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Canon Intros XL2 MiniDV Camcorder

New York — Canon announced its high-end XL2 3CCD MiniDV camcorder aimed at professional videographers, aspiring Spielbergs and advanced consumers.

The XL2 replaces Canon’s XL1S and will come in two retail configurations: an all-in-one box with lens for a suggested $4,999 and just the body for a suggested $3,999. Both versions will available in late August.

The XL2 features a choice of 60i, 24p or 30p frame rates; 4:3 or high resolution 16:9 aspect ratio; new 680,000 pixel progressive scan CCDs; and a new 20x interchangeable lens. The XL2 builds on previous generations by offering open architecture not only in the hardware but in the software, allowing users to tweak settings and write software to control the camcorder outside of preprogrammed factory settings.

Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager, consumer imaging, noted that a “cottage industry” of hardware accessories had sprung up around the XL1 and 1S, thanks to its customizable hardware design. It is Canon’s hope that a similar phenomena will occur on the software side with the XL2, Hashimoto said.

The unit’s 3CCD progressive scan system provides 16:9 (962 pixels by 480 pixels) and 4:3 (720 pixels by 480 pixels) video recording.

Canon incorporated a new multi functional color electronic viewfinder (EVF) and 2-inch LCD monitor.