Fantastic low light performance
We're impressed with the HF G10 in terms of performance and capability, but the camcorder's $1499 price tag may be too high for most consumers. You are getting a lot for your money, though, and for people who want access to professional-grade controls, paying around $1500 for a camcorder isn't that bad.
Good audio quality from the built-in stereo microphones
The Canon VIXIA HF G10 is a camcorder built for ease of use and high quality recording. While the CMOS sensor is a basic 2 megapixel sensitivity that creates 1920 x 1080 resolution video, the lens is of a high quality that enables up to 10x optical zoom.
Excellent results, especially in Raw mode
The Canon PowerShot G10 is still going to be the benchmark by which all other high-spec compacts are measured, but it's no longer the top dog. It is beaten on picture quality and portability by the smaller, lighter and slightly cheaper Panasonic LX3, and is beaten badly on value for money by most entry-level DSLRs. It's still an impressive camera and can produce excellent results, especially in Raw mode, but the price means its appeal is a little too specialised for some.
Excellent high-end camcorder with a wealth of features
Provided you've got a wallet padded enough to take the blow, the Canon Legria HF G10 is an excellent high-end camcorder with a wealth of features. A few usability quirks here and there, as well as a frustrating in-camera editing experience, stops us from giving the HF G10 a glowing recommendation with an Editors' Choice award.
5x Wide zoom
We always look forward to working with Canon's "G" series of PowerShot models, as they offer such a degree of versatility in a relatively compact package. This year's G10 proved to be yet another successful model in this category. While I was a bit disappointed at the loss of a few features from it predecessor, the G10 performed very well and all of the new additions (14.7-megapixel imager, 5x Wide zoom, new battery, etc.) helped me forget about the ones I missed.
Dedicated knobs for exposure compensation and ISO settings
If we were in the market for a compact camera to supplement the DSLR, we would be torn between the G10 and the Panasonic LX3. The LX3 is daintier and has fewer pixels, which we like. It has an outstanding Leica-branded lens that doesn't have quite the range of the Canon. Image quality is excellent. But we like the look of the G10 and will always prefer a camera with an optical viewfinder. And the brilliant ergonomics would probably win us over.
Good controls, build and ergonomics
The PowerShot G10 remains a superb compact camera. It's built like a brick yet comfortable to use, boasts full manual control along with a flash hotshoe and RAW recording, has an excellent looking screen, a flexible zoom range with wide angle capabilities and decent stabilisation, and the potential to deliver images packed with detail again so long as you stick to the lowest sensitivities and largest apertures.
Generally excellent video quality and a straightforward.
Panasonic's trio of prosumer camcorders, the hard-disk-based HDC-HS900 and flash-based TM900 and SD800, deliver generally excellent video quality and provide the full set of manual controls and features advanced users want. But you have to be willing to baby the white balance a bit. The TM900 is my top pick of the three for its EVF, but if you're on a tight budget the SD800 should suit just fine.
Excellent color and noise results with great motion and sharpness in 60p.
The HDC-TM900 (MSRP $1099) is a great camcorder, that much is clear. It captured excellent video in a variety of record modes, and its performance recording 1080/60p HD video was as good as it gets. It has a ton of controls, a solid body design, and its 3D recording option (with the purchase of an optional conversion lens) makes it a cutting-edge product.
Despite all this, we are still disappointed with the TM900.
Great image quality in most conditions.
Panasonic's HDC-TM900 offers no revolutionary new features, now that 3D shooting has already started its journey to ubiquity. But like its predecessors it blends excellent enthusiast features, headlined by the lens ring, with supreme image quality. There's also no significant premium being charged for this new model compared to the outgoing TM700, if you can still find it. So the TM900 takes over from its predecessor as our videomaking enthusiast camcorder of choice.
