Canon Introduces Optura100 MC Digital Camcorder

By incorporating a state-of-the-art megapixel CDD image sensor with over one million pixels into a digital camcorder, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon, Inc. has introduced a single camera that performs like two cameras in one – a digital camcorder that records high-resolution video and a digital camera capable of high-resolution digital photos.

The Canon Optura100 MC has a 1.3M megapixel CCD image sensor to capture outstanding digital video and digital photos at 1280 X 960 resolution, which is four times better than conventional 640 X 480 digital photo resolution found in other digital camcorders. It looks, feels and performs differently than any other preceding Canon Optura model. The change to a vertical design creates a fresh new look styled for single-hand operation, a popular feature with consumers that provides maximum versatility and performance.

Among the key features: A 10x zoom lens plus 200x digital zoom with Optical Image Stabilization that, unlike most competitive models, operates in both video and photo modes; Built-in Auto Pop-up Flash to illuminate subjects for digital photos; Extended Recording Mode to deliver four hours of video recording on one 80-minute MiniDV videotape.

The Canon Optura100 MC is the latest addition to the company’s extensive line of presentation products (digital camcorders, digital cameras, projectors, presentation cameras and Internet/Intranet tools) that maximize presentation quality, creativity and efficiency in education, business and at home. Canon’s imaging technologies have become mainstream peripherals for PC owners, with digital camcorders helping Apple computer users create videos to achieve business success and movie-making family fun. Canon also is a global strategic partner of Microsoft, supporting software applications inside the new Windows XP operating system that makes it easier than ever to edit video and enhance, share and print digital photos.

“The Canon Optura100 MC eliminates the dilemma faced by consumers who must choose between the purchase of a digital camera and a digital camcorder,” said Yukiaki Hashimoto, vice president and general manager, Photographic Products Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Now, with this latest Canon digital camcorder, they have the best of both while incorporating new technologies that support the demands of the new digital lifestyle.”

The Canon Optura100 MC will be available at authorized Canon dealers in
September 2001 at a suggested list price of $1,899.

Features of the Canon Optura100 MC

10x Zoom Lens and 200x Digital Zoom – The Canon zoom lens transforms distant subjects into dramatic close-ups without loss in image quality. The focal length of the optical zoom is 4.2-42mm, which is the 35mm photo lens equivalent of 48-480mm. The digital zoom extends magnification to 200x, revealing details too distant to be seen with the eye. The 43mm lens diameter makes adding an optional Canon lens accessory easy, including the WD-43 Wide-converter, TL-43 Tele-converter, or a filter from the FS-43U Filter Set.

Image Stabilization – Canon’s Optical Image Stabilization corrects camera shake instantly, providing smooth, stable pictures even on long telephoto shots. Unlike many other dual digital camcorder/camera models, it works in both video and photo modes.

Shooting Modes – The Canon Optura100 MC offers three shooting modes: Video, Photo and Progressive Photo.

The Video mode captures smooth, full motion video for playback on a TV. The Photo mode also is ideal for capturing digital photos for playback on a television, or for e-mail and websites. Video and digital photos can be combined on the same cassette, which can add an element of variety to any movie. Each digital photo is recorded for approximately six seconds along with audio such as narration or ambient sounds. Over 700 digital photos can be recorded on a single 80-minute MiniDV cassette, each at 640 x 480 resolution. During playback, photos may be quickly located by utilizing the Photo Search feature found on the wireless controller.

The Progressive Photo mode is used when capturing digital photos to a MultiMediaCard (MMC) or a Secure Digital Card (SD). In this mode, the camcorder uses a mechanical shutter to produce sharper digital photos with greater detail (especially of subjects in motion), taking full advantage of the camera’s 1.3M megapixel CCD image sensor. Digital Photos are compressed and stored in the JPEG format. Users can choose two resolution modes (640 x 480 or a robust 1280 x 960) and two levels of image compression quality (Standard and Fine). Standard is suitable for e-mail and websites, while Fine is ideal for printing digital photos on a computer printer such as the Canon S800 Bubble Jet Photo Printer.

