Toshiba has just announced the Camileo P100 as the replacement to its P30 pocket camcorder and we managed to track it down in a dark corner at the maker's recent product convention for some hands-on time.
Like its predecessor, the P100 sports a pistol grip design that means that while compact, you still get a reasonably sized fold-out display to make it easier to line up and playback your shots. At 155g, the P100 is very slightly lighter than the P30, maintaining the pocket-friendly credentials. The styling and design is almost identical to previous Camileo models and there's nothing wrong with that. As well as the same slinky black finish, with red and silver detail, the chassis is comfy to hold, with a grippy ridged finish on the inside of the handle. It also feels well-weighted, so that it shouldn't overbalance in your hand.
As well as offering 1080p video capture, the P100 makes it easy to share your footage thanks to the Camileo Upload button which will let you upload directly to a range of sites including YouTube, Facebook and Picasa.
The P100 offers 5x optical zoom for 1080p shooting and 8x for taking videos at a lower resolution of 720p. The HD video is captured by the 8MP CMOS sensor, and you'll also be able to take still photos up to 16MB.
Storage comes courtesy of the SD card slot which will cater for SD, SDHC and SDXC up to 64 GB, so you should get quite a few videos under your belt before you need to switch the card. The P100 includes a new pause button so that you can join two clips together, rather than having to film two separate videos.
The button layout on the back of the unit has also been given a makeover, with all of the controls being easy to reach and in a logical place. Despite the fact the product sample that we got our hands on was rather awkwardly attached to a display stand by a security wire, we still found that the buttons were easy to locate and use, even in the dimy-lit conditions. Like its predecessor, the P100 includes a mini USB and a mini HDMI for hooking up easily to your computer or HD TV.
It was difficult to tell how good the quality of the 3-inch LCD screen was as we were testing the P100 out in a dimly-lit product hall, but the screen appeared to be pretty bright and reasonably clear on first inspection. The graphic-based onscreen UI bears all the hallmarks of that found on past Camileo models, making it pretty easy to navigate around and to find what you're looking for without having to scroll through too many menu screens.
The P100 will be avalable in May and although there's no word on price just yet, we would expect it to be around under £150. As soon as we get a model in for review we'll be able to tell you more about the image quality and the shooting options. Watch this space.