A case of deja vu.
- Exceptionally sharp image quality, lots of manual features, improved 24Mbps bit rate
- Too similar to previous model, joystick ill-suited to manual control
If you already own the HF10, there is next to no reason to make the switch to the HF11. Everyone else, on the other hand, would do well to seek this camcorder out.
Price$ 1,699.00 (AUD)
The HF11 is a high-definition camcorder that records AVCHD video to SD/SDHC memory cards. It is Canon’s second stab at a camcorder with removable flash memory, and there are no prizes for guessing which model it replaces (for the numerically challenged, it’s the HF10). The new version shares much in common with its nine month old predecessor, including the same 1/3.2in CMOS sensor, an effective pixel count of 2070k, a 12x optical zoom and a near identical appearance. In fact, so similar are the two models, Canon probably should have called this camcorder the HF10.5.
To be fair, the HF10 was such an impressive performer that there really isn’t much room for improvement. Though it fails to bring anything new to the table, the HF11 is easily one of the best camcorders in its price range, exhibiting exceptionally sharp video and an extensive array of manual features. With superb image quality (including support for 'full' 1080p HD), advanced audio capabilities and inbuilt flash memory, it will suit both casual shooters and serious videographers alike — just like the HF10. In other words, the best just got marginally better.
So what does the HF11 actually offer that’s new to justify its existence? Perhaps the most notable change is the amount of onboard memory, which has been boosted from 16GB to a more generous 32GB. This will net you around 12 hours of video at the highest possible quality. (Naturally, the recording time can be boosted further via the SDHC/SD memory card slot.) Another significant improvement — on paper at least — is the maximum AVCHD bit rate, which has been increased from 17 megabits per second to 24Mbps. This is supposed to translate to superior video quality, though we were hard pressed to tell the difference.
In terms of video performance, the HF11 is every bit as impressive as the HF10, which gave one of the best performances we’ve seen from a consumer-level camcorder. In optimum lighting, our test footage exhibited stunning true-to-life colours and razor-sharp detail. The 3.3-megapixel, 1/3.2in CMOS sensor did a reasonable job of combating noise levels, though it naturally works best in bright environments (a front-mounted light can be activated for nocturnal shooting).
Like the HF10, the HF11 doesn’t skimp when it comes to audio quality. In addition to its front-mounted microphone, it sports a pair of mic and headphone jacks, as well as an accessory shoe compatible with Canon external microphones. The audio level can also be manually adjusted via the camera's miniature directional stick. Once again, Canon has opted to place the stick on the outer side of the LCD cavity. While we generally prefer a back-mounted joystick, it shouldn't pose too many problems during operation. With that being said, we would have liked to have seen a control dial implemented for certain manual functions — we found that the joystick was far too fiddly to adjust focus, for example. Oh well, perhaps this will be remedied on the HF12.
The HF11 strikes the right balance between size and portability. While bulkier than some of its competitors (such as Panasonic's HDC-SD9), it should still fit comfortably into most jacket pockets and will not weigh you down while shooting. We were also impressed with the overall look of this camera: despite adopting a familiar shape and colour scheme, it manages to stand out from the crowd thanks to its exceptional build quality.
So there you have it. The HF11 can be viewed as a nominal upgrade that offers more inbuilt memory — and precious little else. While we would have liked see some additional polish, it remains a top class camcorder.
Join the newsletter!
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Bose SoundLink Micro
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Xbox One X
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Keep Watch Day and Night with Uniden’s Two-In-One Camera and Spotlight
- Sony make shooting in HDR easy with new 4K camcorders
- Sony announces Australian availability for new waterproof RX0 action-camera
- Microsoft's Beam becomes Mixer, adds four person split-screen streaming to battle Twitch
- Microsoft's Story Remix uses machine learning and mixed reality to make your movies awesome
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- TPIT OfficerVIC
- FTInfrastructure Design Engineer, DC Power, CommunicationsOther
- FTPlatform Engineer (Teradata/Datastage) - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- TPSenior Project Manager (Applications/Business)NSW
- FTSenior Business ConsultantOther
- FTFinancial AdministratorOther
- TPTechnical Consultant - SOE, SCCMNSW
- FTSenior Engineer (devOps)NSW
- CCIteration Lead - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- TPDigital SupportVIC
- CCControl Systems SpecialistQLD
- FTCyber Security- ManagerSA
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Digital AdviceOther
- CCTableau DeveloperQLD
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTSoftware EngineerSA
- TPBusiness/Data AnalystQLD
- FTMid-Level Software EngineerOther
- FTFront-End DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Technical Business AnalystNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperOther
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- FTJunior Manual Tester - Accounting & FinanceOther
- FTSoftware Developer (Ruby on Rails)NSW