Toshiba Gigashot GSC-R30 / GSC-R60 Hard Disk Camera

Gigashot GSC-R30 at AmazonThe Toshiba Gigashot GSC-R30 is my fourth video camera since I started filming for a hobby in 1990. It is compact, fairly lightweight and records hours of DVD-quality video and/or tens of thousands of digital pictures without any change of media. I bought it in early April 2006 (my previous camera, a Mini DV model by Sony, had developed problems with its zoom after a close encounter with sea water).

Initially I was considering another DV model or maybe a DVD-R recorder, but Toshiba’s new hard disk recorder caught my eye in the store. Its 30 GB capacity far exceeds the 1.3 GB of DVD recorders or various memory card-based recorders. The R30 includes a 30 GB tiny 1.8″ hard disk while the slightly more pricey R60 features a 60 GB drive. That’s enough for almost 7 hours / 14 hours of DVD-quality video or 30,000 / 60,000 digital pictures at 2 Megapixel.

The 60 GB model also includes a docking station or cradle for recharging or connection to the computer. The cradle provides an Ethhernet network connection on top of the USB connection, which may be useful if you want to view clips from more than one machine, but the R60 was not in stock when I purchased the camera.

At home I can hook up the camera to my computer using a USB 2.0 cable and it acts just like a USB 2.0 hard disk to the computer. I can browse the folder tree inside the camera using Windows Explorer. Any video clip on there can be played using the Windows Media Player or an MPEG-2 player of your choice. Burning a DVD is fairly easy.

Because of the MPEG-2 recording format, no conversion with loss of picture quality is required to produce a DVD on your computer. I would recommend backing up the files inside the camera onto your computer’s main hard drive or onto an external USB drive, even before you burn DVDs.

31 thoughts on “Toshiba Gigashot GSC-R30 / GSC-R60 Hard Disk Camera

  1. Can you comment on these things a little bit more?

    video quality

    low light performance (eg. shooting indoor with room lights, shooting inside a gym/ basketball match)

    battery life



  2. My first major use of the camera was in a school gym during a graduation ceremony and I was happy with the low light performance.

    I have not used it for sports shooting. The startup time from pushing the record button to start of recording takes close to one second, so if things happen quickly, you want to start early enough.

    Also the autofocus sometimes needs a little bit of time to get it right when it needs to refocus, but for me that’s not been a major problem.

  3. I have come across one unexpected drawback of the camera. I was attracted to the fact that it records MPEG files, which is the encoding used by DVD. When format conversion becomes necessary in audio/video streams, usually some loss of quality is involved. As I found out there are many flavours of MPEG depending on which enhanced codecs are used, which cause pitfalls.

    Recently I burnt a CD-ROM with a video clip of a friend’s daughter’s dance event that I’d taken using the GSC-R30. I confirmed the MPEG file played in Windows Media Player (WMP) on two machines here. A few days later I heard back from my friend that she couldn’t get sound on that track.

    I tried the CD that she returned on a third machine here and it refused to play altogether. WMP complained I didn’t have an AC3 Audio Codec installed. I believe this is related to the “Dolby Digital Audio” feature of the camera. When I downloaded an AC3 codec off Sourceforge, WMP would play the files’ audio but gave me animation instead of the video. It appears that the files straight off the camera only played on both test machines because they happened to have come with the PowerDVD player preinstalled, which supports the enhanced codecs.

    I then used another program to burn the video on DVD-R for viewing in a regular DVD player. The program performed transcoding on the files I’d copied off the camera.

    So while I know that I can generate standard DVDs that can be watched anywhere, the promise of conversion-free portable video and audio from the camera to my friends’ PCs has evaporated.

  4. Hey Joe – I think AC3 Dolby Digital audio codec is part of the DVD format standard:

    If you burn the video onto a DVD, it will most likely play on a stand-alone DVD player. This is probably what the advertisement says, “transfer directly to a DVD”. You now know that the WMP on a PC does not support AC3 codec – maybe its time to give Microsoft a call to urge them make some changes!

    By the way, if you want to preserve the original video without transcoding with a DVD burning software, you can use a DVD authoring software – I don’t know if your Cyberlink PowerDVD comes with a separate authoring program, but they have one on their website Afterwards you can use a disk burning program (I don’t mean DVD video burning program specifically) like Nero to copy these folders and files to burn.

