Aiming at the broadcast ENG market, Canon announced two new lenses in its UHDgc line of portable 4K zooms, the CJ18ex28B and the CJ15ex8.5B.
Designed to function as transition glass for stations that are still shooting HD but looking to switch to 4K in the future, the UHDgc lenses incorporate Canon’s 4K-ready optical technology, including fluorite elements and low-dispersion glass, but are less expensive than those in the company’s high-end UHDxs line, Canon said.
“Lenses like these will make spectacular HDTV,” said Canon Senior Fellow Larry Thorpe at a pre-NAB press briefing. “You can visibly see the enhanced sharpness and the HDR [capabilities]. They do an even better job on 1080p, because you’ve got more vertical resolution. And you’re future-proofed if and when you do switch to 4K.”
The CH18ex28B has a zoom range of 28–500mm with a speed of f2.8 up to 286mm, followed by a ramping down to f4.9 at the full 500mm extension, Thorpe said. It weighs 5.7 lbs., Thorpe noted, making it a compact lens considering its maximum focal length (which runs up to 1000mm when used with a 2x extender).
On the wider side, the CJ15ex6.5B has a zoom range from 8.5mm to 128mm, with a constant speed of f2.8 from 8.5mm to 86mm, ramping down to f4.7 at 128mm, according to Thorpe.
The two new releases bring the number of lenses in the UHDgc line to 10.
Four New Pro XA 4K 30p Camcorders
The XA40 and XA45 both have 1/2.3-inch image sensors and a 20x lens (35mm equivalent focal length: 29.3mm to 601mm) with an eight-bladed aperture. The XA45 has HDMI and 3G-SDI output, while the XA40 has only HDMI. Both of these camcorders can record 8-bit 4:2:0 H.264 MP4 files to dual SD card slots at a maximum frame rate of 30p for UHD or 60p for HD, but 10-bit 4:2:2 1080p can be output over either HDMI or SDI for external recording. Both cameras have four-channel XLR audio.
The XA50 and XA55 have 1.0-inch sensors behind a 15x zoom lens (35mm equivalent: 25.5mm–382.5mm) with a nine-bladed aperture and feature Canon’s dual-pixel CMOS autofocus. Both of these camcorders record 8-bit 4:2:0 HD 60p and 4K UHD 30p MP4 files to dual SD card slots and have the option for 10-bit 4:2:2 1080p output via SDI or HDMI. Again, both cameras have four-channel XLR audio.
The XA55 and XA50 are set to ship in June for $2,699 and $2,199, respectively. The XA45 and XA40 are expected later this month for $2,199 and $1,699, respectively.
Also announced today were firmware updates for existing Canon camcorders in the XF series as well as the Vixia GX10. They include the following, per Canon:
- XF705: Firmware Version 188.8.131.52 now features improved zoom response when using the zoom ring or zoom rocker, improved focus following speed during zooming, and improved image quality of interlaced recording.
- XF405/XF400: Firmware Version 184.108.40.206 now features IP streaming, the ability to set custom white balance, support for the reset function that resets the clip number when the reel number is set and improved image quality of interlaced recording.
- XF405 only: Firmware Version 220.127.116.11 now features 3G-SDI mapping at level A and level B.
- VIXIA GX10: Firmware Version 18.104.22.168 now features the ability to set custom white balance.