If you thought Sony's HDR-SR5 was an interesting proposition, doing away, as it does with DVDs in favour of a 40GB hard drive, but wanted something a little less, Sony then Canon may have the answer to your prayers. The stylish looking HG10 certainly looks the business, with a metallic silver finish and as a bonus it's also the (self-proclaimed) smallest HDD camcorder in the world. Recording at 15mbps at a 1,440 x 1,080 resolution (up on the DVD-fitted HR10's 12mbps) the 40GB hard drive will allow 5.5 hours of video footage - this can be extended via the inbuilt SDHC slot. Although the standard battery only lasts for one hour, an extended pack offering just over twice that at two hours 15 minutes is available.
Separating Canon from the crowd slightly is the inclusion of some sophisticated optical image stabilisation, which uses a gyroscope to stabilise the sensor, but then processes the recorded image to further tweak alignment. Playback is available via component or HDMI outputs and file transfer to a PC is facilitated by a mini-USB connector. The HG10 will be available in the US from October and will set you back $1,299 putting it very firmly in direct competition with its rivals. No UK details are yet available, but we are waiting on Canon to furnish us with any available info so check back.
Update 21.08.07: Canon has now officially confirmed the HG10 for the UK market but has yet to confirm release or pricing information - not much good then is it?! (Gordon)