For Christmas 2010 I received a Sony Bloggie digital video recorder and I have been using it for recording video and taking still pictures with it since then. This blog entry provides my thoughts on the Sony Bloggie from a non-technical point of view.
First, the Bloggie is a perfect size if you want to just slip it into a pocket and carry it with you for that moment when you need to record a video.
At the same time, the small size of the Bloggie does limit the functionality of it. There is no way to focus the lens manually and the fact that the lens is so small (similar to a cellphone video camera) makes it difficult to use it in low light or long distance shot applications.
The fact is that when using it up close to your subject it works very nicely. It records in high definition and the picture quality can be stunningly beautiful, in the right light situations.
However, like I said, if you are not close to your subject then the Bloggie can be slow to focus on the subject. As an example, I was at the press conference when Christy Clark won the BC Liberal leadership race. I have a ten minute video of her speaking and the first two minutes of that video is of a shining orb-like object at the podium. Not very flattering for Premier Christy Clark.
In this short video you can see how the Bloggie takes a moment or two to focus and then once focussed the picture is great;
The amazing thing is that the sound is picked up through the tiniest microphones on the end of the Bloggie.
I find the sound to be very good quality. Although the limitations are obvious; in a noisy situation I need to hold the Bloggie very close to my subjects face or it picks up too much background noise.
As well as being useful to record video, the Sony Bloggie can also take still photos. For anyone familiar with new digital cameras though they will find the still photo ability of the Sony Bloggie very frustrating. Once you press the button to take the picture there is a significant pause before the picture is frozen in time. If you are trying to take pictures of kids, well, all I will say is good luck.
This was supposed to be a picture of Story sitting at the top of the slide. Before the Sony Bloggie could capture the moment though she was already in motion.
In spite of the limitations that I mention here, I do not go anywhere without my Sony Bloggie. It easily fits in a pocket and is a high definition video recorder with 8 gigabytes of built-in memory. That is enough internal memory to hold something like 4 hours of video and countless still photos. Recognizing the limitations of the device is important. I now use it in the conditions that it is designed for and have grown quite attached to the Sony Bloggie.
Are there better quality handheld video recorders on the market? Probably. The fact of the matter is that I have a Sony Bloggie and I use it regularly. And I like it.
Disclosure; this review is based on my personal opinion. I did not receive any form of compensation from Sony or anybody else for writing this review. As with all blog entries I write, editorial control remains mine and mine alone. If you have any questions or want to contact me about reviewing other tech toys, email me at Editor@TheLeftCoast.ca.