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November 2008

Canon has announced the new Canon HD camcorders, the XH G1S and XH A1S – two handheld, professional-quality HDV1080i (High Definition Video) camcorders that build on the successful legacy of the XH G1 and XH A1.

Key enhancements made over the predecessor models include a re-designed lens for more comfortable operation; enhanced audio features; and an expanded range of creative shooting options. Offering videographers unprecedented levels of control over what they shoot, the XH G1S and XH A1S have been developed and refined based on feedback from existing XH-series users.

“The XH G1S and XH A1S take low budget HDV production to the next level,” said Karel Poortman, European Professional Video Specialist at Canon Europa. Poortman added: “After listening to the opinions of existing XH-series users, Canon now offers an expanded range of customisable options and flexible recording features to low-budget moviemakers and event videographers.”

The new XH G1S and XH A1S offer:

  • Professional quality 1080i HD recording with selectable frame rate (50i/25F).
  • High resolution 1/3” 1.67 Megapixel 3CCD sensor system.
  • DIGIC DV II for high-speed HD image processing.
  • A re-designed 20x HD Video Lens with separate Focus, Zoom and Iris ring, allowing simultaneous three-finger control.
  • Expanded audio options including: Independent limiters in manual mode, simultaneous use of built-in and XLR microphones, and Independent XLR sensitivity settings.
  • Expanded image customisation options, plus Cine Gamma controls.
  • Improved mechanical design for even greater robustness and ease-of-use.
  • NTSC shooting modes (60i/24F/30F) available via optional upgrade.
  • Studio connectivity (XH G1S only) with HD-SDI output for uncompressed Full HD (1920x1080) video with 4:2:2 colour sampling and embedded audio, plus Gen lock in and Time code in/out for multi-camera shoots in a studio environment.
  • Canon CPS Video service support - click here to find out more and register.
The XH G1S offers studio connectivity with HD-SDI output for uncompressed Full HD (1920x1080) video with 4:2:2 colour sampling and embedded audio, plus Gen lock in and Time code in/out for multi-camera shoots in a studio environment.

The XH G1S offers studio connectivity with HD-SDI output for uncompressed Full HD (1920x1080) video with 4:2:2 colour sampling and embedded audio, plus Gen lock in and Time code in/out for multi-camera shoots in a studio environment.

Re-designed lens

Re-designed for more comfortable and efficient operation, the Canon HD 20x optical zoom 4.5-90mm (32.5-650mm 35mm equivalent) L lens incorporates a shift-type Super Range Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) that helps professionals who shoot hand-held to achieve reliably steady shots. L-series lenses are constructed to the very highest standards, drawing on Canon’s experience as the world’s leading manufacturer of lenses for broadcast. Fluorite lens elements and Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) glass provide exceptional clarity, helping to combat chromatic aberrations. Two Neutral Density (ND) filters allow the iris to be opened fully, even in the brightest conditions. Multi-coating virtually eliminates ghosting and flare.

With three separate rings – offering simultaneous, independent control of Focus, Zoom and Iris – the lens offers enhanced operability. Lens ring operation can be modified to suit individual needs – the user can select Focus Limit and Iris Limit. Four Focus Preset speeds are also available, activated via the Focus Preset button. Additionally, three Zoom Preset speeds allow the zoom rocker to be customised.

Enhanced audio functions

The new XH G1S and XH A1S both incorporate twin XLR audio inputs. The XLR sensitivity of each channel can be controlled independently and both feature separate manual limiters. Independent control of auto and manual levels is also possible for each channel. The supplied, front mounted stereo microphone can be used as a mono source, recording to one of the XLR channels.

Fully customisable: advanced image control

The range of advanced image control functions has been expanded. These now include:

  • Wider White Balance adjustment (from 2000k to 15000k).
  • Selective RGB noise reduction options.
  • Auto Gain Control (AGC) limit, with increased Gain levels and fine-tuning.
  • Push Auto Exposure (AE) button (in Manual mode).
  • Iris Limit function (constrains the increased range of available aperture values to less than f/9.5, helping to avoid diffraction).
  • 23 Custom Presets, 21 Custom Functions, 22 Custom Display options.
The XH A1S with LCD panel open.

The XH A1S with LCD panel open.

Robust, intuitive design for work in the field

For cameramen working in the field, the XH G1S and XH A1S have an improved mechanical design. The operation and layout of exterior buttons have been altered, reducing the chance of accidental operation. Additional refinements include a redesigned belt grip, a tripod screw thread adaptor, improved viewfinder eyecup, and sturdier terminals (including a 6-pin Firewire connection).

Allowing shooting setups to be easily recreated, custom presets can be stored to SD/MMC memory cards and shared with all the other Canon XL and XH series camcorders. While up to nine presets can be stored in-camera, high-capacity MMC or SDHC cards (4GB or more) are now supported.

XH G1S: for studio productions

The XH G1S offers additional studio connectivity for the last word in flexibility. It features an HD-SDI output connection, providing uncompressed Full HD at 1920x1080 resolution with 4:2:2 colour space. Audio and Time code are embedded in the SDI signal. Gen lock in and Time code in/out allow the camcorder to be co-ordinated with other compatible cameras, as either master or slave, in a multi-camera shoot.

Canon CPS Video

Cameramen who purchase the XH G1S or XH A1S can also benefit from Canon Europe’s CPS Video service.

The CPS Video membership programme offers:

  • Priority repair service (six day turnaround).
  • Free loan equipment for repairs that will take longer than six days (subject to availability).
  • E-mail and phone support from a dedicated local representative.

To find out more about the CPS Video programme and register as a CPS member just click here.

To find out more about the Canon video products mentioned in this article or to try out or purchase Canon video products, contact your nearest Canon video dealer. For contact details just click here.