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July 13
Canon Announces Pocket-Sized DV Camcorders
Models available with or without MultiMediaCard

by David Nagel
Executive Producer

Canon has announced a new MiniDV camcorder that it will ship in October. The new model, the Elura 2MC, is a a pocket-sized hybrid digital video camcorder with features like still, motion and multimedia image capture.

The Elura 2MC measures 1 7/8" x 4 1/8" x 3 3/8". It weighs slightly more than one pound with a battery and tape. It records video and still images to a MiniDV digital videocassette. It also uses a MultiMediaCard (something akin to Compact Flash and SmartMedia) to manage, retrieve and download still images. The Elura 2, a comparable model without the MultiMediaCard, was also announced today.

The Elura 2MC includes three shooting modes, FireWire connectivity, 10x optical/40x digital zoom, image stabilization, a high-resolution rotating view screen and viewfinder and digital stereo sound. It has a progressive scan CCD image sensor, RGB primary color filter and a three-element stereo microphone.

Three shooting modes include normal movie mode for capturing full-motion video for playback on the television; digital photo mode for capturing VGA-quality still images (640 x 480) to videotape for six seconds each, including audio (up to 700 pictures on one cassette); and photo mode, which captures images to the MultiMediaCard. A progressive scan motor drive allows users to capture 30 full frames of still images per second.

The supplied 8 MB MultiMediaCard will permit three types of card-mix special effects: Card Chroma Key, Card Luminance Key and Camera Chroma Key. Users can select from prerecorded cartoon-like frames or create personal frames and titles on a PC that can be layered over video or still images. A prerecorded image also can be combined with one from the camera.

The camera's 10x optical zoom includes wide angle to telephoto. At 3.5 mm to 35 mm, the optical zoom range is the 35 mm film equivalent of 43.9 mm to 439 mm. The pressure sensitive zoom controller makes it possible to change picture angles quickly. This optical zoom can be digitally magnified up to 4x by activating the 40x digital zoom.

Other features of the new camera include:

  • Image Stabilizer: An image stabilization system for correcting camera shake. The image stabilizer functions in both video and photo shooting modes.
  • LCD Viewfinder: The 2.5", 200,000 pixel color LCD monitor swivels and flips and tucks away when bright conditions make the eyecup viewfinder the preferred way to shoot.
  • Digital Stereo Sound: Two digital audio modes include dual-channel, 16-bit mode and four-channel, 12-bit mode, which records on one of two stereo tracks, leaving the other stereo track free to dub extra sound at a later time.
  • Program Auto Exposure: The Elura 2MC includes seven programmed modes for auto exposure. These include: easy recording for overall automatic operation; auto for automatic operation where one or more individual features may be controlled manually; sports for recording high-speed action in bright daylight; portrait for shallow depth of field to emphasize the foreground and minimize the background; spotlight for recording bright lights and minimizing overexposure of subjects under strong lighting; sand and snow to minimize subject underexposure against strong backlight; and low light to brighten images in environments with insufficient light.
  • Manual Controls: It also offers manual control over focus, exposure, white balance and shutter speed.
  • Digital Fades/Effects/Multi-Image: The Elura 2MC includes a variety of digital fades and special effects, including fade trigger, wipe, scroll and mosaic (fades); and art, black and white, sepia and mosaic (effects). The multi-image display feature divides the screen into a choice of four, nine, or 16 pictures, which can be displayed at slow, medium or fast speed.
  • Analog Line in: Images previously recorded on analog media can be transferred to DV tapes.
  • Audio Dubbing/AV Insert Editing: Scenes from VHS or camcorder videotape can be inserted into an original recording using the AV insert edit mode. Using the audio dubbing mode, a second audio track, such as background music or voice-over, can be added to original sound recorded in the 12-bit audio mode.
  • Progressive Scan CCD: Multiple shooting modes are achieved with a 680,000-pixel progressive scan CCD. Each light gathering pixel on the CCD is used to produce full frame video images. The CCD also produces improved quality video prints.
  • RGB Primary Color Filter: The progressive scan CCD integrates an RGB primary color filter that separates light passing through the lens into individual red, green and blue color components.
  • Three-Element Stereo Microphone: The newly designed, top-integrated, three-element stereo microphone system offers improved pickup and sensitivity. The position of the microphone elements increases sensitivity to subjects in front of the camera while reducing the possibility of picking up undesirable sound from behind the camera.

The Elura 2MC with an 8 MB MultiMediaCard will sell for $1,799, and it will be available at retailers in September. The Elura 2 will be available in October for $1,599. For more information, visit Canon's DV Web site at http://www.canondv.com or their corporate Web site at http://www.canon.com.

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