BUILD AND DESIGN
The Sony Bloggie Touch shoots 1920×1080 MP4 video at 30 fps via its Exmor CMOS sensor. It also shoots 720/60p and 720/30p and takes 12.8 megapixel stills through its f/2.8 wide angle lens.
The Sony Bloggie Touch comes in two models, one with 4GB of internal memory (good for about two hours of 720/30p video), which costs $180 at launch, and an 8GB model for $200, which can capture approximately four hours of the lowest resolution video.
I can’t state enough how closely the Bloggie Touch resembles an Android smartphone, even if it’s a bit smaller than the current crop of handsets. The front of the candy-bar shaped camcorder is slightly rounded and features a high quality brushed casing. The lens is situated at the top end, surrounded by a smooth silver plastic tip. I suppose the smooth area surrounding the lens is designed to warn users of any pending finger creep over the lens, and it works in that regard.
The large 3.0-inch display sits on the back of the Bloggie Touch, just above the record button.
The HDMI out, hidden in a small notch, and wrist-strap slot are on one side of the pocket camcorder, while the on/off button, stills-mode toggle button, and on-board mic are on the other side. The mic placement is a little perplexing though. It’s very easy to hold your finger over the mic without realizing it, which happened to me more than once. Sony should have at least added a little notch so users could identify the area by touch.
Two on-board speakers are located on the top of the Bloggie Touch, while the tripod receptacle and pop-out USB are on the bottom.
If there is any cause for complaint, it’s that both the touch screen and lens are very exposed and are almost begging for scratches. If you lay the Bloggie down on either the front or back, you’ll be resting the device on one of the two. Also, both the body and screen are fingerprint magnets. Expect much smudge build-up with prolonged use.
Ergonomics and Controls
Everything is nicely spaced and the minimalistic controls definitely meet the ?stupid simple? standard. Of course, most of the controls are hidden in the touch screen, and even considering those, the Bloggie Touch is easy to pick up and operate out of the box.
The Bloggie Touch also has a decent weight and balance, as well as a solid feel, making it easy and comfortable for long shoots. The built-in accelerometer is also a nice touch, as it allows users to horizontally or vertically shoot with the Bloggie. However, it will not automatically adjust mid-shot.
Menus and Modes
There are no picture controls available to the Sony Bloggie Touch user, just a handful of shooting modes. For MP4 movies, users can select 1080/30p, 720/60p, and 720/30p. For stills, there are options for 12 megapixels (4:3 aspect ratio), 8 megapixels (16:9), and 2 megapixels (16:9).
There are a handful of device settings:
- Beep: on, off
- Language setting: English, French, Spanish, Japanese
- Demo mode: on, off
- Initialize (factory reset)
- HDMI output: 60Hz, 50Hz
- LUN settings (USB): multi, single
- Format (erases all stored movies and stills)
There is also a self-timer that when ‘on’, turns the Bloggie Touch off after either two minutes or ten minutes. Finally, there are standard playback features to shuffle through stills and footage and trash unwanted clips. There is also a ?Share it Later? feature that allows you to tag photos and clips for upload and sharing via social media later.
The Bloggie Touch display has a pixel density of 720×400, which is more than enough for the 3.0-inch LCD. It’s bright, and compared to other camcorder displays, it’s big. In fact, most mid-range and entry-level camcorders have a 2.7-inch display, which I’ve long complained is too small, especially for touch controls.
Unfortunately, there are no picture or brightness controls. That could be a problem, especially when shooting in sunny situations, as the sun’s glare could make things difficult to see in the reflective LCD screen.