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For web uploads only (forget full HD)
on 21 August 2012
Despite all the blurb about full HD, image stabilisation, and 5 times optical zoom, the fact is that anyone expecting a full HD experience with this Toshiba P100 is likely to be left rather disappointed, even with a price tag of just eighty quid on Amazon.
Whilst it has a full HD 1080/30fps setting, perhaps it's true usage is the HD 720/30fps and VGA settings for upload of videos onto websites. The full HD setting might suggest high quality (its bit rate is just shy of 10Mbits; compare this to "proper" full HD camcorders which typically record at 17Mbits to 24 Mbits), but sadly the picture is very grainy & noisy in anything other than the strongest daylight. Similarly, for still pictures, the top resolution of 16Mp sounds good, but the sensor is tiny and the 8Mp squeezed onto it display a lot of noise in consequence. Interpolating this to 16Mp (i.e. creating extra fake pixels) compounds the bad news even further.
So whether it's video or stills, when viewed on a large TV the quality of either is frankly rather embarrassing. In fact, you're likely to get no worse a result by using the video & photo functions on your smartphone (iPhone, Samsungs, HTCs, etc). And that really tells you all you need to know about this sector of the market; small & cheap camcorders are now obsolete due to the relentless squeeze of the smartphone.
However, staying closer to its true purpose, if you're looking to upload videos to the web at 640 or 720, it's good enough for that. Or if your 10-year old child wants to record some stuff for fun, it's ok enough for that too. For anything else, you'll need to move upmarket and buy a proper camcorder.