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August 2010

The latest additions to Canon’s revolutionary XF series of professional camcorders are the XF105 and XF100 models – the smallest cameras ever to include the broadcast quality MPEG-2 Full HD recording codec (50Mbps, 4:2:2).

The right hand side of the new XF100 palm-sized camcorder.

The XF100-series camcorders have been designed to offer highly portable Full HD recording and provide a market-leading combination of high specifications, mobility and versatility never seen before in their class. These models share many of the elite features already found in Canon’s groundbreaking XF305 and XF300 camcorders, to offer outstanding performance to users who want to shoot with a more compact model.

Terunori Tajiri, EMEA Video Product Manager, Canon Europe, explained: “The XF105 and XF100 are the next step in the expansion of Canon’s file-based professional camcorder line-up. A broadcast-standard MPEG-2 codec in such a compact body makes these new products unique, and will offer a level of HD image quality that was previously out of the reach of many users. The XF105 and XF100 will combine with XF305, XF300 and EOS DSLR cameras to offer a comprehensive range of Canon HD video tools for all sorts of applications.”

Videographers will soon be able to see the XF100-series models for the first time at two major imaging exhibitions in Europe – they’ll be on the Canon stands at the IBC 2010 exhibition at the RAI in Amsterdam (from 10-14 September), and at the Photokina 2010 show in Cologne, Germany, from 21-26 September.

Portable, powerful, packed with features

The XF105 and XF100 are versatile, uniquely adaptable camcorders that offer maximum image quality from a palm-sized, lightweight body. The camcorders feature an advanced ergonomic design to maximise comfort on extended shoots. The much-praised design principles of the XF300-series camcorders have been adapted into the XF100-series models, with easy-to-reach, customisable controls, an outstanding LCD, and XLR inputs built into the handle.

The XF105 and XF100 are perfect for users who need the flexibility to work in a range of field-based situations. Their compact design and advanced image quality makes them ideal for operators who may routinely switch between a variety of projects, such as weddings, corporate videos or documentaries. With their unrivalled range of features and easy-to-carry form factor, each provides the ability to move between assignments with one versatile camcorder.

To reinforce the XF100-series’ exceptional performance across a range of applications the XF105 features an HD-SDI output, and shared Timecode input/output and Genlock input, to deliver enhanced integration into a studio set-up or for multi-camera shoots.

Broadcast codec, seamless workflow

Like Canon’s advanced XF300-series, the XF105 and XF100 camcorders record MPEG-2 Full HD video in industry-standard, open-source Material eXchange Format (MXF) files to Compact Flash (CF) memory cards at transfer rates of up to 50Mbps, with rich 4:2:2 colour sampling – capturing high levels of colour information for post production.

Fast and robust, CF cards are practical, cost-effective and widely available compared to some solid-state media commonly used for professional video recording. Both the XF105 and XF100 offer Relay Recording and new Double Slot Recording – a feature that allows users to record the same footage to two separate CF cards simultaneously. Additionally, during recording, a card that’s not in use can be exchanged or initialised.

Canon has ensured that MPEG-2 MXF video files from the camcorders are fully compatible with major editing and processing software packages from Adobe, Apple, Avid and Grass Valley, so videographers can immediately integrate the XF105 and XF100 into their workflow. Canon XF Utility software and plug-ins for Apple Final Cut Pro and Avid Media Composer are supplied with the camcorders.

High quality camera system

The XF100-series features one of the most advanced camera systems in its class with outstanding Full HD video quality. Both models have a versatile new 10x zoom, 30.4mm wide angle Canon HD Video Lens, with fast aperture performance up to f/1.8. An eight-blade metal diaphragm also provides a near-circular ‘bokeh’ effect, allowing operators to create more attractive background blur, while an increased number of moveable lens groups helps to reduce chromatic aberration and the overall size of the lens for added flexibility. A three-level digital tele-converter function can also be used to extend the lens’ focal length by 1.5x, 3x or 6x – enabling users to get closer to the action if required.

The XF105 and XF100 benefit from the advanced Canon Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) system adopted for XF camcorders, offering three different modes of stabilisation – Standard, Dynamic and Powered.

A new 1/3-type, 2.07 Megapixel Canon CMOS sensor, adapted from the 3CMOS sensor system employed in XF300-series models, captures Full HD video at native 1920x1080 resolution. The XF100-series sensor is equipped with a Bayer pattern colour filter for high sensitivity and wide dynamic range, whilst high-speed data readout technology minimises the rolling-shutter skew that can occur in conventional CMOS camcorders.

