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Optura 100MC

Support miniDV Camcorders


The Canon Optura 100MC is a digital video camcorder, using the standard MiniDV cassette; it produces the highest quality video possible from non-broadcast equipment. The MiniDV format standard delivers more than 500 lines of horizontal resolution. This is about a 25% improvement in picture quality over the best analog formats. On top of that, because it records both video and audio as digital data, this information can be transferred -- without any loss of picture or audio quality -- to computer for editing, then transferred back to DV tape, without a reduction in either picture or audio quality. All of this is through the use of the IEEE 1394 protocol commonly known as FireWire&#174;. <br/> DV Format Technology and Advantages<br/> <br/> <br/> This format is based on a robust videotape formulation, a sophisticated and computer-based data capture system, the ability to allow the high-speed transfer of data from camcorder to tape, and a standard data structuring system. The MiniDV format makes professional quality video affordable.<br/> <br/> Better picture quality than analog, sharper images and better color reproduction: that's what digital video is all about! Digital recordings are almost immune to signal problems, and result in the highest quality picture and audio. This is a major advantage over analog. Digital is the language of computers, which easily store and transfer data without distortion. It is exactly the same with digital video. Digital copies of digital videos are indistinguishable from the original, which makes editing and image manipulation so much easier and with higher quality than that delivered by analog video technology.<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> The tape formulation is designed to last longer and even withstand repeated use without failure, which virtually eliminates dropouts while delivering higher output and less noise.<br/> <br/> <br/> Digital video has approximately twice the horizontal resolution of a standard VHS videocassette recorder. The resolution of a DV standard image is about 25% better than that from an S-VHS or Hi8 camcorder or deck. While resolution is dependent on a product's components and circuitry, standard VHS and 8 mm video are capable of delivering about 250 lines of horizontal resolution with S-VHS and Hi8 at about 400 - 420 lines. The DV format is capable of delivering more than 500 lines of horizontal resolution, with actual performance depending on the individual camcorder model. Another way to look at it is that an NTSC digital video signal contains three times the data of its analog counterpart; a PAL digital video signal contains six times the data of its analog counterpart.<br/> <br/> Color resolution (or rendition) can be a problem for analog video, producing color blur and color noise. Digital video does not have this problem, delivering a far more lifelike video image on the screen. What you will see is much sharper subject edges and clearer color reproduction.<br/> <br/> The MiniDV standard ensures that audio quality matches that of an audio CD or digital audio tape (DAT). The audio portion of the digital video signal is recorded digitally. The digital video standard includes Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) audio recording, delivering more than the normal, natural range of sound audible to humans without both distortion and noise.<br/> <br/> All digital video equipment also have the analog video outputs (either S-video and/or composite video) found on current analog equipment so you can play a digital video on a regular TV, or transfer a digital video onto an analog VCR. If you record using a digital video camcorder, you can then copy the video onto VHS or Super-VHS tapes, 8mm or Hi8 tapes, or any of the broadcast formats such as 3/4-inch or Betacam if they have the appropriate input connectors. <br/> IEEE 1394 Input and Output Terminal<br/> <br/> The Optura 100MC is designed for the transfer of digital video and audio to and from either a PC or another IEEE 1394 terminal-equipped camcorder or professional DV VCR. The DV terminal allows high-quality transfer with virtually no deterioration in quality of images. You can edit and process images by connecting the camera to a PC with the IEEE 1394 terminal.
High-Resolution Stills<br/> <br/> The Optura 100MC's megapixel CCD means the camera offers megapixel digital still image capture. The Optura 100MC uses a 1.33 megapixel CCD to capture high-resolution still images for saving on the removable storage card. Aiding the capture of high-quality digital still images is a lens with digital still camera-based elements. The file size in this mode is 1280 x 960 pixels.
