Canon outs VIXIA HF G30 camcorder with premium optics
While the image of the amateur camcorder user still revolves around a parent recording baby's first steps, Canon knows that at least some of us want high-quality footage without venturing too far into pro camera territory. Witness its new VIXIA HF G30, which rolls in image quality and control that are still rare outside of big shoulder-mounted cams. It includes a larger CMOS sensor than its ancestors, a new DIGIC DV 4 processor and an equally fresh 20X (26.8-536mm equivalent), f/1.8 lens; together, they should cut back on visual artifacts, improve stabilization and produce a gentler depth of field effect. Canon is also expanding its WiFi support to include DSLR-like remote control of the camcorder through the web browsers of most modern devices. The upgrade rounds out with a handful of firsts specific to the G series, such as dual recording in AVCHD and MP4 as well as a 3.5-inch, OLED touchscreen. Be prepared to sacrifice some time and money for the upgrade in home video quality, though -- Canon doesn't ship the HF G30 until June, when it will cost a not-quite-pro-level $1,700.
If you really do make a living from moving pictures, Canon also has a pair of compact pro models that share the same underlying technology. Both the XA20 and XA25 (pictured after the break) carry the same 20X lens, DIGIC DV 4 processing, WiFi and OLED display as their home-oriented cousin, but throw in pro-level expansion such as XLR microphone inputs and holders, independent audio level adjustment and (on the XA25) SDI connectors. The two will ship later in June and should carry premiums that lift their official prices up to $2,699 and $3,199, although we're seeing them on Canon's site for $500 less -- we've reached out and will let you know how much they cost in practice.
Update: Canon tells us that the real pricing sits in between. The XA20 will cost $2,499, while it will take $2,999 to call an XA25 your own.