Video Accessories Misc

Canon HG10 Hard Disc Drive High Definition Video Camera

ARTICLE INDEX

The Design

Canon's new HG10 is an HDD (Hard Disc Drive) high definition video camera. It has a 40 GB hard drive, which at the highest quality of recording, will store more than five hours of video. It has an MSRP of about a thousand dollars, but I have seen it at several on-line stores for much less.

It uses Canon's latest 1,920 x 1,080 CMOS sensor and can record 1080i60 as well 1080p24. When in 24p mode, you can also activate "Cine Mode" which changes some of the image settings to give the picture a film look.

Consumer video cameras these days tend to be quite compact, and the HG10 is no exception. I carried it around in my pants pocket or sweatshirt pocket a lot of the time and would just pull it out and start shooting.

The rear has the Power-On dial, shown below. You just put your finger on the top of the dial, push the button down, and turn the dial from Off to On. That activates the camera. If you want to play back a recording or download recordings to your PC, you turn the dial on a second time. That activates Play. The recorded files have several "pieces" that must be stored together, so when downloading, be sure to transfer everything.

To record, you press the Start/Stop button that you can see about midway down the right side. The HG10 has a drop sensor that is activated from the menu. It docks the hard drive reader arm if the camera is dropped so that the hard drive is less likely to be damaged.

The internal viewfinder eyepiece extends out and you can adjust the focus if you wear eyeglasses.

The small socket at the bottom is for the battery recharger. The battery attaches underneath the eyepiece. Hard drives take a lot of power, and I found that the battery would last about an hour. If you plan to shoot a lot during the day, get an extra battery and keep it in your camera case.

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The left side of the camera has several buttons that you can see below, such as Quick Start (lets you put the camera into standby so that you can reduce power usage but keep the camera on and be ready to record), Disp (turns the information on the LCD display on or off so it won't block the scene being recorded), and a button for printing snapshots stored on the SD memory card. I would really like to know how many consumers use their video cameras to take still photos, and how many use their snapshot cameras to take videos. My guess is not that many. I would like to see that feature dispensed with.

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Once the LCD display is folded out, you can see a USB 2.0 port (for connection to your PC to download your videos) and the slot where the SD memory card is inserted. There is also a small speaker opening at the bottom left of the camera body that is used during video playback. An HDMI port and component video port are located on the other side of the camera.

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Below you can see the LCD display with a dial and several buttons that are used to select configuration menu options as well as to play back your videos. The right side of the camera top shows the lens zoom buttons, an Auto/P slider switch for automatic shooting vs. programmed shooting (in Auto, it's point-and-shoot, while in P, you can change the various options), and a round button at the rear for taking snapshots. A stereo microphone can be seen at the front of the camera above the lens. There is a microphone jack underneath the lens on the front. It's really kind of a simple camera, with less buttons than others.

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