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VINE VOICEon May 24, 2011
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I got my camera today and I was excited to take it for a test drive. My initial impression while unboxing it was how sleek & well packaged it was (the heavy thick internal box was very much like iphone and ipod). You get the camera, a usb extender cable, a camera tether/strap and the documents. The software is built into the camera so don't be shocked when you don't see it. The battery was fully charged when I got mine so I was instantly able to power it on and check it out. I started to read some documents and they told me to register and install the software before getting stated. Below I will breakdown the following process step by step.

>> Registration/Software/Setup:
When you get the camera out of the box you can plug it into your USB port on your machine. (Remember to have the power turned on when you plug it into the USB or it wont get detected) Two new folders show up on your drive list.."Bloggie" & "Bloggie Software". You then run the camera software called "Setup_Bloggie" (for windows or mac) located in the "Bloggie Software" folder. You can now register your camera online via their software (in which it plugs in all the serial number data for you which makes it easy), then the software sets up somewhat quickly (few minutes).

*Firmware Update: (Not required, but I did it... skip this step if you're not interested.)
After full install...I noticed upon software start up it told me to update the firmware on the camera (being that I am a techy sort, I went right for that. Others can easily avoid this step if you don't wanna deal with it right away.) The method to update the firmware is not obvious anywhere, but I found some videos online that helped me sort that out... basically you copy the firmware.bin you get off Sony's site and copy it into the "Bloggie" folder and reboot the camera and it updates itself... easy and quick. The camera is then ready to go.

>> Video Recording & Quality:
This couldn't be easier to use. Remember to turn the camera side ways. Always hold this camera long ways to the ground...otherwise the 16:9 footage flips vertical and squeezes the wrong way.

You click the little center red dot button on the thumb pad below the screen to start recording and to stop recording. You can zoom in and out with the little thumb pad. The camera does a decent job auto focusing, just try to keep a steady hand to speed that up. The audio is surprisingly clear, which I was shocked with most due to its small size (usually small mics don't pick up audio well). Once I got back on my PC after shooting I saw that the video shoots in clear 1080p HD, very impressive quality.

*Video Resolution Settings:
If you click menu button, on the camera, you can select (1080 30p, 720 60p, 720 30p, 270 30p)... for those that don't know the 30p and 60p refers to frame rate... higher is better for fast motion recording (think cars or sports). 1080 30p of coarse is the highest full HD resolution and one I personally will be using all the time.)

*Low Light Performance:
I tested the camera out under low light settings to see how well it handles and I was surprised it didn't do too bad. Low light is a problem for ALL cameras though (as you need light to shoot :), but I was happy to see this performed relatively well. Just be sure if you want good quality recordings to not stumble into low light areas, try to make sure they are artificially lit.

*Image Stabilization:
I did notice a bit of heavy screen vibration while moving quickly, so try to keep steady with your movements and not stomp or jog around (which means the image stabilization isn't the best of the best, but at this price range it does a good job in my opinion).

*Audio:
Quick note on audio...be sure you watch where your fingers are located on the camera, as to not block the microphone holes or it can muffle the audio level. The microphone holes are located right next to the word "bloggie" on the phones side... further down that panel near the on/off button are another set of holes, but those are for the speaker playback. Just commit to memory "the ones to avoid covering are near the bloggie logo!" :)

*Technique for clear footage:
Good hand placement and a steady set of hands are key for any videographer or photo-tog. If you want good footage, learning how to steady your hands is one of the early things you need to practice. Particularly if you are not using a tripod or resting the camera on solid objects to shoot footage. Practice makes perfect!

>> Sharing:
The software that comes with the camera allows you to upload via Facebook, Flickr, Youtube accounts really quickly and easily. The part that surprised me was Sony has something called "Personal Space by Sony" which they allow you to upload 1 GB of video footage to privately or publicly share with friends/family/colleagues. This is a 100% free service as far as I can tell. I uploaded my 1st batch of videos to my family right after getting the camera and the process was simple. You can add comments and rate each video too via their service (similar to Youtube). The only negative I didnt like is they appear to downsize the resolution of your video as to more easily fit in their servers. I suppose with only 1 GB of space full 1080p footage would get filled up quickly.

