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Optura 20

Support miniDV Camcorders


Canon Optics are unparalleled in the industry. The same Canon experience and expertise that goes into precision lenses for 35mm and broadcast TV cameras goes into every camcorder lens we manufacture. At Canon, we never compromise. The result is a lens with superb definition and exceptional contrast.<br/> <br/> The powerful 16X optical zoom lets you capture your subject with razor-sharp detail even from a distance. The powerful 320X digital zoom takes you even closer, revealing details too small to see with the naked eye.<br/> <br/> The 16x optical zoom gives you the same range of focal lengths as a 52 to 824 mm lens on a 35 mm still camera. Add an optional Wide Converter WD-H37 and you get the same wide view you'd get with a 36 mm lens on a 35 mm still camera. Add the Tele Converter TL-H37 and you have the same magnification power of a 1236mm telephoto lens on a 35 mm still camera.<br/> <br/> And that's not the end of the Optura 20's optical versatility. When capturing digital still images, the lens becomes a 15X zoom -- the equivalent of a 41 -- 620 mm lens on a 35mm photo camera.<br/>
Capture every detail in your video and digital photos with the Optura 20's 1.33 Megapixel CCD . Combined with Canon's crisp, Megapixel compatible lens and rock solid image stabilizer, you've got images that compare with those created with the highest resolution consumer cameras on the market today.
DIGIC DV is a system for achieving superior video and photographic quality images. Canon's expertise in imaging and electronics is flawlessly blended together, resulting in outstanding performance. It offers substantial benefits in color reproduction.<br/> <br/> DIGIC DV makes it possible to achieve accurate color for both video and digital photos. Since video and photos have different color requirements, DIGIC DV utilizes two different color techniques to maximize video quality on a TV and still image quality for print or computer display.
The Optura offers you the best of both worlds: a crisp color viewfinder and a flexible color LCD viewscreen.<br/> <br/> The Optura 20's extra-large 3.5" viewscreen always makes you feel like part of the action. Tilt the screens for high or low-angle shots. You can even turn them 180&#186; so you can record and see yourself at the same time. And, once you've finished recording, the big, bright screens offer you a clear view of the results.<br/>
Don't miss a shot -- even if you're shooting hand-held, at full telephoto, or while you're on the move. Canon's superb Image Stabilization system compensates for camcorder shake instantly, making your videos look steady and natural. Unlike other brands, Canon's Image Stabilization is effective even while panning and zooming.
To fully complement the camcorder's superior video quality, the Optura&#160;20 offers features to expand your photographic horizons. Simultaneous Photo Recording<br/> How many times have you wanted to capture video and photos at the same time? In the past, this meant choosing one over the other - but not anymore. With the Optura 20/Optura 10's Simultaneous Photo Record feature, you can record high quality video to a MiniDV tape and e-mail-ready (640X480) digital photos to a memory card at the same time! It's perfect for birthday parties, soccer games, or any time when you don't want to miss a moment. Selectable AF Frames<br/> Sometimes the subject we want to focus on is not in the center of the frame. With the Optura 20's Selectable AF Frames, you can choose one of three different Auto Focus points to automatically put the subject you want into sharp focus. Taking off-center subjects can add more impact and a new dimension to your photographs. Auto Exposure Bracketing<br/> With the Optura 20's Auto Exposure Bracketing feature, one click of the Photo button automatically captures three different exposures of the same image: one "normal" exposure, one underexposed (darker), and one overexposed (lighter). This ensures you will always get the shot you want. Continuous Shooting Function<br/> With the Optura 20 , you can capture a rapid succession of photos just like the motor drive on a camera. All it takes is a single press of a button and your camera records 30 VGA (640 X480) frames at a rate of 3 frames per second or 10 SXGA (1280 X 960) frames at 2 frames per second. The Continuous Shooting Function is perfect for capturing fast moving action, letting you follow the action like a professional sports photographer. Stitch Assist<br/> When you can't fit everything you want into a single shot, use the camcorder's Stitch Assist feature to easily create a single breathtaking panorama image. Stitch Assist displays the previous photo in one half of the LCD screen and a live image in the other half. Just line things up and shoot. Repeat this process as many times as you like. You don't have to match things perfectly because the included Canon PhotoStitch software lines up and pieces the individual images together into a seamless, magnificent photographic vista.
<br/> Turn your images into prints in seconds - without a computer! A single cable connects the Optura 20 camcorder with Canon Card Photo Printers CP-100 (Item Code: 7735A001) and CP-10 (Item Code: 6854A024) and select Canon Bubble Jet Printers. All printing options can be controlled directly from the camcorder's LCD Screen. Options include: selecting the print quantity, cropping, and whether you would like bordered or borderless prints.<br/>