Excellent motion and sharpness in 2D
If you are in the market for a high-end 3D camcorder you only have three options at the moment: the JVC GS-TD1, the Sony HDR-TD10, and the Panasonic HDC-SDT750 (and other Panasonic models that can use the VW-CLT1 3D conversion lens). There are also a few ultracompact models that shoot 3D, as well as a number of digital cameras, but the three models mentioned above are the only high-end HD camcorders aimed at consumers that allow 3D recording.
Affordable price point for the featureset
The JVC GS-TD1 is a high-end camcorder, promoted by JVC as the first consumer level camcorder to offer full HD 3D recording. The GS-TD1's full HD 3D capability is owed to the high speed processor that can simultaneously produce two full HD images (1920 x 1080i), recording in both the left and right streams (a process that JVC refers to as LR Independent Format).
Dual-frame Full HD 3D
With the Everio GS-TD1, JVC has produced the first consumer-grade camcorder to shoot two frames of Full HD in 3D mode, using a pair of parallel lenses and CMOS sensors. The resulting MP4 format is proprietary, but JVC’s approach also means better low-light performance even when shooting 3D in AVCHD mode. It’s the first consumer-grade camcorder to offer optical zoom in 3D mode, too. With a range of manual features as well, the GS-TD1 has loads to offer enthusiasts wishing to move into 3D.
It goes without saying, but without the correct TV setup the GS-TD1 is largely pointless. The 3D quality is among the best we've seen from a consumer camcorder, but the proprietary files means playback is limited to a direct TV connect. A decent camcorder, but other forces look set to conspire against it.
Touch GUI works well
We have to give JVC props for taking a huge step forward in home video, leaping from 2D to 3D. If you get the chance to see some sample footage on a quality 3D HDTV you'll be impressed big time as were we. The stills are another story but for us it's a sideshow to a major move in consumer electronics. The Everio GS-TD1 may not be generating the buzz of that other 3D device but you should definitely take notice.
Impressive 3D quality, well featured
It goes without saying, but without the correct TV setup the GS-TD1 is largely pointless. The 3D quality is among the best we've seen from a consumer camcorder, but the proprietary files means playback is limited to a direct TV connect. A decent camcorder, but other forces look set to conspire against it
A masterpiece of compact engineering
The JVC Everio GS-TD1 redefines what we can expect of a 3D camcorder. This shooter may be a tad cumbersome, but compared to a pro-rig it's a masterpiece of compact engineering. We loved the unparalleled creative control on offer, and 3D image quality is excellent. Overall, this is a remarkable piece of kit.
Best non-broadcast class model
Make no mistake; JVC's GS-TD1 is a highly specialised camcorder. I certainly wouldn't advocate buying it unless you have a serious interest in 3D photography. However if 3D is an area you want to be creative in, this is by far and away the best non-broadcast class model I've seen and puts in an excellent performance.
Camera is very light, easy to handle
The Panasonic HDC-SD90 is a mid-cost camcorder. This camcorder's iA (Intelligent Auto) feature selects the most suitable shooting mode at the press of a button. This feature includes Face Recognition, which finds the faces of registered people (up to six faces can be registered) and optimizes the focus and exposure for them.
Great video performance
The 3D compatibility may be the biggest headline for the HDC-SD90, but at its core this is essentially a very well featured midrange HD camcorder. If your budget can't quite stretch to a high-end model, this model would make a very acceptable compromise. With more enthusiast features than similarly priced competitors, and equal or better image quality, the HDC-SD90 gives you plenty for your money, with the added bonus of 3D if you're feeling a bit more flush.
Well built and has good ergonomics with an intuitive touchscreen control.
The Panasonic HDC-SD90 is well built and has good ergonomics with an intuitive touchscreen control. It has a bright lens plus decent lens reach and feature set but is relatively expensive and clad in a plastic-y high gloss case.
