The Canon HG10 high-definition camcorder, the first HD shooter from Canon to record its video on a hard disk drive (HDD), is out for review. The Camcorder Info guys have gotten their paws on one, and in a nearly book-length epic they exhaustively put the little $1299 camcorder to the test. With a couple of exceptions, they praise almost everything they see.
They start with the glass, digging that lens with its 10x optical zoom. They're also comfortable with the way the camcorder feels in their hands (and we can agree with that after holding it in ours), they admire the zoom control which they call "pro grade," they heartily approve of the controls on the LCD panel, and they even think the manual controls are "killer." Perhaps most importantly, they like the imagers that are underneath all this, the same ones that are in Canon's tape-based HDV camcorder, the HV20.
They're still not crazy about that AVCHD codec, which they say doesn't render motion very well, showing noticeable motion blur. They still think it's inferior to the more mature and less compressed HDV format. They also noticed that the filmmaker-fave 24p mode drops too many frames to actually be useful.
Even with those flaws, they still call this the best HDD camcorder available, writing that "if you're in the market for an AVCHD camcorder, the HG10 offers the highest video quality we've seen so far." Sounds like it's worth a look, and if you have the afternoon to spare, you might want to take a look at Camcorder Info's exquisitely detailed review. [Camcorder Info]