The Optura 20 allows you to record both video and digital photos to tape. You can also save XGA High Resolution Photos and Motion JPEG movies to a MultiMediaCard or SD Memory Card. &#160; Video Mode<br/> Video Mode delivers smooth, full-motion video for playback on your TV. You also can transfer the video onto your computer to view, edit, post on the Internet, or send to friends. &#160; 1.33 Megapixel Photos<br/> The Optura 20Megapixel CCD means the camcorder offers Megapixel digital photo capture. The Optura 20 uses a 1.33 Megapixel CCD to capture high-resolution photos for saving on the removable storage card. Aiding the capture of high-quality digital photos is a lens with digital still camera-based elements. The picture size in this mode is 1280 x 960 pixels. &#160; Photo Mode<br/> <br/> <br/> Just press the photo button to capture more than 1,000 still pictures, each with 6 seconds of sound, on a single 80 minute videocassette. <br/> Motion JPEG Movie<br/> It's easy to record Motion JPEG video clips that are perfect for sending to friends and family via e-mail, or for posting on the Web. Using the Optura 20's memory card, you can record up to 10 seconds at 320 x 240 pixels or up to 30 seconds at 160 x 120 pixels.<br/> <br/>
The Optura 20 offers the versatility to meet every exposure challenge, as well as amazing ease of use, when you'd like to let the camera make all the choices. Amazingly sophisticated circuitry delivers proper exposure automatically under almost any lighting condition. But you also can easily adjust the exposure in any one of several creative ways to meet your specific need. Selecting a different exposure mode lets you control how you want the video to look. &#160; Easy Recording<br/> Easy Recording is designed for the times when all you want to do is point and shoot. The camera's sophisticated control system automatically handles proper exposure and focus, simply leaving you to zoom. This means you don't have to worry about anything except being there to capture the moment on video. This is also handy when you want to get into the video; just pass the camera over to someone else and be assured they'll get great video (they can't change the settings). If a family member has never handled a camcorder before, you can assure them everything is under control. &#160; Auto<br/> Auto Mode gives control of camera settings to the camcorder, except for those functions you would like to control manually, including focus, exposure, and white balance. This is Easy Recording with options. So if you want to let things run automatically, no problem. But if something should arise, you can easily make adjustments. For example, you suddenly see a child peering through a picket fence; the autofocusing system may have a bit of difficulty but you can easily adjust the focus for a perfect picture. &#160; Sports<br/> <br/> <br/> In Sports Mode, the camcorder automatically selects high shutter speeds to help freeze the action. The camera's sophisticated electronics take care of ensuring proper exposure with automatic adjustment of the aperture. Capture the swing of a golf club, baseball bat or tennis racket - crystal clear - when using Sports Mode. <br/> &#160; Portrait<br/> <br/> <br/> When making videos of people, you may find yourself having to shoot against a "busy" background (trees, bushes, buildings, etc.). Portrait mode automatically selects larger lens aperture settings which throws the background out of focus - putting the accent back on your subject. <br/> &#160;Spotlight<br/> <br/> <br/> When confronted by a large expanse of darkness and a small area of brightness, some exposure systems will automatically try to overcome the darkness. This makes the bright area overexposed. Now imagine a singer spotlighted on a stage. What is your camcorder going to do? With Canon's Spotlight Mode, the answer is simple: deliver a properly-exposed singer. The camera automatically exposes for the subject in the center of the frame -- in the spotlight -- leaving the larger, dark area as it should be: dark. This prevents the subject from showing up overexposed or blooming against a dark background. &#160; Low Light<br/> <br/> <br/> Low Light Mode is Canon's way of letting you continue to record even when light levels begin to fall. Low Light Mode selects lower shutter speeds to deliver proper exposure. For example, when the backyard barbecue continues into the twilight hours, there's no need to put the camcorder away. Just switch to Low Light Mode. The same applies indoors. Some exposure systems have problems with rooms that aren't well illuminated. Low Light Mode to the rescue. All that's required is a little more care in holding the camera steady. &#160; Color Night Mode<br/> <br/> <br/> Just because it's night doesn't mean you have to put your camera to bed. The Optura 20'sColor Night Shooting mode lets you keep recording -- even under the most challenging of lighting conditions. This means your camera picks the right sensitivity and shutter speed needed to maintain a bright image -- without sacrificing color. As the light dims, your images remain brilliant. If the lighting conditions change, the camcorder automatically compensates so you continue shooting without skipping a beat. &#160; Super Night Mode and Low Light Plus Mode<br/> <br/> <br/> With the Optura 20, you can keep shooting long after the sun goes down. With Super Night Shooting (in Camera mode) and Low Light Plus (in Card Camera), an assist lamp lights your subject and lets you continue even under low light conditions. The assist lamp also helps supplement existing light when you need it and can be used with the Red Eye reduction lamp when shooting digital photos. No matter what the lighting conditions, the Optura 20 shines.
