Canon Vixia HF G10At CES 2011, Lori Grunin takes a First Look at the Canon Vixia HF G10.
-Hi! I'm Lori Grunin, Senior Editor with CNET, and I'm here at CES with the Canon Vixia HF G10. The G10 is the new top-of-the-line prosumer model from Canon. Like Sony, they've bumped up both in terms of price and in features what they consider their top-of-the-line prosumer models. The G10 incorporates the HD CMOS Pro chip. Now, the HD CMOS Pro isn't a new chip from Canon. It's actually the same chip that's used in the XF series of professional camcorders. It's just that they have three and this only has one. And Canon has put that chip in not only this but in some of the midrange prosumer models as well, and frankly, I consider that a really nice development. Now, what makes the chip different is its only 2.07 megapixels which is exactly HD resolution. A lot of other camcorders have bumped up resolutions both for specsmanship and because people wanna take stills as well as video and that enables the camcorders to take high-resolution stills. So, this isn't a camcorder you're gonna want to do dual duty because you'll find the stills will be too low resolution. But the flip side is, because it's a 1/3-inch chip and lower resolution, it has larger pixels and so, in theory, should deliver very nice low-light video quality. The camcorder is, for the most part, really designed for the person who likes to shoot manually. It has a manual focus ring on the lens and it's actually a very nice ring. Even though it's servoelectronic the way they all are, it has a lot of resistance so it's very nice to use. Like most of Canon's models, it uses a dual SDXC slot which is also a nice convenience. It's a development that I'm glad to see in the camcorders and it has a large LCD. It has stereo microphones and one thing that seems to be different on the Canon is that they have reasonably nice separation on the stereo mic rather than one big thing in the middle or under here where a lot of the other manufacturers would put the microphones. As you'd expect in a model targeted at prosumers, it has an electronic viewfinder and Canon also puts EVFs on some of their lower-end models, so it's not like they're forcing you to buy their top-end model just because you want an EVF. The camcorder also ships with a lens hood so if you've seen photos of it, for the most part, you've seen the camcorder looking like this. But it has really big f/1.8 lens and-- and the big lenses are really one way in which you could tell a prosumer or a very-- or a relatively high-end model from the lower end ones. Look at the size of the lens. The one thing that disappoints me about this model as well as the other models that Canon announced at the show is they use the same touchscreen menu system as last year's models. And if you wanna know how I feel about that, then you should read my reviews because, frankly, it's really poorly designed for use with touchscreens. It's-- it's organized well but you have to scroll on the inside of the display which is an awkward placement and it's just-- at least on this size LCD, it's not as bad; but on the smaller LCDs, it can be nonresponsive and just hard to use. It is a bit pricey. It'll be $1500 when it ships this spring; but for some people, it's worth it. I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Canon Vixia HF G10.