287 of 295 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2010
Several people complained on various internet review boards about how this camera does not deliver very high quality video, etc. I'm a technology enthusiast, computer specialist, amateur photographer and have about 7 or 8 different cameras - so I feel qualified to give a good review.
This is a camcorder meant for internet uploads/sharing, quick shots, etc. This is not what you want to film your wedding with. So don't expect broadcast quality.
Having said that I think the image quality is VERY good for its size. One huge advantage over Flip/etc... is the swiveling lens. This was the main attraction for me. I'm always embarassed waving a big camera in public. Just don't like when people stare at me for filming something. This is why Sony bloggie is a great product. You can turn the lens to an angle you like and hold the device like your cellphone. People will actually think you are just playing with your phone.
Let's get done with my complaints list quickly:
-CMOS sensor - means you get the rolling shutter a.k.a jello effect when panning too fast with the camera (vertical objects appear skewed)
-Smaller lens angle when using 1080p mode. (i.e. picture is too "tele")... you get a nicer wide angle if using 720p.
That's about it, image quality -especially in daylight- is very very good for such a camera. I actually prefer to record in 720p 60fps mode, the high frame rate gives it a very smooth motion.
FYI, it's compatible with Apple's iMovie. Will take some time to import your videos but once it's done, editing is super easy!
I hesitated for a long time before buying this camera but I'm glad to say I don't regret it at all! Very satisfied with my purchase.
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2010
My actual rating is 3.5 stars but I've rounded up for now.
First, I read the specs of this before I ordered it so I knew what I was getting myself into. I did not buy this for great recording capabilities and did not expect that. I bought this device to have a easily portable recording device for cheap and it delivers.
The negatives for me so far has been the awful sound recording and the lighting. I did not expect a great mic but the quality of sound recording is far below my expectations. Combine this with the inability to attach an external mic (let me know if there's a way that I don't know of) makes this device subpar. The lighting recorded fluctuates quite a bit. Sometimes I would have to set the setting a couple times to get video to appear versus a dark/black screen. Let me note that I was recording in the evenings indoors without much light in the first place. Yes, this isn't ideal but if it is not able to handle that lighting, setting the device's settings a couple times should not magically "fix" the issue.
The overall design works well and the navigation is a breeze, similar to other Sony cameras. You can also easily pull this device out of your pocket and start shooting either in camera mode or camcorder mode within seconds. I do feel that they could have utilized the screen space much better; video is displayed on the top of the screen and the bottom of the screen is basically wasted IMO. There are no exposed ports so the unit is nice and sleek. The area that goes over the USB doesn't completely move out of the way so depending on the USB port you are connecting to you might not be able to plug it in. No worries though, a USB extension is included. Oh, and you can use both SD and the memory stick, yay!
129 of 152 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2010
I was really excited to see the next generation of pocket camcorders come out for 2010 and the Bloggie is the first I know of. It has a larger, updated optical sensor and presumably updated firmware and hardware to render better video quality. I bought it as soon as I found out it was available.
My initial impressions are less about the Bloggie and more about what an achievement the Flip cameras are. Here's why:
The Sony Bloggie seems brighter but is more sensitive to movement than the MinoHD. I go over my videos frame by frame to get screen captures and the majority of the frames the Bloggie seems lost on the action and repeats the same bad exposure for many more frames before it adjusts to get the best exposure. The MinoHD on the other hand, even though it is over a year old, is much quicker at correcting exposure, frame by frame, focus and light, to provide overall better video resolution. This is in spite of the fact that the Sony Bloggie has a bigger optical sensor and the newest hardware. Flip just seems way ahead of every pocket camcorder (haven't tested the Kodaks) in its internal intelligence in detecting focus and exposure. This is what truly gives it the edge.
The Bloggie does have a removable battery or memory card unlike the Flip. But I can't wonder if it's even necessary. I've never needed more memory or another battery in my Flip. Also it presents open compartments that will no doubt gather dirt in the electronics and buttons, unlike the Flip which is mostly sealed.
