Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Canon XF100 and XF105 Camcorders: High quality, low price?

In preparation for both IBC and Canon Expo, Canon has announced two new professional camcorders: The XF100 and XF105. The two new models are positioned as "little brothers" to the XF300 and XF305 released earlier this year, but their performance is very similar. The new camcorders both support the same XF MPEG-2 4:2:2 50Mbps codec as the XF300 and XF305. In addition, they're designed to be used in pairs for 3D video capture, and have infrared low-light capabilities that Canon claims allow them to capture scenes in total darkness. Both models record to Compact Flash media and support hot-swapping.

As with the XF300 and XF305, the primary difference in the two models is connectivity: The XF105 supports genlock in, SMPTE timecode in/out, and both HDMI and HD-SDI out, while the XF100 only supports HDMI out. Canon hasn't released any prices, but the company's press release says that it will "...demonstrate the versatile low-cost capabilities" at Canon Expo later this week, which suggests that they'll be priced significantly less than the XF300 and XF305. Both models are scheduled to ship in Q1 2011.

My suspicion is that the XF305 will be priced close to Sony's HXR-NX5U AVCHD-based camcorder, which has a list price in the U.S. of $4,950 and a street price of just under $4,000. The XF codec should provide considerably better video quality and easier editing than the H.264/AVC-based AVCHD codec used in the Sony model.
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