Canon Vixia HF G10 Camcorder Review
- Sony HDR-CX550V
Since the HF G10 is the first 2011 flagship camcorder we've reviewed, it may be a bit unfair to compare it to the top-of-the-line models from 2010. We're excited to see how Sony's updated Handycam line performs in our testing, but, for now, we must compare the HDR-CX550V (a 2010 model) to the new Canon HF G10. With a reasonable $1099 price tag, the Sony is a far cheaper camcorder, but it also has many few controls and options than the Canon HF G10.
We like the simple, easy-to-use design of the HDR-CX550V, and its front-mounted control dial is a pleasure to work with. Sony even included new manual control features like shutter speed and aperture adjustment on the CX550V, but even with these additions the camcorder pales in comparison to the manual offerings on the HF G10. While the CX550V may not be the top choice for professional videographers, it does have one feature that stands out—standard definition recording. Sony is one of the few manufacturers that still includes this option, while Canon has its more complex HD to SD down-conversion feature that is not nearly as simple or easy to use.
The Sony HDR-CX550V is great for novice users who want to have a high-end camcorder (even more so than the HDC-TM700). Its menu system can be a bit tricky, but using the camcorder in auto mode is a breeze, and the CX550V feels comfortable in your hand. It captures good (but not the best) video, and its proportions are significantly smaller than that of the HF G10.