For the storage of digital photos and Motion JPEG Movie clips, you can use either MultiMediaCards or SD Memory cards. An 8MB SD memory card is provided with the Optura 20.<br/> <br/> Thanks to Canon's ultra-fast memory card access time, you can capture your next image without waiting a long time.<br/> <br/> The memory card also comes with sample images that you can use when recording video. Use these images and the Card Mix Effects to add another dimension to your video memories with picture frames, backgrounds, and animations.<br/> <br/>
The Optura 20 camcorder 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.
Canon's Optura 20 camcorder adheres to an international MiniDV standard. Using MiniDV cassettes, audio and video are recorded digitally. The MiniDV format delivers more than 500 lines of horizontal resolution. In terms of picture quality, this is about 25% better than the best analog formats. It features a DV terminal, also known as a FireWire terminal, which conforms to the IEEE 1394 standard. Using this terminal, you can transfer digital video and audio to and from a computer equipped with a DV terminal, another DV camcorder, or a DV VCR. The digital data transfer occurs without any degradation to the image or audio. This means you can edit movies on your computer and maintain the same high level of picture and audio quality when you transfer the edited movie back to DV tape using the DV terminal. And with supplied Canon DV Messenger software, the camcorder can be used for Internet Video Chat with family and friends across the country or around the world!
You get the best possible prints with the Optura 20 because this camera supports Exif Print (2.2), the worldwide standard for enhanced communication between digital cameras and printers. With Exif Print, vital camcorder settings and scene data are captured with each with digital photo you take. This information is then used in printing to ensure realistic and reliable color reproduction. Poor lighting and mistakes can also be corrected, allowing photos to be even better than the&#160;originals.
Connect your Optura 20 camcorder to your DV-compatible computer and discover a world of digital, multimedia possibilities. Effortlessly transfer your digital movies to your computer's hard drive, edit your scenes, then use them to create movies that everyone will want to watch. You can also create high-impact Web sites, video e-mail, or interactive CDs and DVDs.
Transfer Motion JPEG movies and digital photos from your SD Memory Card or MultiMediaCard to your computer quickly and easily. Simply use the USB cable with the software provided and let the creativity begin.<br/> <br/> The software that comes with the Optura 20 lets you edit and manage your images with ease. ZoomBrowser EX for Windows and ImageBrowser for Macintosh let you download, browse, archive, and retouch your photos. Resize images. Attach them to e-mail. Arrange them for printing. Add text. Everything you need is at your fingertips.
For those who want total control of all aspects of the exposure system, the Optura 20 offers manual settings. You can select the shutter speed and aperture settings for full creative control.<br/> <br/> Manual Focus<br/> Manually focus the camcorder's lens by using a large focusing ring, exactly where you would expect to find it on a camera -- near the lens.<br/> <br/> AE Shift<br/> For fine control over how dark or light you want a scene to look, use the Auto Exposure Shift setting to adjust the auto exposure level.<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. They may also be selected manually. Slow shutter speeds are available in Night and Low Light modes.<br/> <br/> Preset/Auto/Manual White Balance<br/> The Optura 20 is designed to determine white balance automatically. You also can use standard preset values for indoors (3200&deg K) and outdoors (5600&deg 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.
With Canon's DV Messenger software, your camcorder is your window to the world. Conduct an Internet Video Chat with family and friends by using your Optura 20 camcorder with Microsoft Windows Messenger. Share video and digital photos. Zoom and focus your camcorder, as well as the camcorder of the person you're chatting with. Preview thumbnails and transfer photos. Watch and control the video playback of either camcorder. With your Optura 20 camcorder and a&#160;computer, you're in complete control.
