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Canon HF-W10/W11 - image quality and battery life

Rising Star

Hi, I know the Canon HF-W10 and W11 camcorders are discontinued but, if I can find one, I''m wondering if they would be a viable option for filming birds on feeders hung on my deck in the winter. Two key considerations are image quality and battery life.

I've done some tests, in fine weather, with my son's HF-R800. With the camcorder mounted (on the deck canopy frame) around 3-4' from the feeder of interest and zooming in a little (around 2x) the image quality at 1080/60p is quite acceptable. Any closer than that and the auto focus struggles with movement of the birds. I'm interested to know, from people who have used these camcorders, how image quality at 1080/60p on the W10/11 compares with that on the R800/80 models ? What little actual footage I've been able to find on YouTube suggests it might be a little on the soft side, which is only to be expected given that the lens plate is probably thicker glass. But what about autofocus - does it work reliably at close range ?

The second key consideration is battery life. I don't see any mention of expected battery life in the online user manual, but the full specs provided on the Canon USA website state the 'duration of the built-in battery' to be:

Actual Recording Time: Approx. 2 hrs. 40 min.

Continuous Recording Time (Maximum Recording Time): Approx. 4 hrs. 50 min.

I'm not sure what those two statements mean in real terms. Again I'd be interested to know, from people who have owned or used the W10 or W11, how much continuous recording time I could expect to get off a full charge at 1080/60p under the conditions I indicated above - i.e. statically mounted around 3-4' from the subject with a little (up to 2x zoom) ? I appreciate that leaving the camcorder outdoors in sub-zero temperatures (as I will be) will shorten the battery life - I just want to get some idea.

I appreciate also that the built-in rechargeable battery has a finite life span. The user manual states:

"When the recording time becomes extremely short even when the battery is fully charged, the battery needs to be replaced. For details on replacing the built-in battery (subject to a fee), consult the nearest Canon service center"

I would not even contemplate sending the camcorder in for service to replace the battery. As such, how much life (full recharge cycles) could I expect to get out of the battery (and thus the camcorder) before the internal battery fails to hold it's charge. Again just an idea 

Looking forward to responses. Thanks.

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