Top positive review
88 of 88 people found this helpful
on April 1, 2012
I purchased a Flip Slide about a year ago but I returned it after (1) it developed a problem with its HDMI jack and (2) I learned that Cisco had dropped the product and will terminate support next year. Chose the new Bloggie Sport as the replacement and received it a few days ago. Based on my experience with it thus far, I have both good and bad things to say.
First the good:
(1) With the option of shooting in full-HD (1080) resolution, the Sony trumps the Flip, which went no higher than 720. I watched my Bloggie videos on a 46" screen and the quality was superb. I took some underwater videos of my 6-year-old in the pool (she's an amazing little swimmer) and again was delighted with the results (as was she!). The Bloggie has a very cool underwater mode that color-corrects based on depth. The results were impressive. (The camera is supposed to be waterproof down to 15 feet. I didn't go even half that distance, but there was no evidence of any leakage. I had to use an Aquapac case -- basically a clear vinyl pouch -- to shoot underwater with the Flip; this was a lot less cumbersome.)
(2) There have been some complaints about button placement on the Bloggie; yes, they take a few moments to get used to, but I actually found the placement to be more intuitive than they were on the Flip -- notably the still photo shutter button.
(3) The Bloggie is as much of a "flip" as the Flip was; i.e., its USB connector flips out of the case and can be plugged into your computer directly. If that's made difficult becase of the location of your USB jack, the short USB extension cord that's included in the package will solve the problem.
(4) The Bloggie features a selectable "HD Sports" mode that shoots 720p at 60 fps. That means you get less blur in fast-moving sequences, and also that you can "grab" some amazingly sharp stills later on. (The demo video on the camera highlights this feature more than any other.) Shooting at 60 fps means that playback at the standard 30 fps would be HD slow motion. Thus far, however, I haven't found a way to do that.
(5) The Bloggie saves videos as MP4 files, meaning that they can be transferred directly to iTunes and then to all your Apple gadgets. Not so with my Sony Handcam, whose videos need to be converted before they are Apple-ready.
Now the gripes:
(1) I find the LCD screen to be insufficiently bright for shooting outdoors on a sunny day. It was a real struggle at the beach, for example, to know whether I was framing my shots accurately. The main thing I saw was my own reflection. As I recall, I was able to tweak the brightness of the screen on my Flip; Sony should have included that function as well.
(2) The delay between pressing the still photo shutter button and the digital "click" is nearly a second, making it all but impossible to catch that special moment, expecially with young kids. Not a problem for posed photos, but if you're counting to three, be sure to press the shutter on "two." (You always have the option, of course, of shooting in video mode and then finding that perfect frame through the software; that's what I'll probably do with this camera.)
(3) While I found the button locations unobjectionable, the proximity of the lens very near the left edge of the camera meant that, in the beginning at least, I saw a lot of finger in my shots. Again, it's not hard to train yourself to hold the camera "just so"; but it's still annoying.
(4) Like one other reviewer, I'm experiencing some difficulty downloading Sony's organizing and editing software.
(5) As others have noticed, the location of the mic tends to pick up camera-handling noises unless you hold the camera firmly without any surface movement. I didn't find this quite as much of a problem as others have.
Bottom line: This is a capable camera that, for its size and convenience, produces superb videos. Its ruggedness and waterproofing are real advantages. With a brighter screen, a faster shutter button, a more suitably located mic, and less problematic software, Sony would have a hands-down winner.