Canon's superb optical stabilization system corrects camera shake instantly so even hand-held shots, at full telephoto, and shots taken from a moving car, for example, are smooth and steady. And since it is optical, there is no loss of image quality inevitable with electronic image stabilizers. It perfectly complements the high picture quality of the DV format.<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> The shift-type optical image stabilizer used in the Optura 100MC solves the problem of blurring which cannot be handled by electronic image stabilizers in other camcorders. Unlike many other dual digital camcorder/camera models, it works on both video and photo modes.<br/> <br/>
<br/> <br/> <br/> 10x Optical Zoom and 200x Digital Zoom<br/> The Optura 100MC incorporates a newly developed, bright zoom lens, specifically designed to handle the demands placed on it by the camcorder's high-resolution image sensor for both video and still picture applications. The zoom uses a special glass originally used in Canon digital still cameras, and is the first Canon camcorder to use it, guaranteeing high picture quality.<br/> <br/> The 10x optical zoom lens (4.2 - 42 mm) is the 35 mm focal length equivalent of 48 - 480 mm. Add an optional WD-43 Wide-converter to increase the field of view to the equivalent of 34 mm for indoor shots or panoramic views, or add the TL-43 Tele-converter to extend your telephoto viewing to the equivalent of 816 mm.<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> The digital zoom kicks in at the end of the optical zoom range, and is capable of extending to a maximum of 200x. This is the equivalent of a 9600 mm lens on a 35 mm photo camera. The digital zoom on the Optura 100MC provides sharper detail than others thanks to Canon's superior lens quality. You'll reveal details too distant to be seen with the eye alone.<br/> <br/> When capturing digital still images, the lens becomes an 8x zoom, the equivalent of a 45 - 360 mm lens on a 35 mm photo camera.<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> Six-Blade Iris<br/> Canon has borrowed the six-blade iris from its 3-CCD camcorder models. These leading-edge models use this iris for professional exposure control. The Optura 100MC uses the same iris system to create stunning video and still photos.
<br/> <br/> <br/> The Optura 100MC has a built-in, pop-up flash for use in digital still picture-taking. This makes it easier to shoot the correct exposure even when in a dark environment. The Optura 100MC will fire one flash (a pre-flash) to check the exposure, then fire a second time to make the correct exposure. The flash has four modes: auto, on, off, and red-eye reduction.<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> When accessories (such as the VL-3 video light or DM-50 directional microphone) compatible with the Advanced Accessory Shoe are attached, the Optura 100MC can exchange data with them and supply power directly to them.<br/>
<br/> <br/> <br/> The Optura 100MC offers Progressive Photo. A mechanical shutter used in combination with an interlace scan CCD produces still images with very little blurring. With an interlace scan CCD, a picture of a moving object will be blurred because of the 1/60th of a second lag between the reading of the odd and even fields that go into making one video frame. With Progressive Photo, this blurring has all but been removed, because the time lag has been eliminated by the mechanical shutter.
<br/> <br/> For the storage of digital still images, you can use either MultiMediaCards or SD memory cards in the Optura 100MC. The 8 MB MultiMediaCard comes with the Optura 100MC, storing up to 17 fine quality still pictures or 32 standard quality images.<br/> <br/>
The Optura 100MC offers both a color viewfinder and a 2.5" color flip-out LCD screen with 200,000 pixels.<br/> <br/> The Optura 100MC offers the first tilting viewfinder for a vertical-design camcorder. Not only does this make for more flexible shooting, but having a viewfinder is a benefit when shooting in the daytime, as it may get too bright to see the LCD display clearly. Note, though, that the Optura 100MC's LCD screen is designed to deliver clear images even under bright sunlight.
<br/> <br/> The Optura 100MC offers both versatility to meet all exposure challenges, and ease of use when you're happy to let the camera make all the choices. Amazingly sophisticated circuitry and computer algorithms analyze the light coming through the lens to deliver proper exposure automatically under almost any lighting condition. You can also easily adjust the exposure system in any one of several creative ways to meet specific needs. Selecting one of seven exposure modes, you control how you want the video to look. <br/> Easy Recording<br/> For those who just want to point and shoot, choose the Easy Recording mode. All camera functions are handled automatically (focus, exposure, etc.), with the exception of the camera's zoom controls. <br/> Auto<br/> Auto mode gives control of camera settings to the Optura 100MC, except for those functions you would like to control manually, including focus, exposure, and white balance. <br/> Sports<br/> <br/> <br/> Need to make a crystal clear video of the swing of a golf club and golf ball in flight? Want to accentuate the motion of a racing car by blurring its motion? Or shoot under very low lighting conditions? The Optura 100MC will automatically select the aperture