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Sony Bloggie MHS-TS20K review

Verdict

Great fun, easy to use, and shoots top quality 1080p video to boot. Move over Flip, here comes Bloggie

Review Date: 13 May 2011

Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray

Price when reviewed: £141 (£169 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

Cisco’s decision to cease the manufacture of Flip pocket video cameras came as a big disappointment; the products have been firm favourites in the PC Pro offices for a few years now, due to class-leading image quality and ease of use. But one man’s loss is another’s gain, so the saying goes, and other manufacturers are stepping in with their own products in the hope of grabbing some market share.

Sony Bloggie MHS-TS20K - 360 converter lens

The Sony Bloggie MHS-TS20K is the first model we’ve reviewed in the post-Flip era, and it bears all the classic hallmarks of the pocket video camera genre. It has a pop out USB arm and a good dollop of built-in memory (8GB). Sony’s video and picture management software is stored onboard ready for direct installation, and there’s a big red button on the rear panel for starting and stopping video recording. This camera does move things on a bit, however, and there are a number of areas where it pulls ahead of the last generation Flip UltraHD.

Where that camera could only muster 720p HD footage, for example, the Sony is able to record 1080p; where the Flip has 2in screen, the Sony sports a 3in display; and where the Flip was built all of plastic, the Bloggie is encased in luxurious aluminium. It’s a beautifully made thing and tops off the luxury feel with a couple of real crowd-pleasers: the display is also touch-sensitive (using capacitive technology); and included in the box is a rather ingenious 360 degree converter lens. You can see some sample footage below.

The latter is a real masterstroke: it latches on to the top of the camera, snapping snugly into position with the help of a magnet or two, and allows you to shoot true 360 degree video. It doesn’t look very impressive on screen as you shoot – footage appears in a small circle in the middle of the frame. Anyone familiar with cheap Lomography fisheye cameras will be familiar with this sort of output.

Import it into Sony’s Bloggie software, however, and when you double-click the footage, a special 360 degree viewer pops up. This shows a live panoramic thumbnail view at the bottom of the window and a bigger box at the top, displaying a section of the 360 degree view at full resolution. Drag a navigation box left and right on the panoramic thumbnail and the box at the top pans left and right through the view (the screenshot below should make things clearer).

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User comments

really pleased to see a replacement for the Flip

The Flip brought video to the masses(well, better quality video than on a mobile phone - which really brought video to the masses) - I want one

By hminney on 19 May 2011

Where o where is £69 deal?

Really pleased there is a replacement for the Flip and that it is 1080p

BUT where is there a £69 deal?

By ianalan on 19 May 2011

On phone now with M&S

The M&S Website is selling it for £99 the link below is not accurate as it is NOT £69

By ianalan on 19 May 2011

And now I am off the phone with M&S the OFFER has been deleted

Guess what despite claiming that is not their advert magically the link for £69 has been deleted

What lousy customer service from M&S - honour your adverts and offers

By ianalan on 19 May 2011

M&S bloggie

M&S £99 seems to offer Sony bloggie PM5K is this a different item?

By Zippy204 on 8 Jun 2011

oops. Just looked at the Sony website and seen all the models. sorry for silly question.

By Zippy204 on 8 Jun 2011

Its at HMV for £79.99! (on sale).
ordered it, so happy and shocked at this cheap price!! Just go on HMV and search sony bloggie, it's the only bloggie in the shop so will be there:)

By hannahxr4 on 1 Nov 2011

A-list? Not at my party.

After using this for two months i'm at a loss as to why it's on the A-list unless you used it only in the office and with full light. Picture quality under lower light conditions renders the image useless. Video seems little better though again where the light is good and facial recognition works its OK. A further point the link for amazon does not take you to the K version so no 360 degree camera and its not available as a separate.

By ANONYMOUS1312 on 22 Oct 2012

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