Canon HF10 review
We’ve taken a look at both the HF10 and HF100 from Canon in this month’s Labs, although they differ only in their storage options, price and colour. The HF10 includes 16GB of internal flash storage hard disk for internal storage, but shares its optics, sensor, exterior design and menu system with the HF100.
Both models have tried-and-tested camcorder styling: an adjustable hand strap allows the thumb and forefinger to work the controls, and a rotating fold-out 2.7in TFT screen lets you see exactly what you’re shooting from a range of angles. Despite the standard camcorder layout, however, the HF10 feels more comfortable to use than the other similarly styled models we have on test here, even though it’s far from the smallest around.
The body is moulded to fit the hand extremely well, and while some of the smaller cameras this month fail to fill the palm comfortably, the HF10’s recording button and tactile zoom control fall naturally under the thumb and index finger. A mode dial can also be easily spun with the thumb, switching between video, photograph and their respective playback modes. Only the Power button is slightly out of reach, although this does help you avoid pressing it by accident.
The standard of video output from the HF10 is as good as the quality of its design, helped in part by the sizeable 1/3.2in CCD sensor. This is larger than those found in cheaper camcorders, such as the compact 1/6in component used in the JVC, and helps the HF10 produce brighter clips, even in bad light. However, there is still some grainy noise present in these darker clips, and colours are reproduced slightly better by the (even larger) 1/2.7in chip found in the Canon HG10. Using a light in these conditions improves the quality of footage drastically, but the HF10 nonetheless handles a wide range of environments admirably.
Despite the excellent quality, convenient 16GB internal hard disk storage and comfortable ergonomics, the HF10 can’t quite match our best camcorder on test this month. The Panasonic HDC-HS9 has more features, better image quality and is fractionally cheaper, too.
|Camcorder HD standard||1080p|
|Camcorder maximum video resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Camera megapixel rating||3.1MP|
|Camcorder recording format||AVCHD|
|Camera optical zoom range||12.0x|
|Camera optical image stabilisation||yes|
|Electronic image stabilisation?||no|
|Number of sensors||1|
|Internal mic type||Stereo|
|External mic socket?||yes|
|Quoted battery life||185mins|
|Dimensions||70 x 126 x 64mm (WDH)|
|Camcorder internal storage type||Flash memory|
|Memory card support||SD/SDHC Card|
|Composite video output?||yes|
|Component video output?||yes|