Overall, the SD90 is a splendid camcorder for the sub-£500 price bracket and offers lots to get excited about, even before you consider its 3D capabilities. Apart from its slick chassis and comfortable design, its versatility is a key selling point and one that allows for plenty of creative input. This makes it a good choice for budding filmmakers who don't have a lot of cash to spare or those that want some high-quality home movies.
It is a great 2D camera
The key to producing a decent 3D camcorder is to make sure that, first and foremost, it is a great 2D camera. Panasonic managed this admirably with its first 3Dcorder the high-end HDC-SDT750 - but now it has brought the technology to the mid-range and a more beginner-friendly user base, with the HDC-SD90.
Shoots great HD video
With its clumsy design and terrible user interface, we can honestly say JVC failed in their attempt at making a true photo/video "hybrid" device. Solely for recording video, however, the JVC GC-PX10 is not a complete waste of time but it is still seriously overpriced for what you get.
Extensive enthusiast features
Despite its digital photography credentials, this is still a camcorder first and stills camera second. If you only occasionally want to shoot video, the price of just under £700 will seem steep when superzooms such as Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FZ48 can be had for under £250, and even Sony's NEX-5 costs less. But taken the other way round, it's a different story.
Very good photos (both need lots of light)
JVC has really broken some new ground with the GC-PX10 hybrid. The combination camcorder-camera takes beautiful videos and stills, but it's hampered in low light by a small sensor. We'd love to see JVC put an APS-C sized imaging device in the next generation, even if body has to get a little thicker. The JVC GC-PX10 has some wonderful things going for it - and some serious drawbacks. As such, we can't give it our wholehearted endorsement.
High-quality video capabilities
As it stands, the GC-PX10's unique body design is little more than a disguise. JVC makes a fine camcorder, and this may even be one of them, but the optics, interface, and physical handling are not suited to still photography. And much about the PX10 betrays JVC's unfamiliarity with the space, such as the lack of basic in-camera editing, lack of playback options, or even the lack of picture effects silly as they often are.
Very good low-light video quality
The flash-based Panasonic HDC-TM700 and its hard-disk sibling, the HDC-HS700, stand out for their low-light video quality and broad set of manual controls. However, while the TM700 is very attractively priced for its class, the HS700 is not, and not worth the price premium unless you absolutely need the hard disk.
Good sharpness and motion in 1080p
Overall, the HDC-TM700 is a solid camcorder that is sure to be one of the best - if not the very best camcorder of the year. If you can get around the fact that the 1080/60p footage is difficult to work with, then you're going to be pleasantly impressed by the quality the HDC-TM700 is capable of. The $999 price tag is also a very reasonable cost for such a top-notch camcorder, as it comes in significantly cheaper than the flagship models from other manufacturers.
relatively healthy 12x optical zoom
Overall, the HDC-TM700 produces a killer combination of consummate manual control and best-of-breed image quality. And with a price already similar to the outgoing models, you should look no further than this if you're in the market for a top-end HD camcorder with semi-pro capabilities.
Excellent video quality
The TM700 is a solid contender for the high-end of the camcorder market. It deftly combines a nice selection of advanced features for the tinkerer with functions to help more novice users to get the best video. With a lens that's the best in its price range the TM700 can tackle a variety of challenging shooting environments far better than most camcorders.
Superb HD picture quality
The TM700's picture and sound quality is of an excellent standard, the same as the HS700. Virtually everything we pointed the camcorder at looked gorgeous when played back on a high-definition television, especially when using the 1080/50p shooting mode. Panasonic's proprietary Intelligent Auto technology also made light work of focusing, colour and lighting adjustments, although like all consumer camcorders on the market, the TM700 has a tendency to blow out highlights.
Low price tag
With its low price tag ($999 MSRP) and exceptional video performance, the HDC-TM700 is one of the most impressive camcorders to come along in a while. Simply put, it is a fantastic camcorder that is a much-improved upgrade over last year's HDC-TM300 (which won our award for camcorder of the year in 2009). To be fair, there are a number of flagship models from other manufacturers that we have yet to review in 2010, but we are confident the HDC-TM700 will remain as one of the bestâ??