Creative options, with 3D Shooting Assist

Like the larger XF300-series models, XF105 and XF100 provide a wealth of creative shooting options. 1080/50i, 1080/25p, 720/50p and 720/25p modes are all available, as are different recording bit rates to complement existing workflows. Fast and Slow Motion, Interval Recording (time lapse) and Frame Recording (for stop-motion animation) are all possible, as is a three-second Pre Record (cache) option.

The XF100-series has a new Infrared (IR) shooting mode that’s activated via a switch on the front of the camcorder, beneath the lens. With a built-in IR lamp, and both green and white light shooting options available, the XF105 and XF100 can capture genuinely dramatic night-time footage – perfect for wildlife or documentary shooting.

Two new 3D Shooting Assist functions also feature on both models. OIS Axis Shift uses the lens-shift Image Stabilizer system to allow users to correctly align two connected camcorders during stereoscopic 3D video recording. A Focal Length Guide helps to precisely synchronise adjustments to zoom.

Designed with users in mind

Building on the benchmark set by XF300 and XF305, the XF100-series models are designed with a broad range of different operators – from experienced videographers to beginners – in mind. Despite their compact size, a wealth of manual controls is provided for experienced users, while automatic and assist functions make shooting straightforward for beginners.

For monitoring during shooting, both camcorders have an 8.8cm (3.5”), side-mounted LCD screen with a sharp, 920k dot resolution, to deliver incredible clarity. A built-in waveform monitor and Edge Focus function help to perfectly set up the shot, with menu selections performed using a joystick interface. A 0.61cm, 260k dot electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 100% coverage is also available.

A manual lens ring provides control over focus, zoom and iris, with a side-mounted switch allowing the user to switch instantly between modes. A number of settings, including iris control, can also be adjusted using a custom key and control dial combination.

A dedicated button enables on-demand switching between manual focus and autofocus. In addition to Canon’s Face Detection AF and unique Instant AF modes, a new Face-Only AF mode is included – this limits autofocusing to detected faces only and is particularly useful for ‘single shooters’, such as on-location news reporters.

Extensive customisation options

Like many larger camcorders intended for broadcast use, the XF105 and XF100 offer a huge array of customisation options, for unmatched versatility and flexibility. Users can configure more than 90 individual, image-related variables using the Custom Picture function; including selecting one of six preset gamma curves. Operators can also assign one of 34 individual functions to 10 customisable buttons, allowing them to optimise the camcorder for their personal shooting preferences or stylistic considerations.

Up to nine ‘customised pictures’ can be stored to each body, with CINE.V and CINE.F gamma settings among three presets supplied as standard. Preferred settings can be saved and transferred from one XF100-series camcorder to another via SDHC cards – this is particularly useful for maintaining a creative style across camcorder bodies, or for organisations that may want to ensure uniform set-up across multiple camcorder units.

Advanced audio capabilities

The high quality images produced by the cameras are complemented by professional-quality audio capture. Independent audio can be recorded by connecting external microphones to the two XLR inputs, while a front-mounted integrated microphone captures stereo sound. Both models are capable of recording 16-bit linear PCM audio at 48 kHz, providing sound quality fit for professional or broadcast use.

Canon Professional Services

Owners of the XF100-series camcorders will qualify for membership of Canon Professional Services (CPS) Video. The CPS Video service offers professional users of Canon products exclusive, free access to a range of benefits, such as a priority repair service and direct support from Canon Professional Representatives across Europe. For more information about CPS membership and its key benefits please click here.

XF105 & XF100 – key features

  • MPEG-2 Full HD 4:2:2 recording on CompactFlash at up to 50Mbps.
  • Two CF slots for continuous (relay) recording.
  • SD card slot for stills.
  • MXF file format for workflow compatibility.
  • 10x HD Video Lens, f/1.8 max., 30.4mm wide angle (35mm equivalent).
  • Three mode Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) – Standard, Powered or Dynamic.
  • 2.07 Megapixel 1/3 type CMOS sensor.
  • 8.8cm, 920k dot LCD monitor;
  • 0.61cm, 260k dot EVF with 100% coverage.
  • Variable frame rate recording (12-50fps).
  • DIGIC DV III image processor.
  • Independent audio controls and XLR inputs; front-mounted integrated mic.
  • 16-bit linear PCM audio at 48kHz.
  • Extensive customisation options, including 90 variables via Custom Picture function.
  • Studio connectivity – HD-SDI, Genlock, Timecode (XF105 only).