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The Canon Legria HF S10 is apparently the flagship camcorder of their 'Legria' range. It is an exceptional camcorder, with a great array of features. The 'H' in the name indicates that this is equipped to shoot in high definition, (which looks fantastic) and the 'F' signifies that it uses Flash memory (with enormous capacity).
Even on first opening the box, my impression of the HF S10 was incredible. The simple, black, brushed-metal finish makes for a very smart and professional outward appearance; this camcorder certainly looks the part. It's also very solidly put together; it doesn't feel at all flimsy, and all of the buttons, dials and controls feel as though they are top quality. The robust screen is quite a large (2.7in) and very clear LCD display, which has made setting up our basic shots very simple.
On the subject of the controls, there are many. Although I knew I was purchasing a sophisticated piece of kit, and that the options and controls would be extensive, the true extent of this was initially overwhelming. That's not including the at times mesmerising choice of menu options. The Legria HF S10 is clearly designed to offer a fully customisable recording experience, but this means that it will take some serious time for less experienced users (such as myself) to get to grips with the phenomenal range of features.
Thankfully, the looks and build quality are more than equalled by its performance. The picture quality, for both videos and still photographs is absolutely brilliant - I understand that this is due to the 1/2.6in CMOS sensor! The vast majority of our recording has been indoors, and the quality has hardly suffered at all in low light conditions. What has also impressed us significantly is the 10x optical zoom, which allows for brilliant quality in close-up images.
The memory capacity of this camera is really amazing. First of all there's 32GB of internal flash memory, but this can be supplemented with SD and SDHC cards, allowing you to theoretically store 20-30 hours of high definition recordings. I still haven't deleted any of the videos from the hard drive yet!
When transferring recordings, there are plenty of options, including an HDMI and RGB component connection. I'm unfortunately forced to use the USB cable, which makes for slower transfers and a very slight drop in quality, but this is due to the restrictions of the equipment in my office. Finally, I'm currently looking at investing in an external microphone to boost the already very good audio quality - the HF S10 has handy mic and headphone sockets for this purpose.
In summary, the Canon Legria HF S10 Camcorder is an incredibly well equipped piece of video technology, which produces brilliant HD video and great still images. Its array of features is truly amazing, but this can be intimidating unless you have plenty of experience or the time to invest in some hardcore learning!