CNET First Look
Sony Bloggie MHS-CM5The Bloggie CM5 isn't as compact as competing models from Flip Video and Kodak, but it delivers an above-average feature set and video for the money.
>> Hi. I'm David Carnoy, executive editor for CNET.com and I'm here with the Sony MHS-CM5 pocket camcorder. This is one of Sony's new entries in its bloggie line of pocket camcorders and it's supposed to go up against the likes of the flip video models and some of the Kodak models. This is obviously bigger than those flip models and it's really much more shaped like a traditional camcorder. It's got that pistol grip-style. It is fairly compact though. It can fit in come pockets such as a cargo pants pocket, but it's really more bag friendly than pocket friendly. Does have a large 2.5-inch flip out LCD and a 5X optical zoom which is kind of a key feature because flip video camcorders only have digital zoom. This is real 5X optical zoom. This does have some electronic image stabilization. It is a 1080p model. You can't use the image stabilization with the 1080p HD mode but you can use it with the 720p mode, however it doesn't work all that well so we don't encourage actually using that steady shot electronic image stabilization. And moving to this model, Sony has incorporated that USB connector that is found on those flip video models so that's a nice addition. This also doesn't come with any memory, but there are slots for both SD cards and memory stick duo cards and there's an HDMI output so you can connect this to your HDTV, but it doesn't come with an HDMI mini cable so you have to buy that separately. As we said one of the strengths of this camcorder is it does have real zoom. Also the image quality is really pretty good for a pocket camcorder, does compare favorably to the flip video models. We felt the color was a little bit over-saturated and the auto focus wasn't super fast, but the image was sharp so we think you'll be pretty pleased with the image quality. There's no mic jack for an external mic but you do have a lot of resolutions to choose from when you're shooting and this does have a 5 megapixel sensor so you can shoot still images. Another positive note, this does have a removable lithium ion battery so you can purchase additional batteries if you want to extend your shooting time. In the end we really felt pretty good about this Sony camcorder. It is one of the first that we can recommend at this price point. It costs around $200. One feature worth mentioning is that this camcorder does do close-ups very well. Some of these other flip video camcorders just don't allow you to focus on objects. It does have a few shortcomings, for instance we really didn't like the software that came with the camcorder, but this does work with both Mac and Windows PCs and as we said, the image quality is good and it is a fairly feature-rich pocket camcorder. I'm David Carnoy and it's the Sony bloggie MHS-CM5.