The Canon Optura100 MC kit includes one 8MB MultiMediaCard. The quantity of digital photos will vary according to the image resolution and compression quality settings selected by the user. An 8MB card holds the following quantities:

640 x 480, Standard = 106 digital photos
640 x 480, Fine = 61 digital photos
1280 x 960, Standard = 32 digital photos
1280 x 960, Fine = 17 digital photos
Higher volumes of digital photos can be stored using commercially available optional MMC cards, which come in 16, 32 and 64MB sizes.

About the size of a postage stamp, the MultiMediaCard is the smallest removable commercially available solid-state memory solution. Images can be captured on videotape and transferred to the MMC and vice versa. The supplied 8MB MMC includes pre-programmed graphics that can be combined with live images from the camera to create superimposed backgrounds or cartoon-like foregrounds, adding greater variety and entertainment to shooting and viewing video and digital photos.

The new Secure Digital Card (SD) features built-in copy protection.

Intelligent Design – Three new design elements were created to achieve a more comfortable and secure grip during shooting and carrying. A Rotary Grip Belt complements the vertical camera design, making single-hand operation possible. The camcorder is accented with Rabalon├ó, a synthetic material with rubber-like properties to ensure a secure grip. The Photo Button and Zoom Control have been paired beside one another and placed where the index finger naturally falls for easy operation.

Built-in Auto Pop-up Flash – When in Photo mode, the flash can be set to one of four settings (Auto, On, Red Eye Reduction or Off). In Auto mode, the camera’s metering system can determine if light levels are too low to capture a suitable image and engage the flash to illuminate the subject to be photographed.

Extended Battery Performance/Built-in Charger – Enhanced power, attributed to higher capacity batteries and reduction of energy consumption, allows for longer usage and uninterrupted recording time. The optional BP-535 high capacity battery pack is able to run the camcorder continuously for approximately six and one-half hours. The built-in battery charger minimizes the number of items to be carried when traveling and reduces the possibility of losing valuable parts of the system.

Flexible LCD Viewscreen and Tilting Color Viewfinder – The 2.5-inch viewscreen permits easy composition of sensational shots from any angle. The screen swivels and flips for maximum handling comfort and flexibility, tucking neatly away when bright conditions make the eyecup viewfinder, the first tilting viewfinder in a vertical model that makes the unit comfortable to use, the preferred way to shoot.

A/V Insert and Audio Dubbing – Insert new video scenes from a VCR or other camcorder into an original recording. When adding audio to a recording made in the
12 bit audio mode, stereo sound can be added from another audio source, or the internal or external microphone.

Analog Line-In Recording – An analog video signal from a television, VCR, or another camcorder can be sent to record images digitally onto a MiniDV cassette. Appropriate for making copies or preserving precious originals.

IEEE 1394/Firewire┬« DV Terminal – Equipped with a DV IN/OUT terminal that conforms to IEEE 1394/Firewire, just a single digital cable is needed to copy video to another Canon DV camcorder, or transfer to a DV-ready computer for editing or use on the Internet.

Manual Controls – While fully automatic, the camcorder offers manual control over focus, exposure, white balance and shutter speed. External buttons provide the user with easy controls for many popular features rather than scrolling through the menu.

Programmed Auto Exposure – Outstanding video results are possible even during challenging conditions. By selecting the program that matches the scene, the camcorder adjusts internal controls to create perfect video each time. Mode choices are Easy Recording Green Zone, Auto, Sports, Portrait, Spotlight, Sand and Snow, and Low Light.

Digital Effects – A choice of digital effects and fade effects provide a more appealing look and greater imaging variety when shooting video. Any of five digital effects (negative, art, black & white, sepia and mosaic) can be applied to the video image. Any of six fade effects (black fade, wipe, stripe vertical, stripe horizontal checker and window) can begin and end scenes with a fade to and from black. The multi-screen effect lets users capture images sequentially by dividing the screen into four, nine or 16 images at slow, moderate or fast speeds.

Extended Recording – In addition to the standard SP and LP recording modes, Canon again has introduced a camcorder that includes an Extended Recording Function, which substantially increases the length of recording time per cassette and prevents the running out of tape at critical shooting moments. To achieve extended recording, 2x greater image data compression is applied in the ESP mode and 3x in the ELP mode. In ELP, an 80-minute MiniDV tape will record four hours of video footage.


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