By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
Sony's answer to the popular Flip video camera is a slim, sleek and very portable pocket video camera called the Bloggie Touch. Designed around YouTube fixated users who love documenting the goings on in their day-to-day lives, Sony's Bloggie Touch does 12 Megapixel stills and 4 hours of 1080p video but also adds the convenience of touch-based control.
The biggest feature that sets the Sony Bloggie Touch($219.99 from Sony Style or big box stores) apart from most of its competition is the large, 3" inch touch screen which covers a large portion of the front fascia. You get a better view of all the action you are recording from the screen plus it gives you access to zoom and varied controls.
Like most cameras in this category, the Sony Bloggie Touch is designed for quick deployment and connection to computers by way of a flip-out USB key. Once you connect this to your computer you will have acces to Sony's software for editing video as well as sharing it to online service like Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Picasa and Sony's own Personal Space service. Once the MP4 video is imported, you should be able to edit it in your preferred video editing application.
During our tests we found the Bloggie Touch to be responsive and capable for taking quick video. The screen is not extremely bright but it is ample although it is somewhat reflective. The device's sleek metal finish really puts it above the build quality of most of its competing products (save maybe for Kodak's brick-like PlaySport camera).
Aside from the sleekness factor you also get advanced Sony technology like full face detection, 4 X digital zoom and the ability to tag videos for future upload.
Photo quality is decent, very similar to what you could expect from say a higher-end smartphone. 12 Megpixels on a small image sensor is still subject to some noise so that is something you need to look out for. In terms of video, that is where the Sony Bloggie Touch really shines specially since Sony SteadyShot helps compensate for movement and this is something the competition can't even touch. Tripod attachment placement is off centre at the bottom and not ideal but at least it is there. A small tripod is a must-have accessory for this sort of camera and will throughly enhance the quality of the video and stills just by holding it in place.
With a steady hand and good lighting, this tiny camera will deliver great to excellent HD video which works best when shared on the web. If you're looking for video that will fill up your HDTV, however, you might want to consider a more traditional camcorder or one of the new still digital cameras that can also manage video as those have larger sensors and overall more control for shooting more prosumer-type video. MP4 is great for the web but not optimal for everything else.
Rating: 4 out of 5