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Brit version of Canon XL H1 camcorder arrives

High price to pay for high definition

Following the unveiling of the XL H1 in NTSC-based territories two weeks ago, Canon has detailed the forthcoming version for the UK. The HDV (high-definition video) camera uses the same component-based design as the XL1, allowing parts such as the lens, microphone and viewfinder to be swapped for different units.

The XL H1 uses three 1/3in 16:9 CCDs (charge-coupled devices). It captures at resolutions up to 1,920x1,080 pixels at 50i (interlaced) frames per second (fps) - with a 25fps mode also supported. The camcorder features Canon's DIGIG DV II image processor, which maintains the correct colour space for HD, SD (standard definition) and still images. The XL H1 can capture still images at 1,920x1,080 pixels to SD (secure digital) or MMC (multimedia card) storage cards.

The XL H1 uses the same XL-interchangeable lens mount as the XL1, XL1s and XL2. It ships with a 20x HD video lens with fluorite elements, which Canon says improves contrast, resolution and colour fidelity by reducing chromatic aberration. It offers an f/1.6 to f/3.5 aperture, with a 35mm equivalence of 38.9mm to 778mm in 16:9 mode, and 47.4mm to 954mm in 4:3 mode.

The 20x HD lens features Canon's Super Range OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) technology, which combines a gyro sensor with a system that detects low-frequency vibrations in the CCD image and feeds this back to the stabiliser. The lens also features a 72mm filter thread, two independent ND filters (1/6 and 1/32) and focus and zoom presets.

User can customise the look of footage captured by the XL H1 using advanced features including three colour matrices for colour correction and two cine gammas for creating a variety of ‘film looks’.

The camcorder offers a wide range of outputs. As well as the standard FireWire interface, the XL H1 offers HD- and SD-SDI (serial digital interface) output for direct connection to broadcast systems and video editing systems (for uncompressed capture). The camcorder can capture to HDV Master media or standard miniDV tapes.

UK pricing has not been announced, though Canon has said that it will ship in December, and costs $8,999 (about £5,000) in the US.


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