The New Canon VIXIA HF G10 Flash Memory Camcorder

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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.

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What file format does this shoot? Is it compatible with the latest Avid Media Composer -- ideally, no converting of files necessary before import? Thanks.

The camera shoots in AVCHD, which are .MTS files. Avid Media Composer 5 includes import capability for AVCHD.

Thanks!

You're welcome.

I would like to know if I will be able to import my footage to my Mac, Final Cut Pro X editing software? Do I have to convert the file somehow? If so, does the camera do that for me or will I need extra software for importing?

Finally, which long lasting basttery is compatable with my new Vixia HG 10?

Yes, that camera is fully compatible with Apple Final Cut Studio X; you will be able to import it directly without converting the files first.

As for the battery, Canon has an extended live battery available. The BP-827 is 2670mAh, that’s about three times the capacity of the standard battery.

http://bhpho.to/s2ipx0

Thank you very much for your quick response...

Hello, I just bought this camcorder and was wondering what basic write speed SDHC card is what I need as back up? I've was looking at the Sandisk extreme 32gig, and Kingston Ultimate X 32....will either of these be fast enough for filming fast moving wild animals? Thanks for your time.

Hello -

Either card is a fine choice. Look for class 10 speed ratings and lifetime warranties.  Delkin Devices makes a fine card as well, and it's made in the USA.

Hi

Thinking of purchasing this type of Video Cam, especially the part that 2x SD Card can also be slotted in for extra memory storage.

Just wondering, how long do the battery last? Is there a battery that lasts for more than three hours or more?

Thank you.

Hello -

The included battery will record continuously under average conditions for less than 1 hour. The largest capacity battery available will offer you perhaps 2 to 2.5 hours: Canon BP-827 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (2670mAh)

Thank you for your detailed information and for responding to my question so promptly. I'm impressed by your commitment. Hope to visit this site again

When talking about the SD memory card slots, both the B&H and Canon websites only mention SDXC card capacities up to 64GB.  Are the two memory card slots on the the Canon Vixia HF G10 able to fully address 128GB SDXC cards?

Hello -

As far as we can determine, Canon has not tested cards higher than 64GB with this camera.  We generally recommend using smaller capacity cards as a precautionary measure against card failure or damage. If the footage is stored on smaller cards than it is unlikely to lose your entire shoot in case of a critical failure or corruption of the media.  After all, 32 GB offers almost 3 hours of the highest quality HD capture that this camera can shoot.  With the two slots loaded with 64GB cards and the 32GB embedded memory - you will have over 14 hours of recording time available.

Thank you Mark.

Is there a particular tripod that you would recommend to use with this camera for filming presentations and interviews, or would any standard tripod work? 

Also, since it has a 3.5mm mic input, what kind of a Beachtek box would I need? 

Thanks,
Danny

We recommend matching your gear so that it all is at the same level of quality. In particular, your tripod should be able to move smoothly so your shots look good and are not ruined by jerkiness. For the G10, I suggest;

Sachtler Ace Fluid Head with 2-Stage Aluminum Tripod & Mid-Level Spreader
B&H # SASACEMMS

Libec LS-38M(2A)N Professional 2-Stage Aluminum Tripod System
B&H # LILS38M2AN

Manfrotto 504HD Head w/546B 2-Stage Aluminum Tripod System
B&H # MA504HD546BK

Hi.

I noticed that you show 1920 x 1080 60p for this camcorder though a reviewer on your website said it did only 60i.  Did I misunderstand your information?  

Also, I have been told that even if it can shoot 1920 x 1080 60p no software (Mac) can handle that video output and it will be down sized.  Is that correct and if so what then are the benefits of buying a camcorder with 60p at this time?

Thanks.....

Edward

It does not shoot 1080 60P, only 60i. The onyl software I have seen handle 60P well is Adobe Premiere CS5 and CS6. People like it though due to smoother slow motion. 

Hello,

Does this camera offer significantly better low light performance than the Canon HF S100?

I use the HF S100 to record dance performances. Some of our instructors do a fair amount of work with dim lighting. The camera struggles with focus and resolution in those circumstances, and in situations where the color of the dancer's costume is close to the cyc color (red on red in particular).

