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Canon Introduces Spring Camcorder Lineup

Canon introduced three “affordably priced” camcorders, two aggressively priced 8mm models, and a new miniDV unit.

The digital model — called the ZR10 — is billed as “an ultra-compact.” It measures 2″ x 3″ x 5″ and weighs 1.5 pounds. The unit will ship to dealers in April at a $999 suggested retail price.

The ZR10 feature pack includes: a 10x optical, 200x digital zoom lens; an image stabilizer that functions in both video and photo shooting modes; a 2.5″ LCD viewscreen; color viewfinder; and digital photo mode, enabling up to 700 still pictures on a single DV cassette.

Other functions include battery power enhancement for long recording capability — up to five hours and 10 minutes, when using the viewfinder instead of the LCD view-screen, Canon said–and programmed auto exposure, including settings for auto, sports, portrait, spotlight, sand/snow and low light. The digital effects package includes four fade effects (fade trigger, vertical wipe, horizontal wipe and mosaic fades), as well as art, black and white, sepia and mosaic effects.

The new analog offerings include the ES410V and the ES8100V, which will use the 8mm and Hi8 tape formats, respectively. Both models will ship in late April, with the ES410V carrying a $499 suggested retail and ES8100V carrying a $549 suggested retail. Both analog cameras feature color LCD viewscreens, powerful 22x optical/500x digital zoom capabilities, and image stabilization.

Other features include: the FlexiZone auto focus/ exposure system that uses a controller to follow a subject as it moves within the frame; programmed auto exposure; “long time recording” battery pack; and a tape analyzing system (TAS) that enhances detail and signal-to-noise ratio on the tape. Other tools include packages of digital effects, faders and a preset title super-imposer. A time base corrector serves to increase picture stability of playback while searching, viewing and copying scenes.