Following in the footsteps of Sony, Canon is rolling out their new DC40 camcorder which can record to miniature DVDs. Sporting a 10 times optical zoom and a 4.3 megapixel CCD, the camcorder can record in both 4:3 and 16:9 widescreen aspect ratios. Still photos are recorded to Mini SD cards.
According to Canon, the DC40 has a single CCD sensor with an RGB Primary Color filter that “rivals the image quality” of triple sensor camcorders. Video is recorded to three-inch recordable DVDs that can hold up to 60 minutes of video per side. There is no word on what compression is used to store the video. Other DVD and solid state cameras use either MPEG-2 or MPEG-4.
The DC40 will have optical stabilization along with a stable zoom feature which can lock in the vertical or horizontal axis while zooming. The stabilization, which moves the lens and CCD in tandem to center the picture, ends up cropping the edges of the image. This gives the camcorder an effective pixel count of 3,500,000 pixels in 3:4 mode or 2,740,000 pixels in 16:9 mode. Many other cameras in this price range have digital image stabilization which uses software to cut the image.
The Canon DC40 DVD camcorder will be shipping in March for around $900.