Playback mode? I'm a software developer so I'm not afraid of complicated stuff but I found the playback controls on this frustrating over and over. There are 6 or 7 different buttons you can push on playback to pause, ff, rw, etc and I kept finding myself pressing the wrong one and getting kicked out of play mode. Yes, the Flip had this right and so simple! I actually feel like I have taken the Flip's playback for granted thinking it was just without features. But for the same functions- playback, pause ff, rw, the Bloggie feels like it is many times more complex and mysterious even though it's attempting to do exactly what the Flip does so effortlessly, mindlessly. As for uploading to Youtube, etc., like it is featured to do, I guess that's like programming your VCR- possible if you really want to learn it but more like a punchline than useful.
The Bloggie has still image, movable lens, and other bells and whistles the flip doesn't have, but is an order more complicated to use than the Flip. In the end the video, even at 1080p, is still not as sharp and clean compared to the smooth 720p of the Flip MinoHD.
Other features such as an external mic input are not available on either the Bloggie or the Flip MinoHD but are available on others such as the Kodak Zi8 etc. But this wasn't a factor for me.
I will also ad that looking at the instructions made me understand why this has the stupid name of Bloggie- it is a uniquely Japanese product rushed to market without alot of careful insight into the aesthetic of the American consumer (If I may, nothing against Japanese products, usually I think them superior.) The instructions are pretty poor considering some of the dummy proof large font easy-to-read stuff I've gotten used to from places like Ikea and yes, Flip. These look like they were put together by a technical person in a tight deadline who doesn't speak English well...
Keep trying Sony, some good ideas here but mostly I think you need to improve on that smooth auto exposure algorithm!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2010
I bought the Sony Bloggie from Amazon along with a high speed Sony Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX 8 GB Flash Memory Card with USB Reader MSHX8G for a 3 week trip to Bermuda. The camera is very compact so it was easy to carry in my pocket in an old cell phone case. It's actually smaller than an iPhone or a G1.
It was easy to quickly take a photo or a video. The built-in software also makes it simple to upload videos and photos to the Internet. There are several sites programmed into the software but I just used Picasa for photos and YouTube for videos.
I shot all my videos in 720p and was very pleased with the quality of the video and sound. I only took a dozen or so photos with the Bloggie but they were acceptable. It was so much fun and so easy to take videos that I didn't even think about taking photos.
The Bloggie is not without its drawbacks. A jack for an external microphone would have been a nice feature but I found the built-in mic to be fine. Oddly the most irritating thing about the Bloggie is sliding the USB connector back into the camera. I always felt like either it would never go back in or that it might break. The USB extender cord that comes with the Bloggie is about 6.5" long; a longer one would have been more convenient. The screen is way too reflective and washes out in daylight so an anti-glare screen protector will be my next purchase for this camera. Documentation, once you have set the camera up is pretty much non-existent, so it's a learning experience as you use the camera. The will be some shake to your videos if you aren't firmly holding the camera or not using a tripod but that is true of all video cameras regardless of size unless one has a Steadicam or other camera stabilizer.
My bottom line is I really love this camera. It met all of my expectations; not too cold, not too hot but just right. I highly recommend it and would buy it again without hesitation.
Addendum: Took it on a cruise to Mexico and, well CURSE swimsuits with large pockets! I hopped into a hot tub with it in my pocket on the last day of the cruise! The camera died BUT the good news is that the Sony memory card survived with all my videos intact. Whew!
Now considering purchasing the Sony MHS-CM5 bloggie HD Video Camera (Violet) NEWEST MODEL with the 5x optical as a replacement.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2010
This is my first foray into the pocket HD market. I just bought this cam about a week ago because I wanted something small to stick in my pocket. I have a 2 year old and I don't always feel like carrying my miniDV cam with me everywhere along with my digital cam. In going around the stores browsing and testing, I chose this cam because of the swivel lens (which does prove helpful in shooting) because I felt better about it in my pocket as opposed to the exposed lens on most of the other cams. Also, the removable lithium rechargeable battery pack (those of you who have ever had a digital cam that runs on AA's know what I'm talking about). And lastly the fact that theres no built in storage. Sure 120 mins or the like is nice, but what if you need more space?
