Canon has announced its XH G1 ($6800) and XH A1 ($4700) HDV Camcorders, both equipped with fixed, image-stabilized, 20x optical zoom lenses, 2.8-inch LCD viewscreens, and three 1/3-inch CCD imagers. Shipping date is October 2. Our video guy Drew Wong writes:
... they look very good, although actual specs (lux rating etc) are skimpy. I checked the japanese website and found a lot more specs than the US one (which is usually the case).
Canon historically have had a slightly different look to their, more saturated and less sharpened/contrasty compared to Sony. These cameras look like direct competitors to the FX/Z1 from Sony. With direct HD SDI out, slightly higher res VF and LCD plus even more picture adjustments, Canon is taking aim at the FX1. The Z1 still has dual NTSC/PAL advantage. But 20X zoom, HD SDI, Genlock etc are going to be big sells for many shooters.
HOWEVER, the problem for the u/w shooter is the availability of housings. Even with Lanc controls, housings for Canon have been a very short list, esp on the electronic housing segment. Canons tend to have a lot more buttons on the outside for controls which may make housing manufacturers cringe but helluva more useable to the shooter. I guess we’ll see in Oct.