Canon have announced two new smaller ENG styled cameras called the XA25 HD and XA20 HD. Canon claim the two cameras are ideal for run-and-gun style videography, or electronic newsgathering (ENG.) Both models weigh only 2.6 pounds, allowing for extreme mobility and portability. Both camcorders feature multiple shooting-assist functions and enhanced key components such as a newly developed Genuine Canon wide-angle 20x HD zoom lens with an ENG-style “rocker” zoom control and built-in real-time optical image stabilization. Delivering outstanding low-light performance and image quality, the Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders are equipped with a new high-sensitivity 2.91-megapixel 1/2.84-inch HD CMOS image sensor and the new Canon DIGIC DV 4 image processor.
Additional features include simultaneous recording of multiple bit rates and Full 1080p HD formats – including 60p and native cinematic at 24p – on two separate SD cards. Users can simultaneously record Full 1080p HD video at 60p in either AVCHD Progressive (28Mbps) or MP4 (35Mbps) format for crisp moving images, or record at a lower bit rate and transmit MP4 (3Mbps) format video to cover and quickly upload breaking news via wireless FTP file transfer. The cameras’ dual SD slots allow for relay recording for long periods without interruption.
“The nearly instantaneous rate by which video news is consumed and shared via TV, tablets and smartphones has fueled the immediacy by which journalists need to capture and deliver their content. The introduction of the XA25 and XA20 professional camcorder models are designed to provide these professionals with a compact, portable, and wireless system for content acquisition and uploading,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “In addition, the tremendous growth of independent and documentary filmmaking as well as innovative, creative online content may also benefit from the compact design, high-quality formats and long-range optics found in both models.”
Advanced Canon Optics
Drawing from the many innovations developed by Canon for its EF-series lenses, the wide-angle 20x HD zoom lens in the new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders features a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 26.8mm – 576mm. The MOD (minimum object distance) of this lens is only 60cm, enabling users to capture up-close shots, particularly useful when filming in narrow, tight quarters. Canon’s real-time optical image stabilization and vibration correction in five axes of 3D movement helps reduce picture shake, even when shooting while walking, particularly useful for run-and-gun handheld videography. An eight-blade circular aperture can help create a natural, smooth look for out-of-focus areas such as a blurred nighttime skyline, and is equipped with Canon’s unique EMD (Electro Magnetic Diaphragm) technology for high-precision control.
Ultra-compact and designed with professional operability and multiple shooting-assist functions, the new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders feature a handgrip with accessible joystick and other controls, allowing for easily adjustable settings including a broadcast-style zoom rocker. Each camcorder’s wide-angle 20x HD zoom lens can also be adjusted using a multipurpose ring on the lens that can switch between zoom or focus control. A convenient custom key dial provides quick access to frequently used set functions.
The XA25 and XA20 professional camcorders are the first Canon video cameras featuring an Organic LED (OLED) electrostatic touch panel. This 3.5-inch, 1.23 million-dot touch panel displays vivid, clear video images allowing for simple, intuitive operation and menu access. Five custom buttons on the panel allow operators to assign settings according to their unique shooting preferences. The camcorders also feature a 1.56 million-dot high-resolution adjustable-angle compact viewfinder, allowing users to see clearly even when filming in bright sunny conditions. The design also allows operators to use the viewfinder and check critical focus while recording.
Essential for broadcast and professional use, the Canon XA25 HD camcorder provides an HD/SD-SDI connector (BNC) to feed video directly to a microwave van, satellite uplink, or other TV transmission system. The positioning of the connector allows for handheld shooting while the SDI cable is attached. A recorder (sold separately) can also be attached to the SDI connector to make uncompressed recordings. The convenient ergonomics of the Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders also includes XLR terminals with phantom power, a microphone holder, independent audio level controls, multipurpose accessory shoe, and an infrared emitter, all combined in a detachable handle. For extreme low-light shooting, the cameras’ infrared shooting mode makes possible the capture of HD video in conditions with little to zero ambient light. A green or white color option can provide pleasing HD infrared imagery even in darkness for documentary, undercover news, law enforcement surveillance and wildlife operation.
On-Board Intelligence and Wireless Features
In addition to the professional manual operation of the new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders, automatic features provide a variety of shooting-assist functions. Controlled by the new Canon DIGIC DV 4 onboard image processor, these sophisticated capabilities include the Canon Intelligent IS feature that automatically switches among four types of image-stabilization control based on shooting conditions (walking, macro, telephoto, and tripod). With real-time optical image stabilization, unnecessary shakiness is greatly reduced or eliminated during shooting. Canon Auto Focus (AF) features include natural-looking medium-speed, instant, and Face Detection AF, which can significantly reduce the effort required when shooters need to keep a particular face in focus in a jostling crowd or similar situation.
FTP file transfer of MP4 (3Mbps) format video to cover breaking news is enabled by dual-band wireless support (5GHz and 2.4GHz), which also allows for data sharing. A wireless remote feature also enables users to control the XA25 and XA20 camcorders via a web browser of the user’s PC or mobile device. Camera videos can be played back or downloaded to a device using the web browser* of a PC or mobile device connected to the camcorder. In playback mode, video files can be uploaded to social media websites via the free Movie Uploader app, currently available only for iOS-related mobile devices**.
The new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders also support use of the optional Canon GP-E2 GPS receiver, which can be connected via USB cable to provide location and time information recorded during shooting. This capability supports editing workflow and can add valuable information for archiving purposes.
Pricing and Availability
The Canon XA25 HD ENG camcorder and XA20 HD professional camcorder are scheduled to be available at the end of June 2013 for estimated list prices of $2,999.00 and $2,499.00, respectively