Pros Hard drive, Tech support, Zoom, LCD, Image Stability, Menus
Cons Battery takes a long time to recharge
Summary The Canon HG-10 is a superb follow-on to the top rated and highly acclaimed Canon HV-20.
We could not be happier. We thank Lori Grunin for her insightful review. We purchased the camcorder from one of CNET's partners.
This is a gem of a camcorder. Obviously each reviewer has their own specific reasons for purchasing such an advanced camcorder.
This is our third camcorder and we have been shooting family events, vacations and even hurricanes for close to 20 years. We burn our captured footage on a number of DVD’s and share with family members (many who live a great distance away).
We have two HDTV’s and are about to buy a Blu-ray player. Our Sony camcorder died in The UK this summer and instead of buying another SD camcorder, we decided it is time to step up.
Why now?? Although SIMPLE HD capture and burning software and inexpensive High Def DVD burners are behind the curve at the present time, they are going to happen. Sony, Panasonic, Canon and all the rest…will make it happen. This is too big a potential market to ignore –so we decided to shoot in High Def now, save the backed up video on our hard drive and/or off- line storage, and burn in Standard Definition now.
When the software makers and DVD burner makers decide to catch up and make it easy to burn family movies, we will have our (saved) high def files ready to convert to Blu Ray or HDDVD or both.
There are a ton of very technical reviews on the HG-10 on this and other websites. CNET and Amazon provide a great deal of information, Camcorderinfo.com and smartguider.com are just two of the many others. We think any buyer should review them all and also do a web search on
“Canon HG-10 reviews”
After days of reading reviews virtually every web review and visiting at least 7 retail stores we came away with some interesting observations. You are not going to get much technical help at the major retail outlets. You can get hands on and see what works for you.
When comparing the HG-10 to the CanonHV-20, there was no comparison as to the ergonomic superiority of the HG-10.
For the technical data you will have to hit the web as the folks in the stores just do not have the depth you need to help you make this kind of buying decision.
We found a few very helpful “gems” in selecting this camcorder.
1) We went to the Canon website…. www.usa.canon.com and downloaded the HG-10 manual in .pdf format (yes it is 118 pages) but if you print the pages in short batches, you will have an excellent and VERY readable document to review BEFORE and after you purchase the HG-10. The manual that comes in the box is very small and hard to read. It would also be a VERY wise idea to also download the .pdf file for the Corel Application Disc Version two.
2) This Corel Guide is a much shorter manual –just 16 pages long. You really want to read this one cover to cover before you buy, and particularly Page 3, where they discuss needed PC systems requirements.
You may want to talk (or email) with Canon and/or Corel regarding your PC versus their “recommended size of the PC system”. We have a Core 2 Duo Dell so the Corel software posed no problems.
3) We called Cannon Tech support while reviewing the manual. You will be delighted to find out their 800 number ( 1-800-828-4040) is located Virginia, they are very well trained and if you have a problem..they can immediately lay their hands on an HG-10 and go thru a process step-by-step with you. They were even available on a Saturday afternoon.
4) We cannot say enough good things about Canon support. Having spent untold hours since the early days of the IBM PC, on support lines, trying to get help with hardware and software, we think Canon really got it right. A couple short calls to Canon to clarify some questions made it easy for us to choose the HG-10.
On the HG-10 --all the controls were when we really liked them. The HG-10 borrows a lot of its technology from its tape driven HV-20 sister but after living with internal tape transports in many worldwide (hot, cold and dusty) climates and situations over the years, the hard drive was a very logical choice. The 5 and ½ hours of HXP (full 1080) - highest format is plenty for any vacation.
Realistically, how many folks want to sit through even a three hour home movie? We have learned from Hollywood.. Keep it short..Keep it snappy..Keep it interesting. Five and ½ hours of High Def video gives you a ton of material to work with from any vacation. When you get home, the Corel software that comes with the Canon allows you to immediately back up your video files and you are ready to initialize (format) the Hard Drive and you are ready to go with a fresh 5 ½ hours of HXP.
