Design and features
There are a couple of waterproof camcorders on the market, from brands such as Sanyo, Panasonic and Kodak, all sharing a similar form factor. The Toshiba BW10 doesn't stray too much from what you might expect from a camcorder of this ilk — an upright design that fits easily into the hand for spontaneous shooting.
The soft-touch exterior plastic makes the BW10 a real pleasure to hold and it fits reasonably well in both hands, useful for ambidextrous shooters. Though the 2-inch LCD screen at the back of the camcorder is small, it is decent enough for a device of this price and class. There's no optical zoom here, just 10x digital.
Waterproof to 2 metres and equipped with a 5-megapixel sensor, the BW10 shoots in full 1080p at 30fps. The casing also protects it from dust, sand and gentle shocks, though it's definitely not tough enough to withstand dropping against a hard surface from a great height.
Buttons are kept simple, with all the controls found on the back panel. A record button, menu/delete, playback and mode button surround standard arrow keys used to make selections on screen. There's a small amount of internal memory, good for approximately 19 seconds of footage, and the BW10 also takes SD/SDHC/SDXC cards. It encodes video in MP4 format and shoots still JPEG images.
Performance and image quality
Video quality from the BW10 is acceptable for the camcorder's price point and target audience. You're not going to be creating cinematic masterpieces with this device but for casual splash-about fun at the beach, it will do just fine.
There are some things to be aware of before making your purchase though: the lens shows a lot of flaring and colours can appear washed out when using the camera in bright and sunny situations. Sound from the microphone is tinny and distant when used above the water, though it does fare better under the surface.
As for the interface, it's simple to use, but options for tweaking settings are fairly limited. There's no manual exposure controls or image stabilisation either, seen mostly when looking back at video taken at any sort of speed or of fast-moving objects which are slightly juddery.