2011 August 14th, 10:55
S21 or G10 video quality vs. HV30/40?
How much better (if at all) is the video output from these camcorders compared to a HV30/40?
2011 November 5th, 00:04
2011 November 5th, 01:06
I haven't used the S21, but my understanding is it is incrementally better than the HVxx. If you go to www.camcorderinfo.com they have reviews and comparisons and the S21 is a pretty big improvement. You can get them on Canon's refurbished site from time to time for a pretty good deal. Also I see B&H has them 'used' now and then for cheap. However I DO own an XA10 and a HV30, which I have used for a couple years now. I have used the XA10 pretty extensively for about 1.5 months. It has the same sensor as the G10. I actually bought the G10 but took it back and exchanged for XA10. The G10 is a couple generations newer than the HVxx, so it's going to be superior in many ways. I believe the image quality is superior, but this weekend I am going to try to do some comparisons (just got HV30 back from Canon's repair center). I can already tell indoors day and night, that the picture quality of the XA10/G10 is significantly better than my HV30, especially when light becomes more poor. The blacks seem a lot better. But I need to take it outside and do a more thorough side-by-side before I give any final verdicts.
G10 Features I appreciate most vs HVxx:
*Wider lens (huge feature for me for close, indoor shots). I don't need a WA adapter anymore.
*Larger and better quality LCD lens than HVxx. To say it's a quantum leap better is an understatement)
*Better low light (not only is there less artifacting, the colors are better)
*Image quality is noticably more clear and crisp
*Steady shot seems more, well ...steady
*Better Viewfinder. Pulls out, brighter than HVxx
*Very nice focus ring (what the HVxx should have had). Canon got it 'right' this time.
*Huge feature-set of adjustments in the menu, appx 5x-6x more than the HVxx
*Built-in memory and expandible SC card slots (you can record a lot of hours like this)
*Dynamic range is better. Don't get blown out sky hardly at all.
*Lens shade is nice
*Body of G10 is about the same size as HVxx (with a WA lens on it)
*Clean audio. Improved AGC over HVxx cams. I always use external mics, so I can't comment on built-in mics.
*XA10 has a nice cold shoe just where it should be.
Things that could be better on the G10:
*I don't care for the zoom slider. HVxx is much better IMO. I wish it had the HVxx rocker
*G10 has an bogus location for the hot shoe, plus it's a mini shoe (almost worthless to me). I'd buy the top plate from a XA10 with a cold shoe from Canon parts, and have it installed on a G10.
*Should be 60P but 60i is best you can do on a G10/XA10
*Menu system is via the LCD and the LCD 'touch' feature isn't as responsive as an iPhone, but you get used to it after a while. I actually prefer the toggle system of the HVxx cams.
2011 November 5th, 10:20
The G10 is a good modern cam with superior low light than HVs for sure but if the outdoor picture is greatly better i am not sure.
http://vimeo.com/7479006?hd=1 HV cam
2011 November 5th, 12:15
Hey, I just noticed something ... I answered my OWN (origional) thread that James GTS brought up. I posted it back when I was trying to figure out what to buy? That's a FIRST for me. Heee, hee.. Funny.
Well, obviously I settled on the XA10. I needed something for a project and my cam was at the Canon repair center longer than I thought (mostly my fault). I had REAL resevations about spending the extra $$ for the XA10. I would have stuck with the less expensive G10 if it had a usable, full-sized cold shoe in a decent location, like the XA10 does and a couple additional features that that XA10 has. I thought about screwing/epoxying my own cold shoe on the camera too, but all in all there are enough additional features for the XA10, especially the extra audio input to push me over the edge. But they both use the same sensor.
It's hard for me to critically see the differences between the two sample videos cams because my PC screen isn't THAT large, my connection isn't very good for HD either. But I can say indoors, the difference through HDMI on my LCD tv 42" is pretty obvious, but I admit I haven't tested outdoors. You'd expect it to be better to some degree just due to the newer technology. But you are absolutely correct, the HVxx cams shoot GREAT video. And even if the G10 is better by a few degrees, so what? And is the average person going to notice it? It's the composition, lighting and content that carry the day anyway. I really like my HV30 and didn't want to upgrade at all. I like the weight, feel and balance. The zoom control is more precise and the menu system is easier to navigate. Plus, I like tape as a back up medium for archival purposes. You get into a small cam like the XA10 and a shotgun mic is sort of bozo-big on it for such a small cam. But I agree, there is still plenty to LOVE about the HVxx cams.
Last edited by Mark G; 2011 November 5th at 12:22.