G10... initial impressions. at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders > Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders

Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 25th, 2012, 10:09 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 60
G10... initial impressions.

I bought one today... no plug, but well done to BestBuy for honouring their "Lowest Price Guaranteed" policy! I saved a couple of hundred bucks.

Initial impressions.... feels more substantial than the HF M41 I returned recently. Doesn't feel as "toy like" even though it's mostly made of plastic.

Low light performance was a bit of a let down after all the reviews I'd read. I experimented with manual controls, but the best results I got were from Auto. Program Low Light was awful.

Auto White Balance is way off on interior shots.... I mean, miles away! Don't use it!

The "Touch Screen".... guys, take a few hints from Apple, eh? If you've used an iPhone or iPad, this so-called touch screen will really, really disappoint. It should be called a "Press Really Hard And Wobble The Camera Screen". They include a "stylus" but well done if you can find that every time you need it!

Included software is windows only. No worries, both iMovie and FCPX handle imports with no trouble.

Canon's site says it has an auto lens cover... it doesn't. Nor does the lens cap have a convenient hole for threading a retainer. You'll have to put the cap in your back pocket and remember not to sit down.

Summary... disappointed. I was expecting more after reading all the reviews. However, it's very early on and I've seen some stunning videos taken with it on Vimeo and YouTube, so I'm sure it's just a matter of getting to know how to use it.

I have 14 days to return it, no questions asked. I'll let you know how I get on!

PS... any tips / hints on how to get the best out of it are welcome!
Geoff Holland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2012, 07:23 AM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,295
Re: G10... initial impressions.

#1 hint - browse the forums!
__________________
dpalomaki@dspalomaki.com
Don Palomaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2012, 12:39 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: WI
Posts: 364
Re: G10... initial impressions.

I owned the G10 for a while too, but took it back for an XA10. The G10 is a fine camcorder.

Auto White Balance:
I can't imagine why it would be 'off'. I would be concerned about that. My XA10 seems really good. I frequently toggle between different presets, but the auto works pretty well. Maybe you need to go back to Best Buy and compare it to the one in the store.

Low Light Performance:
What don't you like about it? You're the first person who showed disappointment in it. Most rave about the LL performance. I have the XA10 and it's low light is way better than the HVxx cams and just as good as my more expensive Z5. Keep playing with the settings. Let it drift up to 15-18db gain if you haven't already. Not sure if the G10 LL is any worse. Camcorderinfo.com review showed it scored the BEST of any camera they ever tested. That was the G10 they tested.

Touchscreen Issues:
Yeah, I agree with you there. But many find that after some judicious use, they adapted to the quirks. I concur and for me using it is now a non-issue. But initially, yeah, it takes some getting used to. Try using a stylus. One comes with the XA10. Some use it a lot. I don't.

Lens Cover:
Valid criticism. The ideal design IMO would be to incorporate a lever-actuated barn door cover system into the lens shade like Sony has integrated into their larger handheld cams. Once you get used to that arangement, anything else seems so "20th century". But all that stuff adds extra cost too. I don't even use the lens cap on my XA10.

Misc:
It depends on your usage, but the main issue I had with the G10 was the lack of a proper (full sized) cold shoe right behind the lens. It might work for you, but for me, my accessories would not work well behind the zoom rocker and using an adapter wasn't something I was keen to do. But there again, it depends on what use you have in store for your cam. One could probably swap in an XA10 top plastic plate and cold shoe assembly on a G10, or carefully epoxy/screw one on the top behind the lens. Or, just get a little cold shoe adapter. The other thing I like about the XA10 is the better veiwfinder and eyecup. But if you don't plan to use it a lot (and many don't), then it's a non-issue for you.

There is some chatter that the G10 video doesn't look quite as sharp as the XA10 video side by side. I can't substantiate that because I didn't own mine concurantly to test them out. If I kept the G10, I would have screwed on a cold shoe mount and made my own mic mount/blimp. It would actually be a more compact arrangement than the XA10 setup because the mic sits pretty darn high and off to the side.

