Skip to main content

Canon camcorder brings HD TV on the cheap

If yesterday's launch of the 'world's fastest digital SLR' - the Canon EOS-1D Mark III - didn't tickle your fancy, then maybe one of the Japanese imaging specialist's less-bombastic new models will.

Sure, the PowerShot TX1 is a mere combination still and video camera, but it looks like a heck of a bargain for just ¥50,000 (£211). The TX1 records video that Canon calls high definition at 720p - we'll let that pass - and has a 7.1-megapixel sensor that can take still images.

As the TX1 is a tapeless camcorder, video is recorded at a 1280 x 720 resolution to an SD card, including the higher-capacity SDHC variety - about an hour of top-quality footage should fit on a 4GB card.

Aside from the pleasant, slightly retro design of the camera, other standout features include a 10x optical zoon with image stabilisation, face detection, ISO settings from 80 to 1,600 and an orientation sensor to make sure the readout on the LCD is always upright.

The I/O ports are the usual USB and DV, as well as a component output for hooking up to TV set for instant playback. At such a reasonable price, we reckon Canon may well have just set the benchmark for future SD-only camcorders.