Updated Models Boast New CMOS Sensor, Shooting Modes to Improve Latitude in Challenging Environments

Canon announced two new HD pro camcorders aimed at ENG, documentary and student filmmaking. 

Weighing 2.6 pounds including battery, the XA35 and XA30 each come with a 20x zoom lens (26.8–576mm 35mm equivalent) and a new 1/2.84-inch 2.9 megapixel image sensor designed for better low-light performance.

For ease of use, the cameras have two new recording modes. 


Highlight Priority protects latitude in the "mid- to high-brightness range," especially where fine detail might typically be swallowed by compression artifacts. 


Wide DR gamma is said to expand the cameras' dynamic range over the previous XA25 and XA20 models by minimizing the presence of under- and over-exposure in environments with widely varying lighting conditions.

"The XA35 and XA30 camcorders were designed to help professionals who are in the field in uncertain environments capturing action as it happens," said Canon U.S.A. President and COO Yuichi Ishizuka in a prepared statement.

Both cameras record full HD at 59.94p and 23.98p to dual SD cards capturing 28 Mbps AVCHD or 35 Mbps MP4 files. On the XA35, an HD-SDI output allows 4:2:2 live video to be fed out with embedded audio and time code. 

The cameras also offer new slow (0.4x) and fast (up to 1200x) recording modes accessible through a 3.5-inch OLED touch panel. Both the OLED display and the EVF have peaking for focus assist, brightness and gamma adjustments, and optional zebra, color bard and test tone.

Wireless options include FTP for 3 Mbps MP4 video files over 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz band wireless as well as remote control via web browser or mobile device. Canon's GP-E2 GPS receiver can be connected via USB to add location and time metadata.

On the audio side, the cameras have two phantom-powered XLR inputs with manual gain control.

The Canon XA35 ($2,999) and XA30 ($2,499) are scheduled to ship by the end of this month.