Overall, I used to say when I owned my HV30, that I wished someone would come out with a cam with a removable XLR handle, wider lens (so I didn't have to use a W/A lens, and an integrated 'removable' lens shade so I could go 'rogue' when I needed, and a better manual focus ring. Hey, guess what? Canon came about as close as I could have hoped for. Both the G10 and XA10 are great cams. They each have their niche in the video world.
__________________
Mark Goodsell

Last edited by Mark Goodsell; February 26th, 2012 at 01:17 PM.
Mark Goodsell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2012, 08:07 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 60
Re: G10... initial impressions.

Don, thanks for your reply. I did browse, found most on here have the XA10, but did try the few suggested settings I found for the G10 low light issues. I also found I'm not the only poster that has been disappointed first off!

Mark, thanks for your reply. I'm starting to wonder if I might have a faulty unit! I doubt it though... more a case of my being inept with it I think.

The lens cap issue I have solved. I swapped the one from my XM2 with the G10 one. Exactly the same except the XM2 cap has a retainer and a little clip so you can hook it onto the hand strap.

As to the "touch" screen, I would try using the stylus, except that sooner or later it will get lost. That's why styli are generally not a good idea. I have found that using my finger nail is much more efficient than skin!

Low light.... I did a comparison of the XM2, the G10 (full auto) and, wait for it, my iPhone 4s and yes, the G10 "won" but not by the margin I expected. I know what it should be capable of... someone posted night scenes of Soho, London, that look fantastic (I will be asking how!!) but mine are grainy as anything. I have adjusted gain control to max 18db. I did put a skylight filter on straight away to protect the lens... could that have anything to do with it? It doesn't affect focus so I assume it's not in the way.

I'll go through every setting again, and see if I can improve it. I'm just a bit annoyed because I could have got an HF S200 for $500 and saved nearly a grand!!

I will keep trying, thanks for the advice.

OK. This is a still taken from the video after importing to FCPX. The scene was lit with 4 x 60w bulbs overhead, so low light but not exactly dark. What on earth is all that purple noise? This particular test was just awful. I think there's a problem with this unit. I don't see how the editor can introduce all this rubbish on import. Any ideas? Just one thing, and I don't understand it, the "Colour Profile" for this clip is shown as HD 1.1.1.... does that mean anything to anyone? The still looks like it's been taken at very high ISO on a DSLR that can't handle very high ISO! Just to add, this was shot on Full Auto, which should give much more reasonable results than this.
Attached Thumbnails
G10... initial impressions.-oh-dear.jpg  

Last edited by Geoff Holland; February 26th, 2012 at 09:54 PM. Reason: Adding still
Geoff Holland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2012, 05:41 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: G10... initial impressions.

Your test is done using full auto, that is going to produce the worst images possible, the noise will be significant. Your conditions of 4x 60watt bulbs is very dark, by any standard, and any 1/3" sensor would have issues with that lack of light.

You are expecting more from the camera than can is reasonable.

The XA10 is much cleaner in low light that the G10, but even with it you must use 18dB as a max gain, not run in auto. Auto gain sucks. The room you are shooting is is much too dark, in the real world most of us would add light. If you routinely shoot in the conditions you demonstrate you must use lights or go with a DSLR. Even the EX1 would have issues in your scenario.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2012, 09:44 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 60
Re: G10... initial impressions.

Jeff, thanks for your reply. I'm not sure I agree about the lighting conditions being very dark... it's in a hallway that is quite bright, as in addition to the lights in there it is lit by lighting from other rooms, too. An artificially light living room typically has a lux value of between 50 and 200. I don't have a meter but based on that I'd say the hallway would be at least up around the higher end of that range.

This G10 has a minimum lux rating of 1.5 (on programme AE, 1/30th sec shutter) and Canon recommend 100 lux up, so quite honestly I'd expect better quality than that seen so far.

