The Sony Bloggie Touch is full 1080p HD video camera that is smaller than the average smartphone. Yet it’s a feature packed device that is great if your after a cheap way to record your skiing experiences.
Packed into the rectangle of Aluminium is a 4GB flash drive, a 3 inch touch screen, micro HDMI port and an Auto-focus 5mp stills camera, along with the 1080p video camera.
All the footage you record and the photos you take are stored on the internal flash memory, so there is no need to buy extra SD cards. At 4GB’s you can get about 40 minutes of 1080p video, increasing to 2 hours if you record at 720p.
There are only three buttons on the camera, one for turning it on and off, one is a double stage shutter button for taking still images and possibly the most important of them all the is the big button on the front which when pressed begins to record the video. All other functions are controlled by the touch screen. I found the screen to be fairly responsive, not quite up there with an iPhone but still easy to use and as the on screen controls are quite big you won’t have much trouble making a selection. One minor problem is the quality of the screen, it can be quite hard to get a full idea of the video or image quality on the device because the screen looks a little yellow and washed out.
The software is very simple and there are not many options to play around with. You can change the quality of video, going from 720p 30 FPS, 720p at 60 FPS and 1080p. The same goes with photos with the only manual options being able to change the quality from 12 megapixels to 8 megapixels and 2 megapixels. Obviously changing the quality of the images will increase the amount you can store. You can easily scroll through all your photos and watch your videos on the device.
To transfer the content to your computer there is no need for a cable of any kind, just simply press the bottom and a USB arm pops out allowing for direct connection to either a PC or Mac. When you connect it to a Mac running OSX it will automatically open iPhoto allowing you to quickly import. If you’re on a PC then you can use the supplied software, which should open the first time you connect the camera.
If you want to view your content on the big screen then you can connect the camera to an HD television through the micro HDMI port on the side. However you will have to buy this separately as there is not one included in the box, though they can be picked up very cheaply.
I found the video quality to be pretty excellent, very good colours and amazing detail for such a small device. I used it to record some footage while I was skiing and the inclusion of image stabilisation takes away some of jitteriness you would normally expect. Also the inclusion of 60 FPS recording gives a very smooth looking video. It managed to pick very small details in the snow and it focuses itself so there is no need to worry about it being out of focus. There is also a lanyard which can be attached to the bottom so you don’t need to worry about dropping it.
On the still photo front things aren’t quite as strong, the 12 megapixel photos are definitely not as good as with a dedicated stills camera and it can be a couple of seconds between when you press the shutter button to when the photo actually saves. Also as there is no flash you will have little luck if your taking photos at night.
Overall the Sony Bloggie Touch is a great little device and at £110 it is cheaper than a lot of other small video cameras. It will fit with no trouble into your ski jacket so you can quickly bring out when the moment arises. The footage is great and with no need for a USB cable you can plug it straight into a computer. Obviously if you have cash to spare then i’d recommend something like the GoPro HD Hero as this is made specifically for sport but these retail for close to the £250 mark, but for the money the Sony Bloggie is a great buy.