Canon HV10: World's smallest 1080i HD camcorder

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Hot on the heels of the EOS 400D SLR and new PowerShot digital still cameras comes what Canon claim is the world’s smallest 1080i high-definition digital camcorder, the HV10. (If you’re not up on high-def lingo, 1080i is approaching the best quality high-def pictures that current technology can produce – 1080 vertical lines but interlaced so it takes two frames each displaying 540 alternate lines to form a whole picture – pretty darn good compared to the UK’s current puny 576 line standard though).

Anyway… this is a 2.96 megapixel camcorder and boasts a number of features, some more technical than others.

10x optical zoom and up to 200x digital zoom, with super range image stabiliser. A superior quality 1/2.7” CMOS sensor. DIGIC DV II image processing engine for HD. OK, the acronyms are starting to get to me – but basically this is some impressive kit aimed at the consumer market, bringing the reality of filming in true high-definition.

What else? Instant auto-focus, plus ‘Focus Assist’ when focussing
manually, and the ability to capture still 2 megapixel photos whilst
filming.

Films are shot in high-def widescreen as standard (16:9 ratio,
1920×1080 resolution) and the 2.7 inch wide LCD screen lets you see how
it will look on a widescreen TV, but it’s also possible to shoot in
standard definition at 4:3 aspect ratio.

It uses MiniDV cassettes to store footage. I tried to provide some
extra technical stuff like how it compresses and stores images, but I
couldn’t find that in the specs. It’s likely to be MPEG-2 compression,
which gives good results and more storage, but I’m not sure.

Available from September, price to be confirmed.

Andy Merrett