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Canon's XH A1 HD Camcorder Reports For Duty

February 12, 2007 --
DMN Newswire--2007-2-12--For the past 18 months, new recruits for the Iraqi Police Force have begun their assignments with a rigorous training program in Amman, Jordan at the International Police Training Center. More than 50,000 cadets have completed training to date. When the 35th class of 1,500 cadets begins their training, Jeffrey Kramer, Director of Video Production for Kramer Communications, in Bowie MD, will be there to document the six-week program armed with the new Canon XH A1 High Definition Camcorder.

“My goal is to capture the essence of life for these recruits,” says Kramer. “To get a sense of what life is like over there, to capture the beauty and the essence of the Middle East. It’s not all horrible. There’s a lot of beauty, and a lot of hope.”

Economy and Size

Kramer Communications, which specializes in the production of videos on fire, rescue, law enforcement, and public safety, won a 2006 Telly Award for In Pursuit of Excellence, a video produced for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. Kramer’s newest assignment, in the Middle East, demanded a camera that was right for the job.


“I’m a Canon user,” Kramer states. “The first camera I owned was a Canon XL1 DV camcorder. It’s a workhorse.” Nevertheless, when it came time to upgrade to HD for this project, Kramer looked at a variety of brands.

“I didn’t want an expensive camera,” he explains, “and I also needed something that is less intrusive, something I could shoot with that would not draw a lot of attention.”

Kramer found what he needed in the Canon XH A1 HD Camcorder, which measures only 13.8 inches long by 7.4 inches high, and can shoot true 1080 HD video at 60i, 30F, or 24F frame rates. “You don’t find that in a lot of other cameras in this price range,” he explains. “This camera has great versatility.”

The Canon XH A1 HD Camcorder’s features include a Genuine Canon 20x HD video zoom lens and three 1/3-inch native 1440 x 1080 16:9 CCDs, which is the same image-sensor technology used in Canons’ celebrated XL H1 HD Camcorder. These sensors deliver outstanding picture quality, highly accurate color reproduction, and wide dynamic range with virtually no color noise. Kramer also purchased the optional Canon WD-72 wide-angle (.8x) converter for the camera.

“I plan to journey up to Mt. Nebo to get some beauty shots of Amman, particularly at sunset,” he explains. “My first impression is that the XH A1 HD Camcorder performs very well in low-light situations.”

Kramer adds that he also needed the XH A1 HD Camcorder’s professional XLR audio inputs, as his documentation of the training of police recruits will require a combination of both on-the-run videography and sit-down interviews with an external microphone. The XH A1 HD Camcorder’s built-in XLR terminals supply phantom power (+48dB) and can be switched between LINE and MIC.

Focus and Stability

Additional attributes of the XH A1 HD Camcorder that led to Kramer’s purchase decision included the camcorder’s Instant AF next-generation autofocus technology.

“This camera is awesome with autofocus,” Kramer asserts, adding that his work as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician has provided him with valuable practice in advance of his trip, as he often shoots video before and during fire and emergency calls. “When we’re rolling into the scene, I want to do some initial shots, and then go into my assignment. I don’t have time to deal with focusing, and many times we’re hitting bumps and curves at high speeds.”

Canon’s Instant AF combines an external sensor with Canon’s legendary autofocus system. Working together, the two sensors reduce focus time, even in low-light, low-contrast, or high-brightness situations.

“The XH A1 HD Camcorder’s image stabilizer feature is great,” Kramer adds, “and will assist me in getting the shots that I need.”

Known as Super-Range OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), this exclusive Canon feature is an essential tool for on-the-go image capture. Super-Range OIS combines gyro- and image-sensors to give image stabilization through a wider range of camera motions. Unlike many other cameras in the XH A1 HD Camcorder’s price range, Super Range OIS corrects for fast vibration (when shooting, for example, from a moving car), medium-speed motion often apparent in hand-held recording, and even slower motion found in body sway. And, unlike electronic image stabilization, the Canon OIS does not result in a loss of image quality.

The Ultimate Goal

“Everyone needs to have a better understanding of one another,” Kramer says of his upcoming assignment. “I’m going to Amman, Jordan to meet Iraqi police cadets. These are individuals who are willing to put themselves on the front lines, especially in this time of chaos. We need to understand the hopes and aspirations of these people, as opposed to being distracted by political elements. I want to use my XH A1 HD Camcorder to let the people tell their stories, so we can learn from them and get a personal look at their lives today.”

“Ultimately, I’m chasing a dream,” Kramer concludes. “I got into the video production business to make a difference. My goal in going to Jordan is to document the training and graduation of Class No. 35, but my hope is that I will create something that will help us all make this world a better place.”

Kramer will be keeping a diary of his assignment on his Web site,

About Canon U.S.A. , Inc.

Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The company is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America and is on the BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands.” Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is a top patent holder of technology, ranking third overall in the U.S. in 2006, with global revenues of $34.9 billion. For more information, visit .


IFI Patent Intelligence, January 11, 2007

All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.
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Related Keywords:Canon, XH A1, XL H1, HD Camcorder, high definition, Iraq, Jordan, war, police, military

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