Toshiba is not a name you would immediately associate with camcorders - more notebooks, TVs and disc players. But the company is quietly chiselling itself a niche as a purveyor of cheap high definition video cameras as well, such as the Camileo Pro HD. Latest to join the range is the Camileo H10. Available for under £150, yet able to shoot 720p video, the H10 sounds like an absolute bargain.
Of course, at this price, corners have been cut. For a start, the device comes with just 64MB of memory built in, which is enough to test things are working and very little else. So you will need to factor in an SD card from the outset, although that's hardly a major expense these days. The H10 has four different recording options. The headline act is HD, although this is 1,280 x 720, not Full HD. There is also a D1 option that operates at 720 x 480, plus VGA at 640 x 480, and QVGA at 320 x 240 to choose from. All run at 30 frames per second, however, rather than the European-friendly 25 frames per second.
At its top setting, the H10 uses a 4Mbits/sec data rate, which isn't particularly high, even for 720p resolution instead of Full HD. So a 2GB SD card will be enough for a little over an hour of video. Considering 2GB cards can be had for little more than a quid these days, we wonder why Toshiba didn't just bung one in the box for good measure.
The fact that the H10 only offers 720p video is also somewhat strange when you look at its specifications (probably a limitation of the electronics more than anything else). For instance, the sensor has a 10.48-megapixel resolution, more than enough for Full HD, although Toshiba hasn't made it clear how big this CCD is. The main beneficiary of all these pixels is, as always, digital photography. If you want to stick within the native resolution, Standard still image mode offers a resolution of 3,648 x 2,736. But you can also add interpolation to bump this up to High, which captures at 4,608 x 3,456.