Review: Toshiba Camileo S30

When the simplest of cameras advertise HD video and 8-megapixel stills, you have to take it with a grain of salt. Limitations of a budget CMOS and compression algorithms obviate counting your subjects’ nose hairs or pores. But our test videos and stills showed that, even for a budget cam, the Toshiba showed flaws.

The Camileo had some obvious difficulty with video in bright sunlight; the camera was prone to blowouts, especially on white guys’ pates or ironic tees. Out of direct light, the picture was slightly muddy and lacked sharpness, even with little or no movement.

Movement was also the bane of the still shots. Still lifes were reasonably crisp, but any movement from turtle-speed on up became a blur. On the plus side, the sound was fine, so if you’re filming for radio, you’re all set.

Video From the Toshiba Camileo S30

The Camileo had some obvious difficulty with video in bright sunlight. Notice the image distortion and artifacts. The camera was also prone to blowouts.

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Video From the Flip HD

For comparison, I held a Flip HD right next to the Toshiba Camileo and shot the same scene with both cameras at the same time.

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We’re not saying the camera is worthless. Its cool set of special effects would make it a great gift for a child who aspires to make films, skateboarders seeking to capture face plants in slow-motion, or someone who wants to cruelly document how many people slip on the same ice patch outside his flat.

But it is impossible to get past the iffy video and still-picture quality. If it could shoot good video, it would be a must-buy. Without it, the Camileo S30 is merely a toy.

1 In order to get a decent-looking slow-motion video, the camera digitally zooms into a small portion of the CMOS sensor and records a burst of shots at a high frame rate (see, that would have looked awkward in the middle of that paragraph, right?).

Photos and video by Roger Hibbert/get-gadget

See Also:

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