Tiny video cameras are a dime-a-dozen these days. It takes a new gimmick coupled with high-end technology to make one stand out.
Sony has achieved this with the Bloggie MHS-PM5K.
The Sony Bloggie MHS-PM5K: You'll find out what that little attachment on top is momentarily...
In this case, the gimmick is a lens head that can swivel 270 degrees. This allows the user to angle the lens to get panoramic shots. It also makes it possible for you to frame yourself accurately in the 2.4-inch, 230k-pixel LCD screen-making it a great little video-blogging (VLOG) tool.
What makes this swivel headed lens truly unique is a "fish-eye" attachment that expands the lens to a 360-degree panoramic view. Video recorded in this mode are converted by Picture Motion Browser (PBM) software provided with the camera.
When initially shot, the footage looks like this:
Upon conversion on a PC, the picture is stretched into Wide-screen format:
This (for me) is the selling point of this little camera. If used properly you could get some really creative shots with this attachment.
Well, sure... you can say that a street corner isn't that interesting. But shot in 360-degrees, there sure is a lot to look at!
Keep in mind that all of this is in 1920x1080 HD resolution, though lower resolutions (1280x720 and 640x480) are available. The video is encoded as MPEG-4, and is quite impressive for a little camera such as this.
Because the Bloggie is a bit larger (and therefore heavier) than many pocket-cams, it is easier to stabilize. And this means less shaky shots.
Other features include a replaceable battery that should net you between 1 to 2 hours of recording time. The memory card slot fits standard SD/SDHC format. Around 40 minutes of video or 1600 pictures can be stored on the included 4GB Memory Stick. Of course the ubiquitous tripod mount and USB port are included.
I had to include this video, which shows all of the features offered in this little camera. Why? Not because of the camera itself, but because of the over-the-top cheese factor. If you're like me, you'll come out at the end just a tad bit suicidal.
See what I mean? Not about how cool the camera is, but by how insanely fake-o-cheezy marketing campaigns can get? I particularly wanted to pull a gun during the big "dance" number.
But the Bloggie survives this video debacle and maintains it's neat-o tiny camera status.
It's not without its problems, however. For all of its whiz-bang video features, the Bloggie lacks in the audio department. It is mono-only.
You can get the Sony Bloggie MHS-PM5K at Amazon.