In the box is a snap-on lens attachment that creates a 360-degree panoramic view that can be captured in either stills or video mode. The image is converted using the version of Sony’s Picture Motion Browser (PMB) that comes on the CD.
PMP Portable software for Mac and Windows is built-in, so you'll always have it on the go
Click for a larger image
This software is Windows-only and is not the same as the PMB Portable application for Windows and Mac that comes preloaded on a partition within the Bloggie itself. The panoramic lens attachment is certainly enticing, and it even has its own soft pouch, as for the results, more on this later.
The Bloggie accepts both Memory Stick Duo variants and SD/SDHC cards. Evidently, Sony is coming to terms with the lack of love for its overpriced proprietary storage format. Indeed, the Webbie was Memory Stick-only and sales probably suffered as a result.
Even so, a 4GB Memory Stick card is supplied which will get you started and is sufficient for around 40 minutes recording at 1080p and 2hrs at 720/30p. Yet with all this HD capability, there’s no HDMI connection for viewing on your HDTV, just an A/V output socket with a composite cable for a low-fi viewing experience. A component cable option is available for a price.
With portability and easy uploading at its heart, it’s simple to connect the Bloggie directly to any computer through the built in USB arm that slides out from the base. If the protruding USB connector isn’t sufficient, a short extension cable is also provided to get into awkward ports.
A perfect companion for all your tweets
The integrated USB connector is a nice touch though, as it keeps the Bloggie cable-free and it will also charge from the host machine. That said, retracting it can be a problem, as there is evidently a knack to this push and slide process that turns something so simple into a minor frustration.
Next page: Sample Video and Stills
....look at the cute duckies...awww....
I believe this automatically gets a 0% score for such an awful name.
Why do ElReg camcorder reviews...
Why do the Register's camcorder reviews never discuss compression ratios and the potential for editing and processing?
Telling us it's MP4 is all well and good, but how heavily compressed does it go? Will the video degrade into a hellish series of blocks if we run it through Final Cut and reencode it to any form of MPEG? HD's all well and good, but right now I don't know if any given HD device is going to give me better results than an old SD tape camcorder in terms of final picture quality.
I look at the "pocket" HD camcorders and the handheld HD camcorders and despite the big price difference, they seem to have very similar recording times -- are they using the same compression ratios? Are they *good* compression ratios? I don't want to shell out £500 to get superior optics only to find that the software cheats me out of picture quality so that I'd be as well off with a £100 pocket model.
Enquiring minds need to know!
Well, well, well...
In the dim and distant past pretty much every bit of Hi-Fi and consumer electronics I owned was Sony kit.
You paid more but got a top quality product.
In time other manufacturers began to raise the quality bar up to (and beyond) the Sony level, but the Sony *brand* was always more expensive.
Being geared more towards quality than brand loyalty I began to buy a more mixed bag of kit.
Then Sony decided they were big and important enough to force their customers into their over-priced proprietary Memory Stick *standard*. Since then, I haven't bought a single Sony product. Why would I lock myself in?
If their move toward SD continues I might begin to consider buying Sony again. (Although not this particular overpriced piece of poo)
Although it's a horribly pointless device, has a typical Sony-small-camera fiddly interface and is accompanied by the most nauseatingly Barleyesque lifestyle PR photography imaginable, the software's crap and produces distinctly mediocre images...
..at least Sony have learned on the memory stick thing! It always takes them years of lost sales- for example, the Walkman digital fiasco with compulsory ATRAC transcoding. However, they are learning. This is good, compact digitals are an insanely competitive market these days, and hobbling youself due to management stupidity is a problem, even if you're the size of Sony.
Good on yer, Sony. You have a very tarnished reputation due to the last few years, maybe this is a sign that some people with clues are starting to make decisions..