Canon at NAB: five 4K UHD camcorders, two broadcast lenses and more

Canon’s commitment to video is on show at NAB 2019: two new VIXIA and three XA series camcorders, and two world-first portable zoom lenses for 2/3” format 4K broadcast cameras.

Canon at NAB 2019: five 4K UHD camcorders, two broadcast lenses and more

The new 4K UHD camcorders for professional and advanced shooters introduced by Canon at NAB 2019 and the new broadcast lenses will soon be joined by a whole series of prime lenses for Cinema EOS.

Canon may well want embargo dates to be respected, but it hardly makes sense to hide the head in the sand, when “rumor” websites publish everything weeks before the official announcement. So, despite the fact that the new products mentioned in the title are officialy announced today, some of them have been known for a while now, including the new Sumire Prime lenses from Canon, a seriers of PL mount cinema prime lenses which will, in fact, only be announced tomorrow, although they’ve already been mentioned for weeks (months?) by “rumor” websites. For those that signed an embargo agreement and can not publish before the date, it’s a difficult situation, repeated each time there are new products launched. Now that I’ve mentioned this, it’s time to share the news.

Let me start with the new additions to Canon’s professional XA-series,  the new 4K UHD camcorders, XA55, XA50 and XA40, which are the company’s answer to the growing requirements of the market when it comes to 4K UHD production. The XA55 / XA50 is a 4K UHD camcorder with a 1.0-type sensor, Dual Pixel CMOS AF and 15x Optical zoom, with the XA55 model featuring 3G-SDI. The XA40 is an ultra-compact 4K UHD camcorder with 1/2.3-type sensor and 20x Optical zoom.

Canon at NAB 2019: five 4K UHD camcorders, two broadcast lenses and more

Camcorders suited to 4K UHD production

The trio now announced, which Canon says will be competitively priced, is suited to 4K UHD and HD production, with Over Sampling HD processing allowing users to benefit from advanced Full HD capture. Offering a host of versatile professional features, these camcorders Canon aims to broaden the reach of the XA product family and the company expects that the price/specifications will make the XA55, XA50 and XA40 the choice of professional users for applications such as news gathering, corporate video and documentary production.

The portable and highly compact XA55 / XA50 is the first model in the XA-series to include a 1.0-type CMOS sensor with fast and reliable Dual Pixel Autofocus technology. The camcorder also features genuine Canon 4K 15x Optical zoom lens, which in conjunction with Super UD elements (Ultra-Low Dispersion), delivers, says Canon, “rich image expression with beautiful bokeh and wide focal length of 25.5mm to 382.5mm. Advanced Full HD Imaging is possible thanks to the inclusion of DIGIC DV6 image processor and Over Sampling HD processing, whilst powerful 5-axis image stabilisation helps prevent image distortion even in handheld shooting.”

Canon at NAB 2019: five 4K UHD camcorders, two broadcast lenses and more

Multi-format recording

Thanks to Dual Pixel CMOS AF, fast and accurate autofocusing in approximately 80 percent (vertical and horizontal) of the image is possible. Face detection AF, Face priority AF, Face only AF and touch tracking operation enable seamless focus control for intuitive operation, whilst a Dual Pixel Focus Guide provides a graphical user interface to aid manual focusing. This guide applies Dual Pixel CMOS AF phase-difference technology to assist in achieving the same highly accurate focus.

The XA55 / XA50 user can also benefit from multi-format recording – with support for XF-AVC and MP4 recording up to 4K UHD 25P to SD cards, Slow & Fast Motion recording with a maximum speed of 1200x in both 4K and Full HD, and Dual SD card slots that enable relay and back-up recording. The XA55 / XA50 offers low power consumption with its battery supporting more than two hours of continuous operation. Professional-quality audio is possible with linear PCM 4-channel audio recording and two XLR terminals, while 3G-SDI terminals (XA55 only) provide output in Full HD of 4:2:2 10-bit signal.

Canon at NAB 2019: five 4K UHD camcorders, two broadcast lenses and more Dual SD card slots and two XLR terminals

The XA40 is a versatile and ultra-compact professional 4K UHD camcorder. Weighing approximately 730g (body only), it is one of the most portable and compact 4K UHD professional camcorders currently available. Users can work the way they want to, but always in the highest quality, with the combination of a 4K UHD 1/2.3-inch type CMOS sensor and DIGIC DV6 image processor delivering pristine 4K UHD images, and superior Full HD images assured with Over Sampling HD processing. There is support for recording in MP4 UHD 150Mbps at 25P and Full HD 35Mbps/17Mbps at 50P/25P, while continuous Slow and Fast motion recording is available in both UHD and Full HD with maximum speed of 1200x.

Freedom of expression is assured, claims Canon, “with access to a 20x Optical zoom with wide angle starting from 29.3mm. Maintaining consistent image quality is no problem with powerful 5-axis image stabilisation, whilst a 3D real-time lens group structure supports fast, quiet zoom operation in the same time to achieve responsive operation.”