*Directly Access the Videos:
If you want to extract your footage out of the camera and bypass the Sony software it is possible too. This is ideal if you want to edit the footage in full-fledged video suite (like Adobe Premier, Sony Vegas or Final Cut Pro) or upload to your own website. There are 2 ways to do this.

The easiest way is after you plug your camera into your computer navigate to the "Bloggie" folder and look for a folder called "MP_ROOT" .. inside this folder your will find another folder, inside that will be your video footage in *.MP4 format. You will also find a *.THM file with the same name, I believe this is a sony proprietary thumbnail format, just to display the thumbnail of your video or photo. Therefore, you only need to copy over the *.MP4 video file to your computer for video editing or uploading to your own website.
WARNING: Just be sure not to delete any folders just to be safe.

The other way to get to this data is by using the sony software and click "show in explorer" this opens up the folder in explorer with the footage located in it. (Same effect, but the original way bypasses the software to locate it)

>> Final Thoughts:
Overall this is the perfect "world from my perspective" kinda camera. Great for Blogs, Vlogs, Youtubers or just people who want to share quick easy to make videos with family/friends. The size of this camera is literally so tiny it will slip in your back pocket if your a guy or your purse if your a gal, no camera bags needed if you don't want one. What is amazing to me is being able to get 1080p HD this good looking at this price.

After using this camera a while now and having fun with it I can easily say for the price and quality I would highly recommend it to others. I also love that a camera like this is so easy to just pick up and shoot footage without the hassle of battery packs, lenses DV tapes or DVD's, etc... it's just painlessly easy to use, point and shoot video.

If you are in the market for this class of camera, put this on your radar. Have fun making videos!
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VINE VOICEon August 10, 2011
I bought this specifically to record band rehearsals and performances. I think I might take it back because it is missing a couple of essential features, although it is quite easy to use and has surprisingly good audio quality.

When I started looking for a handheld camcorder to record music rehearsals and performances, I quickly narrowed down the field to the Sony Bloggie, the Zoom Q3 and the Zoom Q3 HD because of their listed attributes and the great reviews on these products. The Zoom Q3 was the front runner as far as audio quality was concerned (according to reviewers) but was not 1080p. The Bloggie was 1080p, but didn't have the audio rep of the Zoom. The Zoom Q3 HD had both. I finally settled on the Sony Bloggie because the Zoom Q3 HD was a little out of my price range, and because I could find it locally and I needed it ASAP.

So here's the review:

The Bloggie came in a slick little box which can also be used as a carrying case for all the paraphernalia (USB cable, carrying cord, manuals.) The device is also very smooth and slick looking, and feels substantial in your hand. The first thing you need to do before using it is plug it in to your computer. Editing software will then be downloaded into your computer automatically. (The editor is very primitive, but does the job for basic applications.) The instruction manual doesn't really tell you much--- it is one thick card, and doesn't help much at all! You kind of have to figure out how the thing works on your own. Luckily, it is pretty straightforward. Press the red button to record!

The battery came charged out of the box, which was nice. It is recharged through the USB, so you don't ever need to buy batteries.

I tried a quick little vid in my bedroom and uploaded it to my harddrive with no problem. According to the specs, there is an internal flash drive (which can't be upgraded) which allows 2 hours of recording in 1080p. This seemed to me to be a little low for what I would need it for (band rehearsals,) but close enough. I erased the test vid from the memory, and went off to rehearsal.

Since I didn't buy the optional stand, I sort of balanced the thing between two books and pressed record. It seemed to be working fine (it has a built-in video screen), so we started rehearsal. About two hours later we quit, and I went home, all excited to download the vid and take a listen to what we had done.

After plugging the camera into my laptop and opening the editing software, I selected "import." A couple of minutes later, the file had finished, and (with great anticipation!) I pressed play to watch it. Listening to the video with headphones, I was surprised at the sound quality for such a tiny camera with no external mike! The video was pretty good, too, although that wasn't my main concern. The audio quality was my priority, and the Bloggie seemed to pass that test.