Would the HF G10 be a better fit for this use?

Thank you for your help.

Mike

Hello Mike -

The Canon HFG10 uses the more advanced Canon HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor.  This 1/3" image sensor boasts excellent low light performance and a wide dynamic range, giving you flexibility unseen in most consumer camcorders - including Canon's own HFS-100.  The G10 also boasts professional shooting assist functions to make shooting easier. Custom key and dial, composition aids, and advanced control like manual exposure, aperture priority, and shutter priority.  So all told, the HFG10 should produce better color rendition for you in challenging lighting conditions while offering more creative control as well.

Thank you for the information. I want to do some more research, but it appears this camera will do what I want.

Mike

I shoot profesional video full time and find that for nice B roll shots and for portability in those run and gun where a camera is considered intrusive, I use the Canon Vixia HF M40 and was considering the HF M50 but now I see this camera and wonder what the advantage of it would be over the HF M50? They look similar in size and functionality and other than the chip size is there something else I am missing for the nearly 2-2.5x price difference?

Hello D. Dimento -

The HF-G10 is worth the extra money for a variety of reasons.  Key among them is the lens.  It is a more substantial piece of glass that is superior to the optics of the HF-M50 while delivering a wider field of view at the shorter focal length.  The VIXIA HF G10 features a Genuine Canon 10x HD Video Lens which offers a 35mm equivalent of 30.4mm - 304mm. It delivers unsurpassed image quality, the versatility of a wide angle of view and smooth and professional looking background images thanks to a sophisticated 8-blade iris.  The HF-G10 sports a larger LCD viewer as well at 3.5".  The professional touch of a dedicated manual focus ring allows accurate and precise control. Combined with Canon's Exclusive HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor, it captures video with stunning resolution, superb low-light performance, and a wide dynamic range The HF G10 also packs in a number of shooting functions. Among the functions usually found on consumer models, the G10 also boasts professional shooting assist functions to make shooting easier. Custom key and dial, composition aids, and advanced control like manual exposure, aperture priority, and shutter priority,  just to name a few.   The VIXIA HF G10 features Canon's proprietary Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization which provides continuous adjustment throughout the entire zoom range to correct a broad range of motion. Extra compensation is applied at wide-angle focal lengths to eliminate unwanted shaking which is common when walking. Together with the latest development, Powered IS, you'll find an even higher level of compensation for subtle hand movement at the telephoto end of the zoom range. Powered IS can be engaged by pressing or holding the Powered IS button on the Touch Panel LCD.

Bottom line:  You may not need the features that the HF-G10 provide for your B-roll footage - but the camera is worth every penny.

1. Would I have to transcode for editing on FCP 6?
2. Can you recommend a directional mic I can attach to this camera? Thanks.

Hello -

The Canon Vixia HFG10 is fully compatible with Apple Final Cut PRO X; you will be able to import it directly without converting the files first.  Unfortunately  - there is no Apple endorsed solution for FCP 6 as it will not support AVCHD.  As for the microphone -

The Rode VideoMic Pro packs the audio quality and features of the popular VideoMic into an ultra compact and lightweight design that's ideal for use with HDSLR cameras, camcorders, and audio recorders. The microphone has a broadcast-quality condenser capsule with a supercardioid pickup pattern to capture audio from the front, while minimizing pickup from the sides and rear. An integrated shockmount and foam windscreen minimize handling and wind noise to keep your recordings crystal clear.

On the rear of the mic, you'll find a 3-way level control that offers -10dB, 0dB, and +20dB modes. There is also a 2-step high pass filter with 0 and 80Hz settings, letting you minimize the impact of low frequency hum, camera motor noise, and similar distractions. The mic has a standard camera shoe and a 3/8" threaded mount for easy attachment to cameras and boom poles. The 3.5mm plug is compatible with a wide variety of different cameras and audio devices. The VideoMic Pro operates for up to 70 hours on a single 9V battery, allowing you to work in the field without constant replacements.

But will the Rode VideoMic Pro mount on the Vixia right out of the box without any modifications?