for a proper exposure. If you have selected a shutter speed that is either too high or too low for the light conditions, a warning will flash in the viewfinder. <br/> Portrait<br/> <br/> <br/> For people pictures, you want to be able to remove background distractions, which detract from your subject. Switch to Portrait mode, which adjusts the lens opening (aperture) for creative control of depth of focus. Larger openings decrease the amount of the background that's in focus -- perfect for portraits. The 100MC will automatically select the shutter speed to match the chosen aperture, giving you the proper exposure. If you have selected an aperture that is too large for the lighting conditions, a warning will flash in the viewfinder. <br/> Spotlight<br/> <br/> <br/> Nothing can confound an exposure system like a singer spotlighted on a dark stage. The Optura 100MC comes to the rescue with Spotlight mode. The camera will automatically adjust exposure for the center of the frame (the brighter singer) rather than the darkness of the stage. This will prevent the person from showing up overexposed or blooming against a dark background. The result is a perfect exposure. <br/> Sand and Snow<br/> <br/> <br/> Want to record a scene of skiers on a bright, snow-covered mountain, or beach volleyball players on bright sand? Then select the Sand and Snow mode on the Optura 100MC. This will adjust the exposure so the subject will not appear underexposed (dark) against the bright background.<br/> <br/> Low Light<br/> <br/> When in a dark environment, by selecting the Low Light mode, the Optura 100MC shifts to a very slow shutter speed to deliver adequate exposure to record the scene.
For those who want total control of all aspects of the exposure system, the Optura 100MC offers Manual mode. You can select the shutter speed, aperture and gain settings for full creative control. <br/> Manual Focus Using a dial on the camera body, you can manually focus the lens. <br/> Manual Exposure<br/> For fine exposure control, you have access to +/-7 steps of exposure compensation<br/> <br/> Manual and Automatic Shutter Speeds<br/> There are 8 shutter speeds (from 1/60 sec. to 1/8000 sec.) available in all auto exposure modes. In Low Light Mode, a ninth, very slow shutter speed (1/15 sec.) is used. When manual shutter speed selection is used, 8 shutter speeds are available -- 1/60 sec. to 1/8000 sec.<br/> Presets and Manual white balance<br/> The Optura 100MC is designed to automatically determine white balance. You can also use standard preset values for indoors (3200&#176; K) and outdoors (5600&#176; K) or you can manually set the white balance. Manually setting the white balance is useful when shooting: subjects with one dominant color such as the sky; close-ups; rapidly changing lighting conditions; and places lit by certain types of fluorescent or mercury vapor lights.
<br/> <br/> Show your creativity by using the special effects and digital faders available with your Optura 100MC. A wide selection of digital effects and faders will add visual appeal and greater imaging variety. <br/> Digital Effects<br/> For that creative touch, a more appealing look, or greater imaging variety, you can switch on one of several digital effects: negative picture, art, black & white picture, sepia, mosaic.<br/> <br/> Negative<br/> This digital effect gives reverse colors from natural.<br/> <br/> Art<br/> Adds a paint-like effect, called solarization to the image.<br/> <br/> Black & White<br/> Looking for that "1940s" movie look, or an "art-house" feel to your video? Then use the black & white digital effect for classy black and white reproduction of the scene.<br/> <br/> Sepia<br/> The sepia effect gives a brown shade to your video, to recreate the look of faded photos.<br/> <br/> Mosaic<br/> Blurs the image by enlarging the size of some of the pixels. Digital Faders<br/> The Optura 100MC gives you several picture fade options to start or end scenes, with a fade to or from black: Fade Trigger, Vertical Wipe, Vertical Stripe, Horizontal Stripe, Checker, and Window. Special Effects<br/> Expand your video possibilities by using a MultiMediaCard or SD memory card and the Card Mix effect. Add backgrounds or graphics to your video. Record and display several consecutive images in one frame by using the Multi-image screen.<br/> <br/> Card Mix<br/> Produce effects not possible with just a cassette using one of the sample images provided on the supplied MultiMediaCard, such as picture frame or crashing waves, and combine them with the currently recording image.<br/> <br/> Multi-Image Screen<br/> Divide your display screen into four, nine or sixteen with this Image Capture Function. Choose the speed at which the images are captured: Slow, Moderate, or Fast.
<br/> <br/> The Optura 100MC can record sound in two audio modes:<br/> <br/> 16-bit (48 kHz, 2 channels) for the highest sound quality, slightly better than CD quality, and equivalent to DAT tape;<br/> <br/> 12-bit (32 kHz, 2 from 4 channels) for recording on two channels (stereo 1), leaving two channels (stereo 2) open for post-production audio recording (narration, music, etc.).<br/>
