Reprinted from a Canon press release:
Responding to the increased technology demands of today’s digital household, Canon introduced three new megapixel Mini DV camcorders that offer a variety of advanced video and photo features for the hobbyist and beginner alike. All three new models including the 2.2 megapixel Optura 50 and Optura 60 and the 1.33 megapixel ZR400 camcorder will be on display at PMA 2005, February 20 – 23 (Canon Booth #3503) in Orlando, Fla. Each of the three new camcorders will allow users of all levels to capture and share high quality video and photos using the high resolution 16:9 widescreen video recording mode and advanced photo features usually found on Canon’s award-winning digital cameras, among other features.
“With the addition of the budget-friendly ZR400 and the photo-optimized Optura series, the Canon lineup of Mini DV camcorders helps feed the growing trend of consumers shooting photos with their camcorders and displaying video on their 16:9 widescreen televisions,” said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. “Now more than ever is the time to enjoy the benefits of a hybrid camcorder, and discover the simplicity of bringing video and still images together for all levels of users, and for almost any occasion.”
Delivering Premium Performance To The Camcorder User
Each new camcorder features Canon’s exclusive DV Photo Plus system, a combination of features and technology that allows users to achieve high quality video and high resolution photos, with exceptional quality, color and clarity, in a single product.
Incorporated into each new model are four key technologies that collectively raise image quality, camera performance and user satisfaction. This fierce foursome includes:
With widescreen televisions growing ever more popular, Canon has responded with a high-resolution 16:9 Widescreen video recording mode found on both the ZR400 and Optura 50 and Optura 60 camcorders. Now consumers can capture high-resolution 16:9 home videos with up to 33 percent more picture than standard video and enjoy them on a widescreen television for a superior home theater experience. All models use the full width of the CCD image sensor to record sharp, clear images in widescreen, which is not found on all digital camcorders today. While shooting, the viewscreen on each camcorder displays video in a clear widescreen style, free from distortion. Each model also records video in the standard 4:3 TV aspect ratio.
As consumers embrace shooting digital photos with their camcorders the new ZR and Optura models make it easy to capture, view, print and share pictures by incorporating advanced photo features from Canon’s line of digital cameras including the popular PowerShot series and professional EOS line of SLRs. Beginners may be pleased with using any of three auto focus areas for creative photo composition with ZR400 while hobbyists and even pro-photographers can appreciate more photo precision with control over focus points, metering methods, aperture and shutter speeds on the Optura 50 and Optura 60 models.
The Optura 50 and 60 – Not Just Video and Photos, The Best of Both
The new Optura 50 and Optura 60 Mini DV camcorders represent the strongest two in one product Canon has ever offered. The new Optura series includes a 2.2 megapixel CCD with an RGB primary color filter for color reproduction that contends with three CCD camcorders.
The Optura 50 camcorder is equipped with a 10x Optical Zoom Lens, while the Optura
60 model provides a 14x Optical Zoom Lens. Canon has brought the excellence of its Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) to the two new Optura camcorders. Optical Image Stabilization is superior to electronic image stabilization, which is found on most camcorders. OIS works by moving the optical lens elements to compensate for shake with startling accuracy for shooting both video and photos without sacrificing image quality.
A precise nine-point AiAF (Auto Intelligent Auto Focus) system with selectable AF points is also incorporated into each model that is versatile enough to accommodate shooting great photos whether candid or posed. The Optura models also offer a continuous shooting mode for capturing a burst of sequential photos up to five frames per second. In addition three exposure metering modes including Spot, Evaluative and Center Weighted provide choices for metering an individual subject or the entire image. Also, the Optura models include a built in flash for illuminating subjects while shooting photos at night or filling in shadows on sunny days.
To make capturing photos even easier, the new Optura series features, for the first time ever, scene modes that are easily selected from the side mounted control wheel. User-friendly modes include beach, sunset, snow, foliage, fireworks, and spotlight to adapt to most shooting situations for both photo and video. Users can also be creative with manual features such as aperture and shutter priority modes, manual audio level recording and a large manual focusing ring on the front of the lens. Both the Optura 50 and Optura 60 camcorders feature a Night Mode, which allows users to capture video under low light conditions.
Exclusive features offered on the Optura 60 camcorder include a USB 2.0 high-speed terminal, which is beneficial for fast and easy transfer of full-quality digital video to a computer. In addition, the Optura 60 model comes with an Advanced Accessory Shoe, which allows certain Canon accessories to attach and be powered directly from the camera without wires or additional power. For more advanced low light recording, the Optura 60 camcorder also offers a built-in video light, which enables users to keep shooting even in the dark.
The ZR400 – Bringing the Megapixel Message To The Masses
The new Canon ZR400 Mini DV camcorder offers for the first time in an entry-level model a 1.33-megapixel CCD, which provides consumers with higher quality video and still photos. The new ZR model demonstrates Genuine Canon Optics with a 14x Optical Zoom Lens and image stabilization. Included with the camcorder is a Canon 0.6x wide attachment that increases the field of view by approximately 40 percent, which is helpful for including everyone in a large group of people, the span of an interior room or the scope of a landscape.
Supporting the belief that consumer camcorders should be easy to use, Canon’s new ZR400 model offers users a compact design that is sleek enough to be carried anywhere and an EASY control switch that sets the camcorder in full automatic mode for point and shoot simplicity.
The ZR400 camcorder records high-resolution 16:9 widescreen video and uses the full width of the CCD by filling the entire screen with crisp, high quality images.
For added convenience, users can shoot simultaneous stills to the provided MultiMediaCard while taping video without interruption. Printing images from the ZR400 model is also a snap due to the Print and Share function, which allows quick and easy direct printing to a Canon brand PIXMA, SELPHY or CP series photo printer or any PictBridge compatible photo printer.
The ZR400 will be available in mid April at an estimated selling price of $549* and will come bundled with a rechargeable NB-2LH battery, a 0.6x wide attachment, remote control, 16MB MultiMediaCard, a power adaptor, USB and stereo video cables, shoulder strap and Canon’s Digital Video Solution CD for select Windows and Apple computer operating systems.
The Optura series of Mini DV camcorders come bundled with a rechargeable NB-2LH battery, remote control, 16 MB MultiMediaCard, a power adaptor, cables for stereo video and USB transfer, shoulder strap and Canon’s Digital Video Solution CD for select Windows and Apple computer operating systems. The Optura 50 and Optura 60 Mini DV camcorders will arrive in retail stores in March, with an estimated selling price of $799* and $899*, respectively.
Representing consumer protection and providing ease of mind, all Canon Mini DV camcorders come complete with a manufacturer’s limited warranty covering parts and labor for one full year, one of the longest warranty terms in the camcorder industry**. Additionally, Canon features complementary operation with both Windows XP and Macintosh OS X operating systems, which, using a IEEE 1394 cable, allows people to easily connect and download their video and photos onto a computer for viewing or editing.