Toshiba Camileo P30
Not quite Full HD, but close
If you want to select a different resolution, such as 720p, you have to press a different button to activate the on-screen menu system and then navigate through to the appropriate sub-menu. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to cycle through the available resolutions using a single button, as is the case with Kodak’s Zi6 camcorder, for instance.
But while the P30 could be a bit more intuitive to use, we were generally quite impressed by the quality of the video clips we recorded. It may not be true Full HD, but the P30’s 1440 x 1080 resolution is definitely sharper than the 720p of models such as the Flip Mino HD and Kodak Zi6. It has a slight tendency to over-saturate large areas of bright colour – such as the flowerbeds in our local park – but we were still pleased with the overall image quality.
The optical zoom is clear and sharp, and the macro mode works well too – though it did reveal some rather disturbing facts about the state of our iMac’s keyboard. When left on its ‘auto’ setting, the P30 generally does a good job of adjusting focus and exposure to get good results, but you also have the option of selecting specific settings from the on-screen menu if you want to.
You can manually adjust the exposure and white balance - it would be a good idea if Toshiba’s manual explained the meaning of settings such as ‘+ 0.3 EV’ for less experienced users - or select settings for different lighting conditions. There’s a little light on the front of the unit that can be turned on if you’re running around in the dark shooting your own version of The Blair Witch Project. Alternatively, for less mobile shooting, the P30 has a tripod socket on the base of its handle, and Toshiba even includes a mini-tripod in the box.
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