Hello -

To mount the Rode VideoMic Pro directly to the camera requires the  Pearstone CSA-II Shoe Adapter for Canon Camcorders  which is designed for all Canon Camcorders with a Mini Advanced Accessory Shoe.

The Canon DM-100 Directional Stereo Microphone delivers high-quality stereo audio recordings to various Vixia-series camcorders. This microphone attaches to the HFG10's advanced accessory shoe for cable-free installation.  Using the DM100 is the most streamlined solution - no adapters and no cables.

First and foremost i'm impressed by the quality of your comments and reviews!Thank you for doing it on such a pro level.

I'm working as a post production compositor and as such i'm used to working on dpx and other nice file formats.I know i can't achieve this much info into my scenes with this camera but i think it's a pretty decent one for short movies and music clips.My question is since it doesn't have the 4:2:2 algorithm for capturing the colors will i be able to pull a desent key from a blue screen(considering it's properly lit)?I can't seen to be able to find a sample of such shot from this camera in the web.

My other question is does this lens make fine DOF?I'm pretty sure it's good enough but would really appresiate your opinion.

The last thing i'm interested is will i be able to drop my footage directly into Nuke or Fusion for post processing or conversion will be needed?From the Canon 60D it imports directly but not sure for this one.

Thanx in advance for your answers and all your efforts.

Hello -

The HF G10 offers depth of field that is pretty good and should be acceptable for your basic applications  - but do not expect the same kind of dramatic shallow DOF that many  DSLR lenses can deliver.  This camera will  deliver excellent chroma-key results as well - but sending the uncompressed  live feed (HDMI) to an ATOMOS Ninja2 Video Recorder will offer you the 4:2:2 colorspace and the ProRes format that you can drag and drop into NUKE and FUSION.

 This camera does not apply filters in the 24Mbps shooting mode.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hi there,

first of all,thank you for your professional work and nice reviews!
Keep up the good work.

I would like to ask a few questions about this camera since this seems to be my choice.
I work as a visual effects compositor and i'm used to work on nice formats like dpx files ant etc.I know i can't get such quality from this cam but i want to know if i could pull a decent key from a blue screen since this camera doesn't support the 4:2:2 algorithm.As far as i know this Canon is 4:2:0.

Does it make a nice(sufficient) DOF?

About the file format,i have worked with some footages out of Canon 60D and there is no problem importing them directly into Nuke or Fusion software.I want to know what is the procedure with this nice
camera?

One other thing is,does it support 24P without having to be in some sort of filter(sepia,B/W) mode,but instead just select 24p as a frame rate to shoot with?I'm talking about the NTSC(Vixia) version here.

Thank you in advance for your answers and once more-keep the high level of your that you are doing for all of us.

cheers

The HF G10 offers depth of field that is pretty good and should be acceptable for your basic applications - but do not expect the same kind of dramatic shallow DOF that many DSLR lenses can deliver. This camera will deliver excellent chroma-key results as well - but sending the uncompressed live feed (HDMI) to an ATOMOS Ninja2 Video Recorder will offer you the 4:2:2 colorspace and the ProRes format that you can drag and drop into NUKE and FUSION.

This camera does not apply filters in the 24Mbps shooting mode.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions: AskBH@BandH.com

Thank you for your answer.

The Ninja is pretty cool piece of equipment.I will definitely consider it.

Can you recommend a teleprompter rig that is compatible with this camera?

Hello -

The PP-WING-LCD7KIT ProPrompter Wing 7" LCD Kit with Software from ProPrompter is a prompting system designed to work with small to midsize camcorders. The wing component in this solution attaches to any tripod mount. Its forward arm swings to the right or left of the lens where you attach the 7" VGA LCD, allowing you to fine tune its position. Moreover, the LCD offers a number of adjustable parameters to meet the needs of your work.

The individual components in this package have been selected for tight integration to form a complete, turnkey solution. It includes all hardware, as well as the prompting software required to run scripts. The software is compatible with both Windows and Mac computers.

