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Canon Announces New DV Camcorders

Optura 300 and Xi capture 2 megapixel stills By Dave Nagel
Canon today announced two new models in its line of Optura DV camcorders. These include the Optura 300 and Optura Xi, both of which offer the ability to capture stills at 2 megapixel resolutions. They'll be available this summer.

The Optura Xi offers a 3.5-inch LCD viewscreen and an optical image stabilizer. It features Aperture Priority (AP); shutter priority (TV); Zebra Pattern for creative exposure control; a manual focus ring; and an advanced accessory shoe for attaching an optional video light or directional microphone. The pocket-sized Optura 300 features a 2.5" LCD viewscreen and an electronic image stabilization system.

Both models feature the ability to capture 2 megapixel still images. The 300 includes a built-in flash, while the Xi includes a pop-up flash. Both offer auto exposure bracketing and selectable focusing points; continuous shooting mode (up to 30 images at three frames per second in VGA mode); and simultaneous shooting mode, which allows users to capture photos while shooting video. Images are stored on SD media.

The camcorders also incorporate an RGB Primary Color Filter for separating the light passing through the lens into its individual red, green and blue color components in order to provide more accurate color reproduction. For filming in low light situations, Canon's Color Night Mode and Super Color Night Mode save the day and the scene. Both units feature 16- and 12-bit PCM digital sound, manual audio level control, digital effects, USB terminal for high speed transfer of images to a computer and a FireWire port.

The Optura Xi will be available in August for $1,499. The 300 will be available in September for $1,299. For more information, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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