In the past, we haven’t been overly impressed with the image quality provided by Toshiba camcorders, and the S30 only marginally improves on this. In good lighting, it does a reasonable job, although the picture is a little softer than most HD camcorders are capable of, even pocket Internet models. In poor illumination, the image also looks a lot darker than most pocket Internet models, with only a small amount of colour remaining. However, the Digital Light mode does actually work, making the footage considerably brighter, although this is at the expense of noticeable grain, and the LED light is too weedy to have much effect. That said, many pocket Internet camcorders capture brighter footage without the need for any extra low light settings or LED assistance, so the S30 isn’t particularly commendable in this respect.
Toshiba continues its tradition of including a lot in the box, though. Aside from the requisite power supply, USB and composite video with mono audio cables, there’s also a cable bundled for connecting the S30’s mini HDMI to full-sized HDMI, plus a protective pouch with a belt loop, and best of all a mini tripod. This has flexible legs so you can position it as required, although it’s not as configurable as a GorillaPod.
Although it doesn’t have a built-in USB plug, relying on a cable instead, there is software on board. The Camileo Uploader app is very limited, offering just the ability to send your footage to YouTube, Facebook, Picasa and Twitvid. However, there’s also a CD included with Arcsoft Media Impression and Converter, plus a trial of MAGIX Video Deluxe, if you want to do something a bit more sophisticated with your video.
In the past, Toshiba’s camcorders haven’t been able to give the premium models from mainstream manufacturers anything to worry about, and the Camileo S30 does nothing to change that. However, at around £120 from some vendors, and with decent if not outstanding image quality and features, the S30 is worth considering. It’s cheaper than many pocket Internet models, although Panasonic’s HM-TA1 and Kodak’s Playsport Zx3 are better value overall. But it’s also a little more stylish than either, has many more settings and features, and has a decently sized 3in screen.
Score in detail