Canon has announced two new additions to its high-end High Definition XL series camcorder range.

First up is the XL H1S, which is designed for studio-based professional broadcast cameramen.

XL H1S features Canon’s Professional Jackpack: a suite of studio standard connections comprising HD-SDI output – for uncompressed 1920 x 1080 HD video – Gen lock input and Time code input/output for multi-camera shoots.

Building on the feature set of its predecessor model, the XL H1, the HD-SDI output of the XL H1S now incorporates embedded audio and Time code data.

The second launch is the XL H1A, which is claimed to be perfect for independent filmmakers and fieldwork cameramen.

Both models record High Definition Video (HDV) to tape, and feature a 1/3 inch 1.67 Megapixel 3CCD system, delivering HD 1080i image capture.

Key refinements over the XL H1, which is the predecessor to both of the new launches, include a new 20x L-series Video Lens, incorporating three separate focus, zoom and iris control rings, which can be operated simultaneously.

Canon adds that the two-channel XLR audio recording mode now features independent limiters and auto/manual settings, allowing complete control over sound recording.

In a separate announcement, Canon has launched CPS (Canon Professional Service) Video – a new, free support program for cameramen who own and work with either the XL H1S, XL H1A, XL H1 or XH G1 camcorders.

In particular, CPS is claimed to guarantee a fast turnaround repair service – or, alternatively, the offer of a free replacement loan model in circumstances when repairs take longer.

CPS Video members also have direct access to a qualified Canon Pro Rep, allowing them to get quick answers to non-repair related questions about their camcorder.

The service also includes a dedicated telephone hotline.