"HF R10 hard drive noise is deal breaker for picky users"1.5 starson by snphotog
Pros: Excellent picture quality. Tiny but highly functional joystick makes changing settings a breeze.
Cons: Recorded sound of the camera's hard drive can be heard in quiet scenes. Playback and editing of HD video is very jerky on anything less that a PC with 4gb processor. Small size takes some getting used to for large handed people.
Summary: Initially, the HF R10 did not disappoint. The images were sharp and natural. The little button Canon calls a joy stick made changing settings a snap. Then, while playing back a video I made in a quiet location, I heard something very bothersome; a low whirring sound?almost like the sound of an old 8mm projector running in the distance. I started doing some experimentation, and in every case, when the video had a minimum of ambient sound, you could hear that annoying whirr. I played with the camera a bit more, and discovered that you could actually hear the whirring sound by simply placing the unit to your ear. I returned the HF R10 to the store, and, thankfully, the camcorder whirred noticeably for their customer service rep. They pulled out a new unit and plugged it in, and it immediately began to make the same infuriating sound. Canon says the sound I heard was not a defect, but the normal sound of the camera?s hard drive at work. I replied by asking if it was Canon?s contention that it is normal for a video of a quietly sleeping baby taken with the HF R10 to include the sound of the camcorder's hard drive as noticeable background noise. Bottom line. The HF R10 has a noisy hard drive that can be heard in the background of any video you make with this camera that has minimal ambient sound. Will everyone notice it? No. Will everyone who notices it be so bothered by it that they will complain or return the camera? Unlikely. But, despite what Canon says, I believe it is a design flaw. And for people like me who wanted the best camcorder I could get for the money, it?s a deal breaker.There has been some discussion about my use of the term hard drive, which was obviously incorrect. I simply passed on what the Canon rep said. Here is a direct quote from his email: "We have not found any issues with the HF R10. The camcorder will make some noise while recording. The sound that you heard was the hard drive. I don't know if the level of noise you experienced was normal, but it is normal for the drive to make noise. Troubleshooting noises via email is extremely difficult."
Updated on Sep 19, 2010