This system includes all of the components you need to achieve a working prompting system without custom integration or separate purchases
This solution offers horizontal and vertical mirroring
Single-screen scrolling is a standard feature
Screen size can be adjusted
Multiple text and font colors are available
Copy and paste text from other programs at will
Cue points can be set to facilitate script management
Both rich text and simple text can be imported
An alternative built-in word processor and script editor can also be used to manage prompting text
Other adjustable parameters include user-selectable background and font colors
Variable scroll-position indicators and speed control are both available
Prompter font sizes can be set relative to editor font sizes
Support for double-byte fonts is also included

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

I wouid like to know if I will run into editting problems with the canon HF G10 , I use a PC with adobe premire elements 11 . My main use is to make best of quality home movies and copy to dvd or blueray

The Canon HFG10 records in the AVCHD format. Any editing software compatible with AVCHD will work fine.
Adobe Premiere Elements 11 will be fully compatible.

Thanks so much now the hard part , to decide between the HF M50 or go for the HF G 10.

Great review thanks. So question, is it "12" hours of HD on the internal flash 32 gb or "3" hours ?

It starts out saying: "The HF G10 allows you to record a whopping 12 hours of full 1920 x 1080 HD video with its built-in memory alone."

Then in the comments section you mention "almost 3 Hours of high quality on the 32 gb flash memory"

What am I missing?

- Uri

Hello Uri -

The Canon VIXIA HF G10 allows you to record up to 12 hours of clear high definition video to a 32GB internal flash drive or to two SDXC-compatible memory card slots while recording in "LP" mode.

See page 32 of the Canon Owner's Manual:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/lit_files/45017.pdf

Recording Time Internal Flash Memory
32GB: LP: 12 hours, 15 minutes; SP: 9 hours, 35 minutes; FXP: 4 hours, 10 minutes; MXP: 2 hours, 55 minutes
SD
2GB: LP: 45 minutes; SP: 35 minutes; FXP: 15 minutes; MXP: 10 minutes
4GB: LP: 1 hour, 30 minutes; SP: 1 hour, 10 minutes; FXP: 30 minutes; MXP: 20 minutes
8GB: LP: 3 hours; SP: 2 hours, 20 minutes; FXP: 1 hour; MXP: 40 minutes
16GB: LP: 6 hours, 5 minutes; SP: 4 hours, 45 minutes; FXP: 2 hours, 5 minutes; MXP: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Thanks so much for the review - extremely helpful.

One question for you- how do you record to the memory cards. For some reason, i can't find the [Rec Media for Movies] selection. I can only find the [Rec Media for Photos].

Thanks!

Which memory card are you trying to use in the camera?
Brand, class rating and speed?

PNY Professional
8 gb
SDHC
2hr hd video
20mb/s

That card should work fine in the camera for recording video. Have you formatted the card in the camera itself in order to build the correct file structure?

You can find instreuctions to initialize the card on page 36 of the manual.
It is in the camera menu under:
(function) -> (menu) -> (wrench icon) -> (initialize)

Keep in mind this will erase anything that is recorded on the card so back-up anything prior.

I'm having the same problem with my G10. Using Transcend SDHC class 10 32gb card, which seems to be recognized by the camera, but the "REC MEDIA FOR VIDEO" option is missing from the menu. I already initialized it using the camera, and that didn't work. Any suggestions?

I've been having the same problem with my VIXIA HFM31. It doesn't matter what I do, it never shows the "record media for video" menu option. I've tried both class 6 and class 10 Sandisk (Sandisk works according to the manual.) Nothing. That menu option just doesn't exist. I'm kind of irked about it.

Push the mode switch from "AUTO" to "M." That will allow to you in the menu to select "REC MEDIA FOR VIDEO"

^this, but also you have to get to the menu button from the Func button on the viewscreen to find Rec Media for Movies.  If you go in through the Menu button in the gallery, you won't find the option.

Im haveing a hard time transfering the video from the camera to the memory card. CAN I RECORD VIDEO STREIGHT TO CARD - help.

You can set the camera to record straight to the card:

1: Put the memory card into the card slot.

2: Open the [Rec Media for Movies] screen.

[FUNC.]  ->  [MENU] -> [Rec Media for Movies] or [Rec Media for Photos]

3: Touch the (built-in memory icon) cnoose the (memory card icon) and select it.

These instructions can also be found on page 34 on the cameras manual.

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