- It’s a 3D pocket camcorder!
- Glasses-free 3D display not perfect, but works
- Good design and build quality
- Mic placement
- Ships without needed cables
- Mattes limit viewable display
The Bloggie 3D is an impressive first-generation device with flaws. If you have to have the coolest gadgets on the block, pick one up. Everyone else should wait a bit.
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It’s getting hard to escape 3D. Almost all new brand-name HDTVs are 3D capable. Blockbuster movies are now shot in 3D. Laptops, smartphones and tablets with 3D capability are also hitting the market. And all indications suggest it will very soon be a standard feature on digital cameras and camcorders.
At least all indications coming out of Sony suggest 3D will be a standard feature. The Japanese imaging giant has two 3D-capable consumer camcorders on both ends of its 2011 lineup; the $1,500 Handycam HDR-TD10 and the $250 Sony Bloggie 3D.
On paper, it’s extremely impressive that Sony crammed 3D capability into a pocket camcorder, and not the old-fashioned blue-red (anaglyph) technology available on YouTube 3D, either. The Bloggie 3D shoots real stereoscopic 3D that’s closer in quality to what’s playing on today’s 3D HDTVs than it is to the b-movies of old.
Also impressive is the 2.4-inch glasses-free (auto-stereoscopic) 3D display. It’s the coolest feature I’ve ever seen on a pocket camcorder to date and presented a genuine “wow” moment when I first saw it in action. But cut through the wow factor, and how does the Bloggie shape up as a pocket camcorder? With a $250 launch price, it’s one of the most expensive cameras in its class. In addition, to truly experience the 3D, you need an HDMI cable (not included), active 3D glasses (not included) and a 3D-capable HDTV (definitely not included).
In addition to the 1080/30p 3D and 2D, the Bloggie 3D shoots at lower resolutions and sports a 1/4-inch Exmor CMOS Sensor. It can also shoot a variety of stills, including 4 megapixel 3D pics, which are really two 2 megapixel images combined to form one 4 megapixel 3D image.
The Sony Bloggie 3D only comes in one color: black. It has 8GB of internal storage, with no option for expandable storage or unit offering additional capacity. Sony claims that the 8GB is good for 80 minutes of recordable footage. So is the Bloggie 3D an innovative gadget and the next big thing? Or, is it a niche curiosity, best for early adopters and no one else? Read on to find out.