Canon Vixia HF G10 Camcorder Review
Based on our testing results, Canon's decision to use a smaller concentration of pixels on the HF G10's image sensor was clearly a good one. The camcorder produced impressive video in all kinds of shooting situations, and its performance in low light was among the best we've ever seen from a consumer camcorder.
With the HF G10, you're essentially getting a professional camcorder in consumer body. Sure, it's a bit bulkier than your modern HD camcorder, but with that extra bulk comes extra power and possibilities. The HF G10 allows you to adjust more controls than the competition and it has a glorious lens ring for making manual adjustments. Our only gripe is that the rear-mounted control dial, which is used to set things like aperture and shutter speed, isn't nearly as well-designed as the manual focus ring.
The Canon HF G10 did not do as well as the Panasonic HDC-TM700 in our overall scoring, as the Panasonic picked up points for its 1080/60p mode, its more compact design, and for still image performance. The G10, however, is the stronger camcorder for pros or anyone looking for a semi-professional model. It has a ton of features and its low light performance is superb. It may not have a 60p option, but it does have a native 24p mode and two more alternate frame rates in the form of PF30 and PF24. Also, we doubt most advanced users will miss the lack of high-end still image performance.
We're impressed with the HF G10 in terms of performance and capability, but the camcorder's $1499 price tag may be too high for most consumers. You are getting a lot for your money, though, and for people who want access to professional-grade controls, paying around $1500 for a camcorder isn't that bad. If you have more cash to spend, Canon does have the professional XA10 camcorder, which is identical to the HF G10 except it has a removable handlebar with XLR audio ports (and it costs around $2000).