Unfortunately, at that moment, I noticed that the video was only 29 minutes long! Where the heck was the other hour and a half of rehearsal? I had no idea! Gone into the ether! I never touched the camera once I set it up, but for some reason the thing quit recording at 29 minutes! Gah! What a waste!!!! I was sick. I read the (non)manual, but could find nothing about this issue.

I also realized that we had played for about 2 and half hours, so even if the camera had worked, I would have missed the last half hour because of the lack of memory.

After I got home I went on line to do some research. At some camera website with the Bloggie specs and review, in the very last footnote at the bottom of the page, it said "movie recording is limited to 29 minute segments."

GAHHH!!!! Really, Sony? Really??? Even though there is still an hour and half of memory left? REALLY???!?!!

So, what that means essentially is that if I want to record one of our shows, I have to set up the camera, then a half hour later leave the stage to press "record" again? Then a half hour later, leave the stage AGAIN to press record AGAIN?

Epic fail.

The second problem I have with the Bloggie is that there is no way to expand the memory capabilities. With the Zoom you can upgrade your memory to be able to record up to 16 hours of video! With the Bloggie, you are stuck with two hours, but in 29 minute segments.

So here is my final summary:

PROS:
Surprisingly good audio quality for such a small camera.
Good video quality at 1080p.
Simple to use.

CONS:
Unfathomable 29 minute limit on videos.
Non-expandable memory.
Poor and useless tech manual.

For my needs, the Bloggie doesn't quite cut it. However, the audio quality is very good. Still, I think I will be forced to return this device.

I'm sad!

UPDATE AUGUST 16, 2011

I've been listening repeatedly to the audio on the recording that I made with this product, and the more I listen to it and compare it to the audio I have heard online of the ZOOM Q3, the more that I like the sound from the Bloggie. I am very torn at this point on whether I am going to return the Bloggie. The sound this little camera captures is really good! I will update again as I spend some more time with it and record some more with it. I also found that, according to Sony, the reason the camera shuts off at 29 minutes is because of heating issues. Still an epic fail, though.

UPDATE AUGUST 17 2011

OK, this camera has got to go! I tried using it a second time at one of our rehearsals. This time it only got through 20 minutes before shutting itself off (must have overheated.) I tried to start it again, but it just wouldn't record again. I had to wait over 20 minutes for it to cool down before it would begin recording again. Even then, it only lasted another 13 minutes before shutting itself off again, this time supposedly for no battery charge--- even though it was fully charged when I started. All of these things are entirely unacceptable. It is really sad, because the 33 minutes of video I did manage to get have really great, lifelike sound. The sound is good! If only the rest of the camera worked as well.... *sigh*
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Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Let's start with the bottom line. Sony's first 3D camera is good, especially considering the price but the manual especially needs a bit of work.

Packaging

Face it, the packaging is the first thing you notice about a product. And it's always nice when the packaging is good. And this is. The camera comes in a velvet lined box like you might find for a designer watch. The box contains simple getting started instructions and warranty information plus a simple wrist tether.

The Camera

The camera is smaller than I expected; it's smaller than an average smartphone, though a little thicker which you will discover later is by design. This is because at the base of the bloggie is a standard threaded hole for attaching it to any regular camera mounting or tripod accessory.

In Use

I've always wanted to be able to attach a video camera to my car and record scenic drives so on my first day I attached my new bloggie to my Joby flexible tripod and fastened the camera to my rear view mirror in a matter of seconds. My first trip was exciting and provided me with roughly 20 minutes of video recording before the batteries ran out. This is because I ran it in sport mode and the instructions were not clear about what sport mode was. Sport mode records 1080p Hi Def at 60FPS (Frames Per Second) for fast action recording and the phenomenal amount of data means the battery gets drained very quickly but eliminates blurring when something moves quickly past the camera. (So you get better quality but less of it.)

I have since recorded drives at 1080p 30 FPS and the battery has yet to run out on a single trip, well over an hour closer to two. Quality of video is very good in a variety of conditions so long as there is adequate light.

