Toshiba Camileo Z100 review
The Toshiba Camileo Z100 is a hand-held 3D camcorder with a 2.8in colour 3D touchscreen and Full HD resolution. It can also take 16-megapixel still images in 3D and has a mini-HDMI output so that you can plug the camera straight in to your 3D TV, but perhaps the best thing about the Z100 is that it only costs £154.
It’s equipped with two 5-megapixel CMOS lenses, but the Z100 shoots in 2D using the left-hand lens by default. To change that and record in 3D you must press the 3D button. The colour touchscreen displays 3D images, too, so you know the feature is activated. Understandably, the quality of the touchscreen isn’t going to be fantastic on a camera at this price, but it’s adequate. There’s quite a bit of flicker when panning, and there’s a tremendous amount of cross-talk on objects that are within one metre of the lenses, which means you see many ghost images that cause even more flicker and blur the touchscreen.
Given the price of the Camileo Z100, we were ready to criticise it heavily, but after viewing our captured 3D footage on our reference Samsung ES7000U 3D TV, we were pretty impressed. Objects within six metres of the lenses had a real sense of depth to them and didn’t just look cardboard cut-outs arranged at various distances from the camcorder. The effect isn’t overly pronounced, but it does add something to your footage and is more than just a novelty.
Sadly, the inclusion of 3D technology on a camcorder this cheap means it misses out on certain key features, such as an optical zoom. Instead, you get a 10x digital zoom in 2D mode and 4x digital zoom in 3D mode. Somewhat predictably, footage soon deteriorates into a sea of noise and blurred images when you use the digital zoom. There’s no image stabilisation technology either, so handheld footage suffers from quite a bit of shake.
Thankfully, the Camileo Z100 feels pretty tough. It’s very utilitarian in appearance and lacks elegant design features, but its touchscreen hinge feels strong and durable and the plastic doesn’t flex. You also get a detachable lens cover. We would’ve preferred a switch-operated cover, but again, you have to compromise given the price.
To record footage you’ll need an SD card. The Camileo Z10 has 128MB of built-in storage, but this is shared with its firmware, so in practice you only get enough storage for 30 seconds of video. Then again with SD cards costing as little as £13 for a 32GB card, it's hardly a big extra expense.
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