Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Adapting To My Canon VIXIA HF R10 Camcorder

Yes, I bought a new camcorder. I shouldn't have but it was on sale for $199.99. The original list price was $499.99. I got a Canon VIXIA HF R10 camcorder that has the good with the bad mixed with the bittersweet.

Vixia HF R10 Camcorder
First let me say that I did research the purchase and initially turned it down. There were things that I didn't like about the camcorder such as recording in the MTS video format and the short 45 minute battery life.

There were others but I re-thought about the HF R10 at this price level.

The advantages are:
  • 8GB Internal Flash Memory that I can use in addition to the SD Memory Card Slot
  • External microphone jack
  • Headphone jack to monitor audio
  • 20x optical zoom
  • Can record in 24p and 30p
It is a basic level camcorder but I wasn't going to find some of those features on standard camcorder until I jumped up to the $500 level.

So What's Not to Like?

In the documentation and on the camcorder it states that it records in Full HD 1920x 1080.

Ah, not quite the truth. According to Lori Grunin at CNet the camcorder actually records at 1664x936 and then upconvert to 1920x1080. Then it processes it using the AVCHD.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. The truth is kinda fluid, isn't it?

Now this is where knowing how I plan to use the camcorder for comes into play. I'm never going to upload that high resolution to my video web hosts. I'll record people talking or static events.

Another thing is that it record 60i as in Interlace. I did recording this weekend and on playback you can see the banding in the videos. If there is a sudden action it can be spotted.

Making The Bittersweet Palatable

The reality is I still have to converter the video. I'm finding that the Miro Video Converter can accept the MTS video format and gives me a few export options that I'll write about later.

I then have to send it over to MPEG Streamclip to resize, de-interlace and export as an 1280x720p AVI for editing.

I have to experiment with a new work flow. It might be that I could use one of the export settings in Miro that I could avoid this step. I don't know.

For about $200 I can work with the bug-a-boos. I would not have for a penny more.

The quirky camcorder, don't hate but rehabilitate if the price is right and you know what you are doing.


  1. Gina, what do you think of the VIXIA HF S20? It's very expensive, but after seeing the quality of video that John McWade gets out of his vids (Before and After Design) I am just so stinking envious! Would I have to jump through the same hoops to edit in Sony Vegas Movie Studio? I am one of the brainless people who reads your blog hoping to someday understand the language of video.

  2. I'll have to scope out the HF S20 video samples and let you know. I'm a little cautious about Canon camcorders - I don't link that the sensor can max out at one size and yet they advertise that the camcorder can record at 1920x1080.

    I just got the new B&A video link so I'm going to pay extra attention.

    I'm thinking that John has a video crew that is top class and that nothing with the B&A name is going out crappy. It is not just the camcorder, it is what you do with it.

    I'll get to work about the HF 20 and work flow with Sony Vegas.

  3. Thanks for the update on Adobe Premier Elements too. I have recently started using Adobe products so I'll remember this when I buy a new camera.


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