Product Review: Experimenting with the Sony Bloggie Touch MHS-TS20

sony bloggie touch product review


sony bloggie touch product review

Continuing our exploration of cool gadgets for concert fans, here’s a review of the new Sony Bloggie Touch.

Our review of the  previous version of the Bloggie got me excited about the possibilities to record short 2-3 minute personal journal-style videos that chronicle our concert experiences. So needless to say, I was looking forward to testing out this new and improved version.

We all know that YouTube is full of videos of concert fans capturing the action that’s going on onstage.

And considering what we know about concert fan emotions,  I’m been testing out the Sony Bloggie Touch and experimenting with it recently to see  how we could use it to better chronicle, capture and share the emotional impact of our concert experiences– before, during and after shows. More on than in moment.

Goodbye Old Bloggie, Hello New Bloggie

There’s a lot reason why I really enjoyed testing out the new Bloggie Touch.

For starters, I liked the new and improved design. The brushed metal and sleeker black casing is definitely better looking and more durable than the previous version.

Though I did like the swivel head of the older version, this new design is certainly sturdier, lighter and more natural to hold. And the onscreen touch controls are easier to use, especially in low-light situations, like when you’re at a concert at a darkened venue and you can’t see but have to relay on touch and trust where your fingers go without looking down.

With the Bloggie all you need to do is press the on/off button on the side and then with a slight movement of your thumb to push the big red record button to capture video, or slide your index finger a short inch to click the shutter to snap a quick still shot when you’re in the photo mode. The intuitive touchscreen navigation and ability to switch to taking a photo worked great when I wanted to grab a quick photo while I was recording video of band or the crowd.

Since the Bloggie no longer has the swivel head with this Touch model, Sony does offer the self-recording feature with the release of the Sony Bloggie Duo model, which came out later this year as I was testing out the Bloggie Touch. I haven’t had a chance to test out the Duo yet, but the it does look like a pretty neat camera with its small 2” live screen on the front so you can seen what you’re recording.

How Did It Do In A Low-light Concert Setting?

Though it’s still not as good as using a more advanced handy-cam, the Bloggie Touch still did a lot better in low-light than I expected. The auto-focus lets you zoom in from wide angles to small objects and I used this feature a few times when I was going from shooting the whole band on stage to just the mic or the fingers playing a guitar. The face-detection feature was fun to play around with too but I wasn’t quite sure how to make use of it for what I wanted to do, so it really didn’t make that big a difference in the long run.

The 1080P HD video capabilities definitely gives you the power to create pretty impressive video quality considering that you’re using a MP4 YouTuber-style mini-camcorder.  Without a doubt, the Exmor™ CMOS sensor delivers a high-quality and a much improved low-light recording capability. It’s also a huge improvement over the previous Bloggie model which was sub-par in low-light situations.

But I would also make sure to hold the camera the right way when your shooting, meaning that when I recorded the Chicago Rocks Tour video in the car on the way home, I was holding the camera vertically which made the final video into a thin vertical strip, compared to the MOBfest 2011 Concert Fan Chronicles video when which I held camera horizontally and the final video filled up the entire screen width on YouTube the way I intended.  It would have been nice to know that that would happen before I filmed the video, so consider yourself informed.

Even though you can hook up an external mic to it, I was still impressed with the sound quality I got when I recorded the video at the Kickback concert at the Hideout. I moved around the venue recording various clips during the show to see how it recorded. Again it’s not awesome sound, but for what I wanted to do it gave me just what I needed, which was good enough audio to use on our Live Fix podcast and forthcoming concert fan mixtapes.

sony bloggie touch product review

Does the Bloggie Touch Take Good Photos?

As far as photos go, with a 12.8 megapixel camera the Bloggie Touch takes high-quality still shots too. And since I loved using it even when I wasn’t at a show, I tested it out in non-concert situations too.

And as you see in the pictures below, it did a fine job of snapping some aftermath shots as I attempted to shovel myself out of the snowy depths of the Great Midwestern Blizzard of 2011 back in February.

Can You Get Social With It?

The editing and social networking uploading software that came with the it was fun to use, but it was a bit clunky and took up quite a bit or memory on my computer. Once you plug the Bloggie Touch with the pop-out USB attachment at the bottom of the Bloggie,  the software immediately recognizes it and lets you easily grab the videos/photos from the device, catalog and edit your them, and then upload them to YouTube or Flickr for instant sharing.

The rechargeable lithium battery also charges while it’s plugged into the USB port which saves on batteries. And this version kept a charge for over two hours while in constant use, which again is an improvement from the other Bloggie that crapped out under an hour.

Mobile Phones vs. Bloggie Touch

You’re probably wondering if it’s worth it to get the Bloggie when your mobile phone can do what you need it to do.  And you’re probably right in saying that considering that the value and need of these shoot-and-share mini-camcorders has been challenged by the ever-advancing video/photo capabilities of mobile phones.

But the truth is my Motorola Droid and other mobile devices I’ve experimented with don’t always work as smoothly as I would like it to. And more times than not, the video and audio quality of my Droid is not what I’m hoping for either.  That said, the Bloggie Touch is certainly a worthy back-up and/or alternative to just using your mobile phone, which again, is often limited in photo, video/audio quality and memory storage.

Wrapping Up Our Bloggie Touch Experiment

Overall, I was very happy with how the Bloggie allowed me to quickly and easily do everything I wanted to during the experiments. I had a lot of fun using the Bloggie Touch. And to be honest, I’m kind of sad that I had to send it back to Sony after I finished writing this review.

At the competitive price of around $130 — which is fairly standard for these types of mini-cameras — I found it to be an exciting tool that has a lot of potential to tell help you simply and easily create videos and share our life-changing concert experiences with each your fellow concert fans.

Again, my main goal with this Bloggie Touch experimental review was to start showing how we can creatively turn the camera on ourselves and tell our own self-made and inspiring concert fan stories, instead of just recording the artist during the show.

In the end, there’s a lot of ways to you can tell your concert story with video. And you can record, chronicle and share your concert experiences whether you’re using a mobile phone or one of these mini-camcorders.

But however you do it, I just hope that you do at least start thinking about how to make your own videos. And I hope  that this experimental review got your creative juices flowing.

Thanks again for following along and I invite you to check out our other cool gadget product reviews. I also invite you join our ongoing video experiment here at Live Fix by posting a link to your own concert videos in the comments below.

What Gadgets Rock Your World?

Got a favorite gadget or mobile app that you love to use at concerts? Have thoughts about the Sony Bloggie Touch? Let us know what you think and we’ll share your feedback during a future episode of Live Fix Radio.


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