Out of the box, the Camileo Pro HD comes with 128MB of memory onboard, and only 90MB of that is available for storage. That will be enough for just three minutes of video in HD mode, so you will want to make use of the SDHC slot. A 4GB card would hold well over two hours of footage, however, and you can pick those up for £10 these days, as even a Class 2 model can deliver the requisite 4Mbits/sec data rate. The Camileo can also act as a sound recorder. But whereas audio is captured at 48kHz with 128Kbits/sec AAC compression when in HD video mode, standalone sound recording is in WAV format using 4-bit, 11kHz stereo, at 88Kbits/sec. Great for dictation, not so good for bootlegging your favourite band’s live performance.
The Camileo Pro HD isn’t exactly full of options for the enthusiast, either. You wouldn’t expect features like a lens ring for manual focusing, an accessory shoe or microphone on a camcorder aimed so squarely at the pocket. It does have a headphone minijack, with headphones supplied, but this is primarily for use with the voice recording function. There isn’t actually any facility for manual focusing at all – only autofocus is available. The closest thing is the Macro mode, which enables focusing on objects as close as 5cm.
Although there is a function joystick, it doesn’t access a menu of frequently used functions, as with Canon and Panasonic camcorders. Instead, pushing it up toggles macro mode, pushing it right switches white balance settings, and pushing it left changes modes for the still image flash. Pushing down turns on the built in LED video light. White balance options include fully automatic mode, plus sunny, cloudy, fluorescent and tungsten presets, but no manual configuration.
Any other settings require a trip to the full menu. But even then the options are limited. There’s an exposure control with increments from -2 to +2 and a nightshot mode, which does improve colour in low light, but at the expense of frame rate. You can also choose between a couple of digital effects, for black and white and ‘classic’ (old movie). However, the Camileo lacks most of the usual user controls found in even low-end camcorders from other major brands. There is no shutter control, no manual focusing, and not even scene modes to call upon. There is at least a setting to counteract flicker caused by 60 or 50Hz lighting and TV screens. The lack of features won’t worry the intended audience, but this is no camcorder for the budding movie-maker.