NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD
TOSHIBA ISN’T A NAME you’d readily associate with video cameras, so it was with some trepidation I took a look at the Camileo HD video camera. On the upside it’s tiny – small enough to rest easily in my outstretched palm and light enough it could be used continuously without your hand getting tired. Its flip-out screen – the only way of seeing what you’re shooting – is bright and easy to view. The menu system is easy enough to use but I did find the menu icons a bit clunky. They could definitely do with some sprucing up.
The Camileo shoots a variety of resolutions: from the very grainy up to HD quality. However, due to its small sensor size, you typically find in this kind of camera low light performance isn’t all that good and you’ll typically see some “noise” on the video. For the uninitiated, “noise” in this context is a visual distortion that happens when the sensor doesn’t pick up dark colours properly.
Though that means you won’t be using this camera to shoot your budget Hollywood movie, for quick videos you intend uploading to the web, it’s more than adequate. Also, because the version I had has no optical zoom it can’t zoom at all in HD mode. In fact, the only benefit of not shooting in HD all the time is to save space and make uploading easier.
The camera has a still and video mode but the buttons are so close together it would be easy to push the wrong one by accident and miss that magic moment. While the Camileo isn’t going to be a full replacement for your regular still or video camera, for something that can be thrown into a backpack for a weekend away it makes a decent companion.