Canon Legria HF S10 HD flash memory camcorder
A high-definition Canon camcorder with an 8-megapixel CMOS sensor
- Excellent Full HD video quality, huge array of manual features, quick and responsive control dial
- Too expensive for most consumers
The Canon Legria HF S10 is one of those rare camcorders that will please all types of user. It combines beginner-friendly features with in-depth manual controls and produces unmatched video quality to boot. Unfortunately, it's also prohibitively expensive.
Price$ 2,499.00 (AUD)
The Canon Legria HF S10 is a flash memory–based Full HD (1920x1080) camcorder equipped with 32GB of inbuilt storage. It replaces the Canon HF11 as the company’s flagship consumer-level camcorder — which arguably makes it the new benchmark for high-definition video. (After all, the HF11 was one of the best camcorders of its generation). The Canon Legria HF S10 gave a solid performance across the board and comes with some very useful features, including a new Video Snapshot mode, a revamped user interface and a wealth of manual controls.
However, with an RRP of $2499, the Canon Legria HF S10 will sadly be out of reach for many consumers — especially in these economically uncertain times. Nevertheless it remains a suburb video camera for those that can afford it; be they die-hard videographers or cashed-up novices. If only it were a little bit cheaper...
Presumably in an attempt to boost brand-awareness and/or identity, Canon has christened its new camcorder range ‘Legria’, where letters and numbers once sufficed. (We’re guessing it’s Spanish for something cool, but a Google search turned up nothing). Rather cheekily, Canon has re-branded its previous camcorder range under the Legria banner too, but apart from a name swap they remain unchanged.
Rather than merely adding a ‘hair tracking’ gimmick or a fresh new paintjob, the Canon Legria HF S10 has been redesigned from the ground up. It consequently bears little resemblance to the HF11. By far the biggest improvement is the enlarged 1/2 .6in CMOS sensor, which replaces the HF11’s modest 1/4in offering. This helps give the Legria HF S10 a significant boost in resolution, with a gross pixel count of 8.5 million pixels (compared to the HF11’s 3.3 million). It also comes with a new DIGIC DV III processing chip that delivers a quicker imaging performance. It retains the HF11’s 24Mbps bit rate, which remains the fastest on the market.
Other improvements include advanced face detection (which can detect up to 35 faces), an 8-megapixel stills mode, a control dial for precise manual adjustments and the afore-mentioned Video Snapshot. This is a beginner-friendly mode that records video in quick, 4-second bursts. The clips can then be automatically merged into a montage via inbuilt editing software (you can even add your own music), resulting in a slick ‘highlights reel’. While it obviously won’t suit every occasion, Video Snapshot is a great way to get punchy results without any meandering shots in-between.
The Canon Legria HF S10 is a very good looking camcorder, with a sleek black body dominated by a disproportionately large lens. For menu navigation, it uses an LCD-mounted joystick configuration, which is functional yet dull. While there’s nothing wrong with the interface per se, it lacks the intuitiveness of Sony and Panasonic’s touch screens — especially if you’re a member of the iPod brigade.
On the plus side, the menu is chock-full of advanced modes and features, including a wealth of focusing options. We particularly liked the B$W view with coloured peaking — when combined with the control dial, this makes manual focusing a breeze. Other manual features include exposure (-11 to 11+), aperture (f/1.8 to f/8), shutter speed, gain, white balance and an assortment of colour effects. This makes the HF S10 a good choice for budding filmmakers and documentary makers who can't afford a prosumer camera. Of course, the downside is that you're often required to do a bit of menu hunting to find certain functions.
We don't need to tell you that the Legria HF S10's main strength lies in video quality -- after all, this is the successor to the brilliant HF11 we're talking about. Like its award-winning stable mate, the HF S10 produces incredibly sharp images that are bursting with details and colour. The richness and depth exhibited in our test footage was truly astonishing, with few instances of noise or image artifacts. Again, this makes the HF S10 a top contender for the Tropfest set.
The Canon Legria HF S10's main rival is probably Panasonic's HDC-HS200-K — a similarly priced HD camcorder with wildly divergent features. Each model comes with its own unique pros and cons, which makes crowning a winner somewhat difficult. When it comes to bang-for-your buck, the Panasonic HDC-HS200-K trumps the Canon Legria HF S10 due to its 80GB hard drive.
However, the Canon Legria HF S10 wins out when it comes to manual controls and features (crucially, the HDC-HS200-K lacks a control dial and an external microphone jack). Both models produce excellent picture quality, with Canon’s superior optics providing a slight edge. Unless you specifically require lots of inbuilt storage, we’d subsequently plum for the Legria HF S10.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- HBO brought its best shows to life at SXSW with an awesome escape room
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
- Facebook adds Apple TV and Chromecast support as video push ramps up
- Remocam review: This security camera can control your home appliances
- Logitech's C922 webcam is the revered C920's vastly upgraded successor
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- Subaru XV 2017 review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- TPSenior Project Manager | April 2017 - July 2018QLD
- CCFrom Security Operations to Technical Business Analyst, make the move now!NSW
- FTSenior Change Readiness ManagerNSW
- CCDigital Business Analyst AgileQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst - AgileQLD
- CCFirewall EngineerNSW
- FTMarketing Specialist (B2B Sales)NSW
- FTUX DesignerNSW
- CCSAP BPC SME/Consultant - BRISBANE BASEDQLD
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Forecasting SASNSW
- FTSnr Security Architect - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistNSW
- CCApplication PackagerNSW
- TPLead TesterNSW
- CCDevOps Developer - TelcoVIC
- CCTechnical Project ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant - ApplicationsSA
- CCBusiness Solutions AnalystNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTNetwork EngineerACT
- CC3 x UX Designers - 3 month contract initially - IT Services company - SydneyNSW
- FTChief Security OfficerNSW
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!NSW
- FTNetwork Solution ArchitectVIC