Irvine, Calif. -
, a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, introduced Monday the first official Toshiba digital camcorder line for the United States under the new Camileo series.
Starting April 5, the company will initially offer three models in the series, all designed to offer FullHD 1080p performance at affordable price points.
Michael Cassidy, Toshiba DPD accessories marketing director, said, "Over the last year and half we have been expanding our accessories categories lineups to new categories. We have been in the Camileo category for the past two years in other markets, especially in Europe, and we have been working with them trying to get a product to market here."
Cassidy said the philosophy was to "try to build the ecosystem around the PCs that we sell along with other accessories such as our hard drives."
In addition to offering up to 1080p video resolution, all three models include SD/SDHC memory card slots with up to 32GB maximum storage capability, 3-inch LCD screens, a YouTube upload button on the camera, and extras in the box including: an AC adapter, HDMI and USB cables, composite video cables and a case.
The S20 ($179 suggested retail) is billed as a lightweight model, weighing 3.5 ounces, with a vertical design and a flip-out screen. It includes 128MB of built-in memory, digital image stabilization and a 4x digital zoom (when shooting at 720p mode and below on the later two). It also captures 5-megapixel digital still images.
The H30 ($249) is an entry-level HD camcorder in a more traditional body style. It offers a 3-inch touchscreen LCD, 5x optical zoom, 128MBs of built-in memory, 4x digital zoom extension and digital image stabilization (in 720p mode and below on the later two). It records digital still images in native 10-megapixel resolution.
The X100 ($399) is a top-of-the-line model in a traditional body design, offering a 10x optical and 10x digital zoom in all modes, and adds a 1080i/60 fps shooting mode for capturing fast-motion video. Image stabilization works in all modes except 1080i. Included are 4GBs of onboard memory for one hour of 1080p recording. It records digital still images in native 10-megapixel resolution.
Toshiba worked with a third-party OEM manufacturer to develop the camcorders "to complement our other Toshiba branding products, such as 1080p Regza televisions, and high-end Qosmio laptops that come with HDMI out ports," said Brad Johnston, Toshiba DPD product manager.
Toshiba will distribute the Camileo line through its core IT retail partners, including e-commerce partners, regional and national CE chains, photo specialty stores and office stores.
Johnston said the camcorders will target a similar customer as the popular Flip camcorder family, but will offer a better feature set and different form factor to give its products a distinctive edge.