A feature packed camcorder
The Panasonic HDC-TM700 is a feature packed camcorder that most beginners and avid videographers will find easy and intuitive to use. Its 1080/60p record mode shoots videos with striking details and flawless quality. This Panasonic flash memory camcorder is one of the best consumer camcorders that is a joy to use.
Auto record feature begins recording when movement occurs and ends when movement stops.
JVC has realized the Wi-Fi capabilities are the way of the future when it comes to camcorder functionality. Wi-Fi is the highlight of this already impressive model in JVC's lineup. Sharing video with PCs and smart phones is a no hassle process. Sending short 15 second video e-mails is also a pretty cool feature. Beyond Wi-Fi, JVC has loaded this camcorder with useful and features.
Good scores in both color and noise
The HDC-SDT750 ($1399 MSRP) is an extraordinary camcorder for capturing regular 2D content, but its 3D features are definitely limited. Performance-wise, we were definitely impressed with how well the camcorder recorded footage in 3D, but we were consistently disappointed by the lack of manual controls in 3D mode. You cannot use zoom, manual focus, manual shutter speed, or manual aperture while the 3D conversion lens is attached.
Real semi-professional 3D camcorder
The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 is the first serious 3D camcorder for consumers, and it performs its job commendably. However, the current price is nearly twice that of a similarly specified 2D-only Panasonic HD camcorder, such as the HDC-TM700. So you're paying a significant premium for the 3D lens and shooting abilities. If you're a die-hard early adopter with deep pockets, this is a real semi-professional 3D camcorder. But the rest of us will have to wait for the prices to go down.
An excellent 2D Full HD cam to boot
Panasonic brings 3D creativity to the home user - and it turns out to be a lot more entertaining than watching a ceaseless cavalcade of big-screen 3D toons. The HDC-SDT750 is essentially the HDC-SDT700 shipped with a conversion lens the size of a tangerine. Once you're over the limitations it imposes, shooting in 3D becomes rather addictive. Home movies take on a fresh appeal, and we predict a whole new business opportunity for forward-thinking wedding videographers.
2D footage is stunning
The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 is an excellent 2D camera. At its heart is a 3MOS system that provides 1080p visuals and does a decent job of ridding footage of any image noise. 2D footage is stunning and the optical image stabiliser makes sure that even the shakiest of hands produce smooth results, with crisp, clear colours.
I also find the camera uncomfortable to hold, giving very little room for fingers without constantly, and accidentally hitting buttons (mainly, the silver side button), when held in the horizontal shooting position. If there was no issue with the sound playback mentioned above, I would have kept the camera and just trained myself to hold it differently, as well as learned to tolerate the lack of 'touch screen' responsiveness, but because of the playback sound issues, I'm sending it back.
Sturdy build and waterproofing
Sony's bloggies have never quite been the value option. If you want a decent waterproof pocket Internet camcorder, then Samsung's W200 is very keenly priced, Polaroid's X720 even more cost effective, and then Panasonic's HM-TA20 and Kodak's Playsport Zx5 are also both cheaper than the bloggie Sport. Features are also very limited, even for a camcorder of this type. But this is a typically solid Sony device, and of course image quality is top of the genre.
Shock and waterproof body
The Bloggie Sport won't challenge the pro-level video cameras in terms of features and quality, but its simple interface and sturdy, waterproof body is likely to appeal to families at the beach or the extreme sports enthusiast who regularly finds his or her camera submerged in water.
Decent video performance
The Sony Bloggie Sport is much like previous Sony pocket camcorders only a lot hardier. Waterproof and impervious to dust and (moderate) drops onto hard surfaces, you'll struggle to break it. It's simple to use, with barely any settings to tweak and one huge record button to kick off video although the touchscreen can be slightly unresponsive at times.
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