Pros + Great video quality
+ Easy to use
+ 12.8MP still camera
+ 1080p supported (as well as 720p)
+ Built-in USB port
+ Built-in mini-HDMI port
+ Attractive appearance
+ SteadyShot image stabilization (not optical)
Cons - Middling still photo quality
- Hard to grip
- No pouch or case included
- Goofy name
Summary Sony has introduced an interesting twist to the saturated pocket camcorder market with the new Bloggie Touch (MHS-TS20). Unlike the touch controls of the Flip MinoHD, the Bloggie Touch has a large 3.0 inch widescreen touch screen. Anything to add to the already stale stable of current pocket camcorders is a welcome change. Ultimately though, two main requirements need to be met for this style of video recording device; they must be easy to use and have good video quality. On both counts, the Sony Bloggie delivers.*** P.S. If you will buy this camcorder I suggest you have compare prices or read more reviews before you decide at: www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B0043CYRT6?ie=UTF8&ref_=dp_olp_new&condition=new#?ie=UTF8&tag=***************&********=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957
A couple of years ago, I bought one of the original Flip pocket camcorders from Costco. It was somewhat bulky, took standard definition video and ran on AA batteries. But we loved it as a family for being super simple, fairly cheap, and allowing us to capture spontaneous memories. We then upgraded to a Flip MinoHD but never had the same affection for it the way we did with our original Flip. I also had experience using the Creative Labs Vado and so I had a good sampling of what the pocket camcorder market offered. When I initially ordered the Sony Bloggie through Amazon's Vine Program, I was expecting a toy-like camcorder-- a My First Sony camcorder. I was wrong. The cutesy, youth-oriented name disguised the fact that the Bloggie Touch was a very capable, easy, and fun to use pocket camcorder.
Even if you haven't used a touch screen device before, the Bloggie Touch will be very easy to figure out. Once you get past the initial demo video, you'll be prompted to set the language, date, and time and then you'll be ready to shoot your first video. The large 3.0" widescreen touch screen is fun to use and responsive. The itty bitty screens of the Flip or Vado were a bit of a chore to preview videos with but not so with the Bloggie Touch. There are just three physical buttons on the Bloggie- Power ON/OFF, Movie Button, and the still image shutter. That's it. All other functions and settings are are accessed through the touch screen. Though you can hold and record the Bloggie Touch in portrait or landscape orientations, keep in mind that it will be recorded in those orientations. Unlike the Flip or Vado, the Bloggie Touch is really meant to be used in landscape. The only problem I had with the Bloggie Touch was holding it correctly without it slipping out of my hands. The Bloggie Touch is very svelte and made out of slippery plastic. The front has a brushed finish while the side and back are a matte finish. Since you're supposed to hold it in landscape mode, it can be challenging to hold it with two hands without covering the lens with a finger from your left hand. It can be used with a single hand but since it's so slick, I felt the need to use both hands. Luckily, a wrist strap is provided.
The Bloggie Touch has three video recording settings-- 1080/30p, 720/60p, and 720/30p. I found that the 720/60p had the best balance of video quality and size. FYI, there is a 29 minute limit for continuous recording and a 2GB file size limit. The Bloggie Touch uses Variable Bit Rate (VBR) format for video so the size and times of the video can differ depending on the type of video being recorded. Below is the estimated recording times for each recording setting:
It performed very well outside in daylight. The autofocus actually worked really well. I should note that I immediately upgraded the firmware to v1.05 before I recorded a single video or took a single still. Firmware v1.05 is supposed to improve the format function, touch panel operation, and focusing. As I mentioned, I had no problems with focusing so perhaps some of the focus issues that the Bloggie Touch had initially were addressed in this upgrade. Indoors, it worked well for the most part, but as with most pocket camcorders, it struggled to keep up in low light. I did not expect any different.
Outdoors, during daylight, the still shots that I took with the Bloggie Touch were rather good. Indoors, in good light, it was just ok and pretty awful in low light. The problem with still photos is that the Bloggie Touch does not have a flash so it's pretty useless indoors unless you have very good lighting. Except for the shots outdoors, I thought that my Droid X smartphone took as good a photo, if not better, than the Bloggie Touch. I was disappointed overall with the still pictures but still happy to at least have the option. In fact, you can take a still picture while recording a video.
