Product Type: Toshiba digital camcorders
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Toshiba - Jack of All Trades, master of Gratuity!
Toshiba Camileo H30
Member Name: GrayWizard
Toshiba Camileo H30
Date: 10/08/10, updated on 10/08/10 (170 review reads)
Advantages: 3" Touchscreen LCD panel, Full HD, 5x Optical Zoom, 10 megapixel
Disadvantages: Sluggish touch panel response
The Camileo H30 was purchased from Tesco after a bit of rebate and including the supported SDHC card it cost around £139. The biggest incentive for me when choosing this camcorder in this price range was the large 3 inch (7.6cm) touch screen panel. Secondly it was the 5x optical zoom which most other cameras in this price range did not provide. Optical zoom is much better than digital zoom as it causes no pixellation and therefore retains sharpness.
The touch panel is used to navigate through all the menus, photos and videos. It is quite sensitive but can be a bit sluggish at times. This is not a major hindrance as it performs adequately.
Browsing through numerous and large video clips can be noticably slow but navigating through pictures is swift. There are two modes, digicam and camcorder and they are mutally exclusive. Switching to either mode is simple by pressing the lit button on the rear of the camcorder (just above the dial). An orange lit camera icon indicates the camcorder is in photo mode and a blue lit camcorder icon designates video mode.
Although the camcorder is designed for video, it does remarkably well as a digicam. The 10 megapixel still camera function is capable of producing good quality pictures. It does struggle at times in low light conditions but in daylight or properly lit areas it will produce beautiful pictures time and again.
The H30 supports Full HD at 1080p (a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels) and also 720p. Video taking is where the camcorder shines. It is really easy to shoot and there is no chance of accidentally leaving it on: the design is such that the camera turns on when the LCD panel is pulled open and switches off when it is closed. This also means that if you are recording you can simply close the LCD panel and it will stop recording.
It isn't packed with camcorder functions however. Nonetheless Toshiba has added a Pre Rec function which also acts as the web upload button (situated under the LCD panel) allowing direct uploads to Youtube.
There is also a jog dial that has three basic functions which can be activated by lightly pressing it. It can also be used to navigate between photos and videos (backwards and forwards). The top left button on the dial adds digital brightness (it doesn't actually illuminate in real time, rather as a post processing effect) and the top right toggles the onscreen data. The button at the very bottom deletes video or photo clips.
There are as you would expect some effects such as black and white, negative, classic and sepia tone. Only one of these may be in use at any one time. The white levels cannot be set manually but there are presets as well as automatic white level balancing.
One of the major annoyance is the fact that image stabilisation cannot be employed for Full HD videos. It is quite a nusiance that image stabilisation only works at 720p - although its not so bad if you have steady hands unlike me.
Supported standards include RCA audio input, composite analogue output, mini HDMI and USB slots. These pretty much cover the major ways of transfering/backing up clips. Transferring the contents of a 4GB SDHC card using the supplied USB data cable took approximately 9 minutes. Not too bad since its USB2.
I was really impressed with the accessories that came with the camcorder. There was a lens cover, carry strap, lens cleaner, carry case (pouch), 2pin plug charger converter, remote control, composite cable, USB cable, charger, software and HDMI cable. These individually would cost quite a lot but all of these are included!
The software included allows you to upload directly to Youtube from the camcorder without needing to transfer to a computer.
PROS: Large touchscreen LCD panel. Good camera for both photo and video purposes. Full HD support. Easy to use. Many useful accessory items.
CONS: Lack of image stabilisation at Full HD. Sluggish clip browsing.
Conclusion: Well if you are a blogger, a video hobbiest or a person that wants a bit of both imaging worlds then this camcorder is perfect for you. It might not be feature rich but it carries out both photo and video capturing roles beautifully. Toshiba also includes purposeful accessories which would ordinarily as individual items cost half as much as the camera does.
Summary: If you don't have a digicam or camcorder this is ideal to function as both.
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