Canon HFS10 Review — I. First impressions

by mobileblogger on January 15, 2010

Just got it. One of these Canons. Impressive piece of equipment, IMO unbeatable at its price level, mostly now when closer at the end of its market life. I had a Panasonic HDC SD100 that I took in my vacation in Santorini (see videos on right). Although a very good camcorder, I was never pleased by the image from the panny. The colors looked oversaturated and a bit unnatural even in the white light of the bright mediterannean sun. By the way, greek islands is the perfect place if you want to train your photo talents—the light is excellent.

New toy: Canon Legria/Vixia HFS10

New toy: Canon Legria/Vixia HFS10 - taken with D700 and 50mm F/1.4G AF-S - click the image for 1024px version

The Canon is spot on. On colors, I mean. The big lens with a huge 58mm filter thread (that allows me to use the filters I have for 50mm f/1.4 G) and the 1/2.66″ CMOS sensor make a visible difference compared with the Panasonic. I think that, for this segment, the best is to find a camcorder with the biggest sensor available, then look for the rest of the specs. From which the most important is the bitrate. I mean the AVCHD compression bitrate. For now, max for AVCHD is 35 Mbit/sec. The Canon provides a generous 24 Mbit/sec from the 17 Mbit/sec of the panny and the difference is obvious, especially in what concerns the compression artifacts: I have still to see the macroblocking I experienced so often with the panny.

New toy: Canon Legria/Vixia HFS10

New toy: Canon Legria/Vixia HFS10 - click the image for 1024px version

So far, so good. Aside from some footage shot inside, I have nothing to post for the moment. So, what’s next ? I have to take it out and test it under real light and in real conditions. I’ll get back.

[HFS10 Review — Part II: Look & Feel and some spicy stuff]

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