"Love the Canon HG10"4.5 starson by Claude77
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.