August 4, 2006 If you’re one of those people who bellyache all the time about having just purchased a widget for US$1000 only to find that the next model will cost less and do twice as much, just remember that we’re living through the most exciting period of technological progress in human history. Indeed, it’s unlikely that there will ever be such a quantum leap in understanding, productivity and creativity again in history. What’s brought on this soapboxing? Canon’s HV10 HD Camcorder – that’s what! It’s a 500g camcorder capable of 1080 HD (high definition) video and it’s roughly the size of a cigarette packet at 56x104x106mm. The HV10 HDV includes 10x optical zoom, Super Range Optical Image Stabilization, the DIGIC DV II image processor, and a Full HD resolution (1920x1080 video) CMOS sensor, similar to those found in Canon's Digital SLR cameras. Additionally, new "Instant AF" auto-focus technology, and the ability to take 3.1 megapixel photos, makes this one powerful device that fits comfortably in the palm of the hand. Scheduled to land in stores in September, the Canon HV10 HDV camcorder is a veritable "Best of" compilation of Canon technologies, and will sell for an estimated US$1299.
"The Canon HV10 HDV camcorder gives consumers some of the same technologies that are used by demanding professionals in our EOS line of Digital SLR cameras and our best selling broadcast television lenses," said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc. "Consumers who enjoy the premium picture quality of their High Definition television sets can now capture their memories and play them back at that same high quality."
As the leading CMOS manufacturer, professional photographers have come to depend upon Canon for high resolution, great dynamic range, and low noise. For the first time, Canon has incorporated CMOS into its newest HDV camcorder to capture the high resolution needed for HD video with a single sensor. These sensors provide advantages over traditional CCD sensors in speed, versatility, and lower power consumption for longer battery life. Because of its proprietary noise reduction technology, Canon's CMOS sensors capture higher resolution HD video, and even in dimly lit scenes each pixel delivers the purest possible image. The 1 /2.7" sensor incorporates an RGB primary color filter with Bayer placement to deliver a sharp HD image with vibrant and accurate color reproduction. This sensor supplies 1080 HD video to an HDV video tape, while 3.1 megapixel still images can be recorded to a Mini-SD card. Because Canon manufactures its own CMOS sensor, DIGIC DV II image processor and lenses, the company can maintain the utmost control of the image quality.
Canon's high quality HD lens, the keystone to acquiring crisp HD video, stems from the company's expertise as a professional grade photographic and broadcast lenses manufacturer. Behind the built-in automatic lens cover lies a 10X optical / 200X digital HD Canon zoom lens.
The HV10 HDV camcorder is the first consumer-level camcorder that features Canon's Super-Range Optical Image Stabilization to help deliver smooth, steady video, even at longer focal lengths. The system uses two detection methods (gyro and vector) to sense the widest range of vibrations from hand-held shake, to vibration from a moving vehicle. By using optical stabilization, it can compensate for a greater degree of camera shake and avoid any loss in image quality, unlike electronic image stabilizers.
The HV10 HDV camcorder also incorporates a new autofocus system that is the first of its kind on a consumer level camcorder. Since it is critical to achieve very sharp focus when shooting in High Definition, the camcorder features Canon's revolutionary new Instant AF focusing system. It offers a dramatic improvement in auto focus speed and accuracy (compared to traditional autofocus systems). The Instant AF feature uses an external sensor, in combination with Canon's autofocus system, to help significantly decrease the time it takes to find focus, even in low light conditions. This new system achieves focus almost instantaneously, reducing focus "hunting." Users can especially see the benefits of Instant AF in high brightness, and night shooting situations. Camera operators can capture fast, accurate focusing, even when following a moving subject.
Also found in the professional grade XL H1 HD camcorder, the Canon HV10 HDV camcorder features Canon's DIGIC DV II image processor, which is designed to handle the vast amount of information required for HD recording. DIGIC DV II helps to ensure low noise, a wide dynamic range, and accurate color reproduction for both video and photos.
The HV10 is also the world's smallest and lightest true HDV camcorder*, weighing in at a mere 0.97 pounds. Approximately 2" wide by 4" tall, the HV10 is a pocketable masterpiece that is designed for easy one-handed operation, with all of the controls at the user's fingertips. Complimenting its small size, the two-toned Granite Black and metallic body is designed to be comfortable in the users' hands and exude a sophisticated appearance.
With the intent of giving the user the best-looking video possible to preserve their memories, the HV10 HDV camcorder has a wealth of features, including Smooth Zoom Control to help eliminate jerky zooms, Level Shot Control to help keep the framing straight, and a built-in video light to illuminate low-light situations. The HV10 HDV camcorder will also letterbox the 16:9 footage, for standard definition (SD) television viewers, to play on almost any TV or computer monitor.
As a digital still camera, the HV10 excels with all of Canon's best digital camera features. Users can frame their shots with nine-point autofocus on a 2.7" widescreen LCD, and then take 3.1 megapixel images to the Mini SD card, or two megapixel photos to the video tape, all while simultaneously recording HD video. To adapt to different shooting situations, the HV10 HDV camcorder has 11 shooting modes, including Continuous Shooting which allows users to shoot five (3.1 Megapixel) still images per second, as well as a built-in flash for low light situations. In addition, users can also connect a PictBridge compatible device to the camera for seamless still image transfer or printing. A histogram function is also included on the camcorder, to check exposure levels while shooting.
Pricing and Availability
Scheduled to land in stores in September, the Canon HV10 HDV camcorder will carry an estimated selling price of US$1299.