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Canon Fires Off New MiniDV Models

Canon’s PMA fusillade centered around the high-end of its miniDV lineup, including a new ZR model and two new Opturas.

The company integrated improved still photography features throughout the line in addition to its high resolution 16:9 widescreen video mode.

The ZR400 ships in April as a replacement for the ZR300. It will retail for a suggested $649 and offers 1-megapixel still capture with Canon’s DV Photo Plus technology, an SD/MMC card slot (16MB MMC included), a print/share button for instantly transferring images to a computer or printer and a 14x optical/280x digital zoom.

The camera can shoot in 16:9 widescreen and capture motion JPEGs to a flash memory card.

Canon’s new Opturas, the 50 and 60, will ship in March and serve as replacements for the Optura 30 and 40.

Both camcorders offer a 2.2-megapixel CCD with an RGB filter, optical image stabilization for both movies and still shots, and a host of new photo features including a 9-point AiAF previously found on the company’s still cameras. Canon also added new evaluative metering modes such as center, weighted average, and spot metering to improve the camcorder’s still image performance.

The Opturas will also benefit from the addition of several image effects modes such as soft skin, sharpening and vivid, in addition to six preset scene modes, auto-exposure bracketing and a built-in flash with red-eye reduction.

The camcorders can capture stills in a burst mode of 3 frames per second (fps) at full resolution for a total of 30 shots. They can burst at 5 fps at a lower resolution (1,280 by 560 ). Both also offer aperture and shutter priority in still and video modes

The Optura 60 will feature a 14x optical/280x digital zoom, USB 2.0 high speed connectivity and a mini video light for a suggested retail price of $999.

The Optura 50, for a suggested $899, offers a 10x optical/200x digital zoom and USB 2.0 full speed connectivity.