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Canon HV20 HD Camcorder Announced

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Canon extends its leadership role in the creation of feature rich, high-quality, High Definition (HD) camcorders for consumers with the introduction of the Canon HV20 HD Camcorder. With its proud professional pedigree plain to see, the HV20 HD Camcorder draws on decades of Canon’s proven excellence in optics and technological innovation, incorporating professional level HD video features in a handy, horizontal-style, user-friendly design.

Integrating Canon’s renowned optics and imaging technology, including a 10x HD video zoom lens with Super Range Optical Image Stabilization and a Canon True HD 1920 x 1080 CMOS Image Sensor, the HV20 HD Camcorder records true 1080 high definition video, making it an ideal companion to today’s HD televisions. In fact, both aspiring filmmakers and home movie shooters can give their video a truly cinematic look and feel with the addition of a 24p Cinema Mode.

“This HV20 HD Camcorder dramatically raises the bar for consumer camcorder capabilities, and will no doubt be the model of choice for discerning video enthusiasts who accept nothing less than premium quality equipment to capture and preserve their memories,” states Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager of the Consumer Imaging Group at Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Clearly, the High Definition video revolution is upon us, and as HDTV’s begin to dominate the marketplace, videographers and viewers will expect and demand superior image quality from their home video productions.”

In addition to the HV20 HD Camcorder’s horizontal design, the HV20 HD Camcorder incorporates an array of new and sought-after features and enhancements that offer users greater creative control and easier connectivity.

Among the new features within the Canon HV20 HD Camcorder is an Advanced Accessory Shoe capable of accommodating such additional components as select external video lights or directional microphones. The HV20 HD Camcorder also features microphone and headphone input terminals with manual level control for professional quality audio recording and a 24p Cinema Mode – found previously only on professional video equipment – that offers the frame rate of motion pictures and imparts a film-like look to the video. The HV20 HD Camcorder also features an HDMI terminal for quick and easy one-cable transport of the High Definition video signal to a HDTV.

Canon’s True HD CMOS Image Sensor (1920 x 1080)
Designed, developed, and manufactured by Canon for the EOS line of digital SLR cameras popular with professional photographers and advanced amateurs alike, Canon has created a 2.96 megapixel CMOS image sensor for the HV20 HD Camcorder. The 1/2.7″ CMOS image sensor acquires image information at 1920 x 1080, reproducing life-like HD movies and photos. Canon’s HD CMOS Sensor also features on-chip noise reduction technology, to help ensure that even in dimly lit scenes, the signals from each pixel are as pure as possible, with minimal “noise” or other aberrations. The CMOS sensor also incorporates an RGB Primary Color Filter with a Bayer placement that delivers sharp, high definition image with vibrant, accurate color reproduction without creating false colors. As an added benefit, the HV20 HD Camcorder’s CMOS sensor provides outstanding image capture in low-light conditions.

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Canon HD Optical Technology
Canon lenses are the choice of many imaging professionals the world over, whether those lenses are being used on EOS SLR cameras or on broadcast cameras. It is that expertise that has contributed to the design of the HV20 HD Camcorder’s 10x HD video zoom lens. The aspherical design of the lens helps to achieve low chromatic aberration and high resolution while Canon’s Super Spectra lens coating lowers incidence of flare and ghosting.

Since it is critical to achieve very sharp focus when shooting in High Definition, the camcorder features Canon’s revolutionary new Instant AF focusing system. It offers a dramatic improvement in autofocus speed and accuracy (compared to traditional autofocus systems). The Instant AF feature uses an external sensor, in combination with Canon’s autofocus system, to help significantly decrease the time it takes to find focus, even in low light conditions. This new system achieves focus almost instantaneously, reducing focus “hunting.” Users can especially see the benefits of Instant AF in high brightness and night shooting situations. Camera operators can capture fast, accurate focusing, even when following a moving subject.
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Finally, Canon’s Super Range Optical Image Stabilization helps correct camera shake almost instantly even when the camera is hand-held and in motion or the zoom is held at a long focal length. Employing both gyro and vector detection methods in order to pick up the widest range of vibrations, the “lens shift” type OIS compensates for a greater degree of camera shake while avoiding the loss of image quality typical in electronic image stabilization systems. In addition, the OIS system can be engaged to help steady camcorder shake when shooting still images, which aids in photographing fast moving subjects or in low light conditions.

Canon’s DIGIC DV II Image Processor
Canon’s brilliant (and proprietary) video and still image processor, the DIGIC DV II, is the brains behind the HV20 HD Camcorder. The DIGIC DV II image processor is the next generation of Canon’s exclusive signal processing technology. In addition to recognizing the different color requirements of video and photos, and processing both to their optimal level of quality, DIGIC DV II processes video with improved color reproduction and dramatically reduces noise in low-light situations.

Shoot Like A Pro With 24p Cinema Mode
The HV20 HD Camcorder’s 24p Cinema Mode enables aspiring moviemakers to achieve a professional “film-look.” The camcorder’s frame rate can be changed to 24p, which provides the same frame rate as movie film. In addition, the HV20’s CINE setting, which changes the color and tonal characteristics, evokes the look and feel of a movie shown in a theater. For added flexibility, these settings can be used together or independently.

Smooth and Easy Does It
Adding to the professional look of the HD video captured by the HV20 HD Camcorder is Canon’s Smooth Zoom Speed Control. Offering users a choice of three pre-set zoom speeds, the zoom speed control helps ensure that no matter how hard the user may press the zoom button, the pace of the zoom will remain smooth and constant.

The HV20 HD Camcorder’s Advanced Accessory Shoe will accommodate a more powerful external video light and directional microphone without the use of additional power or wires. It also includes a built in Ultra Video Light, which enables users to capture subjects in color under low light conditions from nearly five feet away.

The HV20 HD Camcorder even helps the user with shot composition, providing an easy to read level marker that is superimposed over the camcorder’s wide and bright 2.7-inch widescreen LCD display. Similarly, the HV20 HD Camcorder offers an easy-to-read grid marker that assists the user in determining the shot composition and ideal placement of the subject.

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Advanced Photo Features
As a digital still camera, the HV20 HD Camcorder excels with all of Canon’s best digital camera features. Users can accurately focus their shots with nine-point autofocus and then take vibrant 3.1 megapixel images to a miniSD card. While simultaneously recording HD video to tape, the HV20 HD Camcorder can capture two megapixel photos to card, or these two megapixel images can later be extracted from the video itself, allowing users a second chance to snap that once in a lifetime image. To adapt to different shooting situations, the HV20 HD Camcorder has 11 shooting modes, including Continuous Shooting, which allows users to shoot up to five (3.1 megapixel) still images per second, as well as a built-in flash for low light situations. In addition, users can also connect a PictBridge compatible device to the camera for seamless still image transfer or printing. A histogram function is also included on the camcorder, to check exposure levels while shooting.

The Canon HV20 HD Camcorder kit includes a compact power adapter, a wireless remote control, the new, and energy efficient BP-2L13 battery pack, a stereo video cable, a USB cable and a component video cable. In stores in April, the HV20 HD Camcorder carries an estimated selling price of $1099*.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The company is listed as one of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies in America and is rated #35 on the BusinessWeek list of “Top 100 Brands.” Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is a top patent holder of technology, ranking third overall in the U.S. in 2006**, with global revenues of $31.8 billion. For more information, www.usa.canon.com.

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All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.
Specifications and availability are subject to change without notice.
*Pricing subject to change at any time. Actual prices are determined by individual dealers and may vary.
**IFI Patent Intelligence Press Release, January 11, 2007

Canon HV20 Reviews

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