In addition to providing digital video input and output, the Optura&#160;20 features two types of analog audio and video inputs and outputs: Composite and S-video. <br/> Video Inputs and Outputs<br/> The Optura 20 is designed to handle two types of analog video input and output: using audio/video cables (composite) or by using an S-video cable.<br/> <br/> Composite / S-Video input and output with Analog to Digital Converter<br/> By 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 20 and record it onto DV. Similarly, you can output an analog signal via composite or S-Video cables to an analog device such as a TV or VCR. <br/> Audio Inputs<br/> The analog audio inputs of the Optura 20 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<br/> In addition to using the built-in microphone on the Optura&#160;20, 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/> AV Insert<br/> The Optura 20 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. <br/> &#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 (Adjustable level) <br/>
The Optura 20 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.)
The Advanced Accessory Shoe makes adding accessories to the Optura 20 fast and easy. Simply slide Canon's VFL-1 Video Flash Light (Item Code: 8834A001), DM-50 Directional Stereo Microphone (Item Code: 3176A002), or VL-3 Video Light (Item Code: 3175A002) into the accessory shoe. The camcorder automatically provides power and the necessary connections. No external power or cables are required.<br/>
&#160; The Optura 20's Lithium Ion batteries take the worry out of battery care. Unlike Nickel-Cadmium batteries, Lithium Ion batteries are free from "memory effect" which can reduce the usable power of the battery over time. The Extended Life BP-512 Battery (Item Code: 6760A002) lets you keep on shooting -- with up to 1 hours and 50 minutes of recording time when you use the LCD screen and up to 2 hours 30 minutes when you use the viewfinder.<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. &#160; Digital Effects<br/> The Optura 20 gives you the opportunity to play with what you've made. For that creative touch, a more appealing look, or greater imaging variety, you can switch on one of several digital effects: colors, art, black & white, sepia, mosaic, mirror, ball, cube or wave.<br/> <br/> Colors<br/> Surrounds your images with color.<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.<br/> <br/> Mirror<br/> Double your subject. In addition to the regular image, this creates a reversed, mirror-image of your subject - like standing next to a mirror.<br/> <br/> Ball<br/> The camera image takes on the appearance of a round ball in the middle of the frame.<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> Cube<br/> Your subject is placed inside a six-sided cube.<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> Wave<br/> Gives your video the look of a fun-house mirror with wavy sides. &#160; Digital Faders<br/> <br/> The Optura 20 gives you several picture fade options to start or end scenes, with a fade to or from black: Fade Trigger, Vertical Wipe, Window, Flip, Tide, Puzzle, Beam, Zigzag, and Jump.<br/> <br/> Fade Trigger<br/> When you start recording, the scene gradually fades in from a black screen. When you stop recording, it gradually fades out.<br/> <br/> Vertical Wipe<br/> When you start recording, the picture begins as a thin vertical line in the center of the screen, gradually expanding sideways until it fills the entire screen. When you end a scene, the image is wiped from both sides of the screen.<br/> <br/> Flip<br/> The image turns upside down.<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> Tide<br/> Introduces a sideways motion to the image.<br/> <br/> Puzzle<br/> The image breaks up into pieces and the pieces move around the screen.<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/> Beam<br/> A horizontal bar (beam) splits the screen.<br/> <br/> Zigzag<br/> The image appears in zigzag from the top of the screen. White stripes appear in zigzag from the bottom of the screen until they cover the whole image.<br/> <br/> Special Effects<br/> <br/> Two additional special effects can be added during recording: Card Mix and Multi-image Screen.<br/> <br/> Card Mix<br/> Sample images - provided on the MultiMediaCard that comes with the Optura 20 can be combined with the image being recorded. Supplied images include a picture frame.<br/> <br/> Multi-Image Screen<br/> Divides your display screen into four, nine, or sixteen pictures with the Digital Photo Mode. You can choose the speed at which the images are captured: Manual, Slow, Moderate, or Fast.<br/>
The Optura 20 has a number of additional features for ease of use and creative control. &#160; My Camera Function<br/> <br/> <br/> You give your videos your own personal touch. Why not personalize your camcorder, too? With My Camera Function, choose your favorite start-up image from your own digital photos or from the selection that comes with your camcorder's software CD. You can even customize your camcorder's operation sounds. &#160; Photo Search<br/> This feature allows you to search for images recorded in Photo Mode. Search forwards or backwards through the images one at a time, or +/-10 from the current position.<br/> Time Code<br/> The Optura 20 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 is valuable when editing on a personal computer or professional video editing system.<br/> Data Code<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 20 does not permanently superimpose this data over your video. Instead, the data 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. &#160; Remote Control<br/> The full-function wireless remote control of the Optura 20 will work at distances up to 16 feet (4.9m). The remote can start and stop recordings, zoom the lens, handle all playback (VCR) functions, handle audio and video dubbing functions, and more.

