Sony Bloggie Touch MHS-TS10 Camcorder Review
Ease of Use
Ease of Use
By some accounts, the Sony Bloggie Touch is a very simple camcorder. You don't have to worry about inserting memory cards because there is no memory card slot and the camcorder's touchscreen interface is very intuitive. The Bloggie Touch is not as simple as a Flip camcorder, mainly because it does have multiple recording options as well as a still image mode.
But what really makes the Bloggie Touch a bit confusing is the camcorder's ability to record horizontally or vertically. Let's be clear: we like this feature... it's just that we think it makes the Bloggie Touch more complicated. When you rotate the camcorder the LCD will automatically detect whether you are holding the Bloggie Touch vertically or horizontally and it will adjust the way it records to fit this position. Your video will always take up the entirety of the 3-inch LCD, which means when you record vertically your clips will have big black bars on either side when you view the clips on a television or a computer. Holding the Bloggie Touch horizontally, however, allows you to record with a standard widescreen aspect ratio (16:9) that should fit the screen of your HDTV perfectly during playback.
Yes, we know this is a bit confusing, but we like it more than the alternative and we think users will get the hang of it quickly. You just have to decide which way you like holding the camcorder and what you want your videos to look like when you play them back (on a TV, computer, or the Bloggie Touch itself). Other than this unique interface, the Bloggie Touch should be easy for most users to figure out and work with.
Unlike most ultracompact models, the Bloggie Touch does have a simple autofocus mechanism. This autofocus is essentially an auto macro detection that allows you to focus on subjects as close as four inches away. Unfortunately, this focus system does not work quickly on the camcorder, and we noticed certain occasions where the Bloggie Touch would get "stuck" in macro focus for roughly five or six seconds while we were trying to shoot a regular shot. This is a disappointment because we like the camcorder's ability to record close subjects, but we don't want the focus switch to take any longer than a second or two.
Auto exposure on the Touch worked far quicker and we liked it. Exposure was adjusted with accuracy and the transition between light and dark scenes looked smooth and good. White balance worked well for the most part, but we did occasionally see the Bloggie Touch have some trouble under mixed indoor lights. This was particularly noticeable during focus adjustments, as we'd see the image turn a slight orange hue for a moment while the camcorder adjusted. There is face detection on the Bloggie Touch, but the system isn't nearly as effective as it is on a normal consumer camcorder.
Focus - There's no manual focus adjustment option on the Bloggie Touch, but the camcorder does have a slight autofocus mechanism. Considering that most ultracompact models feature fixed lenses, the fact that the Bloggie Touch offers a small amount of autofocus is rather unique.
Exposure - The Bloggie Touch is a basic ultracompact camcorder, so it doesn't even have a manual exposure adjustment option.
Aperture - The Bloggie Touch has no manual aperture options either and the lens has a widest aperture setting of f/2.8.
Shutter Speed - Shutter speed is fully automated on the Bloggie Touch. According to Sony, the camcorder has a range of shutter speeds from 1/30 to 1/4000 of a second.
White Balance - Like aperture and shutter speed, the Bloggie Touch has a fully automated white balance system—with no manual options or presets.
Gain - Gain control is fully automated on the Bloggie Touch.
Color & Image Controls - There's no special color or image controls on the Bloggie Touch. All you can really adjust is the record mode and the photo size.