An Infrared Mode – making production possible in conditions with little to no ambient light – and a 3.0-inch LCD touchscreen for intuitive control are among the other headline attractions of this highly-specified camcorder. Other features include Dual SD card slots for backup and relay recording and support for linear PCM 4-channel audio, with built-in stereo mic and two XLR terminals included as standard.

Canon at NAB 2019: five 4K UHD camcorders, two broadcast lenses and more Key features of the XA55, XA50 and XA40

Here are some of the features of the new XA55 / XA50 camcorders:

  • High quality 4K UHD camcorder with 1.0-type CMOS sensor and Wide Dynamic Range
  • Superior Full HD image quality with Over Sampling HD processing
  • 5mm wide angle 15x Optical zoom with 5-axis image stabilisation
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Face Detection and Touch Tracking
  • Support for 4K UHD 25P XF-AVC/MP4 recording to SD cards, as well as Slow & Fast modes in both 4K and Full HD
  • Other professional features include Infrared Mode, two XLR inputs with linear PCM 4-channel audio recording capability, and 3G-SDI (XA55 only).

Key features of the XA40:

  • Ultra-compact 4K UHD camcorder with 1/2.3-type CMOS sensor and superior Full HD with Over Sampling HD Processing
  • Wide 20x Optical zoom with 5-axis image stabilisation
  • Slow and Fast Motion modes in both UHD and Full HD
  • Infrared Mode for conditions with little to no ambient light
  • Lightweight (weighing approximately 730g – body only) and packed with professional features, including two XLR inputs with linear PCM 4-channel audio


Canon at NAB 2019: five 4K UHD camcorders, two broadcast lenses and more

Two world-first zoom lenses

In the professional segment Canon also introduces at NAB 2019 new lenses for 4K broadcast cameras. The CJ18ex28B and CJ15ex8.5B are the two world-first zoom lenses for 4K broadcast cameras employing 2/3-inch sensors. The company claims that both lenses enable 4K optical performance, whilst maintaining excellent maneuverability and handling comparable to that of its lenses for HD broadcast cameras. Meeting the wide-ranging needs of documentary, live event and sports productions these new additions to Canon’s UHDgc series lineup are the ideal choice for broadcasters looking to future-proof their content, when shifting to 4K systems and workflows.

The new CJ18ex28B and CJ15ex8.5B continue Canon’s long-standing commitment to supporting the industry with innovative and optically excellent products, as the company enters its 61st year in the broadcasting lens business. By employing fluorite and Ultra-Low Dispersion (UD) glass – and proprietary optical designs that place these materials in optimal positions – the lenses also suppress such chromatic aberrations as colour bleeding and fringing to realise superlative colour reproduction all the way to the peripheral areas of the image. Lens coating technology and design prevents reflections within the lens barrel reducing ghosting and flaring allowing broadcasters to shoot high-tonality images with the clarity and contrast to support HDR/WCG.

Canon at NAB 2019: five 4K UHD camcorders, two broadcast lenses and more

CJ18ex28B broadcast lens has 18x zoom

The first 4K broadcast telephoto lens in the 2/3” UHD portable broadcast lens category, the CJ18ex28B offers an 18x zoom ratio covering a focal length range from 28mm at the wide end to 500mm at the telephoto, achieving a focal length of 1000mm at the telephoto end when using the built-in 2x extender. The ability to record detail in high-quality from afar makes this lens perfect for shooting documentary, wildlife and live events. In addition to this, the lens design has achieved the same compact, lightweight body as conventional HD lenses, enabling dynamic shooting styles with outstanding portability – ensuring the excellent mobility required for broadcasters filming outside a studio and when endurance is key.

The CJ15ex8.5B supports Canon’s exclusive Vari-Angle Prism (VAP) Image Stabilizer – a tilting optical axis which corrects blur caused by motion, changing the angle of the high refractive index liquid placed between two layers of glass. The image stabilisation provides broadcasters with excellent control of footage captured over the entire zoom range – from wide angle to telephoto – perfect for broadcasters filming on bumpy terrain or from transport, such as those on the move filming cycling or running events. The ergonomically designed grip on both the CJ18ex28B and CJ15ex8.5B also offers an excellent feel and ease-of-use during operation, no matter the shooting scenario. The grip is designed to fit comfortably in the hand – easing strain on camera operators shooting for long periods of time.

Canon at NAB 2019: five 4K UHD camcorders, two broadcast lenses and more

60 years in the broadcast lens business

Stephen Hart Dyke, Professional Imaging Product Marketing Manager, Canon Europe, commented: “While we’re yet to see 4K televisions become the ‘norm’ in most households, the technology is becoming more affordable and as such, we’re naturally seeing the appetite for 4K content rise. The launch of the CJ18ex28B and CJ15ex8.5B further demonstrates Canon’s commitment to supporting broadcasters prepare for this industry shift with innovative technology and products alike. Producing reliable, optically excellent lenses that push creative boundaries and exceed the industry’s quality standards has been the heart of Canon’s broadcast lens business for over 60 years, so we’re delighted to continue this best-in-class offering with the launch of these world first lenses.”

The CJ18ex28B and CJ15ex8.5B will be on display at NAB 2019 (8th – 11th April) on the Canon stand – Central Hall, C4425.

