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The New Canon VIXIA HF G10 Flash Memory Camcorder


How much could you reasonably ask for in a camcorder that fits in the palm of your hand? Would it be too much to ask for 32 gigs of internal flash memory, in addition to dual SDXC card slots? How about a color viewfinder and a touch-screen LCD? Top it off with the new low-light-friendly full HD CMOS Pro image sensor and an army of other useful features, and you have the hot new Canon VIXIA HF G10 camcorder.

There are many compact camcorders to choose from on the market, but most of them want for one feature or another that really keeps them from being a well-rounded video solution. The new VIXIA HF G10 was designed to give you every necessary tool to make great videos, backed up with a gorgeous lens and a professional-sized 1/3" image sensor. Canon went the extra mile by empowering the HF G10 with a truly useful dual slot memory card feature, which will likely set a new standard for what video makers consider an essential tool.

The HF G10 allows you to record a whopping 12 hours of full 1920 x 1080 HD video with its built-in memory alone. However, should you fill up all 32 gigs of internal memory in the middle of a shot, the HF G10 will seamlessly switch over to one of its two SD cards slots and continue recording. Try doing that with a video-enabled DSLR camera!

Another amazing feature that the dual slots give you is the ability to record multiple copies of a video as you shoot. Pop in an SD card for Mom and another for Grandma at the beginning of the birthday party, and give them both a card on their way out. The video you shot will format perfectly when played on a widescreen TV. When Mom and Grandma get home, they can just stick their cards into their TV sets and watch them instantly.

The dual SDXC card slots on the VIXIA HF G10 open up a wide range of useful workflows.

You can also transfer video files from the internal flash memory to the SD cards. In some situations, moving the files to an SD card could simplify the process of transferring files to a computer. If you're not going to be around your computer for a while, moving the video files to an SD card will clear up space on the internal drive for new content, and potentially make it easier to transport files.

While the Canon HF G10 is a great camcorder for documenting birthday parties, vacations and corporate events, it also has a wealth of tools for the budding filmmaker and the artistically inclined. It can record video in Native 24p with a 24Mbps bit rate, which gives moving images a dreamy, film-like quality. You can disable the HF G10's intelligent instant autofocus and utilize its manual focus ring to set the mood. The 8-blade iris inside the HF G10 will further enhance your ability to achieve soft, blurred backgrounds. There are even built-in filter effects you can apply to get a more cinematic look.

The HD CMOS Pro image sensor and the DIGIC DV III Image processor will supply you with stunning images, but what about the sound? Camcorders notoriously have really lousy sounding built-in microphones. Canon has addressed this issue with the HF G10 by redesigning the internal stereo microphone. The new microphone offers a much better signal-to-noise ratio than your average built-in camera mic. A 3.5mm stereo microphone input is also included, enabling you to really take your sound quality to new heights by utilizing an external mic. On-screen audio meters and manual adjustment of audio levels make the HF G10 a powerful sound workhorse.

Get great sound with the HF G10's improved built-in mic, external mic input and manual audio controls.

Electronic viewfinders are getting harder to find on cameras. They seem like the first feature a camera manufacturer will leave out in order to keep the cost of a model competitive. The reality is that electronic viewfinders are essential tools. LCD screens are very difficult to see in bright sunlight, and it's hard to keep the camera steady when your arms are outstretched to see the display. Holding a camera up to your eye to peer into a viewfinder will give you more precise control of what's in the frame, and having your head pressed against the camera gives you a steadier shot. That's why the HF G10 has a full color electronic viewfinder, and another reason why it's an awesome little camera.

As nice as the electronic viewfinder is, the LCD screen on the HF G10 is serious video tool as well. Its touch screen enables quick menu navigation and has cool features like touch and track focusing. The display itself is 3.5 inches, and it provides high-resolution (922,000 dot) images.

The HF G10 features Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization to keep the image steady when you're walking around and staring at the LCD. When you zoom in close to something utilizing its 10x HD video lens, you can touch the Powered IS button to help to keep vibrations to a minimum.

The included rechargeable lithium-ion battery has a handy feature that will be useful every time the camera is used. The intelligent battery communicates its current power level to the camera, enabling the HF G10 to display the amount of time that you have before the battery dies. The battery-life time is accurate down to the minute.

With all of the hype that has swirled around HD video-enabled DSLRs for the past couple of years, you wouldn't think there was much need for traditional camcorders. But when you consider all of the real-world shortcomings that go hand-in-hand with DSLR video, a camera like the HF G10 starts to make perfect sense. If you add up all of the forward-thinking advancements that are integrated in this camera, you really see what a viable and powerful tool it is.

Thanks for checking out this B&H Insights article! If you have any questions about the new Canon HF G10 camcorder, please post them in the Comments section below.

Note: The HF G10 will be shipping in March, 2011, and will retail for around $1,499.00.