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Canon Vixia R-series battery life improves, but specs stay the same

Like Canon’s new PowerShot models announced at CES 2015, the Vixia camcorder lineup also gets a very minor refresh. The features of note are upgrades to the NFC (support for active tagging, which allows for the exchange of data) and improved battery life. Otherwise, they are identical to existing products. Launch pricing also stays the same.

The new Vixia models are the HF R62 ($450), HF R60 ($400), and HF R600 ($300). The R62 succeeds the R52, but battery life has increased to 180 minutes. The R60 and R600 are step-ups from the R50 and R500, respectively, and these get a longer 120-minute battery. All three use a 3.28-megapixel Full HD CMOS (1080/60p) and Digic DV 4 image processor.

The differences are that the R62 and R60 come with built-in storage (32GB and 8GB, respectively), as well as support for SD cards. The R600 only records to SD. The R62 and R60 also have Wi-Fi and NFC, and can be controlled remotely via iOS or Android.

Canon Vixia R600 1

Canon Vixia R600

Expect these models in March 2015.

If you’re wondering why companies still make camcorders, given that smartphones can shoot video, another camera company told us that handheld consumer camcorders still sell very well, and there’s a strong demand for them. With 4K TVs getting less expensive, we had hoped Canon would have dazzled us with 4K-capable camcorders. But the year only just started, so Canon could just be keeping mum on some better, upcoming models.