Sony's new Bloggie Touch minicamcorder keeps the core concept of quickly shooting and sharing video from its previous incarnations, but changes just about everything else.
Sony Bloggie Touch
This is the new look of the Sony Bloggie. It's considerably more elegant than past versions, which tended to look like a modified digital voice recorder. The MHS-TS10 and TS20 are styled more like a smartphone with a brushed metal casing and a 3-inch touch screen. Both the battery and memory are built in; the TS10 is 4GB, the TS20 is 8GB.
The lens is an f2.8 37mm (35mm equivalent) and is able to autofocus from 4 inches to infinity. There is electronic image stabilization and a 4x digital zoom.
Sony uses its Exmor CMOS sensors in these models. They can record video in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format in 1080p at 30 frames per second (12Mbps); 720p at 60fps (6Mbps); and 720p at 30fps (4Mbps).
This is a view of the shooting screen. The capacitive touch screen is very responsive, again similar to what you'd find on a smartphone. The icon in the top right is for switching to shooting 12-megapixel photos; going clockwise you have playback, self-timer (2 and 10 seconds), and settings menu. Along the bottom is a slider for the 4x digital zoom. Thankfully, Sony used a physical button for starting and stopping recordings.
The right side of the body has the only other buttons beside the record button on back. One is for power, the other is a shutter release for taking photos. A half press of the shutter will get the camera to focus. It's fairly slow, though, so if you need to shoot anything moving, well, don't use this.
The flip-out USB connector is in the bottom of the device and an extension cable is included in the box. With no removable memory or battery, the USB is responsible for transferring content off the device as well as charging the battery. Sony overhauled its sharing software, which is great because its Picture Motion Browser software was terrible. The new software makes it easier to organize, edit, and share video and photos. We didn't get much time to use it, but walked away impressed and looking forward to testing it out fully.
Another look at the left side. Seeing those two holes on top, you might think the Bloggie Touch has a stereo mic. It doesn't; audio is mono recorded in MP4 AAC format. There are no headphone or mic jacks, either.
The Bloggie Touch can be held vertically or horizontally for capturing video and photos. Regardless of how you hold it, you get the full screen for framing your shot. Holding it horizontally gives you a full wide-screen shot.