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Canon Vixia HF S10 -- A Flashy camcorder.

Canon has always impressed us with cutting edge optical equipment, be it digi cams or video cams. The Canon VIXIA HF S10 is another impressive member of the Canon family. The S10 is a Dual Flash Memory high definition camcorder. It packs enough features to work as a high-end but easy to use consumer model, as well as a back-up model for the professional users. Weighing at around 1.1 lb or 500 grams; this is a very nifty little machine.

The package comes with built in 32GB internal flash memory, which can record up to 12 hours of video in LP-5 Mbps mode, which goes down to around 3 hours in the MXP-24 Mbps mode. Memory is expandable with high-speed SD or SDHC cards. The VIXIA HF S10 is capable of 900 lines of resolution, thanks to the 8,590,000 pixel CMOS chip and the DIGIC DV III advanced image processor system. The S10 is also capable of recording at the highest bit rate possible in the AVCHD format at 24Mbps. Other features include the a Canon 10x optical zoom HD video lens, the face detection capability and Super-Range Optical Image Stabilization system.

Apart from an 'Auto' mode, the white balance options include Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent and Manual modes. The programmed auto-exposure modes range from an `auto' mode to portrait, sports, night, snow, beach, sunset, spotlight and fireworks modes.

The 'dual shot' system allows you to capture movies as well as still photos from the same mode, without requiring any switching. The 'Instant auto-focus' system allows you to capture sharp videos by adjusting the focus precisely yet quickly.

A quick round-up of the reviews and comments by many users across various forums shows that many users appreciate the easy computer connectivity, the ergonomic and compact design, the excellent image quality and the overall ease of use. The negative comments are mainly around the short battery life, the relatively lower quality audio and average low-light performance. But most of the negatives can be easily remedied, such as the expanded battery option takes care of the ensuring long shoots, the audio can be improved by adding in an external microphone.

Some 'could be better' comments would be that while the 2.7-inch Multi-Angle Vivid widescreen color LCD (Approx. 211,000 dots) is quite adequate, a bigger one could allow better and more precise image framing and also that some of the control buttons are quite small and closely placed.

Overall, if you are in the market for a good Flash camcorder, the Canon VIXIA HF S10 should definitely be on your consideration list.

Sun, 03 May 2009 18:39:40 +0000

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