Going through the HG-10 manual provides many happy surprises – the camcorder has more features than you can believe and most reviewers do not have the time or space to address all of the abilities of this camcorder. This camcorder takes better still photos than our Sony Cybershot H-5 (which suffers from chromatic aberration in certain situations).
We purchased a 1 GB (Canon recommends no bigger than 2GB) Sandisk mini-SD card that also comes with an SD adapter. If you already have Still Photo capture and edit software, you may not need to load the entire very voluminous still photo (Digital Video Solution Version 27.0) software that comes on a CD with the HG-10. We went through the manual for that disc and it was all about STILL photos.
Having more still photo software than we can ever use already on our PC, we skipped that installation.
Why not get a USB-based Media card reader for your PC (if it does not have one) for under $25. When you take still photos just remove the card from the HG-10 and insert it into a USB media card reader. While, we did not by this camcorder for still photos we are more than delighted with the stills that we can capture in Camera mode.
Regarding connections (page 83 in the HG-10 manual) we love displaying the HXP High Def. video footage on our HDTV. We connect the HG-10 to the HDTV via the (optional) mini-HDMI to HDMI cable. The Canon manual calls this an optional HTC-100 HDMI cable.
Sony sells a VMC-15MHD HDMI Mini to HDMI that works very well. Canon does not provide this and you will not find these cables in most stores at the present so you may have to order one over the web.
As many highly regarded reviewers have noted, use the HDMI connection whenever you can for the best quality.
Our HDTV had only one HDMI input (already being used) so we purchased a Belkin HDMI 3 to 1 Switch box that allows us to now plug in HD Cable, the HG-10 and a future Blue ray player. We keep the HG-10 HDMI cable always plugged into the home system and by attaching the mini HDMI to the camcorder we can see 1080 HD home movies in an instant.
A couple of user plusses on the HG-10 are the LCD display and the image stabilization. Both are excellent. The size of the HG-10 is amazingly small and it is incredibly light. We cannot believe they pack that much technology into such a small package. The electronic reminder messages on the screen are quite helpful as we all make mistakes.
We like the quick start and the Instant auto focus features. We would suggest buying the optional carrying strap and also a second battery when you order an HG-10.
We plan to add more information to this review regarding burning video and creating AVCHD discs but at this time we think this is the perfect camcorder for our needs.
Pros Image quality, auto focus, comfort, zoom lever
Cons build quality, battery movement, location of usb interface
Summary I have been researching a new HD camcorder for months. Was originally going to purchase the Sony HDR-SR1, then was interested in the HDR-SR7 when it came out. I ended up getting the Canon because of the great image quality they're known to have as well as the fact that I didn't have to pay an extra $300 over the Japanese model to get English menus as I would have had to do with the Sony!
I got it just in time to record my first child's birth. When we finally got home and looked at the footage on our Samsung LCD HDTV, I was amazed at the picture quality.I've downloaded so many examples from all HD camcorder options, and was very impressed with the Canon!
I have very large hands and find that the camcorder is comfortable. I love the fact that it has a HDD! I know that there is a huge debate between tape and HDD, but I find it so easy to transfer AVCHD footage from the camcorder to the computer. I am using Pinnacle 11 for editing and find it easy to do. It does take some time to render with the compression of AVCHD, but it is good none the less.
The battery seems loose on the camcorder. This isn't the first time I've heard this for a Canon. Also, the location of the USB port is such that the LCD screen must be open to plug in. This is annoying.
The menu system is good. Options are easy to access. I do wish it had a dial/ring to control focus etc however. 40GB is enough as I tend to download the footage to a computer quickly anyway.
I can hear a sound from within the camcorder when I turn it off. I believe it is the head of the HDD disengaging itself. It does sound like it could be a problem in the future though. But many not too.
The mini HDMI port is nice, however, finding a cable for it is difficult.
All in all, I'm really glad I waited. What I wanted most was an awesome picture with a nice auto option for my wife to use. That is what it does with the option to use it in a prosumer sense as well. The 24P is great in good lighting situations, but lowlight causes a lot of artifacts.
