Sony officially unveiled two new additions to its Bloggie family of pocket camcorders today, the Bloggie Sport and the Bloggie Live.
Taking the place of the 2011 Bloggie models, which have now been discontinued, the Bloggie Sport and the Bloggie Live are Sony's solutions for "emerging use cases," according to Gregory Herd, the Senior Business Manager for Bloggie. Hurt spoke with the press at the Sony Club a couple of months back, introducing the two new camcorder models and giving a brief walkthrough of their standout features.
The Bloggie Sport is exactly what you would expect: a ruggedized pocket camcorder. "The reason to have a camcorder is evolving into something different," said Hurt, who went on to explain that the Sport is for those users who are interested in point-of-view shooting and recording in "inhospitable environments." Sporting rubberized construction that is waterproof up to 16 feet and textured surfaces for extra grip, the Bloggie Sport seems well-suited for some serious rough-and-tumble.
It also has large buttons for important functions like turning on the power and recording, which helps users who happen to be wearing gloves when trying to operate the device. Other features include impact resistance, touchscreen control, and a flip-out USB dongle for a direct connection to your computer.
And despite its rugged, beefy build, the Bloggie Sport isn't all that heavy. We got our hands on a pre-release model during the press briefing in New York, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was no heavier than the average pocket camcorder. It has a slightly cumbersome build since it isn't the thinnest thing in the world -- and it actually flares out in width on one side to help users grip the device and prevent it from slipping out of their hands -- but it can definitely still be stowed away in your pocket, just maybe not as comfortably as some other models.
That being said, I could still appreciate the ergonomics of the Bloggie Sport despite its somewhat chunky build, as it was very comfortable to hold in my hands. The rubberized edges and textured surfaces (along with the aforementioned flared-out side) made it easy to grip and all of the buttons were smartly placed, making them a snap to reach and press, especially with their larger-than-average size.
The Bloggie Live, meanwhile, is meant for those who "want immediacy, to be able to share in the moment," said Herd, describing the key strategy behind the new model. A 1080p HD camcorder that shoots at 30 fps, the Bloggie Live has built-in Wi-Fi, allowing you to stream live video via a Qik account from wherever you can log into a network. During a live stream, viewers can type live feedback through the Qik page that automatically shows up on the screen of the Bloggie Live.
Qik is the only service through which the Bloggie Live can stream live video (since Sony has partnered with them for this particular venture), but thankfully, signing up for a Qik account is free.
Other features of the Bloggie Live include a 3-inch capacitive touchscreen, 8 GB of internal memory, a 4x digital zoom, and an Auto-Macro mode. For more information and our thoughts on the Bloggie Live, check out our full review.
The Bloggie Live is on sale starting today, January 9, but customers will have to wait a few more weeks for the Bloggie Sport to hit shelves. Hurt estimated that it would be on sale sometime around the "middle to end of February," available in black, blue, or red. The Live has an MSRP of $249, while the Sport will run you $179.
Be sure to check out our videos below for walkthroughs of both of the new Bloggies!