Canon Broadcast looks to sharpen up imaging with auto-focus technology

Canon U.S.A. will hit NAB with two HD lenses that offer auto-focus, helping make it easier for camera operators to capture sharp HD images as they simultaneously pay close attention to picture framing and physical control of their camera and lens, while also continually maintaining sharp focus of selected objects within complex scenes.

Canon U.S.A., Inc.’s extensive experience in long-zoom HD field-lens design provides a unique understanding of the challenges that HDTV presents to camera operators, which is why Canon developed a powerful new automated solution to assist in the task of maintaining constant and perfect HD lens focus. The new Canon DIGISUPER 100AF and DIGISUPER 86AF* auto-focus long-field HD zoom lenses feature sophisticated auto-focus capabilities based on a proprietary HD implementation of Through-the-Lens Secondary Image Registration Phase Detection Method technology. These new lenses will be featured at the Canon booth #SU 3020 at NAB2007, the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters, held April 14-19 in Las Vegas.

“Our new DIGISUPER 100AF and DIGISUPER 86AF lenses are designed to help camera operators ensure that their shots are always in exact focus, even in challenging situations,” said Gordon Tubbs, director, Broadcast and Communications division, Canon U.S.A. “These lenses assist camera operators to create the highest quality video images possible – operators know they can always achieve exact focus with the push of a button. This is especially helpful in situations where the operator is unsure due to poor lighting or cannot otherwise determine exact focus just by looking at the viewfinder.

“In addition to the Part-Time focus-check mode there’s a Full-Time mode to help camera operators during long shoots. Either way, the Canon DIGISUPER 100AF and DIGISUPER 86AF auto-focus lenses enable camera operators to apply their full attention to the creative aspects of framing HD images and following the action in the scene,” said Tubbs.

The Canon DIGISUPER 100AF and DIGISUPER 86AF lenses (model numbers XJ100x9.3B AF and XJ86x9.3B AF, respectively) create an operator-controllable window in the HD camera’s viewfinder that targets the object operators want to focus most sharply on in the scene. Camera operators can change the window’s position and size by means of a miniature joystick on the camera handle’s focus servo control. An additional button provides three modes of operation:
1) Part-Time – actuates the auto-focus system as long as a control button is depressed.
2) Full-Time – actuates the auto-focus continually on selected moving objects such as racing cars (which might be speeding toward the camera position), or for shooting situations entailing full-servo robotic operation.
3) Off – allows for normal, unassisted lens focus.

In addition to their auto-focus capabilities, Canon’s new DIGISUPER 100AF and DIGISUPER 86AF long-field HD zoom lenses feature Canon’s highly acclaimed built-in Optical Image Stabilizer, or “Shift-IS” system, to help create rock-solid images even at telephoto distances.

The DIGISUPER 100AF and DIGISUPER 86AF lenses are based on Canon’s DIGISUPER 100xs and DIGISUPER 86xs long-field HD zoom lenses, which are among the most widely used lenses in HD sports and entertainment production. (The Canon DIGISUPER 100xs was the world’s first triple-digit HD zoom lens.)

All Canon DIGISUPER lenses feature the HD optical precision and heightened long-range zoom capabilities that have made Canon a global leader. All of Canon’s DIGISUPER HD field lenses also feature Canon’s unique XS technology for improved optical performance and lighter weight, as well as Canon’s second-generation Digital Servo System, which provides microcomputer compensation of lens-focus breathing (the inadvertent alteration of field of view when operating the focus control).

The new DIGISUPER 100AF and DIGISUPER 86AF long-field HD auto-focus zoom lenses are Canon’s latest advancements designed to provide camera operators with the industry’s most sophisticated tools for television production.

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