By October 7, 2008

Camcorder group test (Part 3) Toshiba Camileo H10 Review

Toshiba Camileo H10 Review

The H10 is Toshiba’s budget entry into the high definition camcorder market. The most remarkable thing about this camcorder is the fact that it’s a high definition camera (HD) for about £180. Not long ago this would have been much more expensive and out of the reach of most of us. Having been mildly impressed by the “handiness” of the SDR-S7 I was interested to see how the H10 would perform with its HD capability given that the two machines are virtually the same price.


The Toshiba Camileo H10


What’s in the box?

  • H10 video camera
  • Li-ion rechargeable battery, 3.7v/1050mAh
  • USB cable
  • AV cable
  • HDMI cable
  • Mains charger
  • Remote control
  • Strap
  • Quick start guide
  • Software CD


Toshiba Camileo H10 unboxing video



The H10 is a clean and uncluttered design with an encouraging lack of buttons to tweak and render it useless. Physically, it’s a bit of a brick, albeit a compact one with some decent features. A brick because it’s too big to fit into my pocket, compact because it feels dense in the hand. The dense feel also helps it to feel well-built despite the low price.

The H10 has a 5x optical zoom and can record video in 720p HD MPEG-4 format video on SD or SDHC Cards at frame rates of up to 30fps – this is a decent specification for an entry level camcorder and genuinely useful.

h10_controls h10_battery h10_connectors

The Toshiba Camileo H10 controls


Rear: Video record; 5-way multi-function keypad for selecting modes and menu items

Top: Zoom in/out; still camera shutter release

Underneath: Battery compartment; SDHC card slot; tripod socket

Left: Power switch; AV-out socket; HDMI socket; USB2.0 socket


Toshiba Camileo H10 Specification:

  • Image Sensor: 10.48 Mega Pixel CCD Sensor
  • Operation Modes: Movie Record, Picture Record
  • Lens: F3.5 – 3.7 (f = 6.8 – 34 mm)
  • Focus Range Macro: 1 cm ~30cm
  • Normal: 30 cm ~ infinity
  • Optical Zoom: 5X
  • Shutter: Mechanical Shutter
  • LCD monitor: 2.7” LCD
  • Storage Media: Built-in 64 MB, SD/MMC Card Slot
  • Image Resolution
  • High: 4608 x 3456 (16M pixels)
  • Standard: 3648 x 2736 (10M pixels)
  • Low: 2592 x 1944 (5M pixels)
  • Movie Resolution HD: 1280 x 720, 30 fps
  • D1: 720 x 480, 30 fps
  • VGA: 640 x 480, 30 fps
  • QVGA: 320 x 240, 30 fps
  • White Balance: Auto/Manual (Daylight, Fluorescent, Tungsten)
  • Exposure: ± 1EV in 0.3 steps
  • Self-Timer: Approx. 10 second delay
  • Flash: (for still) Auto/ On/Off/Red Eye Reduction
  • File Format Image: JPEG
  • Movie: AVI (H.264)
  • Image play: Single Image/Thumbnails/Slideshow
  • PC Interface: Mini USB2.0
  • TV out Digital:: HDMI
  • Analogue: Composite Video (NTSC/PAL Selectable)
  • Battery: NP60 Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery, 3.7v, 1050mAh
  • Dimensions: 117mm x 65mm x 56 mm
  • Weight: 314g (without battery), 340g(with battery)


  • Simple
  • Robust
  • Uses SD cards
  • Easy to use


  • A bit portly
  • No conventional viewfinder
  • Slow zoom
  • Heat


Although substantially smaller than many mini-DV cams, the first thing to strike me after using the compact SDR-S7 and Sanyo Xacti is just how chunky the Toshiba is. It certainly won’t fit in your trouser pocket. It could be used to as a weapon and it feels like it’s hewn from billet alloy. The upside is that the larger size does make the Tosh’ somewhat easier and more comfortable to hold at eye level when compared to the Panasonic SDR-S7.

Fold the screen out and it switches on automatically to either present you with the video filming mode or the still camera mode depending where it left off last time. Switching between the two is merely a single key press away. Video recording is simply a case of pointing it at the subject and then pressing the record button on the rear of the camera body.
There is plenty of control over shooting modes via the menu system, which is easy to navigate by virtue of the fact it is very simple and clear.

The Tosh’ is capable of recording in HD resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at 30 frames per second (fps). This is quite some going for a budget model when you consider that most DV cams work at 720 x 576 and 25fps. You should be aware though that editing such large images is fairly demanding for any pc and some well-known photo-editing applications still aren’t HD ready. There’s plenty of other resolutions available that take up far less storage space if your needs are less demanding, however, it seems to be pointless using them unless you upload to a video mangling service like YouTube.

Accessing the menu system is not obvious initially and there is no menu key per se. It’s done via the centre-select key on the 5-way navigator keypad. The menu system has sensibly been kept simple and logical, but alas it has one really annoying flaw. Once you have selected an option it closes down the menu subsystem entirely to return you back to the camera view. What if you want to change another option or undo the changes you’ve just made? You have to navigate all the way there again.

The 5x optical zoom is quite limited when compared to conventional DV-cam opposition. This is typical for a budget camera. Unfortunately, the zoom control is extremely tardy and the lens is both slow to zoom and focus. This renders the camera less than idea for sports footage or fast moving subjects. In normal general filming it would be less noticeable.

I was pleased to see that the charging is done via the USB2.0 mini-socket. This means it should also be possible to charge from your computer when connected. The battery itself is a 3.7v/1050mAh item which gives a life of around 50 minutes – this was slightly less than I expected but probably reasonable given the higher definition. During charging and normal use I noticed that the entire camera got very warm – this is a bit disconcerting. The same heat was also transferred to the SD card which, doesn’t bode well for longevity of the card – another reason why a man might not wish to put it in his trouser pocket!

There is no conventional lens cover – instead the lens is protected by a large hard plastic cover. This is all very well, but the cover doesn’t appear to be replaceable so, if it gets scratched then you compromise image.


Toshiba Camileo H10 lens


Movie quality was entirely acceptable although I really didn’t notice any improvement in quality rendered by HD over SD. The whole thing is quite subjective really and depends upon so many things such as the quality of monitor it is viewed on, the physical size of the CCD, compression etc. I daresay if you had a HD tv then you would notice the difference. As a stills camera it makes a passable job and there’s no reason why it couldn’t be your only stills camera although the normal caveat still applies – if you want a stills camera then buy one.

You can download a sample video – taken straight from the H10 memory card with this link.



The H10 is a versatile camera that should satisfy most users needs unless they are serious filmers. It’s easy to use, feels well put together and it’s not expensive. Really, for £180 the buyer is getting a decent machine for not much money and I feel it offers better value than the Panasonic SDR-S7 for a similar price. Having previously said I would be happy with the Panasonic as an everyday device, I am now having to revise that in favour of the Tosh’. Just beware of its bulk.

Join me again soon for the next camera in the Camcorder Group Test or head over and look at Part 1 to see which cameras we are including or have a look at my Panasonic SDR-S7 review or Sanyo Xacti HD700 review.


Review by: Nigel

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
Loading Facebook Comments ...

Post a Comment

No Trackbacks.