The size of the cam is great. Its about the size of my cell phone!!! It feels very comfortable in my hands. Easy to get started using: flip out the lens and start shooting. navigation and playback buttons towards the bottom and zoom and capture buttons on the side. I do think they could have seperated the 2 capture buttons(separate vid and still) a little farther apart. I have not used the software that came with it yet.
It takes great video outdoors nice and bright and crisp. Stills outdoors also come out very nice. Indoors in lower light isn't quite good. Video gets dark and grainy, and photos tend to have some motion blur due to auto exposure settings I guess. The mic is fairly sensitive to ambient sounds in the immediate are (ie: sound of grass or leaves crunching as u walk through it). I'm getting 45 mins video on a 2 gig memory card at the moment until the bigger card i bought arrives.
Built in USB with extension cable for PC transfer and battery charging, and A/V cables for TV playback. An HDMI would have served better for tv playback of an HD cam though.
My final verdict is this: I will be keeping this cam. It is a great cam to shove in your pocket/purse and go. Its an entry level cam thats simple to use with good video. If you are looking for something to be 0 lux, something to plug external mics, lights, and other accessories into that you are doing more advanced shooting with, then you are looking at the wrong category all together you are looking for a traditional form HD cam. Take it for what it is for the price.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2010
I had read the reviews on this Sony on various sites, and wasn't very big on it. I wanted something small, and not have to bring my camera along, but with more time to record video, since most point and shoots have minimum 30min on the 4 gig cards.
I happened to see the Bloggie at Sam's Club, and read the info on the box, and was quite impressed that with the 4gig card it came with, I can get 4hrs 12mins. on the VGA setting. there is about 5 different video/still shots settings on the camera. I have it set on the lower quality setting. But i don't see much of a difference between the footage. The running time is the major difference between the settings. Also on the vga setting for stills, is 9999 shots .
I love the feature of the 360 wrap around video/stills lense. I don't see any bad shots, blurry shots, or an other issues. I had played with it for about a half hour and coudn't see any problems.
I don't like having to carry around video camera with me to disneyland, or other amusement parks, for the reason they are so bulky and its hard to enjoy the sites and sounds.
I love the didgtal cameras that are out, put the Bloggie is able to take so many more photo's and more video time, on a 4 gig card, that this is a great investment to have. I also like the fact that it can slide into my side pocket in carpenter shorts, or in a small purse. That is a major plus in itself.
I got the vilot/eggplant one, being that black is very hard to find in stores, and it is a very dark color too, which is nice.
The battery lasts 9-10hrs, which also is a big help, for lots of time with viewing after the video/stills are taken.
I am a pc, and I recommend this product.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Summary: A pocket sized camcorder which can't decide between being a "point and shoot" and a more fully featured model - some very nice features but overall too many functions and features make it harder and less enjoyable to use. Definitely not for everybody.
I'm a certifiable gadget geek and several years ago bought a first generation Flip Video camera to supplement our regular MiniDV and 3CCD MiniDV camcorders. I also have a mini "spy" cam for rockets and such so this is actually our FIFTH camcorder
I was intrigued by the swiveling lens. This is by far the best feature. It protects the lens and also acts as an on-off switch (there is another on off switch in case you want to view images with the lens closed) or turn it off with the lens open.
It's also a nice piece of design, although I would have preferred black. White looks kind of funky on the back since the bezel, etc is black.
NOTE: There is a thin piece of protective plastic covering the screen. I almost didn't realize. You can leave it on as a screen protector but with it off, the contrast, etc is noticibly better.
There are other features which are nice (still images, etc) but by loading this camcorder up with functions it actually becomes more confusing and harder to use. I won't list them all as an example, you can select between five resolutions (1080@30FPS,720@60FPS,720@30FPS,640x460)
This camcorder is pocketable but the size is nothing to write home about - it's as big as a typical smart phone but definitely bigger than today's cell phones. (nearly identical to my HTC touch pro, same size as the first generation flip without the bulge, noticibly larger than a Motorola RAZR or Samsung A900).