Well done though Canon! You have a product that is superior in my eyes.
Pros Optics, Sensor, HardDrive, Zoom rocker, build in lens cover, LCD, size, weight, AVCHD, 1920x1080@60i, 24P mode
Cons Power/mode button hard to use, requires power supply to transfer video, grainy in dark
Summary This camcorder has it all. It has a great sensor in 1920 x 1080 @ 60i or offers 24P which works great paired with excellent Canon optics. With the build in lens cover is one of the fantastic features compared to older camcorders.
The Zoom rocker is professional level, placed perfectly and has excellent control and smooth variable zoom speeds.
The Construction is like solid hunk of metal. It feels sturdy in the hand and the construction is very high quality.
The biggest part of this camera is that is has a harddrive for recording between 6 and 15 hours of video depending on resolution. Transfer to PC is lighting fast @ 20MB/second. so you can copy over 2 hours of video in about 15 minutes.
AVCHD is the future standard for ALL camcorders & video. While some early adopters of AVCHD are complaining about lack of editing software and support, I really don't see that as a big deal. The best software is Pinnacle Studio 11.1.1 or Sony Vegas 8a and they both work great TODAY. But it's only going to get better as the months move on. and at CES2008 100% of the camcorders are AVCHD format, so it's very clear that this format is full-speed-ahead!
This camera has a 24P mode which is great for film like effects. I must say that it works FLAWLESSLY!!!! Yes, contrary to some reviews it is FLAWLESS! Those people giving it low marks for 24P and some saying that it's so bad it's unusable all made big mistakes in their review! They did NOT use a compatible player!!!!! the player they used tried to convert the 24P to 60i and back to 29.97P and that is why you get bad playback. But if you get a compatible player it's PERFECT!!.
Confusion over 1440 x 1080 or is it 1920 x 1080. there's a lot of debate and no real answer here.. no one can say for sure at this point what the REAL resolution of this camcorder is. it's advertised at 1920, it shows up in some appications at 1920. However other applications show it as 1440... but some are starting to lean toward the applications being the issue and downsizing the 1920 to 1440 incorrectly.
The only Con's I have are all minor, but I do have 5.
1.) The power/mode button is a little awkward to reach and use. most of the time I need to use my left hand.
2.) Missing standard accessories: There is no battery charger, only a power cord. and there is no neck strap.
3.) The low light performance is viewable, but very noisy and grainy.
4.) When copying files to the PC you MUST have the power cord connected... which can be annoying since it's a 2 piece cord with power pack.
5.) I have not found a way to go strait to play mode. you need to go to Record mode, wait for it to start, then go to play mode. about 4 seconds of time, but it also opens the lens cover unnecessarily.
Overall, I have no idea why you would buy any other camcorder on the market... especially anything with tape????
Pros Awesome video, great stability and convenience
Cons touchy hard drive?
Summary I love this camera. I'm an above-average, tech geek user who makes home movies to DVDs. I was dying for higher-quality video before my Disney World trip this year. I've been waiting for a HD hard drive camera that isn't Sony. I love Canon quality and optics. The video quality is amazing through an HDTV. I expect the quality to remain impressive when I make SD DVDs.
The manual says to back the hard drive up periodically and to disconnect it from the PC carefully. I get the impression that the hard drive can be touchy and require re-initialization. I'll be careful.
Now if my editing software will just support the AVCHD file format I'll bet set. At least until I move to and iMac next year.
I got this for $829 via Amazon.com in Oct, 2006.
"Great HD Camcorder"on by jedialan
Pros Lightweight, easy of use, great design
Cons Poor battery life
Summary With our first baby on the way buying a new camcorder was a must. I really contemplated buying a regular hard drive or the HD version. Glad I made the decision I did. So far this camcorder is fantastic. Love the overall design, easy of use and video quality. I chose this one over the Sony because of the video quality on the screen and the fact that the Canon has a manual viewer for those bright sunny days where it is difficult to see the screen outdoors. I do recommend that you purchase the Energizer ER-D127 10 hour battery as the one that comes with the camera only lasts 1 hour.