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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!
Looking more like a mobile phone or iPod, the Bloggie is a digital camera reduced to the absolute minimum, then topped up with a pile of fascinating features.
Colour-styled in pink, blue, violet and white the Bloggie can be turned on by simply rotating the lens turret, as the 6.1cm LCD screen fires up. In reality, the screen is only 4.2cm in size, with data occupying the rest of the LCD’s area. However, in replay mode, the entire screen is full of picture.
With it you can shoot 2592×1944 JPEGs that print out to 22x16cm prints. Movies? How about Full HD 1920×1080 pixel MPEG4 clips?
When it comes time to download your handiwork or recharge, pull out the built-in USB arm and plug into your lap- or desktop. Couldn’t be simpler and so very Web-friendly. And if you like shooting a lot of people, Face Detection is built in.
And that’s not all: the camera rotates through 270 degrees, so shooting yourself, the sky, the front view or down near your feet is a simple act. The rotating lens even has a 4x digital zoom.
Want a fisheye view? Simply clip on a special lens attachment that gives you a crazy 360 degree view set into a circular frame. This fisheye lens ‘bounces’ the view down to the normal taking lens built into the camera and can shoot stills or movies, the latter complete with what audio captured in what sounds to me very much like a 360 degree audio pattern.
Helpfully, Sony has included a 4GB PRO Duo Memory Stick with the camera so you can get shooting straight away, and this will let you capture up to 40 minutes of top res HD footage. The card slot can also take SD and SDHC cards.
Quality: the camera is very subject to lens flare, so expect do some Photoshopping, post-shoot, to improve the contrast rendition in stills images.
In movies? Flare is part of the fun, especially when you can get the sun itself in frame … to be truthful, it’s very hard to avoid the sun in outdoor shots!
One trap I fell into: when shooting stills or movies and pointing the fisheye straight ahead … the floor will be at the top of the frame. The fisheye is a plastic lens, so you’ll have to live with the lower quality.
Why you would buy a Bloggie: you want a very Web-friendly camera.
Why you wouldn’t: you want more control over the camera, better sharpness and anti-flare performance.
However… this is one of those cameras that will put the fun back in to photography.
Image Sensor: 5.04 million effective pixels.
Sensor Size: 7.3mm CMOS.
Lens: f3.6/7.0mm (42mm as 35 SLR equivalent).
Memory: Memory Stick PRO Duo, SD, SDHC cards plus 26MB internal memory.
Image Sizes (pixels): 2592×1944, 2592×1728, 2048×1536, 1920×1080, 640×480.
Movies: 1920×1080, 1280×720, 640×480.
LCD Screen: 6.1cm LCD (230,400 pixels).
File Formats: JPEG, MPEG4.
Interface: USB 2.0, AV.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery.
Dimensions: 19x108x54 WHDmm.
Weight: 130 g (inc battery and card).
Price: The Sony Bloggie MHS-PM5 comes in a variety of colors. Get a price on Amazon for them at Violet – White – Blue – Pink.