Canon trickles down pro-level features to new Vixia HF G30 consumer camcorder


Smartphones and digital cameras are great for shooting short videos that can be easily uploaded onto YouTube or e-mailed to friends and family, but if you want to capture high quality, long length videos that look great on the big screen, a camcorder is the way to go. For all you budding videographers, Canon announced a new flagship consumer camcorder – the Vixia HF G30 – that’s built around enhanced features, some trickled down from the company’s professional products.

The G30’s features include a new 20x wide-angle lens (f/1.8, 26.8mm-536mm [35mm equivalent]) that’s made with the same technology used in the XF professional series, which Canon says helps “reduce chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range.” The lens also has a new eight-blade circular aperture that’s used in Canon’s EF lens series to “create a more natural, smoother out-of-focus area than previous G-series models.” Like pro cameras, the G30 has a manual focus ring

At the heart of the camcorder is a new 0.35-inch HD CMOS Pro image sensor that’s larger than previous sensors. Canon says the sensor offers high sensitivity and wide dynamic range when combined with the DIGIC DV 4 image processor and SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization, “providing images with low noise, more depth, and enhancing vibration control.” The image stabilization has a new Dynamic Mode that helps reduce image distortion.

Since connectivity has become more important in digital imaging, the G30 has Wi-Fi (dual-band 5GHz and 2.4GHz support) built in. With it, users can remotely control the camera and adjust the settings using a tablet, smartphone, or computer. And, with Canon’s free Movie Uploader app for iOS, users can save and upload videos online via an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

While the G30 records high-definition video, for the first time in a Canon G-series camcorder, the G30 can record at 1080/60p in both MP4 (35 Mbps) and AVCHD Progressive (28 Mbps) formats; it can also handle cinematic recording at 24p. Whether it’s for uploading a short clip to the Web or editing an HD movie, users can now switch between formats without having to convert in post-editing. In addition, there are two SD memory card slots; besides extra capacity, the second card kicks in after the first is full, without interruption to recording.

The G30 has a 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen that offers a smartphone-like experience for making adjustments. Other pro-like features include headphone and microphone terminals; “seesaw-style” zoom lever; manual color temperature adjustment; color viewfinder; color bars with test tone; manual shutter speed and aperture control; and a remote control terminal.

Despite this being a consumer camcorder, it has a high price $1,700. But, with all the advanced, pro-like features, for amateur videographers the G30 is a nice alternative to more expensive pro camcorders.