Canon HG10 HDD Camcorder 

This camcorder is one of the latest versions that record to an internal hard drive, thus increasing the capacity vastly over other storage methods. It can of course also record still images onto an SD card.
Canon HG10 high-definition digital hard disk camcorder

The total weight of the Canon HG10 is 570grams. The dimensions are 12.5x7.5x7cm. The middle figure the width can increase by another 8.5cm should you choose to use the TFT screen while capturing images and have it at 90degrees to the unit.

For those who take movies on their digital camera the main difference is that a camcorder will give good movies in poor light and viewing them on the TFT give a far better sound quality (in fact some digital cameras will not replay the sound on camera at all) when looked at on camera.

Another thing that has always been difficult when capturing movies on a digital camera is that when zooming in or out you normally lose the sound during the exercise.

The replay side of things on the camcorder is all on the TFT there are five buttons (all clearly labelled) below the screen and the ubiquitous five position joystick type wheel on the left edge. The TFT itself can rotate through 270 degrees.

Still images are stored on an optional mini SD card and this fits into the left side of unit behind the TFT as does the mini USB lead that is used to transfer the captured video to the PC. There are three other labelled buttons on the top left edge above the TFT. Unlike a lot of digital cameras this camcorder still retains a viewfinder and below this is the battery, this is recharged in situ and the DC input is on the rear of the unit along with the start/stop button, a slider to switch between movie and still mode and a chunky three position off/on/review mode button.

The top has a shutter release for still images as well as the zoom control on a see saw action. The right side has an adjustable wrist strap while the base has the screw for an optional tripod.

This is an HDMI unit and because of this the highest quality is rather heavy on disc space but the movies produced are exceptionally good. You can of course take lower quality and get a lot more on the hard disc.

The 40GB hard disc can store up to 15 hours worth of movies (just over 5 hours in the top quality mode). This is just under a 3megapixel (2.96) unit, however this is a little misleading as still will use 2.76megapixel and the HD movies 2.07megapixel.

The optical zoom is 10x and should you believe in it up to 200x digital zoom. In still image mode you can choose from 2048x1536, 1920x1080, 1440x1080, 848x480 and 640x480.

It comes with no less than three CD's, the first from Canon containing drivers etc, after this is installed you can transfer the movies to a PC via the mini USB to USB cable supplied. The second CD has backup program and the third from Corel a version of their Ulead software. This is required for you to be able to view and work with your movies on the PC and this after installation requires authentication before you can use it. This involves filling in a web page with information the last piece is the serial number of the camcorder. As soon as I did this I got 'error on page' I assume this was because the software had already been installed by another user so I cannot comment on the quality of that piece of software.

I was happy with the camcorder and quality of images in low light as well as the sound quality, however I cannot comment on what they looked and sounded like on a PC or when burned to a DVD.

Doing my Internet searches found the Canon HD Camcorder HG10 at a best price of £568.99 including free delivery from the first link below.

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