Tosh’s latest offering in the mini HD camcorder stakes is this compact pocket camcorder boasting a conventional palm-sized design and offering Full HD MPEG4 format video at 30fps (1080p) or 60fps (1080i).
Its flip-out 2.7-inch LCD screen is the same size as the main body. Anti shake also features to prevent judder and blur, particularly when shooting at longer focal lengths, courtesy of electronic image stabilisation.
Fold out the 2.7-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio screen and beneath it is revealed a directional control disc/pad, menu, playback and power button.
Bettering what we’d expect for a Full HD model for around £250, the SX900 provides the advantage of stereo sound, a 9x optical zoom.
Though there’s an attractive glossy surface at the screen side, a more practical rubberised surface at the adjacent side aids grip. A top mounted rocker switch falls directly under the forefinger as you grip the camcorder and controls the zoom, though we felt it too stiff, behind which is a shutter release button for taking snaps. This leaves the thumb free to press the large round button marked with video camera icon at the rear and kick-start recording. Everything feels well placed and positioned despite the smaller overall form factor.
Toshiba Camileo SX900: Features
A decent 14 megapixel CMOS sensor further gives rise to 8 megapixel photos, and, distancing itself further from the toys at the lower end of the market, the Tosh’s menu system options are much more fully featured and comprehensive than sub-£200 pocket camcorder rivals. For indoor snaps, a built in flash sits below the lens. The battery is charged within the body – a mains adapter is provided – and is good for 60 minutes of constant use.
Given the camcorder’s budget pricing it’s no surprise to find there’s no automatic sliding lens cover however to offer protection when inactive, so Toshiba has include a cute clip-on plastic cap. If you forget to attach it the lens quickly becomes covered in fingerprints and fluff as you haul it in and out of your pocket.
In terms of storage capacity there’s no built-in drive but there is a slot for SD/SDHC, SDXC card at the base shared with standard USB and AV output, plus HDMI port. Its rechargeable lithium ion battery is removable.
Toshiba Camileo SX900: Image quality
The screen visibility is adequate but displays a noisy image indoors. The built in microphone picks up operational buzz. For video, colours are well saturated though fuzzy stills have the appearance of video grabs. This is disappointing given the higher resolution sensor, and suggests, for its physical size, it has been rather overcrowded with pixels.
However, this is still a solid pocket camcorder choice for the money.
Posted by Gavin Stoker