Canon charges a lot for its high-end Legria camcorder, and we can see why. This is not the camera for those who just want to capture happy snaps. There are enough bells and whistles here to cater for the most ardent hobbyist videographer. Central to the G10's appeal is its HD CMOS Pro sensor, also used in the high-end professional XA10 camera and the cheaper, which affords the G10 some rather excellent low-light performance.
Design and features
As for the external design, the G10 sits very comfortably in the hand with a good and even weight distribution. It also feels incredibly well made, with a satisfying response from all buttons and dials. The G10 comes equipped with 32GB of internal memory and two SDXC card slots. The crowning glory is its 3.5-inch touchscreen, which boasts its high-resolution cred (920,000-dot) from the treetops. It's incredibly easy to see in sunlight and low-light, and is very precise to use.
Full automatic, manual and cinema modes are provided, as well as a 3.5-inch microphone input, component and AV out. Cinema mode provides a range of filters from dramatic black-and-white to dream, cool and sepia.
A remote port, mini-HDMI and USB out are located just under the hand grip. The 10x optical zoom at 30.4mm wide-angle and f/1.8 is stabilised optically, with a manual focus ring at the front. The stereo microphones are separated nicely at the top of the lens, which does make a noticeable difference to sound quality.
Full manual and automatic controls are provided, as would be expected, accessible via a selectable mode switch and the custom button. This button and accompanying dial are located at the bottom left of the camera, which can be a stretch to get to for smaller hands. It also makes you stabilise the camera with your other hand in order to reach them. Among other usability quirks, you need to press and hold the custom button down to switch between shutter/aperture priority, full manual exposure, AGC control and exposure compensation. A decent electronic viewfinder rounds out the physical specs.
The HF G10 encodes in AVCHD 1080/50i and supports 25p (rather than the 24p in the US model, rather confusingly titled the Vixia HF G10 but otherwise identical).