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Canon is ringing in the 2014 New Year by announcing a handful of new VIXIA camcorder models at CES. The new models include Canon’s VIXIA HF R50, VIXIA HF R52, VIXIA HF R500, and VIXIA mini X. All four support up to Full HD 1920 x 1080p video recording for capturing high-resolution video and photos. For added shooting and sharing flexibility, each model supports both AVCHD and the web-friendly MP4 recording formats. They all come with new higher-capacity rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs that will last longer than their predecessors and indicate remaining battery life, down to the minute. The VIXIA HF R50, VIXIA HF R52, and VIXIA mini X also feature built-in Wi-Fi with access to Canon’s iMAGE GATEWAY online storage service. This allows you to easily share your photos and video over the Internet using social networking sites like YouTube, Facebook, etc. These three Wi-Fi-enabled camcorders support a convenient live streaming function as well, which allows you to view and record live video directly onto your iOS or Android mobile device. With live streaming, you’ll even be able to use your compatible smartphone or tablet to control the camcorder from a remote location.
The most unique of Canon’s four new camcorder models is the VIXIA mini X, which offers a handful of new shooting features that should make it even more popular than its predecessor, the VIXIA mini. Like last year’s mini, the new mini X is a pocket-sized camcorder designed for users looking to share their videos and photos through social media sites like Facebook and YouTube. To ensure that the videos you share online feature your subject and everything else around them, Canon equipped the mini X with an f/2.8 fisheye lens that supports a 160-degree wide-angle shooting mode for capturing video using the web-friendly MP4 format. For still images, the lens supports an ultra-wide 170-degree viewing angle. The versatile mini X also supports a close-up shooting mode that uses advanced electronic image stabilization to help you capture crisp, shake-free recordings. This mode works especially well for interviews, car interior shots, and other close-up situations.
The mini X uses Canon’s HS SYSTEM to ensure you capture vivid and bright high-resolution video and photos. The HS SYSTEM includes the mini X’s 12.8-megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS image sensor and DIGIC DV 4 image processor. Together, the sensor and processor facilitate Full HD 1920 x 1080/60i/30p/24p video recording and 12-megapixel still image capture. Canon’s HS SYSTEM also enables the mini X to receive more light and process images faster. This increased processing power will help you capture brighter, noise-free images—even in dark scenes with low ambient light. The mini X has no internal flash memory, but it does have a memory card slot that allows you to record directly onto a removable SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card. This model also features built-in Wi-Fi for sharing videos on the web and it supports live streaming via iOS or Android mobile devices.
The mini X also has a uniquely designed 2.7-inch capacitive touch-panel LCD monitor with tilt control. You can use the adjustable monitor to view your shots in real time, thanks to the Mirror Image Recording/Playback mode. The monitor’s capacitive touch panel supports intuitive control of camera functions as well. You can use the display’s touch controls to quickly switch between shooting modes and camera settings. The mini X is also equipped with a built-in adjustable stand and a tripod socket, so you can easily capture hands-free video and photos of yourself. The camera provides multiple connectivity options as well. The mini X’s HDMI terminal allows you to output uncompressed video and audio to a high-resolution monitor or HDTV. A USB port enables high-speed data transfers between the camera and your PC. The camera provides a headphone output for improved audio monitoring and there’s even a microphone input with manual level control. There’s also a built-in stereo microphone that supports high-quality Linear PCM audio recording and Audio Scene Select.
Some of the mini X’s other main features include slow-motion and fast-motion interval recording, Smart AUTO with 23 predefined shooting situations, and a new “In The Car” special scene mode that provides an optimized exposure setting for capturing consistent, high-quality video in a shadowy car interior. Plus, the mini X’s new enhanced higher-capacity battery pack allows you to record for up to 2.5 times longer than you could with the previous mini’s battery pack. The mini X is also designed with additional professional features that allow seamless integration with your other professional-level shoots and recordings. The camera’s embedded time code for AVCHD-format recordings enables you to achieve frame-accurate editing on professional NLE systems. This also allows you to accurately sync up the mini X’s recordings with other video and audio recorders. The mini X supports user-selectable (NTSC/60i/30p/24p) time code formats as well. And for improved flexibility, you can choose between continuous Rec Run or Non Drop Frame configurations.
Canon’s other new 2014 camcorder announcements include the VIXIA HF R50, VIXIA HF R52 and VIXIA HF R500. All three of these models feature a 3.28-megapxiel CMOS image sensor and a DIGIC DV 4 image processor. They each support up to Full HD 1920 x 1080p video recording at 60 fps and 2.07-megapixel still image capture. All three of these models also have an SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slot and they each support MP4 and AVCHD recording formats.
The major features that set these three models apart include built-in Wi-Fi, support for live streaming, and integrated flash memory. In addition to the SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slot, the HF R50 features 8GB of internal flash memory, while the HF R52 features 32GB of internal flash memory. This means that you can record directly to either the camera’s built-in memory or to a removable memory card. Plus, having two memory options means that you can use the HF R50 and HF R52 to record MP4 and AVCHD video simultaneously. The HF R50 and the HF R52 are also the only models in this group that offer built-in Wi-Fi. They both support live video streaming to a compatible iOS or Android mobile device as well. The Wi-Fi-enabled HF R50 and HF R52 work with Canon’s new CT-V1 Camera Pan Table accessory (sold separately), which allows you to use your iOS or Android mobile device to remotely pan the camcorder up to 200 degrees from side to side. The CT-V1 can serve a variety of applications. You can use it to monitor the security of your home while you’re away at work or on vacation. You could also use it to monitor your baby from another room.
Besides those major differences, the HF R50, HF R52, and HF R500 camcorders share a long list of features. All three models support an impressive 57x Advanced Zoom and they’re all equipped with Canon’s SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization. They each feature a 3-inch touchscreen LCD monitor that you can use for setting up shots and instantly reviewing your footage. They each have advanced shooting features like Smart AUTO with 38 predefined shooting situations, Audio Scene Select with five optimized audio recording modes, and Intelligent IS for optimizing the camera’s image stabilization settings to match specific shooting conditions. All three models also offer unique creative effects. You can choose between multiple Cinema-Look Filters that help you achieve specific cinematic looks with your recordings. These effects include Sepia, Dramatic Black & White, Old Movies, Nostalgic, Cool, Vivid, and Cinema Standard. All three camcorders support Canon’s advanced Baby Mode as well. The Baby Mode provides a complete solution of settings and features that help you easily capture, track, and share your baby’s growth and development.
Other shared features between all three of these models include Video Snapshot, Genuine Canon Face Detection, and support for both 30p Progressive and 24p Cinema shooting modes. Video Snapshot lets you easily blend background music with short video clips of two, four, or eight seconds. Canon’s Face Detection technology can track up to 35 faces automatically. It can also display nine detection frames at one time so you can capture sharply focused and naturally exposed portraits or group shots. The 24p Cinema shooting mode gives your footage a film-like feel, while the 30p Progressive shooting mode is ideal for capturing short video clips in the web-friendly MP4 format that you plan to share online with friends and family.
If you’re interested in more information on any of these four new Canon camcorders, please stop by the B&H SuperStore in Manhattan to see them up close or visit the B&H website for a complete list of camera features and specifications. You can also get more information on any of these four Canon models by talking to a sales professional on the phone at 1-800-606-6969 or online via Live Chat.