updated 08:35 am EDT, Wed August 1, 2007
Canon today made its first official launch of the HG10, its first AVCHD-based camcorder to record to a hard drive. The new model replaces the DVD burner of the HR10 with a 40GB disk; the change not only extends recording time to as long as 15 hours in HD but opens up the transfer speeds and enables a 15Mbps high-quality capture mode that eliminates the minor visual artifacts that might surface in the HR10's 12Mbps mode. Up to 5.5 hours of footage can fill the drive at that quality level, Canon says, letting editors readily capture enough HD footage to fill a Blu-Ray disc.
Many features are similar to those of the DVD-based version, including a 10X optical zoom lens with hardware image stabilization, an HDMI output for preview on TVs at native resolution, and the option of capturing photos on miniSD cards either at 3.1 megapixels in a strict photo-only mode or at 2 megapixels while recording HD movies. Canon releases the HG10 first in Japan and will sell the camera for the same $1,175 equivalent price as the DVD model when it reaches stores in early September. The company has also announced an American release for October at a price of $1,299.