Sony Bloggie MHS-PM5 review
Sony arrived late to the pocket video camera party, but its first attempt, the MHS-PM1, was a disappointment. The new Bloggie MHS-PM5 retains the same key design features, but ups the ante in terms of features.
We still have the lens that rotates vertically through 270 degrees, giving a flexibility other pocket video cameras can only dream of. There’s still a choice of bright colours, though we’d avoid the rather lurid blue version we were sent for review. And the camera, though a little bulkier than before, is light enough to be carried around without a care.
As before, the Bloggie also shoots Full HD video at 30fps, 720p at 60fps or 30fps, and there’s a VGA mode too. If that sounds impressive, the addition of face tracking and electronic image stabilisation looks even more so, although the latter feature is only available at 720p and below resolutions.
Despite the high price and premium features, however, this is no premium product. The build feels distinctly cheap and plasticky, especially the pop-out USB connector, which has a tendency to retract back into the body of the camera if plugged in too vigorously. There’s little built-in flash memory: just 27MB, then you have to add more via SD card or Memory Stick Duo. You don’t get an HDMI output, and the onboard software is very basic, offering integrated upload to YouTube, Picasa Web Albums and DailyMotion but nothing else.
More important than all this, however, is that video quality doesn’t compare well with its rivals. Low light performance is fine, with comparatively noise-free footage in tricky conditions. In daylight, however, colours took on a bleached and pale appearance, and although detail was good in 1080p mode, the footage looked flat.
Worse, we found the image stabilisation to be completely ineffective. In fact, it seemed to introduce a kind of jittering effect, far more annoying than normal handheld camera shake. We’d take the lower resolution, unstabilised 720p footage of the second generation Flip Mino HD over this any day.
In short, the Bloggie’s just another disappointing pocket video recorder from Sony. It looks the part, but feels cheap. It boasts high resolution, but quality falls short. Finally, the price is too high. If you’re in the market for a pocket video recorder, this is one to avoid.
|Camcorder HD standard||1080p|
|Camcorder maximum video resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Camera megapixel rating||5.0mp|
|Camcorder recording format||H.264 (MP4)|
|Camera optical zoom range||N/A|
|Camera optical image stabilisation||no|
|Electronic image stabilisation?||yes|
|Number of sensors||1|
|Internal mic type||Mono|
|External mic socket?||no|
|Quoted battery life||95mins|
|Dimensions||54 x 19 x 108mm (WDH)|
|Camcorder internal storage type||Flash memory|
|Memory card support||SD/Memory Stick Pro Duo|
|Composite video output?||yes|
|Component video output?||yes|
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