1394 terminal, an assortment of digital effects and fades, and a seven setting Program AE function that offers a choice of Easy Recording, Auto, Sports, Portraits, Sand & Snow, Low-Light and Night shooting modes. All three models ship with a battery pack (BP508) a compact power adapter (CA-570) and a shoulder strap (SS-900).

    Optional accessories offered for this new trio of ZR series DV camcorders are a choice of four extended life battery packs (BP-512, BP-514, BP-522, BP-535); a dual battery charger (CG-570); a “nightlight-style” battery charger that plugs into a wall outlet without need of a cable (CG-580) and a car battery cable (CB-570). Other options include a wide converter (WD-30.5/WD-H30.5); a Tele converter (TL-30.5/TL-H30.5); a choice of three soft carrying cases (SC-2000, SC-1000 and SC-A50); a wrist strap (WS-20), and the S-150 S-Video cable (for the ZR90 camcorder model only).

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