updated 12:20 pm EST, Wed November 5, 2008
Canon XH A1S and XH G1S
Canon today chose an unusual mid-day update to launch a pair of updates to its pro HDV tape camcorders. The XH A1S and XH G1S both have had their 20X zoom lenses upgraded to give better control over focus, irising and zoom as well as camera firmware that lets users adjust the zooming speed to deliver a more natural feel to pull-in or pull-out shots. Audio has also been given a boost with two XLR inputs at varying sensitivity, the ability to record with external and built-in mics at the same time, and overall better sound performance.
The two cameras continue to share long-range optical image stabilization, an SDHC card slot for sharing footage, extreme customization of white balance and other settings to generate particular effects, and the option of shooting in film-grade 24FPS progressive, 30FPS or a 60FPS interlaced mode. An optional hard drive connection allows for longer shooting than normally possible on HDV tape.
The XH A1S is designed for serious amateurs or entry-level professionals who need only standard input and output and should be available in late December for $3,999. The G1S at its higher $6,999 price point adds HD- and SD-SDI output, timecode input and output, as well as Genlock sync input for multi-camera shooting.