New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

AVCHD Flash Memory models - HF G30, HF G20, XA20, XA25 (2013). HF G10, XA10, HF S30 (2011). HF M32, HF M31, HF M30, HF M300, HF S20, HF S21, HF S200 (2010). HF20, HF21, HF200, HF S10, HF S11, HF S100 (2009). HF10, HF100, HF11 (2008).
AVCHD Hard Disk models - HG20, HG21 (2008). HG10 (2007).
HDV models - HV20, HV30, HV40, XH A1.
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Stephan
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New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Stephan » 06 Jan 2011 00:50

Quick note while news from CES are pouring in...

Canon seems to be taking the same route we've been used to for years with Sony: two flavours of the same camcorder, one without XLR audio inputs and the other one with them. All recording AVCHD.



New Canon VIXIA HF G10 (link to canon.com): two memory slots in a consumer cam? Interesting!
HF-G10-675.jpg
Canon HF-G10 AVCHD camcorder
HF-G10-675.jpg (67.79 KiB) Viewed 17601 times

New Canon XA10 (link to canon.com): the same one, with a removable handle, XLR audio inputs, and twice memory capacity @ 64 GB internal. Good lens probably, but too bad it's still a single sensor instead of 3-CMOS. At $2000 expected retail price (according to Camcorderinfo), it's not so 'pro' and instead relatively affordable compared to Sony's usual costs for upscale prosumer cams @ $4000 and upward.
XA10-front-675.jpg
Canon XA10 AVCHD camcorder (front)
XA10-front-675.jpg (52.12 KiB) Viewed 17601 times

XA10-side-mic-675.jpg
Canon XA10 AVCHD camcorder (side)
XA10-side-mic-675.jpg (57.75 KiB) Viewed 17601 times


Further sources:
- Canon Introduces New Vixia HF G10 Camcorder and Updates to HF M Series
- Canon Unveils New Professional Camcorder: the XA10

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Stephan
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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Stephan » 08 Jan 2011 17:50

The more I think of it, the more I like the detachable handle with XLR connectors. And the large lens (58mm filter diameter). And the lens hood (never leave home without one). And the large adjustment ring (focus? iris?)

As I understand optical specs (not so much actually), the 30.4mm focal length (35mm equivalent, at widest angle) is slightly disappointing maybe compared to the latest Sony, but still wider angle than my current HDR-FX7 (37.4mm). Good.

Full specs in the links to canon.com that I included in my previous post.

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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Doughie » 08 Jan 2011 19:04

a 30mm focal length compared to 37.4mm focal length: although it doesnt sound like much of a difference, in reality thats really a quite dramatic difference. 37mm is quite restrictive and i applaud the current trend in consumer cams to veer more towards wideangle on these cams. anything around 30mm or less is really a pretty good wideangle for a consumer cam.

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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Stephan » 09 Jan 2011 17:38

According to Camcorderinfo, the sensor in this new cam has native Full HD 1920x1080 resolution, similarly to the Canon XF100 / XF105. And not only this cam, but also the new M-series mid range like the VIXIA HF M41.

Interesting shift in technical strategy. Larger pixels = better low-light performance and dynamic range maybe? No still photograph capability anymore, but these are camcorders, aren't they?

But is that really the same sensor? How good is it, if it is to be found in sub-$800 camcorders? I can't wait for the first technical tests and review by CCI.

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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Stephan » 09 Jan 2011 23:06

Here's a picture of the Canon XA10 at CES 2011 in Las Vegas.

It looks quite small, actually. Nice.

(photo credits: Astroman from Arizona)
xa10.jpg
Canon XA10 as seen at CES 2011 (Las Vegas)
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Canon HF G10 full review by Camcorderinfo

Postby Stephan » 06 Feb 2011 20:38

Camcorderinfo has a full review of the new Canon Vixia HF G10.

Strengths:
- Unprecedented low-light performance for a consumer cam
- Good colors (although the Panasonic HDC-TM700 does slightly better)
- Very compact body for a high-end feature-packed consumer/prosumer cam
- Smooth motion
- Decent battery life

Weaknesses:
- Slightly lower sharpness (a new sensor with fewer, larger pixels)
- Still pictures (anybody actually uses that?)

This new strategy of having fewer, bigger pixels seems to pay off in terms of low-light performance.

But about manual control: I'm so used to being able to switch instantaneously to manual (= locked) exposure on the Sony's with one single push of a button, I couldn't use cumbersome menus for that. I think Canon misses the point here. Speaking for myself, I usually only have a split second to take critical exposure decisions.

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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Stephan » 26 Mar 2011 12:16

Over here, the Canon XA10 is expected at 1900 EUR retail price, incl. tax (as seen at Cirque Photo Video).

Awfully tempted.

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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby ralphps2000 » 31 Mar 2011 03:34

Is there any disadvantage to the AVCHD format the XA10 uses to record? I've read some posts where it's said that this format may cause a "rolling shutter" effect when recording and that it takes a lot longer to download the file from the camera to the computer for editing. Is this true? Also, any opinions on whether or not this camcorder would be good for amateur film making, or is the menu based system of camcorder control a hindrance?

Thanks for your opinions.

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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Stephan » 31 Mar 2011 07:44

No, most - if not all - consumer / prosumer camcorders now record AVCHD, this is the way of the future as chosen by the manufacturers so we've got to get used to it. AVCHD is more efficient than HDV / MPEG2, which means that you get smaller files for the same quality, or higher quality for the same data volumes. However it does require more CPU power to edit, which you can work around using intermediate codec solutions like Cineform, Apple ProRes, or EDIUS. Mainstream stuff now.

Rolling shutter isn't linked to AVCHD but to CMOS sensors, that nearly all cams now use (instead of CCD sensors years ago). This used to be a slight issue among camcorders, but no longer is - unless you shoot extremely fast action like motor sports, or if you shoot celebrity events with lots of flash photographers.

File download time: again, no relationship. With a USB connection, you can expect faster and simpler downloads than the tapes of yore.

As for amateur filmmaking, this is a bit stretching the cam, but amateur filmmakers were enthusiastic about the Canon HV20 for its 24p mode, so anything can happen provided you have the passion. The menu-based controls are a limitation indeed, but the higher dynamic range and sensitivity of the large-pixel sensor might very well be a fantastic bonus for the price, that would obliterate all other downsides. Time and hands-on feedback will tell us.

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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby ralphps2000 » 31 Mar 2011 13:26

Thanks for your reply. What camcorder in a similar price range-- maybe up to $3,000.00-- would you recommend for film making? I am also interested in a camera with infrared for the occasional wildlife video. Mostly I am looking for documentary and short film. The XA10 seemed perfect due to its size, but again I feel being menu based would be a real problem during actual filming. Also, I read somewhere that it is so small, that its zoom ring can be obstructed by its swing-out LCD.


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