Toshiba Camileo Z100 Menu
With a quick menu at the top of the Toshiba Camileo Z100, you can easily toggle backlight compensation, switch shooting resolution, and turn on the video light. The full menu provides action to the motion detection option, where you can set the camera to record automatically when it notices something move in the frame. You can enable face tracking, turn on a slow motion mode, as well as a time-lapse facility which can grab a frame every one, three or five seconds. What's more, a pre-rec facility features to help you avoid missing a shot whilst the ability to print the date on your footage is also available.
Head for the effects area, and there are centre and spot-weighted options for exposure, but no manual control. Scene modes include soft skin, night and backlight compensation - so not what most manufacturers include in this category. Finally, there are white balance presets for daylight and two types of indoor illumination, but no manual option. In fact, you can't adjust exposure, shutter or focus manually at all.
Toshiba has, at least, made some regularly used settings easy to reach. We have already mentioned the quick menu, but switching to 3D mode is also incredibly speedy, as there is a discrete button on the side of the unit beneath the LCD flap for this purpose. There's also a button for toggling between normal mode, digital light (a video gain boosting setting) and turning on the built-in LED video light. As usual for Toshiba, a decent selection of accessories is included, such as a carrying pouch and even a cable for linking the Toshiba Camileo Z100's mini HDMI port to a TV's full-sized one.
Toshiba Camileo Z100 Image Quality
The Toshiba Camileo Z100's performance in optimum conditions is decent enough, with even Toshiba's usual problems with contrast not too serious in this case. Colour fidelity is also reasonable, as is the level of detail, although there is a little softening from the compression.
The Toshiba Camileo Z100 doesn't fare as badly in low light as you might expect of a 3D camcorder costing under £200, either. The image is bright in both 2D and 3D, with little obvious difference between the two, almost certainly thanks to the relatively large back-side illuminated CMOS sensors. However, the colour is also quite washed out, and the lack of an optical zoom will severely hamper shooting abilities. Since footage is captured as MP4, it's readily edited by most popular applications. However, if you want to handle 3D, you will need software which supports the side-by-side format, such as CyberLink PowerDirector 11.
Toshiba Camileo Z100 Verdict
Toshiba is to be commended for producing a 3D camcorder for under £200 that isn't a complete gimmick. The Toshiba Camileo Z100 is cable of shooting reasonable, if not great 3D footage. But this is still a considerably limited device, mostly due to its lack of an optical zoom even in 2D mode. The manual settings aren't exactly extensive, either, and the side-by-side 3D format reduces 3D image quality noticeably. If you really have to shoot 3D, the Toshiba Camileo Z100 is very cheap. But if you can forego the third dimension, around £200 will get you much better video recording results if you spend it on an exclusively 2D model, such as the JVC HD Everio GZ-E205.