Canon at NAB 2019: five 4K UHD camcorders, two broadcast lenses and more

Two new VIXIA HF camcorders

Two new camcorders also make it to NAB 2019. Canon expands its 4K camcorder VIXIA/LEGRIA range with two new models – the VIXIA/LEGRIA HF G50 and VIXIA/LEGRIA HF G60. As an entry-point to the world of 4K, the VIXIA HF G50 is designed to capture and future-proof special moments in higher resolution – boasting a 1/2.3-type sensor with manual control, coupled with premium optics and processing for superior image quality.  This model was first introduced at CES 2019, as PVC reported.

Canon says the VIXIA HF G50 has a new 4K sensor which enables users to capture outstanding levels of detail in 4K or Full HD with 4K oversampling – making this camcorder ideal for those looking to take their first steps into the world of 4K video, reliving their captured action in fantastic resolution. Allowing the user to push their creative ability, the VIXIA HF G50 with its 20x wide-angle zoom lens and f/1.8 – f/2.8 maximum aperture, offers greater control over depth of field and excellent low-light capability, resulting in clearer and more vibrant content.

Canon at NAB 2019: five 4K UHD camcorders, two broadcast lenses and more

Dual Pixel CMOS AF on the VIXIA HF G60

The VIXIA HF G60, which now joins the HF G50 model, provides advanced users with the ability to capture movies in 4K UHD, says Canon, and features Dual Pixel CMOS AF that allows for smooth, high-performance focus tracking and fast autofocus acquisition, enabling users to create professional-looking pull-focus effects with ultimate simplicity – keeping a subject moving towards the user in sharp focus while maintaining a blurred background.  With its large 1.0-type sensor and maximum f/2.8-4.5 lens aperture, the VIXIA HF G60 also gives smooth control over depth of field and truly stunning image quality.

Equipping users with a range of features that enhance their artistic shooting abilities, both camcorders feature circular apertures for smooth bokeh. In addition to this, the VIXIA HF G50 and VIXIA HF G60 both have powerful, wide angle optical zoom lenses, 20x and 15x respectively – enabling users to get close to the action with superior image quality. With customisable focus speeds, both camcorders can achieve almost instant smooth focusing enabling them to prioritise the look of a movie or the urgency of capturing ‘the shot’ for a documentary.

Canon at NAB 2019: five 4K UHD camcorders, two broadcast lenses and more

Multiple professional features

Having the option to speed up or slow playback speed down, both camcorders allow the enthusiast users to get creative with motion and increase the dramatic effect of their video content. What’s more, both the VIXIA HF G50 and VIXIA HF G60 support Canon’s advanced Image Stabiliser (IS) technology. Shake-free, professional-looking content is maintained optically with high quality mechanical compensation for up-down/left-right camera movement, plus electronically with intelligent correction of roll and tilt.

The customisable settings empower video enthusiasts to mould both camcorders to their own shooting preferences; perfect for those committed to shooting in a specific style, whether it’s family moments or a personal passion project. With highly responsive and state-of-the-art controls, both handheld camcorders are compact and simple-to-use, ideal for capturing on the go. Both fitted with a professional grade zoom rocker, a dial to reduce menu diving, lens ring with fingertip light sensitivity and the ability to assign functions and commands to five buttons, the VIXIA HF G50 and VIXIA HF G60 make for an easy shooting experience. In addition to this, they both support adjustable exposure with built-in ND filters for wider apertures or slower shutter speeds.

Canon at NAB 2019: five 4K UHD camcorders, two broadcast lenses and more

Adjust tracking, focus and exposure by touch

Both models feature a highly responsive 3.0-inch (460,000 dots) capacitive touch screen and a 0.24-inch tilting high resolution electronic viewfinder, so users can be confident the images are framed perfectly. The VIXIA HF G50 and VIXIA HF G60’s responsive touchscreen provides the ability to adjust tracking, focus and exposure, and their electronic viewfinder – excellent for shooting in tight and bright conditions to achieve a high-quality outcome. As well as this, both camcorders accommodate for dual recording with two SD card slots.

VIXIA HF G50 Key features:

  • 20x optical zoom
  • 4K sensor
  • f/1.8 – f/2.8 lens aperture
  • Image stabiliser with dynamic mode
  • Custom function dial and buttons

VIXIA HF G60 Key features:

  • 15x optical zoom
  • 0-Type 4K sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • f/2.8 – f/4.5 lens aperture
  • Image stabiliser with dynamic mode
  • Custom function dial and buttons

The Canon XA55, XA50 and VIXIA HF G60 are scheduled to be available in June 2019 for estimated retail prices of $2699.00, $2199.00 and $1699.00, respectively. The XA45  4K UHD video camcorder is scheduled to be available in April 2019 for an estimated retail price of $2199.00.

The camcorders will be showcased at Canon’s booth at NAB 2019, along with the other new products announced here, and also the new Sumire Prime lens series, a range of fast T-stop cinema prime lenses, all with an interchangeable PL mount, which can be modified to an EF mount. Those, Canon will announce tomorrow. Officially…

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…