Then there is the record button location. It's thin, narrow, and on one side. More than once I've found myself having to hit the button again because it didn't register. Ergonomically this sucks, plus you get an extra shake at the start and finish of each video you shoot unless you're really careful.
In addition, I was appalled by the low light performance for 720P @ 60 FPS. Even at 30 FPS 1080 or 720, the low light performance was not as good as our first gen Flip Video. This was in a relatively dim restaurant at night, but not an unusual situation to be in. The Flip gave acceptable video - this did not.
- Swivel lens
- Charge via USB cable
- Removable battery (allows spare battery capability)
- Standard tripod socket on bottom
- Large playback screen
- Takes SD Cards (I didn't realize it when I first bought it, but I just confirmed that it will)
- MP4 recording format required additional software to be loaded to computer.
- Low light performance for video
- Off axis on/off button not ergonomic
- No flash for stills
- Larger than you would expect
p.s. The comment from Ahmed Bader was ironically a cut and paste of my comment on HIS review which is clearly lifted from the Sony press release.
If you've found this review helpful, or have questions / comments, please let me know!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2010
I simply loved it!
Capture high quality image/video for its size. Software installation a bit tricky for windows 7 (Required update). I have no problem with the placement of still shot button. I always use 2 hands anyway. I think Sony did that on purpose for the user to be able to hold the camera steady. With one hand, it will be hard to avoid blur. Sony realized of the sensor limitation and basically force the user to do it right!
Swivel lens is the main difference between this and similar competitor product and I found it as a nice feature addition. Great video capture at all resolution with the peak of sharpness start to show on 1080 30fps. Image stabilization included but will automatically disable if resolution set to 720/60fps and up. Color reproduction was accurate and well saturated. Camcorder has face detection control that shows on the LCD screen as small box around the subject face. Digital zoom probably not required if you use the software editor, you can zoom-in/zoom out effect from there. But if you want to use it, move the slide slowly to avoid/lessen the flickering/strobing effect.
For the improvement, I wish there were optical zoom on this camcorder. Also if the menu/task bar can be hidden while shooting and the screen can have an auto align features both horizontally and vertically, just like on the playback mode, it will make the screen view larger and more pleasant to use. Screen pixel resolution could be higher so it will be easier to use under bright light. Few other features such as HDMI output will be a great plus.
Overall, I think Sony did a great job on this. Yes, there were some cons such as poor low light. but if you compare those cons to competitor product, it actually share the same weaknesses. This camcorder was build to capture the moment, not to make a movie! Please adjust your expectation and you will greatly appreciated with this gadget. I hope they will come out with much better features for the next generation bloggie.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2011
I actually did not get this from Amazon (which is unusual for me, as AMZ is my go-to source for just about everything) but I found one for less on another site. Just got it a few days ago, and so far am loving it. About a year ago, I did buy from Amazon a Kodak Playsport, which I would up returning, as I was unable to upload the clips from the camera to my Mac 10.4 OS in a usable form. AS PROMISED, this little guy is compatible and, practically out of the box can upload good-quality video which I have posted already on YouTube as well as Facebook -- which is all I was asking for.
One thing: the manual says this camera is not good for macro shots and to leave at least 2 feet between the lens and the subject. I must say I have taken shots closer than that, and got a great shot of my cat's face from about seven inches away, and her eyes and whiskers were nicely defined. Maybe close shots are clearer on the videos than they might be in a still shot, but I am not going to depend on this camera for still shots. I have a Kodak 10.2 digital SLR for that, which I am very happy with (also bought from Amazon).
Oh, one more thing ... my Kodak SLR has a video feature, of course, but I cannot zoom in and out while shooting; with the Bloggie, I can.
Over all, I recommend this camera.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2011
This is a very simple to use video camera. I am not very technologically savvy so it was nice to find such an intuitive video camera. The sound and picture quality are excellent for my purposes. I have been able to easily post video clips and pics on my facebook page.