Canon has chosen an opportune time to embrace AVCHD, now that the format has become more widely supported with mainstream editing software. Adobe is still conspicuously absent, but at least you can choose between Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus or Pinnacle Studio 11 Plus – two of the leading entry-level editing apps. We had no trouble importing video into Ulead VideoStudio 11 Plus. In the box, Canon only includes a Corel application disc with DVD MovieFactory SE, which can burn AVCHD discs but isn’t particularly advanced for video editing.
Aside from the USB connection required for copying video to a PC, which resides under the LCD panel, the HG10 has a full complement of analog connectivity options. These include a minijack for composite and RCA audio, but not S-Video. There’s a proprietary jack for component, and the now-ubiquitous HDMI socket. However, all these connections are output only, and the HDMI socket is of the mini variety, so an adapter will be required before you can plug the HG10 into your HDTV, as none is supplied in the box.
Although the HG10 doesn’t bowl us over quite as much as the HV20, it’s still an impressive piece of kit. Sony’s lower end HDR-SR5E undercuts it on price considerably, but misses out key features such as a standard-sized accessory shoe. The more fully featured HDR-SR8E is much more expensive. The HG10 beats either on video quality, particularly in low light, and it has enough features to attract the more serious video-maker. So, not the perfect high-definition camcorder with a hard disk. But the best we’ve seen yet.
Score in detail
Image Quality 9