  5. I have the gigashot GSC-R60 I also have a toshiba laptop (new with windows Vista).. Windows Vista will not support the software cyberlink powerDVD. When I was loading the software it said to be used with… 98, me and so forth………..
    So I put had to use it on my daughters computer. Vista should be able to be used I’m not using software higher than vista……it should see it if it is a lower version.. Help I’m confused.

  6. I got an error 003 message and the GSC-R30 does not function anymore.
    This error is not documented in the manual
    Appreciate if you have any information on this.

  7. I have the same question as Amir, an error 003 and the GSC-R30 does not function anymore, do you have any suggestions?

  8. I have the same question as Amir, an error 003 and the GSC-R30 does not function anymore, do you have any suggestions?

  9. I tested this camera for a client. I didn’t have the light running for more than 15 minutes. The battery lasted approximately 6 hours before recharging. The LCD, however, had a few dead pixels – never saw this before. Tried returning for exchange and had to put up quite a fight. Anyone else seen this?

  10. I have a GSC-R30. I lost the cable that interfaces it with the computer. I cannot find a cable that matches the attachment on the bottom of the camera. When I contacted Toshiba, they said they were not longer being manufactured. Any ideas? I’m desperate!

  11. I have a Toshiba Gigashot GSC R60. I have recently purchased a new computer with Windows Vista and cannot get the toshiba software to work with vista. Has anyone found a solution to ths problem?

  12. Same problem as above …”error code 3″.
    any suggestions?

  13. @Roy Sandoval:

    If Toshiba is unable to supply this accessory, I would recommend hunting on eBay. There may be some R30/R60 buyers whose camera is broken who no longer have a use for the cable. An alternative to the cable is to use the cradle accessory included with the R60, which may also be available on eBay.

  14. To everyone with the 003 problem, I’m sorry but I don’t have any more information on that than you have. Only Toshiba would know.

    Maybe the hard disk died?

  15. I dont have the USB cable for this camera GSC-R30, any idea where to get it? Thanks

  16. Dear friends.. i have a model which is GSC 40 GB..i am not able to play the videos in windows media player or real player…and i cant write these videos in to a DVD also…can any one help me in this…can i hav some valuable tips?thanks

  17. I had the oo3 error i turned the camera off and roughly tapped the rounded part were the speaker is on top with the palm of my hand, turned it back on and the error was gone. This was after formatting and resetting it. My guess is the lenses get jarred around somehow but that’s just an assumption hope that helps

  18. Desde adobe premiere(2.0) Pro ,los archivos .avi de camara Toshiba Hd los lee como audio .No se ve imagen.Como puedo convertirlos en clips para editarlo???

  19. After receiving the 003 error message I did as Ithamar suggested, firmly smacked the top of the camera with and open hand and Its back to normal. WOW!

  20. GSC-R60 error code 004, was able to download images/video, but can’t record. Could not find any support numbers for toshiba. Anyone?

  21. LOL…can’t believe the old turn it off, hit it hard stories, but it worked for me too. Error 003 can surprisingly be outdone by a solid THWACK! Wonder how many times that is going to work…?

  22. oK well I had the error 004 and wow can you believe it… I smacked it on top and voila ALL FIXED…. THANKS!!!

  23. I don’t believe it. I just wacked the heck out of my gsc-60, the code 003 went away and I am now taking videos.
    Sure beats paying $100 for someone else to hit it.

  24. I have the same error code of 003 ( hard smacks didn’t work as mentioned ) and I called the service number listed on the owners manual but after I went through the menu I was told to call another number for that specific service department. Bottom line is that after 15 minutes on the phone I went through 5 different phone numbers to call and many different departments and I failed to even get a service tech. The final response from the main corp. was ” I am sorry but the first phone number should get you through”. This was a great dig. cam. when it worked but this will be the last Toshiba product I will buy . No reliability and no service . I would appreciate any assistance that anyone can provide. Thanks.

  25. i have the same problem, but my error code is (001). please if anyone can help many thanks.

  26. Necesito el cargador y el cable usb de la camara r60 donde podria adquirir o si existe un similar de otra marca compatible

  27. I just followed the two smart guys, smacking the camera with my palm and so the error is gone. Thanks guys!

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