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Mark Peters : April 20th 2004 - 08:29 CET

New Canon Optura 30 and Optura 40 camcorders


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CanonCanon's newest pair of digital aces, the Optura 30 and Optura 40 Mini DV 2.2 Megapixel camcorders, unite the worlds of digital video and digital photography using DV Photo Plus technology. The new Optura 30 and Optura 40 camcorders optimize natural color quality, enhance low light image capture and provide a powerful array of Canon's digital camera "can do's." Whether capturing- even simultaneously - the magical motion of exhilarating events or the deep emotion of a moment frozen in time, these two versatile DV camcorders combine such innovative Canon video capabilities as an RGB Primary Color Filter for superior color rendition, improved audio processing for crisp, clean sound recording, and a high resolution, true 16:9 widescreen mode.
New Canon Optura 30 and Optura 40 camcorders This combination comes along with many of the most sought after digital still camera features including a built in automatic flash, selectable focus points, auto exposure bracketing, continuous shooting for up to five frames per second, streamlined downloading with the print/share button and PictBridge printer compatibility.

"The Optura 30 and Optura 40 Mini DV camcorders are firmly rooted in Canon's tradition of digital imaging innovation and many of their features are outgrowths of the technological advances originally achieved in the professional and prosumer video and photo realms," explained Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. "The end result is a versatile high-quality camcorder that captures brilliant digital camera quality photos in a compact, lightweight and easy to use package."

The Optura 30 and Optura 40 Mini DV camcorders feature a 12x Optical Zoom/240x Digital Zoom and 14x Optical Zoom/280x Digital Zoom respectively as well as Canon's Image Stabilizer that instantly reduces camcorder shake even when the user is shooting handheld with the zoom fully extended. Among the camcorders' other top-tier video functions are the new Advanced Color Control System that optimizes color according to the shooting situations and an RGB Primary Color Filter that separates light passing through the lens into red, green and blue color components in much the same way as professional camcorders process color, yielding truer more natural looking colours. What's more the camcorders' High Resolution 16:9 Widescreen mode utilizes the entire width of the CCD (unlike some systems that electronically stretch the picture vertically) retaining image quality and providing a wider horizontal angle of view that is ideal for widescreen TV's.

Low light shooting capabilities are also enhanced thanks to Canon's new low noise signal processing IC and a user selectable Auto Slow Shutter setting (which provides additional noise reduction when switched on). Adding to their ease of use, both the Optura 30 and Optura 40 camcorders support the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) that enables data transfer with a Windows XP or Mac OS X (version 10.1) without installing dedicated driver software. This direct link enables the computer to access the camcorder as if it was an external card reader. Program AE settings for easy optimal results. Settings offered are: Easy Recording, Full Auto, Sports, Portrait, Spotlight, Sand & Snow, Low light and Night.

DV Photo Plus Technology
At the core of the Optura 30 and Optura 40 camcorders' imaging excellence is Canon's DV Photo Plus. Encompassing the company's core imaging essentials, DV Photo Plus integrates Canon's renowned optics; a 2.2-megapixel CCD image sensor, the exclusive DIGIC DV Image Processor, and the Print and Share that makes it easy to print photos directly from a printer at the touch of a button.

Optura 40 Camcorder Exclusives
In addition to its more powerful 14x Optical/280x Digital zoom lens, the Optura 40 camcorder features a Manual Audio Level Control, previously found only on prosumer camcorder models. The Manual Audio Level Meter is conveniently located in the viewfinder and 2.5" LCD screen. The model also includes Canon's Super Night Mode/Night Plus functions that offer users the option of adding light as needed by automatically turning on and off an unobtrusive white LED light positioned on the front of the camera. In the Night Plus mode, the white LED light remains on until the user opts to shut it.

Photo Features
Equipped with a 2.2 megapixel CCD Image Sensor, both the Optura 30 and Optura 40 camcorders are capable of capturing sharp, high-quality two megapixel (1632 x 1224) photo images as well as 1280 x 960 and e-mail ready, 640 x 480 resolution images. With the simultaneous photo-recording feature, 640 x 480 photos are captured to a multimedia card or SD Memory Card while high-quality video is captured to the camcorders' Mini DV cassette at the same time. Both camcorders are also PictBridge Compatible enabling them to transfer images to Canon's CP line of Compact Photo Printers, Canon Photo Direct Bubble Jet Printers and any other manufacturers' printers, which supports the PictBridge standard.

Other features that add to the photo-flexibility of the Optura 30 and Optura 40 Mini DV two-megapixel camcorders are:

-- Continuous shooting mode (which emulates a traditional camera motor driven film-advance) permitting rapid capture of up to 3 frames per second at 1632 x 1224 and 1280 x 960 resolution and up to five frames per second at 640 x 480 resolution;
-- Selectable focus points which offers three focusing points to automatically put the subject into sharp focus even when that subject is not in the center of the frame;
-- Auto Exposure Bracketing that, when engaged, automatically captures three photos when the photo button is pressed once. Image exposure ranges from normal, underexposed (darker) and overexposed (lighter), enabling the user to select the best shot;
-- Horizontal & Vertical Trimming permitting the user to customize the image right in the camera (ideal for turning a horizontal image into a vertical portrait) and,
-- Photo Review that permits the user to review the just captured photo for up to ten second simply by holding the shutter button down.

Canon's dynamic Mini DV duo will debut on dealers' shelves beginning in late May, ready to record Memorial Day parades and picnics and well-timed for Father's Day and graduation gift giving, making mementos of June Wedding (and honeymoon) memories, saving (and savouring) scenes of summer vacations and impromptu excursions.




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