Unlike some ruggedized camcorders in this genre, the bloggie sport hasn’t sacrificed the built-in USB arm that characterised the Flip and its admirers. This is where the main unique feature of pocket Internet camcorders comes into play. It’s designed to make sharing your videos online as seamless as possible, although this still requires a surrogate host computer with an Internet connection. When you plug the bloggie Sport into a PC, an Internet browser window will take you online to install the PlayMemories Home application. This provides modest editing and disc burning facilities, as well as the all-important Internet uploading.
Again, unlike some camcorders in this genre, the bloggie Sport does have Mac software available, although it’s much more limited than the PC option. As before, a URL takes you to the application installer on Sony’s website, but this time for Share-It-Later for Bloggie. This has no editing ability; it has just one function – to work in tandem with the facilities on the camcorder itself. In media playback mode, you can select clips you want to share, and then which services you would like to share these on. The Bloggie supports YouTube, Facebook, Picasa and DailyMotion. Once you have selected your choices, the desktop computer software will prompt you for your login details, which can be stored for later use. It will then ask you to enter the various parameters for each of the services you have chosen, after which your files will be uploaded straight from the device.
As we have come to expect from Sony camcorders, image quality is best of breed. The bloggie Sport incorporates a 1/4in CMOS with approximately 5Mpixels of effective resolution and Sony’s Exmor R technology, which is what most other manufacturers call back-side illumination. So not only is the sensor slightly larger than the budget end of the regular camcorder market, but the Exmor R technology will also provide a welcome boost in low light. Indeed, the bloggie Sport shoots more richly coloured footage than other pocket Internet models, with a good level of detail. Performance in poor illumination is particularly impressive, with a grain-free and bright image maintained down to a respectably dim level of lighting. This is an area where pocket Internet models usually punch above their price, and Sony’s bloggie Sport goes that little bit further still.
Sony’s bloggies have never quite been the value option. If you want a decent waterproof pocket Internet camcorder, then Samsung’s W200 is very keenly priced, Polaroid’s X720 even more cost effective, and then Panasonic’s HM-TA20 and Kodak’s Playsport Zx5 are also both cheaper than the bloggie Sport. Features are also very limited, even for a camcorder of this type. But this is a typically solid Sony device, and of course image quality is top of the genre. So this isn’t the best choice if you’re looking for a budget camcorder, but at least the video performance warrants the price.