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Canon VIXIA HF G10 Review

The PowerShot G9, this camera’s forerunner, was examined last year.

So even though the Canon PowerShot G10 has been in development for more than a year, the new camera doesn’t seem all that different from the previous one.

But there are some notable variations. The G10’s higher resolution, with a 14.7-megapixel sensor compared to the G9’s 12-megapixels, is expected to draw the most attention.

But in reality, that distinction is probably the least significant. In terms of numbers, it doesn’t amount to much at all, and as we’ve frequently seen before, pixel densities this high cause major noise (and noise reduction) problems.

Canon VIXIA HF G10 Upgraded Lenses

Instead, one of the most helpful upgrades to this camera is the substitution of a 28-140mm lens for the older model’s 35-210mm approximate 6x zoom.

Although there is a loss in zoom power from 6x to 5x, you still get a respectable 28mm equivalent wide-angle rather than the mediocre 35mm equivalent of the previous lens.

On the top of the camera, there are other changes. On the G10, the ISO dial has been moved underneath the main mode dial to the right from where it was on the G9’s far left.

There is now a convenient EV compensation dial on the far left. And it is actually useful. It’s a breath of fresh air to have such easy access to ISO and EV correction adjustments.

Canon VIXIA HF G10 Raw Energy?

Two other items merit extra attention. One is the RAW mode, which the G10 possesses in addition to being able to capture and save RAW files as quickly as a DSLR.

RAW modes are uncommon on other compacts and, when they are present, they hog the camera’s processor for so long that they are essentially useless. The LCD has also been improved.

The screen is the same size as the G9’s at 3 inches, but it has twice as many pixels, at 461,000. It also has a broad viewing angle and is highly crisp, rich, and vivid.

The LCD is almost too good, in fact. When viewing a shot taken with the G10, you may be astounded by its depth and richness, but once you download it to your computer, you may find it to be rather unexceptional.

Canon VIXIA HF G10 Image Quality

Apart from anything else, the G10’s display does exaggerate the saturation and contrast of its images, making it difficult to tell whether you just took a fantastic photo or a lackluster one.

Additionally, a few too many of our test shots were underwhelming. The G10’s default settings for contrast and saturation are quite conservative, which is fine if you regularly edit every image after taking it but not so great if you count on getting vibrant results right out of the camera.

The high-resolution sensor won’t provide significantly improved detail rendition, either. The 1/1.7-inch sensor of the G10 is significantly smaller than a DSLR’s 1-inch sensor, signaling that megapixel count is no longer a limiting concern.

It is evident in the manner that fine, textural detail is resolved less clearly and in how quickly image quality degrades as ISO is raised. There is a limit to how good the G10 can be, despite its good qualities.

Canon VIXIA HF G10 Superior In Design

The best option at the moment is to carry a camera in your coat pocket if you must.

Although the Canon PowerShot G10 is a cast-iron beauty and a pleasure to use, the image quality hardly raises the bar.

Other manufacturers may have some knowledge of image quality, but Canon is a camera maker.

Canon VIXIA HF G10 Specs

Standard Definition or High DefinitionHigh Definition
Recording SystemMovies: AVCHD Video compression: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264; Audio compression: Dolby Digital 2ch; Dolby Digital 5.1ch** Only when using the optional SM-V1 Surround Microphone.
Photos: DCF (Design rule for Camera File system), compatible with Exif* Ver. 2.2
Image compression: JPEG* This camcorder supports Exif 2.2 (also called “Exif Print”). Exif Print is a standard for enhancing the communication between camcorders and printers. By connecting to an Exif Print-compliant printer, the camcorder’s image data at the time of shooting is used and optimized, yielding extremely high quality prints.
Video Signal Configuration1080/60i* or 1080/24p
(only recordings made with the [24P] frame rate)* Recordings made with the [PF24], [PF30] frame rate are converted and recorded on the memory as 60i.1080/50i(LEGRIA HF G10)** Recordings made with the [PF25] frame rate are converted and recorded on the memory as 50i.
Recording Media– Built-in memory: 32 GB
– SD, SDHC (SD High Capacity) or SDXC (SD eXtended Capacity) memory card (not included)
Image Sensor1/3-inch CMOS, 2,370,000 pixels
Effective pixels: 2,070,000 pixels
Viewfinder0.24 inch, wide, color, equivalent to 260,000 dots, 100% coverage
MicrophoneStereo electret condenser microphone
Lensf=4.25-42.5 mm, F/1.8-2.8, 10x optical zoom, iris aperture
35 mm equivalent: 30.4 – 304 mm
Lens Configuration12 lenses in 10 groups (2 double-sided aspheric elements)
AF SystemAutofocus (TTL + external distance sensor when set to [Instant AF] or [Medium AF]) or Manual focus
Filter Diameter58 mm
Minimum Focusing Distance60 cm (2 ft.); 2 cm (0.39 in.) at full wide angle
White BalanceAuto white balance, Custom white balance (2 settings), User-defined color temperature or Preset white balance settings: Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Tungsten
Image StabilizationOptical-Shift Image Stabilizer
Size of Video RecordingsMXP, FXP mode: 1920 x 1080 pixels; XP+, SP, LP mode: 1440 x 1080 pixels
Size of Photos1920 x 1080 pixels
Terminals
AV OUT/ Terminal3.5 mm minijack; output only (dual purpose terminal also for headphones stereo output)
Video: 1 Vp-p / 75 Ω unbalanced
Audio: -10 dBV (47 kΩ load) / 3 kΩ or less
USB Terminalmini-B, USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed USB)
COMPONENT OUT Terminal (proprietary mini-D terminal)Luminance (Y): 1 Vp-p / 75 Ω; Chrominance (PB/PR): ±350 mV / 75 Ω
1080i (D3) compatible; output only
HDMI OUT TerminalHDMI mini connector; output only; compatible with HDMI-CEC and x.v.Color
MIC Terminal3.5 mm stereo minijack (unbalanced)
Sensitivity:
For microphone input: -65 dBV (auto volume, full scale -12 dB) / 5 kΩ
For line input: -30 dBV (auto volume, full scale -12 dB) / 5 kΩ
Microphone attenuator: 20 dB
Power/Others
Power supply (rated)7.4 V DC (battery pack), 8.4 V DC (compact power adapter)
Performing temperature0 – 40°C (32 – 104°F)
Dimensions [W x H x D] (excluding the grip belt and lens hood)94 x 78 x 195 mm (3.7 x 3.1 x 7.7 in.)
Weight (camcorder body only)545 g (1.2 lb)

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