Camcorder Info use full auto for their tests and were "blown away" by the low light performance. There's a post from Federico a few under this with night shots in Soho and I can't see much noise in those clips, nor that well reviewed Tower Bridge clip on YouTube (which looks gorgeous)..... I'm not getting anything like that. I'm starting to suspect I have a faulty unit.

I'll wait for nightfall, stick it on a tripod and test various modes / settings and see how it performs.

Thanks again.
Geoff Holland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2012, 10:17 AM   #7
New Boot
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 24
Re: G10... initial impressions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Holland View Post
...Low light.... the G10 "won" but not by the margin I expected....
Low light performance is worse at higher frame rates. Try 24 fps.

At first I didn't think the G10 was very good but when I compared it under identical conditions with my older HF100 it was way better. The G10 is no DSLR, but its low light perf. is better than most consumer and even some professional video cameras.
Joe Marler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2012, 10:32 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: G10... initial impressions.

Geoff, the primary thing is to turn off the auto gain when you use your camera in low light. If you need, you add light, but when the gain gets cranking when left on auto it will look bad as any camera does when it gets noisy.

Good luck with your test tonite!
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2012, 11:48 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 312
Re: G10... initial impressions.

I've found the low light of my XA 10 to be very good. As Jeff says 18 db gain is the max. After it does gets ugly. Up to that point, its pretty good all things considered.

In some circumstances, I've found auto gives good low light but of course auto is auto and you can't trust what the camera will do once conditions change mid shot. Whats missing is the ability to lock exposure while in auto. Unless I've missed that in the manual...?
Jase Tanner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2012, 08:10 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 60
Re: G10... initial impressions.

Joe, thanks, I dropped to 30p (as a start) and there's a noticeable improvement.

Jeff, I have followed your advice and set gain to manual, +18 max.

Jase, the word is that the extra bucks you paid for the XA10 got you more than a snazzy handle! There are discussions on here indicating that the XA10 sensor is a noticeable improvement over the one in the G10, even though the published specs look similar! I might try and persuade my wife to let me go this route ... :-)

So, I did my experiment. No angle or point to push... the results are what they are. I have to be honest the differences were so minor I thought I'd left it on auto, then realised you couldn't change the settings in auto!

The huge difference is WB. As I said earlier, auto is way off. One shot shows after I adjusted to tungsten, which is much closer to the real life colouring. XM2 auto WB much better, closest is iPhone!

I have put iPhone shot and XM2 in... iPhone is a bit unfair as it couldn't be put on a tripod. I was surprised how the XM2 compares to the G10, I thought it would be better.
Attached Thumbnails
G10... initial impressions.-ll1.jpg   G10... initial impressions.-ll2.jpg  

G10... initial impressions.-ll3.jpg   G10... initial impressions.-ll4.jpg  

G10... initial impressions.-ll5.jpg   G10... initial impressions.-ll6.jpg  

G10... initial impressions.-ll7.jpg  
Geoff Holland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2012, 08:40 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: WI
Posts: 364
Re: G10... initial impressions.

Looks a lot better now. I shoot most of my stuff in 30P, but some where 60i makes sense. I think 30P footage looks great. But you have to watch the motion.

Even though the white balance in the cam is generally pretty good, it's not perfect by any stretch. Your white balance is way off. The lighting conditions in that corner you have could be difficult for a lot of camcorders to negotiate. That's why there are several presets and manual white balance. To be honest with you, I don't think I've even ever shot any video from the XA10 in 'auto' mode. I adjust my white balance settings a lot between different shooting conditions to get what I feel is the most accurate image that matches the actual lighting. I think most on this board will feel the same. Learn your manual settings capabilities. Once you get used to using the LCD, it'll be a lot more streamlined for you.