As well as delivering both digital video output and input with audio, the Optura 100MC is designed to handle two types of analog audio and video input and output: using audio/video cables (composite) or S-video. <br/> Audio Inputs<br/> The Optura 100MC's analog audio inputs let you perform dubbing or insert editing from conventional audio sources such as CDs, cassettes, microphones or the soundtracks of other videocassettes.<br/> <br/> Mic Input on Body<br/> In addition to using the Optura 100MC's built-in microphone, you have the option of plugging in an external microphone.<br/> <br/> Audio Dub<br/> You can add stereo sound from another audio source or through the internal or external microphone.<br/> <br/> <br/> AV Insert<br/> The Optura 100MC offers the option of adding new video from a VCR or another camcorder to a tape recorded in SP mode. Input can be digital, or analog video and analog audio.<br/> <br/> It's also possible to send an analog video signal from your TV, VCR or camcorder into the Optura 100MC and record it onto DV. (Great for making copies or preserving precious originals.) &#160; Audio Outputs<br/> Audio (and video) on a MiniDV cassette can be output to another camcorder or VCR.<br/> <br/> Audio Out<br/> Audio output is accomplished via the same ports used for input. Video outputs include composite and S-video.<br/> <br/> Headphone Terminal<br/> The Optura 100MC's headphone jack has a volume adjustment for monitoring sound during shooting, performing sound checks, or listening to the sound through stereo headphones during playback. <br/> Video Inputs and Outputs<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> As well as delivering both digital video output and input, the Optura 100MC is designed to handle two types of analog video input and output: using audio/video cables (composite) or S-video.<br/> <br/> Composite/S-Video Input and Output<br/> Using audio/video cables (composite) or S-video, it's possible to send an analog video signal from your TV, VCR or a camcorder into the Optura 100MC and record it onto DV. Similarly, you can output an analog signal via either the composite or S-video cables to an analog device such as a TV or VCR.<br/>
The Optura 100MC has a number of additional features for ease of use and creative control. <br/> Multi-Angle Hand Grip<br/> Pick up the Optura 100MC and you will immediately notice the new rotary hand grip. Your fingers easily wrap around the camera body, with fingers placed for easy camera control operation. The grip's lining is soft to the touch, yet enhances weather resistance. The grip itself rotates for ease of handling under all shooting conditions.<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> Tally Lamp<br/> <br/> The tally lamp, a flashing red light on the front of the Optura 100MC that activates when the camera is recording, is designed to let your subject know that the camera is recording. The tally lamp also tells you when the camera is in range of the remote control and is responding to the remote. <br/> Extended Recording Function<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> In addition to the standard SP mode, the 100MC's Extended Recording Function lets you choose from three more recording modes. Long Play (LP) gives 1.5 times the standard recording time; two additional modes give two and three times SP. When image data is recorded to a tape in the 2x and 3x SP modes, it is compressed twice as much as in SP and LP modes. In the 3x SP mode, record for up to 4 hours on an 80-minute cassette tape. Note that when recording in double or triple length recording mode, image quality will not be as high as SP or LP mode. <br/> Photo Search<br/> <br/> This searches for images recorded in Photo mode. You can search forwards or backwards through the images one at a time, or +/-10 from the current position. <br/> Time Code<br/> <br/> The Optura 100MC records a time code signal along with the video signal. This time code accurately identifies every point on the DV tape by hour, minute, second and frame. This will prove immensely beneficial if you are editing your footage on your personal computer or a professional video editing system. <br/> Data Code<br/> <br/> The DV standard calls for the automatic recording of date and time, shutter speed, exposure settings and other key camera data on the tape as you shoot. The Optura 100MC does not permanently superimpose this data over your video. Instead, it remains hidden until you select it for display during playback or editing. You can turn the display on or off at will, and you can decide which data you want to display. <br/> Remote Control<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> The Optura 100MC's full-function wireless remote control will work at distances up to 16 feet (4.9 m). The remote can start and stop recordings, zoom the lens, handle all playback (VCR) functions, handle audio and video dubbing functions, and more.<br/> <br/> LANC<br/> <br/> The LANC terminal on the Optura 100MC permits easy connection of compatible edit controllers.<br/> <br/>

