Excerpt: In keeping with the company’s general direction of late, Sony’s entry into the pocket camcorder market is overdesigned and underfunctional. The big draw with Sony’s Bloggie versus, say, similar offerings from Flip, Creative or Kodak is the inclusion of a swiveling lens, which gives the user immense flexibility in how it is used. Aim forward and shoot the kegger you’re at, or swivel it back to capture your vimeo ready-reaction. After all, YouTube is so 2006.
Pros: Rugged and tough, yet compact enough for easy pocketing. Swivel lens also works as a protective lens cover.
Cons: Difficult to use single-handedly. Controls are unintuitive and slow to respond. Included PC software is limited.
Excerpt: Lift bow and arrow. Load arrow into bow. Take aim. Twang! And Sony hits another bulls-eye! As with the exceptional Sony DSC-HX5V movie/pano/burst rate camera, I was completely blown away with the Sony Bloggie MHS-PM5! Even if you already own a DSLR or two, perhaps a compact digicam and maybe an HD camcorder, this one will fire up your acquisitive hormones. I want one!
Conclusion: Shooting videos in 360 degrees just doesn’t pan out the way we hoped it would, and the regular performance of the PM5K doesn’t provide much to make up for it. Even if you discount the 360-degree capabilities completely by going with the $150 PM5 model (which includes no add-on lens), the $180 Zi8 mops the floor with it on image quality for only a little more.
Pros: Shoots full 1080p video, 5-megapixel stills, Swiveling lens provides protection, versatility, Compact and lightweight, Large 2.4-inch screen, Reasonably priced, Accepts SD and Memory Stick Pro Duo cards
Cons: Subpar video quality, Dismal quality on panoramic videos, Pronounced rolling shutter effect, motion blur, No HDMI output, Awkwardly placed record button, 29-minute recording cap
Excerpt: Thrilling product of the month even among such a quality pack as featured in this issue is Sony’s confusingly named Bloggie Mobile High Definition Snap camera (MHS-PM5K or PM5 to its friends). Why such fun? After all, the Bloggie slavishly follows turf cut by the Flip series of pocket camcorders (Geare #59), as well as Kodak’s natty Zx1 (Geare #56).