It's not fair to say the GL2 footage is 'about as crisp' as the G10/XA10. I have a VX2000 and the footage looks pretty good in certain well-lit situations, especialy on a smaller monitor, but watch DV footage for 20 min on a larger TV then put up the XA10 footage and the differences become striking. GL2 was a great camera in it's day, but you have the modern version of the GL2 (well, maybe the XA10 is).

You get some significant things with an XA10 over the G10 besides a remote mic (well, you don't ACTUALLY even get the mic, gotta buy that). For one, there's the larger internal mem. Secondly, there is a REAL cold shoe where it should be when you aren't using the handle. The ability to capture better audio is significant because good audio is as important as the video. But, truthfully, you can mount a good mic on your G10 and still get great audio with the right mic and it might be that you don't actually NEED the extra features that the XA10 yields. Maybe you should invest more into DSLR if it is what trips your trigger. There are so many camcorder options out there, ya have to look at your needs.

P.S. I see a ton of noise and ailiasing in the iPhone image.
__________________
Mark Goodsell
Mark Goodsell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2012, 08:56 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 312
Re: G10... initial impressions.

Hi Geoff

Yes, I didn't really consider the differences between the 2 cameras. The auto white balance on the G10 is harsh. My unsolicited 2 cents, return the camera even if you have to wait to get the XA. I wouldn't say that if you were happy with it but if you're anything like me, I'd always regret not having done so.

fwiw, when I have used auto on the XA, I thought the wb was pretty decent, a little blue on overcast days but nothing I haven't been able to fix in post.

I recently did a wildlife shoot in the middle of nowhere and while I originally brought the XA as back up in case my XH failed, I ended up getting some of the better pictures with it. We were often in a downpour with no shelter and the smaller camera was so much easier to protect, I started using it more and more.

In manual mode on the XA, you can use one of the assignable buttons to switch to auto wb and it does a good job there.
Jase Tanner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2012, 09:40 PM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 60
Re: G10... initial impressions.

Hi Mark, I didn't mean to imply the XM2 (GL2) looks as crisp.... I think we can all see from the stills that it's way behind what HD can bring to the screen! I'm sort of glad about that... I feel justified retiring it!

I thought about the DSLR route (especially now the D800 is here... have you seen that video!! WOW!) but I have a big Nikon DSLR, and when it's got a big heavy lens on it, I really couldn't imagine shooting with one for any length of time. It will be great if you're in a commercial situation with all the supporting gear, but for me I'm not sure the ergonomics would work. Worth thinking about, but 3 grand is a lot more than I'd be allowed to spend!

Jase, I'm thinking that through (getting the XA10) as there seem to be quite a few reported differences. The extra money seems to be well spent.... and it looks cool :-)

One other thing.... I've just realised that all my tests have no light sources in them... it's all reflected light. The great looking videos all have light sources in there somewhere (usually a lot) which gives the overall frame a much more dynamic look.... I feel some more experiments coming on!!

Thanks for all the really great advice so far, it's appreciated.
Geoff Holland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2012, 08:01 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: G10... initial impressions.

I should throw in and agree I find the auto white balance unreliable, particularly indoors, but sometimes it is spot on.

I use the color temperature setting, gives me the best results, but on occasion auto works fine. I tend to go cool, as I find the color temp often runs warm anyway and it will match my GH2s better when I go a touch cool.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2012, 08:08 AM   #15
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,295
Re: G10... initial impressions.

Direct light gives sharper shadows, more contrast. Some find that looks better.

Auto white balance reads the scene, assumes it is "average" and thus can be fooled by dominant colors in the scene and changes in scene content. FWIW: The old Canon A1 Digital (Hi8 from the 1990s) had an on camera sensor that read ambient light (not just reflected from the scene) to set AWB. Was it better? some times.

Automatic works reasonably well for average conditions, But how many shooting conditions are "average"? The stair well certainly is not.
__________________
dpalomaki@dspalomaki.com
Don Palomaki is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders > Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:39 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network