Canon U.S.A. Inc.
on Tuesday announced two new additions to its line of Optura mini DV camcorders: The Optura Xi and the Optura 300. The cameras are billed as “dual-function,” capable of recording digital video and taking still photos as well.
Both cameras sport 1.34 inch 2.0 megapixel CCDs and support for PictBridge, a new industry standard for outputting digital camera content to photo printers. The cameras feature USB interfaces for downloading images to printers. They also feature Canon-made optics.
As still cameras, the two new Optura models incorporate auto exposure bracketing and selectable focusing points, and can capture up to 30 images in continuous shooting mode. A simultaneous shooting mode enables users to grab still images while shooting video as well. Still images are stored on SD memory cards.
In video mode, both cameras also tout 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio support, along with an RGB Primary color Filter, which Canon claims reproduces more accurate color. Color Night Mode and Super Color Night Mode help enhance video capture in low light conditions. Both units support 16 and 12-bit PCM digital sound, manual audio level controls, digital effects and more. And beside the USB interface for still image transfer, the cameras of course sport FireWire connections for digital video transfer to your Mac.
Coming in August with an estimated retail price of US$1,499, the Optura Xi has an 11x optical zoom and 220x digital zoom. It also includes a 3.5-inch LCD view screen, manual focus ring, and an accessory show for attaching a video light or directional mic. The camera also features optical image stabilization. The Xi also has a pop-up flash.
Coming in September with an estimated street price of $1,299, the Optura 300 features a 10x optical zoom and a 200x digital zoom. It sports a 2.5-inch LCD viewscreen and electronic image stabilization. The 300 has a built-in flash, as well.