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Canon debuts hard-drive AVCHD camcorder

HG10 combines video and optical system of HV20 with hard disk goodness.

Back in May, Canon announced its first AVCHD camcorder, the HR10. At the time, I expressed my disappointment that it was a DVD-based model. But today Canon finally followed up with the announcement I was waiting for: its HG10 records 1,9201,440x1,080 HD video to a 40GB hard disk.

According to Canon, it has the same lens and sensor as the HV20. Canon also claims to have implemented the AVCHD codec a little differently, using variable block sizes; it determines the pixel block size--8x8 or 4x4--based on the content of the video. In theory, this should produce fewer artifacts in large, flat expanses, such as skies.

The HG10 also adopts some control conventions from competitors, such as the combination joystick/scroll wheel on the LCD bezel. Canon will bundle Corel video software, as well.

  • 3-megapixel 1/2.7-inch CMOS sensor
  • 1,920x1,080 video capture, 3-megapixel 4:3 photo capture
  • f/1.8-3.0 10x zoom lens
  • 40GB hard drive; stores between 5 hours of video at 15Mbps or 15 hours at 5Mbps
  • MiniSD media for photo capture
  • 2.7-inch 211,000-pixel LCD
  • microphone input
  • Super Range optical image stabilizer with Instant AF
  • Digic DV II processor

Canon plans to ship the HG10 in October for $1,299. We're expecting our evaluation unit to arrive within the next few days, so check back for my review.