Canon announced on Tuesday two new additions to its line of mini DV cameras: the
Optura 400 and Optura 500. Both are 2.2-megapixel cameras capable of shooting still images and digital video. They capture photos in JPEG format, with three levels of compression available — the 400 model uses Motion JPEG and the 500 uses MPEG-4 for digital video. Both can simultaneously shoot video and capture still images, saving to a Multimedia or SD Memory Card, or a MiniDV cassette, and both support the PictBridge standard for direct printing to any printer that also supports it.
Other photo features available for both cameras include continuous shooting mode, selectable focus points, 10X optical zoom (also available for DV) and more. On the DV side, the Optura 400 and 500 camcorders offer 16:9 widescreen mode, program auto exposure settings for shooting in different lighting conditions, manual audio level control and a FireWire port. The 500 model adds a mini video light that allows you to shoot subjects from almost five feet away even in total darkness, a ring light adapter for getting close-up detail of objects and a USB 2.0 port. Canon expects to ship both DV camcorders in mid-July with estimated prices of US$999 for the Optura 400 and $1,199 for the Optura 500.