The Canon Optura 20/Optura 10 Kit - Item Codes: Optura 20: 8528A001 / Optura 10: 8529A001

The Canon Optura 20/Optura 10 Kit - Item Codes: Optura 20: 8528A001 / Optura 10: 8529A001 BP-512 Battery (Optura 20) BP-508 Battery (Optura 10) CA-570 Compact Power Adapter SS-800 Shoulder Strap WL-D79 Wireless Controller STV-250N Stereo Video Cable USB Cable SDC-8M SD Memory card Digital Video Solution Disk DV Messenger Software


Power Supply (rated)

7.4 V DC (Battery). 8.4 V DC ( DC IN)

Power Consumption

3.4 W (using viewfinder), 4.6 W ( using LCD screen.)

Television System

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

Video Recording system

2 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/2ch); 12-bit (32 kHz/4ch)

Image Sensor

1/4 CCD (charge coupled device); approx 1,330,000 pixels (approx. 690,000 effective pixels-tape); (approx. 1,230,000, effective pixels-card)

Tape Format

Videocassettes bearing the MiniDV mark

Tape Speed

Sp: 3/4 ips (18.81 mm/sec); LP: 1/2 ips (12.56 mm/sec)

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

SP: 80min; LP: 120 min

Fast Forward/Rewind Time

2 min. 20 sec (with a 60 min cassette)


f/1.8 - 3.0, 16 x power zoom, 4.0-64.0 mm (tape); f/1.8-3.0, 15x power zoom, 4.3-64.0 mm (card)

Focusing System

TTL autofocus, manual focusing possible

Focusing System

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

Minimum Illumination

0.5 lx using the Night program during tape recording.

Recommended Illumination

more than 100 lx

Filter Diameter

37 mm


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

LCD Screen

3.5 in measured diagonally (approx. 123,000 pixels


Stereo electret condenser microphone

DV Terminal

Special 4-pin connector (based on IEEE 1394)

Video Terminal

1 Vp-p /75 ohms unbalanced

S-video Terminal

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

Audio Terminal

Input level: -10 dBV/40 kohm, unbalanced; Output level: -10 dBV, less than 3 kohms, unbalanced

Operating Temperature range

32-104° F (0-40° C)


3 x 7.3 x 3.6 in (75 x 186 x 92mm)

Weight (not including lens and battery pack)

1.4 lbs (625 g)

Memory Card

Recording Media

MultiMediaCard, SD Memory Card

Image Format

Design rule for Camera File System (DCF)

Print Order format

Digital Print Order Format (DPOP)

Compatible Supplies & Accessories

Canon offers a wide range of compatible supplies and accessories that can enhance your user experience with you Optura 20 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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