Conclusion: The HF S10 is an excellent camcorder, even though it’s not tiny, cute, or $500. It’s substantial, and expensive, but the quality is outstanding. Given the results we’re especially looking forward to testing the new AVCHD Sony HDR-XV500, with its 120GB hard drive, 6.3MP CMOS sensor, built-in GPS, 3.2-inch LCD and electronic viewfinder to see if it’s a solid competitor. Stay tuned. Parsifal has nothing on us. Our search for the Holy Grail continues.
Excerpt: When it comes to producing easy-to-use camcorders that deliver on picture quality, Canon has an enviable track record – and the HF S10 is no exception. Everything about it screams quality, from its fit, finish and comfortably weighty feel, down to the components inside. These include a 1/2.6-inch CMOS image sensor with an effective video resolution of 6.01 megapixels and an improved Digic DV III processor, which now includes face detection.
Pros: Excellent picture quality even in low light; good range of features; easy to use for novices and enthusiasts alike.
Cons: Poor microphone placement; no 5.1-channel surround option; no optical viewfinder; control dial is fiddly.
Summary: The big trends in hi-def camcorders right now are incredibly compact bodies and low, low prices. Canon’s LEGRIA HF S10 has neither of those things, choosing instead to offer the triple whammy of Full HD video, complete creative control via manual modes and, thanks to 32GB storage and an SD slot, the possibility of 24 hours of movie recording.