The camera also takes still shots and can even do this while recording video. The quality is decent, similar to the video output but at a different aspect ratio that matches traditional photographs. This is great though a little disorientating at first. What the manual doesn't tell you is that you have to hold the photo button half pressed a moment till the camera changes to photo mode, a white box appears and clicking the photo button produces a traditional photo clicking and film winding noise.

Interface

The camera interface is very simple. You don't need to be very technical to use it. When holding the camera portrait style you have the screen and two menu buttons plus 4 buttons forming a cross shape with a red record button in the center.

The top menu button pops up photo and video settings, left and right buttons to set photo resolution, up down buttons to set video Clicking again returns you to the camera view. The Bottom menu button shows thumbnails of your photos and videos in a grid that you can navigate with the left, right, up and down buttons.

In the default camera view, the up and down arrows zoom the camera in and out, whilst the right arrow cycles through self timer settings. The photo button is separate to the video record button so you can video and take photos simultaneously without ruining the video.

The whole is relatively intuitive and you should soon get the hang of it.

Charging and connectivity.

The Bloggie has a flip out USB plug in one side of it that is used for charging. It has no separate charger. You flick a switch and out pops a USB plug at a 90 degree tangent to the camera body. This can plug directly into your computer or via a simple 6" cable that comes with the camera. Plug it in with the camera switched off and away it goes.

The camera can also be plugged directly into a modern HDTV via the built in mini HDMI connector though you will have to purchase the correct cable as none is supplied.

Software.

The camera comes with software for your computer preinstalled. When you plug it into a Mac or PC the device is recognized and it asks you if you want to install the software. A few moments later you're presented with a sleek interface that shows all the media you have taken. It's very simple to navigate and has quick one click upload to Youtube, facebook etc. Or one click to transfer selected media to your computer. It's very simple and straightforward and doesn't really need instructions if you have a basic understanding of windows or the apple desktop.

I am very pleased with the camera, it's small, very lightweight and easy to mount to various camera tripods and other mounting attachments. Quality is good, batteries last a good 2 hours of video recording in normal conditions.

The main thing Sony should work on is the manual.
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VINE VOICEon June 14, 2011
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a very nice portable video camera. It is compact enough to carry around, it is easy to use, and the video quality is good. The battery lasts plenty long to fill up the camera's memory (and then some), and the integrated USB plug makes it easy to transfer videos and photos back to your computer (there's never any need to hunt for a cable).

There are two enhancements I would suggest that would make this product truly earn five stars in my book. First is a flash. The Bloggie doesn't have one. I know this camera is meant mostly for recording video, which requires a certain amount of ambient light. It does that well. But it is also marketed as a device for taking still photos. If the Bloggie had a flash, it might be able to completely replace my other point-and-shoot camera for still photos. As it is, I will still need to carry another camera in darker conditions.

The second feature I would add is the ability to record videos more than 30 minutes in length. Even if there is enough memory left on the camera to hold more than 30 minutes of video, the camera can only handle recording 30 minutes at a time. It will then stop recording and you can restart it at that time. Again, 30 minutes is plenty for recording short videos to share on social networking sites, but a little improvement here would make the camera a lot more versatile.
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on March 19, 2015
I wanted to get a camera that would be easy to carry around and take great picture quality - after having our first child I wanted to be able to capture things on video - and not have to use the camera on my phone - the pictures come out shaky and unstable - the zoom makes the picture blurry - the manual is garbage - Your iPhone or Android is likely far superior frankly - I am not going to carry on about this because I don't feel it warrants much to say other then that I rarely give out one star, but frankly this is a 150 dollar paper weight. - The aggravating part is not that I blew 150 bucks on a piece of junk, its the raw amount of time I put in reading reviews on Amazon, as well as other websites, and went back and forth between this and several other options. I bought this several years ago, it ended up in a drawer after about 4 months. I was going through my junk drawer last weekend, found this device sitting there covered in dust, and just threw it in the garbage.
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on June 23, 2011
Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a wonderful little videocamera. It records up to two hours of high-definition, 5MP video. It's sleek, well-built (it doesn't feel cheap, and held up well on a trip to Israel through the sand, cities, and surf), and easy-to-use. The videos are high quality, and the simple layout allows easy and quick access to the basic recording and reviewing functions. Battery life is good, and the built-in USB plug is very convenient. Installation was a snap: I just plugged it into my USB port, and my laptop immediately recognized the device. Exporting the videos to video-sharing sites is about as simple as it can get, and media can be copy/pasted to one's computer.

