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Customer Review

161 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond my expectations, April 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon VIXIA HF G10 Full HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro and 32GB Internal Flash Memory (Electronics)
Since I was a little kid with an 8mm film camera, I have tried in vain to make videos that had the look and sound of professional TV and movie productions.

I failed in many ways, many times. Sometimes due to my meager skills, sometimes due to the short comings of my cameras.
The Vixia HF G10 changes that. I can no longer blame my equipment.

Let me say now, I am not a professional video/film maker. I have had no formal training. My videos are for my own enjoyment, I record special moments and travels for myself and my family. I seldom display or publish videos on the Web.

I placed my order on Jan. 5th, the day of Canon's new product announcement. Amazon was great, as usual, and kept my pre-order updated until the camera was released. I received it last week, and was immediately struck by the quality of the images.
So far, I have just been learning about the G10, and its features. I've made some stunning video studies of my flower and vegetable garden. Whether played back on the camera's LCD screen, or on my big screen HD television, the images are sharp, clear, vibrant, and have the look of a professional documentary. In addition, the on camera microphones are far superior to any camcorder I've ever used. I have some large wind chimes near my garden and the playback of audio through my TV is astonishing. I have a Sennheiser MKE 400, but have not used it as yet, the on-camera sound is excellent.

What I like: Coming from a DV tape camera, the memory cards are the best thing since sliced bread. The 'touch screen' is very good. I did not think I would like it, but it is easy to use, responds well, and the menu system is somewhat intuitive. The Manual mode provides tons of recording and exposure options. In Programmed mode the camera will make several automated exposure adjustments as the scene or lighting changes. In Av mode the DOF control is excellent, and there are built-in ND filters available in Av mode that have already come in handy. I have not used Tv mode, but in full Manual the controls are easy to access and perform as well as my Canon EOS still camera.
Three modes of Auto focus and excellent, easy to use Manual focus. Zoom speed adjustment, very cool.
Cinema Mode: Sounds like a gimmick, works like a charm. The primary feature in Cinema Mode is a set of 9 filters for various cinematic effects. I like them all, and look forward to using them to highlight my scenes in my videos. It would be easy to over use these, I think. But the Nostalgic, Sepia, and Old Movie filters will surely get used, as will the Dramatic B&W. I'm thinking the Vivid would work on panoramic landscapes.
The whole memory card/built-in memory thing is wonderful. Transfer to a Win 7 PC is easy and fast. So far I'm sticking with the MXP 24P (true 1920 x 1080). It is the luxury I paid for, and I'm going to use it.

Things I don't need: Still photos - nice but I have a great still camera. In camera editing and Decorations: just fluff to me. I guess these things have market appeal, but why does Canon add them to a camera aimed at the upper end video customer?

Things I don't like: The initial impression that the G10 is a small, cheap-looking, plastic camcorder (I got over that when I saw how it performed). The shallow angle of the lens opening prevents adding after market wide angle conversion lens; apparently the only lens that currently fits is the very expensive Canon lens. The BP808 battery is small, and you need 2, or a larger BP819. There is no separate battery charger included, so you need one of those, too. The hot shoe is the Canon mini-shoe, so you need an adapter to use after market mikes or lights, or buy the expensive Canon accessories.

My still camera is a Canon 5D Mk2. It has fantastic video performance as well as awesome still image performance. I wanted the G10 to give me more flexibility for different situations; run-and-gun, handheld kind of stuff, ad hoc filming which I find difficult with the 5D Mk2.
That's about all I can think of now. I would buy this camcorder again without hesitation. I would and do recommend it to anyone looking to take that next step up in video making.

I'll try to post a short video soon, showing some of the images from the Vixia HF G10.
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Showing 1-10 of 25 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 15, 2011 12:21:37 PM PDT
V. Levy says:
Thanks for being the first to review this camcorder. Feels like I've been waiting forever for the consumer reviews!

Posted on Apr 29, 2011 8:37:42 PM PDT
What mode and settings are people using to create blurred background effect?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2011 10:37:33 AM PDT
CaptBuddy says:
Av mode, f2.8 with telephoto zoom or with Canon Tl-H58 Conversion lens. the G10 is excellent at this. When using an add-on conversion lens, the G10 has a setting which disables the Instant Focus, be sure to set this properly.

Posted on May 11, 2011 7:22:33 PM PDT
Brute Wolf says:
I enjoyed your review, but noticed the exact same review is posted on B&H, except for the part about ordering from Amazon. Why order from Amazon? At present, Amazon is charging $200 more for the camera. I presume that wasn't the case when you posted.

Posted on May 11, 2011 7:24:37 PM PDT
Brute Wolf says:
I enjoyed your review, but noticed the exact same review is posted on B&H, except for the part about ordering from Amazon. Why order from Amazon? At present, Amazon is charging $200 more for the camera. I presume that wasn't the case when you posted.

In reply to an earlier post on May 12, 2011 4:07:59 AM PDT
CaptBuddy says:
Amazon allowed me to pre-order n Jan. 5, the day of the announcement, at the original price. They shipped it to me, overnight, on the release date. I also shop at B&H and have for years.
I added the review at B&H because I hoped it would help other shoppers.

Posted on Jun 25, 2011 3:44:03 PM PDT
TK1 says:
Can you comment on the "new" control dial. I was excited to see a manual focus ring around the lens (like on my miniDV Canon Optura) had returned, but was annoyed to discover that the awesome control dial that used to be at the front (like on the HS21 for example) has been removed and replaced by a different one on the back.

This seems really inconvenient and potentially a deal-breaker to me. Why they did this I don't know, but would be really interested in your thoughts on it after having a hands-on experience with it -- assuming you do a lot of manual adjustments of course. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2011 7:46:51 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 27, 2011 2:36:37 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2011 2:36:11 PM PDT
CaptBuddy says:
TK1, I am a firm believer that each person must choose the things they buy based on their personal likes and need. I think this is most critical when it is an electronic item with which you must have hands on control. If you don't like the feel, it will never perform well for you. That said, there is no one item on the G10 that would prevent me from recommending it, or purchasing it for myself.
The custom control button and dial are most easily used while the camera is mounted on a tripod, and the LCD screen is used. It functions the same way in "viewfinder mode", but is awkward to use due to your face being in the way.
I have been shooting in Av and Manual and the control dial is most useful to quickly change exposure. Also the button can be used to bring up a quick menu to change exposure modes, and the display is very clear about any change made. I am not familiar with the HS21, so I cannot compare them for you.
I must tell you that this is the most tactile camera I have ever used. I have been delighted with how quickly I have adapted to it and how quickly and accurately the touch screen and other controls feel and react. The more I use the G10 the more I like it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2011 2:41:47 PM PDT
TK1 says:
Thanks for you fast and detailed reply. I appreciate the insight. Other than the moved control dial, it sounds like the perfect prosumer HD cam. I REALLY wish they didn't do this, as I use the viewfinder A LOT when I shoot, and it is a necessity for outdoor shooting normally. Guess I can try it, and if I can't live with it, send it back.

Thanks again!
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