In sunny outdoor conditions, the H30 shoots decent enough video. Colour fidelity is good, and there is sufficient detail, although compression is relatively aggressive so there is some softness to the picture. However, performance in low light lets the side down. The picture becomes dark and grainy more quickly than most Full HD camcorders as illumination drops. You can improve things noticeably using the Digital Light mode and Night scene setting. However, low light image quality is still significantly behind our favourite low-cost Full HD models, such as Sony’s Handycam HDR-CX105E and JVC’s Everio GZ-HD300, even if these are considerably more expensive.
It would be churlish to be too critical of any camcorder shooting Full HD for £180, and the Toshiba Camileo H30 does offer some impressive features for its price. In particular, you will be hard pressed to find another camcorder at this price with an optical zoom as well. However, the H30’s poor low light shooting will make it far from ideal for capturing social gatherings in badly lit indoor locations, which is frequently the issue with low-cost camcorders. So whilst it still offers plenty for your money, a key capability is missing for the target audience.
Score in detail
Image Quality 6