Canon's small but sweet revised lineup of consumer camcorders debuted at CES this week.
Canon added four new Vixia camcorders to its video lineup at the CES trade show, including three models with long-range 57x zoom lenses, two of which also feature Wi-Fi, and a tiny personal camcorder for action photography. The number of new models is down from previous years, perhaps in response to the effect of smart phones (which record HD video) on standalone camcorder sales. However, the models offer key features that make compelling arguments to invest in a new camcorder.
Canon R-Series Camcorders
There are three new R-series Vixia camcorders, the HF R52, HF-R50, and HF-500. All feature a 57x zoom lens, which is an increase over previous models, SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization, a Canon 3.28MP Full HD CMOS sensor, and a 3-inch touchscreen LCD monitor. All three models also have 7 Cinema Look Filter effects. These filters can be applied during or after filming. Additionally, while in Audio Scene Select mode, users can select from eight predetermined audio modes that will optimize audio settings based off the shooting conditions, including two new ones - meeting and festival. The built-in microphone/headphone terminal provides users with the flexibility to record using an auxiliary microphone, or listen to what they're recording with headphones.
The R52 and R50 also offer Wi-Fi and can be operated remotely via Canon Camera Access plus, which allows users to operate the camcorders via their Android or iOS device.
The Canon HF R52 is expected to sell for $449.99; the HF R50 for $399, and the HF R500 for $299. All models can be pre-ordered now from Adorama.
Vixia Mini X
Billed as a "Personal Camcorder", the Canon Vixia Mini X has a non-zooming f/2.8 lens that takes in 150-170 degrees depending on shooting format, and is equipped with a 12.8MP sensor and DIGIC DV 4 image processor. It captures full HD in MP4 in 30p or 20p or AVCHD 60i. Audio is linear PCM and uses either a built-in mic or an off-camera mic via a mic/headphone jack. Audio level can be controlled manually, and time codes are embedded. Slow motion is available in 720 and VGA quality, and the camera can intelligently select from 38 predefined exposure settings.
Wi-Fi is built in, and lets users share videos via social networks such as YouTube and Facebook; a free Canon Movie Uploader app lets you transfer footage to your iOS device. Live streaming is available via Canon Camera Access Pluss app. The Canon Vixia Mini X will be available in March for $399 and can be pre-ordered now from Adorama.