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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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Stephan » 01 Apr 2011 23:14

Difficult question! What defines film making? Tricker than it may seem, as it depends on your priorities...

Filmic motion? Any small cam with 24p will do. But do you really plan to transfer onto film? Ask the transfer lab what are their requirements / they know best. Otherwise what's the point in 24p...

Shallow depth of field? High dynamic range? Maybe think something completely different, and check the Panasonic GH2 DSLR. Fabulous colors. Or the Sony NEX-VG10, but I'm not convinced by that one color-wise and overall picture look.

Need a solid camcorder for run&gun documentary shooting with accessible manual controls (because the action won't be waiting for you)? Forget about filmic look (mostly), and check the Sony HDR-AX2000.

Back to the thread topic, I read somewhere the Canon HF G10 / XA10 has a couple of assignable buttons, which I too hope would enable something closer to 'accessible' manual control. Wait and see...

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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Stephan » 01 May 2011 11:32

Doughie wrote: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.
There's now also a 0.8x Wide Angle Converter Lens available from Canon (link on the left).

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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby chrishull3 » 04 Aug 2011 11:53

Stephan wrote:Difficult question! What defines film making? Tricker than it may seem, as it depends on your priorities...

Filmic motion? Any small cam with 24p will do. But do you really plan to transfer onto film? Ask the transfer lab what are their requirements / they know best. Otherwise what's the point in 24p...

Shallow depth of field? High dynamic range? Maybe think something completely different, and check the Panasonic GH2 DSLR. Fabulous colors. Or the Sony NEX-VG10, but I'm not convinced by that one color-wise and overall picture look.

Need a solid camcorder for run&gun documentary shooting with accessible manual controls (because the action won't be waiting for you)? Forget about filmic look (mostly), and check the Sony HDR-AX2000.

Back to the thread topic, I read somewhere the Canon HF G10 / XA10 has a couple of assignable buttons, which I too hope would enable something closer to 'accessible' manual control. Wait and see...


The XA10 does seem a great cam that i would seriously consider if i had not put so much money into my GH2 and 6 lenses [just ordered the 14-42mm]the low light on these cams is amazing by all accounts.

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Stephan
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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Stephan » 04 Aug 2011 17:14

I need to search reliable hands-on feedback on that cam - like, at the end of the day, how's the video quality, colors, and handling. But from a purely specs and product design standpoint, I'm with you on this one: this really looks like my next cam.

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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Jhinuk » 01 Sep 2011 20:22

Hi, I have been going through similar issues and jitters. I had made up my mind on getting a HF XA10 with the purpose of doing corporate videos and documentaries, But would like to keep options open for as much other as possible. I am very new to HD video since I have only worked on SD DV format so far. So as I started to check youtube and reviews, I start to see all these issues with panning, and fast camera movement. The Long GOP and the CMOS sensor, from what I understood, is the main issue.

I'm hoping someone can help me decide. What I would like to know is, is MPEG2 better for fast motion and panning than AVCHD? In other words, is XF100 a better option than XA10 in this respect? Video samples and reviews seem to point that way. However, I still would prefer the XA10 with it's removable handle rather than the XF100. I think I'm ok with everything else the XA10 has to offer, but if I can't get smooth camera movement, that seems to be a problem.

Where I am living, there is no way for me to check out before I buy. I will have to order it to get it. So that is a big problem for me.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Stephan
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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Stephan » 02 Sep 2011 18:30

Complex question. The XA10 seems to be a slightly downsized consumerish version of the XF100, so you would expect that when you pay less… you get less. In all departments. Only real hands-on feedback / reviews can answer your question.

But then, why do you worry about fast motion and panning? Resist the temptation to do pans, they look awful. Believe me, I used to do too many pans myself, and I'm ashamed when I watch them some years later. Sometimes, testing a cam by shaking it in all directions may not be a realistic test. Video is not about moving the cam, it's about filming moving subjects and scenes. The cam needs to stand still. The only exception I had to live with was doing road trips and shooting from a moving vehicle - be warned, long GOP looks much worse than SD DV. You get beautiful HD, but only with a still camcorder and I don't believe one or another will be better in that regards.

Also, don't forget that it's not just the cam, but also the accessories that you need for pro work. It depends on your budget - with a cheaper cam, you can get more accessories, better mics or more of them.

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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Jhinuk » 02 Sep 2011 21:46

Hi Stephan,

Thanks for your very detailed answer. Gave me a lot to think about.

I never thought of pans as bad things before. Now, since you mentioned, I'm thinking... I've seen so many nice videos without pans. But what I am worried about is moving subjects. I'll need to track them and so may need camera movement. But I understand what you said, I can't expect everything to be like I want when I have a limited budget. I will have to make compromises.

Anyway, I've been going through youtube and user reviews and sample videos. What I kind of felt is, once you use a stabilizer, e.g. the Marlin or such (DIY seems possible), the jaggedness in movement is also reduced to the point where it was not bothering me. Movement looked quite fluid. Even shooting skateboarding.

Thanks for your reply again.

I was hoping you could answer another issue for me, I use Adobe Premiere Pro 2 to do my SD edits. So unless I upgrade, I guess, I'll need to convert the AVCHD first. My question is, what format should I convert to to retain the best quality while still being able to edit on Premiere Pro 2? Does the Camcorder come with the converter software? If not, what software would you suggest?

Thanks and Regards.

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Stephan
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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Stephan » 02 Sep 2011 23:57

Wow, Adobe Premiere Pro 2 is a bit old now, it was released when AVCHD did not even exist at that time and it only supported HDV... with difficulty.

But I understand what constraints you may have, so... The only solution I thought of is to use Cineform (http://www.cineform.com/neoscene/specifications.php) but you're in bad luck because from the specifications unfortunately it only supports Adobe CS3/CS4/CS5. For your information, Cineform is a plug-in (and an "intermediate codec") which transforms all video into their proprietary visually-lossless codec, and it enables to edit complex HD video with less CPU requirements and a variety of editing software. But it doesn't seem compatible anymore with Premiere Pro 2. I think you want to upgrade to more recent software in order to edit AVCHD video. If you cannot, then the only option I see is to convert AVCHD to HDV, which really seems a bit odd - I don't recall anybody doing that, I can't think right now of any obvious way to do that.

Our Adobe expert is Adam (please feel free to add comments, Adam, as you see fit:-)

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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby Doughie » 03 Sep 2011 01:24

I have used Cineform Neoscene and it is great. Creates big files but gives the processor a *MUCH* easier time of it and therefore makes projects editable. It creates a 'Cineform AVI' file and yes your edit software will need to 'recognise' that.

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Re: New Canon HF G10 and XA10 camcorders

Postby acgold7 » 03 Sep 2011 02:30

You'd have to find a very old version of Cineform's Aspect HD that would even run under PP2, but it's long since discontinued and is now unsupported. You could write to them and explain your situation to them via their website. They're very nice guys but their mission has changed: their primary focus is no longer in making Premiere work better with HDV or AVCHD. Now that both Premiere and PCs are better and handle both formats natively and with ease, Cineform has moved onto other priorities.

But you could upgrade to the consumer-level of either Vegas or Premiere for about $100. If you qualify for a student discount you could go Pro for about $300.

But this reveals one of the pitfalls when you are considering a new camera: you must consider the whole production chain, not just the camcorder. It is problematic to contemplate a camcorder of this sort without considering how you will edit the footage, and without having the appropriate hardware and software to do so.
Adam


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