The Canon Optura 100MC Kit

The Canon Optura 100MC Kit Optura 100MC BP-512 Battery Pack CA-560 Compact Power Adapter WL-D77 Wireless Controller S-150 S-Video Cable STV-250N Stereo Video Cable MMC-8M MultiMediaCard


Power Supply (rated)

7.4 V DC (Battery) 9.5 V DC (DC IN)

Power Consumption

4.7 W (using viewfinder), 5.4 W (using LCD screen)

Television System

EIA standard (525 lines, 60 fields) NTSC color signal

Video Recording system

3 rotary heads, helical scanning system, DV system (consumer digital VCR SD system), Digital component recording

Audio Recording system

PCM digital sound: 16-bit (48 kHz/2 ch.); 12 bit (32 kHz/4 ch.)

Image Sensor

5/18 CCD (charge coupled device); approx. 1.3 million pixels (approx 1.25 million pixels for still images recorded onto memory card and 690,00 pixels for movie and still images recorded onto tape.)

Total Pixels

1,280 x 960 pixels, 640 x 480 pixels

Tape Format

Videocassettes bearing the MiniDV Mark

Tape Speed

SP: 3/4 ips (18.81mm/sec); LP 1/2 ips (12.56mm/sec); ESP 3/8 ips (9.41mm/sec); ELP 1/4 ips (6.28mm/sec)

Maximum Recording Time (with an 80-min. cassette)

SP: 80 min; LP: 120 min; ELP: 3/8 ips (9.41mm/sec); ELP : 1/4 ips (6.28mm/sec)

Fast Forward/Rewind Time

2 min 20 sec (with a 60 min cassette)


f/1.6-1.8, 10x power zoom, 4.2 - 42.0mm (8x zoom, 5.25-42.0mm in CARD CAMERA mode)

Focusing System

TTL autofocus, manual focusing possible

Focusing System

3ft. 3 3/8 in (1m), 3/8in (1 cm) on maximum wide angle

Minimum Illumination

3 lux using the Low-Light program during tape recording

Recommended Illumination

More than 100 lux

Filter Diameter



0.55 in color LCD (approx. 113,000 pixels)

LCD Screen

2.5 in measured diagonally (approx. 200,000 pixels)


Stereo electret condenser microphone


Built-in, Auto pop-up flash

Image Format

Design rule for Camera Format System (DCF), Digital Print Order Format (DPOF), compliant (only images, marked for printing)

File Format

JPEG (compression mode: Fine/Standard)

DV Terminal

Special 4 pin connector(based on IEEE 1394)

Video Terminal

1 Vp-p/75 ohms unbalanced

S-video Terminal

1 Vp-p (Y signal), 0.286 Vp-p (C signal)

Input Levels

Input: -10 dBv, less than 3 Kohms, unbalanced; output Level: -10 dBV, less than 3 kohm

Operating Temperature range

32-104° F (0-40° C)


2 1/2 x 5 1/8 x 5 1/8 in. (66 x 131 x 129mm)

Weight (not including lens and battery pack)

1lb 7 1/4 oz. (660g)

Compatible Supplies & Accessories

Canon offers a wide range of compatible supplies and accessories that can enhance your user experience with you Optura 100MC that you can purchase direct. Scroll down to easily select items to add to your shopping cart for a faster, easier checkout. Visit the Canon Online Store



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† Prices and specifications subject to change without notice. Actual prices are determined by individual dealers and may vary.

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