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Instant AF
Since it is critical to achieve very sharp focus when shooting in High Definition, the XH A1 camcorder features Canon's revolutionary Instant AF auto focus system. It offers a dramatic improvement in auto focus speed and accuracy (compared to traditional auto focus systems). Instant AF significantly decreases the time it takes to find focus -- even in low light conditions -- and improves the camcorder's ability to maintain focus.

The Instant AF feature uses an external AF sensor to measure the distance to the subject. Then, a TV AF sensor fine-tunes the focus. A change in the contrast of the subject can sometimes lead to a loss of focus, even though the subject has not moved. With Instant AF, the external sensor "sees" that the subject has not moved. Focus is not lost, and your HD image remains sharp.

The XH A1 gives you a choice of 3 AF modes for different shooting applications:

  • Instant AF
    Natural AF changes focus at a speed that appears natural and doesn't distract the viewer
  • Super Quick AF changes focus as rapidly as possible and is designed for applications in which quick focus is more important than other considerations -- for example, in news gathering or documentary work
  • Stable AF ensures smooth, stable focusing when speed isn't the highest priority

The focus ring remains operational even in the AF mode. Using a Custom Function setting, the direction in which the ring is operated can be changed. Also using a Custom Function setting, the focus ring response can be set to one of two settings. At the "Slow" setting, the lens moves more slowly than in the "Normal" setting in response to the amount the ring is turned.

In addition to Instant AF, the Focus Assist function displays images with accentuated outlines for easier focusing. A Magnifying function also assists focusing by more than doubling the size of the center part of the image and displaying it on the EVF and monitor.

Plus, the Zoom/Focus Preset feature stores the zoom position/focus position and moves the zoom/focus lens to the stored zoom position/focus position.

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