In mid March 2001, Canon will release a new digital camcorder, FV20, equipped with 2x and 3x record modes at the price of $1000 USD. Four-hour recording is possible when using an 80 minutes tape and a 3x mode. FV20 will be the first digital camcorder to mount either a 2x or 3x record mode. Canon expects to explore the demand for this new camcorder since the tapes for digital camcorders are still expensive.
Digital camcorders currently on the market are equipped with a SP mode that is in accordance with the DV standard’s specifications as well as a LP mode that can increase the recording time by 1.5 times. The LP mode can reduce its tracking width to 6.67ƒÊm, which is 2/3 of the SP mode’s 10ƒÊm. FV20 has a record mode that can boost the current compression rate of image data by twofold. The recording time can by increased by twofold when using the same tracking width as the SP modes with higher compression (ESP mode), and it can be increased by threefold (1.5 x 2) when using the same tracking width as the LP mode (ELP mode). The company says, “The picture quality of ESP and ELP modes are about the same as that of SL and LP mode.”
The compression mode used in FV20 is prescribed in the specification of “Blue Book.” In order words, the compression mode is in accordance with the “high compression CD specification” of the DV standard made by the HD digital VCR association. Canon said that it decided to use the compression mode in FV20 because it developed ways to keep the price of the compression and its power consumption low for reasonable commercialization. The only enhancement made in this new compression mode is the LSI that controls compression expansion. No enhancements were made in the structure of the compression mode. Although FV20 provides no guarantee for its backward compatibility with tapes recorded with a high compression mode, the company said, “some models can playback such tapes.”