Toshiba's new HD camcorders look reasonably good

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Although the pocket-cam market (Flips, Zi8s and such) is blowing up, these compact handhelds really have the upper hand in image quality and storage. I switched my primary camera for reviews and such from the Zx1 to a Sanyo because of the better low-light and close focus abilities, and I’m sure these new Toshibas enjoy the same advantages.

John noted them briefly in the Toshiba press conference, but the new lineup is worth a closer look. Details are a bit fuzzy due to Toshiba giving these things the same names as some of their projectors (hello?!).

The S20 (not the projector) is the thin one you see up top there. The lens actually looks pretty weedy on it (no zoom, tiny aperture), so I’m not sure it’s got much of an advantage over any given pocket cam. Sure is a good-lookin’ little bugger though, ain’t it? It’ll shoot 1080p, though I’d guess the image quality is pretty god-awful.

toshiba-1

The X100 (also not the projector) is the big brother of their compact HD cam lineup, above the already-available H30. It’s got a much nicer lens, with a full 10x optical zoom and a 10-megapixel sensor for taking stills. This would be a great family camcorder, although the 4GB of internal memory isn’t a lot when you’re shooting video of your kid’s birthday party.

They’re only announced over in Europe at the moment, with pricing in pounds, so US prices are only guesses. The S20 is £120 and the X100 is £270. More deets if I get ‘em.

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