- 5x optical zoom
- Decent range of fun features
- Keen price
- Mediocre image quality
- Menu system buries some settings
Review Price £115.00
Toshiba Camileo P100
If your videomaking desires are modest, even an entry-level conventional camcorder could be more than you wish to spend, as this will still set you back between £200 and £300. Toshiba has been targeting this section of the camcorder market for some years now with models priced well below this, and the Camileo P100 is its latest keenly priced option. Where the Toshiba Camileo B10 used the increasingly popular "candybar" format, this model has a pistol grip, which has a few benefits.
Primary amongst these is that it allows greater space between the lens and sensor, so there is room for an optical zoom mechanism. This is only 5x, but candybar camcorders only offer digital zooms, which impair image quality. The CMOS has an 8Mpixel resolution, which is more than enough for Full HD, and Toshiba has harnessed some of the extra pixels to offer an 8x Advanced Zoom. This crops into the picture like a conventional digital zoom but uses the extra pixels on the sensor to ensure it doesn't reduce resolution (though low light performance will still decrease slightly). There is also a 16x digital zoom available on top of this. You can't turn it off, but at least the zoom pauses at the point where optical and Advanced zooms end and the digital portion begins, so you can choose not to use it.
The P100 offers a range of shooting modes. Topmost amongst these is Full HD video at 30 frames per second, but 720p at 30 and 60 frames per second is available too, alongside VGA at 30 frames per second. All of these are captured as H.264-based MP4s. It's also possible to grab still images at up to 16Mpixels, although this clearly involves considerable interpolation as it's twice the CMOS resolution. There's a modest 128MB of Flash memory on board, enough for under two minutes of footage at the top data rate. So the SDXC-compatible memory card slot will be required, providing 14 minutes of storage per gigabyte.