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Canon HF10 - Canon HF10

By James Morris


  • Recommended by TR
Canon HF10


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We weren't able to run our usual set of controlled tests on the HF10, as our testing occurred at the European launch of the camcorder held in Morocco. But we did get to spend two days shooting in pretty much every kind of setting you might encounter. In the best of conditions, the HF10 produces an incredibly sharp image, thanks to its 1,920 x 1,080 resolution and higher data rate. The detail even surpasses the HV20, with colour fidelity about the same (not surprising, as both use the DIGIC DV II image processor).

Lower light was going to be the true test, however, with the HF10's slightly smaller CMOS and AVCHD's usual tendency to turn video noise into unsightly artefacts. Although the HF10 isn't going to give Canon's professional models sleepless nights, it did exceed our expectations, picking up good colour even in night conditions lit by a few tungsten bulbs. Best of all, although there is grain visible in low light, it's fairly monochromatic and fine. This is nowhere near as unpleasant as the multicoloured grain produced by some camcorders in poor illumination.

The Canon HF10 also performed well as a digital stills camera.

The HF10 is also well endowed with connectivity options, including mini HDMI, component and composite analogue video, although all of these are output only. For editing, you can either pop the SDHC cards into a reader or hook up via USB 2.0. Neither Ulead VideoStudio Plus 11.5 nor Pinnacle Studio Plus 11.1 had any trouble reading and editing the video files we had recorded, even when shot in progressive mode at the top FXP data rate. However, Adobe Premiere Elements 4 isn't compatible and even Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 doesn't have AVCHD support without MainConcept's MPEG Pro HD 3.1 plugin. If you don't have any of these, Canon also supplies its own software called PIXELA Image Mixer 3 SE, which has some modest editing abilities, including transitions and titling.


Without a doubt, the HF10 is the best AVCHD camcorder yet produced by any manufacturer. It's not perfect in every respect, but it ticks more than enough boxes to be highly desirable as a serious video tool or point-and-shoot camcorder companion. With its excellent image quality, healthy range of manual controls, small size and keen price, the Canon HF10 is the high definition camcorder we have all been waiting for.

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August 1, 2009, 4:37 am

James, please can you or anyone help. I have been looking to purchase either the Canon HG21 or the Canon HF10. I want edit movies using imovie on my new iMac. I am confused by the following statement i read on a review for the HG21 as pasted below. My question is. Can I edit hd quality using a progressive scan mode on the HF10 when using imovie 08 or 09? (i.e do i need 30p which the HF10 appears not to have)and which camcorder should I go with for best results?

"Canon Vixia HG21The 24p Cinema Mode is what you would use if you want your video to have a movie theater-like feel, and in many instances, I think that 24p is enough for general use. But as it turns out, it’s a good thing that the HG21 has 30p support, because iMovie 󈥩 () disappointingly lacks support for 24p. If you want the 24p look, you need a video editing program like Final Cut Pro (). If you simply want to shoot using progressive scan video (and I suggest you do), you can use 30p with iMovie."

Thank you


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