I was never a big fan of the FlipShare software for Flip camcorders but did like it for it's ability to export videos and rename the files automatically by date. It was ok. The Sony software however seems to have no real added benefit other than organization and importing the videos from the Bloggie Touch to your computer. Yes, you can tag your videos and photos for automatic uploading but I don't personally find uploading my files to Facebook, Picasa, and others to be troubling to begin with. I suppose it would be decent for the super newbie. One feature I did like was the ability to trim videos, but that was about it.
Of all the pocket camcorders I have owned and used, the Sony Bloggie Touch is probably the most fun and versatile. It's a little more challenging to hold because you have to hold it in landscape mode and is a bit slippery, but the nice 3.0" touch screen makes up for it. If you already have a good HD pocket camcorder, I wouldn't say that the Bloggie Touch is worth switching to, but if don't already own one, the Sony Bloggie Touch is definitely worth a look.
Updated on Aug 29, 2011
Updated on Oct 24, 2011Eidt Link
I suggest you have to compare prices before you decide at: http://beam.to/MHS-TS20
Pros Solid video quality
Really sleek design
Cons AUTOFOCUS NIGHTMARE
Summary I bought this camera to do some video blogging. I wanted to get a Flip but saw this one and noticed that you could do 1080p video. Reviews looked decent so it was a no brainer. The initial short videos I made were fine but when I sat down to actually do a little vlogging, I couldn't get the thing to stop focusing in and out. It was on a table that was not moving and I was standing right in front of it talking and moving my hands a little bit, but it couldn't decide whether to focus on me or the wall behind me. When I looked at the video on my computer full screen, It was just unwatchable -- a couple of seconds crystal clear and then blurry a few seconds later and then back again. I felt like I was looking through the eyes of someone who's head was bobbing back and forth, like Quagmire-vision or something. I tried a number of different locations and even tried doing some additional backlighting, but I couldn't get the thing to stop focusing in and out. I really wanted to like this thing, but if you can't make watchable videos, what's the point. Needless to say, this thing is going back and I'm getting a Flip, which doesn't seem to have these problems.
Pros Looks cool pictures are ok in good light.
Cons touch screen is very unresponsive/hard to use... pictures blur very easily. videos stay out of focus for a long time until refocusing. often the videos will be ruined with a loud clicking noise. if it dies completely. it is extremely hard to turn back on(
Summary you will regret buying this camera. do not buy it.
Pros When everything goes well, the picture quality is awesome (especially 720p/60fps)
Cons 1.) You must have the camera in a perfect horizontal position prior to pressing record. If you don't ... it will record a thin video with a large amount of black on both sides. This is a huge problem!
2.) I much prefer to hold a small camcorder straight u
Summary I was really disappointed with this camera. I think you're much better off with one of the Flip videos. I may buy another camcorder and give this away.Half of my review (above) was deleted. The cons should read ...
Updated on Apr 5, 2011
-You must hold the camera in a perfect horizontal position prior to pressing record. If you don't ... it will record a thin video with a large amount of black on both sides. This is a huge problem!
-I much prefer to hold a small camcorder straight up and down (such as The Flip) than horizontal. It is harder to hold the Bloggie steady than The Flip. If you use two hands ... you run the risk of blocking the microphone and lens with your left hand. Microphone is in bad spot.
-Autofocus is poor at best.
-On screen zoom in and out controls are pretty weak.
Pros The Sony Bloggie is a great-priced camera for nature photos and close-ups.
Cons The Bloggie should not be used at a place where you will need to use the zoom. The quality goes from 13 megapixels (without zoom) to what looks like only about 2 or 3 megapixels (with zoom.)
Summary Overall, the Bloggie is weak. It's focus is too slow and it's zoom doesn't work like a normal camera. It's auto-focus always wants to focus on the background and it's zoom simply does not work. And if you want to make some sort of movie......don't use the Bloggie!
But for the price, it's ok. I paid $250 so I still think its a good camera.