The biggest drawback to the Sony Bloggie is that it doesn't have a flash. Because it relies on ambient/environemtnal light, it can usually take pretty good shots, but indoors and in lower-light conditions, the quality drops precipitously. Otherwise, a great purchase at a stellar price. It's very sturdy, and is good for both videoblogging (vlogging?), and outdoor work. It's clearly a device meant to fill the void left by the Flip cameras, and Sony's successfully done so: I prefer the Bloggie far, far to the Flip.
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Color: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was using a Flip camera for my videos until I got this one. I snapped open the usb connection on it and plugged it into my computer, then looked for the disc or the instructions for loading the software. By the time I looked back at my screen it was already loaded AND pre-charged. Wow. It is light and slim and slips right into my pocket like a skinny cellphone.

I took it to my grandson's end-of-the-year program at school and turned it on - no time to test it or practice with it. The viewing screen is big and I had no trouble with the focus or the zoom narrowing onto one thing or another that I didn't want it to.

It picked up the sound OK. I was fairly close to the stage, so don't know what would have happened farther back, but it was decent. The result was similar to what you'd expect for home movie type cameras. This is not professional quality, obviously.

The quality of the finished recording was good, too. Again, not professional quality, but every bit as good or better than the Flip. The best thing about it was that I didn't have to go through hoops to transfer the results to my computer or to share them with others through email and copying to DVD. No special programs I had to go through or use. I plugged it back in, clicked and dragged. Presto.

I was used to the Flip being finicky when charging, and not holding a charge for long enough to take it out and away from a computer for the afternoon. The Sony Bloggie - so far - has not given me that problem.

I haven't even begun to explore all the options with the camera, so I will update as I do. But just as a preliminary overview - I like it better than the Flip.
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on January 16, 2015
Audio is really hard to pick up on this camera. I am using this product for my education as a Grad School student studying to be a counselor. We need to record our mock sessions with other students. It's extremely hard to hear what we are saying in the video. The visuals are fine, my only criticism is the audio.
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on March 13, 2012
I wanted to like this little camera - I wanted to love it. The unboxing was beautiful, the device itself clean, and pretty well designed.

But then I started recording video - correction - I tried to start recording video of a local spoken word artist. On the second take (the best take of the night), the Bloggie quit halfway through, and pretended that the recording didn't happen. After I hit stop on the fourth one, it froze and required a hard reboot. That take was totally lost too.

The battery lasted for about 25 minutes of video. It was in a cold warehouse, but that's still ridiculous for a device that claims two hours.

But then, when I thought it couldn't get worse, I got it home (dead), powered it up, and discovered that on a few of the videos, the sound wasn't synced to the audio. I'm not even sure how that's possible

Insult to injury: despite carrying the mac logo, it clearly wasn't actually plugged into one in the Sony offices - its design means that you can't have both power and the Bloggie plugged in at the same time. The laptop ran out of juice, and I put the Bloggie back into its box, and promptly set to returning it before it spread its damage elsewhere in my life.

Maybe I got a lemon, but this little device made me realize that there were new ways of failing I'd never considered.

THE VERDICT:
- If you need it for critical video anytime soon: AVOID this at all costs.
- If you're messing around and have time to test, I'd still give it a miss - unless you're cool with returns. If you're return-friendly, given the other positive reviews, maybe it's worth taking the chance that your luck is better than mine.
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on October 3, 2015
Used it for the first time today shooting movies of my grandson's forth birthday at the roller rink. I was a little unsure of what it would be like under the low lighting conditions, but it proved me wrong. The movies I took came out great!!! This little camera really rocks.... It took better movies than my wife's camera which was much more expensive. Took movies all day - outside, inside and after dark... All came out beautiful! You can't go wrong with this little gem. The price is right and it fits great in your shirt pocket...
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