Canon Reveals Subdued Camcorder Lineup at CES 2014

The focus is on camcorders for the masses at CES 2014.

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Canon kicked off its CES announcements today with three new entry- and mid-level R-series Vixia camcorders, as well as a new motorized dock and an updated Vixia Mini, dubbed the Mini X.

The three R-series models—the Vixia HF R52, R50, and R500—look quite similar on paper, with only minor spec differences between them. All three boast a 32x optical, 57x advanced zoom lens, with optical image stabilization. Both the R52 and R50 have built-in Wifi and 1080/60p recording in either MP4 or AVCHD, all fueled by a Digic DV4 image processor.

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The headliner of the HF R series, the R52 comes with ample storage, WiFi, and monster zoom.

Canon has slightly tweaked the WiFi connectivity options for the R52 and R50, now letting you stream to any Android or iOS device. The camcorders are now controllable from a remote location, opening up all kinds of new shooting possibilities.

The R52 is different from the R50 only in that it has 32GB of internal memory, where the R50 has just 8GB. The R500 has a nearly identical feature set compared to the other two, except it has no built-in WiFi and no internal memory.

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The HF R50 sacrifices some internal storage for a more affordable pricetag.

Moving away from the traditional camcorder form factor is Canon's Vixia Mini X—a modest upgrade to the 2013 Vixia mini. The Mini X takes most of its design cues directly from the original Mini, with most of the changes coming on the inside. That said, the Mini X is not a replacement for the Mini, but rather joins it in the lineup.

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The Vixia Mini X's WiFi allows you to livestream to your smartphone.

Equipped with an f/2.8 fisheye lens in front of a 12.8-megapixel sensor, the Vixia Mini X compact personal camcorder also has a 2.7-inch capacitive touchscreen. Despite its small size, there's also a tripod socket, as well as external microphone and headphone jacks. Much like the HF R52 and HF R50, the Vixia Mini X can make use of its onboard WiFi to share video and live stream to your Android or iOS device.

To top it all off, Canon announced a pan-table accessory along with the Vixia Mini X, though it will also work with any R-series Canon. This item can be set to oscillate in a predetermined pattern, moving left to right up to 200 degrees, and can be manually adjusted vertically up to 20 degrees. This accessory will set you back $99.99.

The Canon HF R52 will debut for a retail price of $449.99, while going with the R50 and its 8GB of internal memory will set you back $399.99. The R500 will cost $299.99 at launch, a decent value if you don't care about WiFi connectivity. The Vixia Mini X is slated to cost $399.99 at launch, a slight bump over the cost of the Mini.

All the products announced today should hit stores somewhere around March 2014, according to Canon. Visit Canon's camcorder site for more details. For all of our CES coverage here from Las Vegas, check out our CES landing page.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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