Sony mhs-pm5k bloggie

The bloggie enters an already competitive arena, with sub-£200 pocket-friendly models currently en vogue and available from a multitude of established and less-well-known brands.

Kodak's Zi8 with its 2.5-inch LCD, 5MP stills and 1080p video is a natural rival but also jostling for space you'll find Apple's iPod nano, Samsung's HMX-U10 and the ubiquitous Flip HD.

bloggie

The stakes are high, then, and it's a good thing Sony has tweaked the specs from the PM1 in order to deliver the PM5K. The resolution has been improved to deliver Full HD video of 1,920 x 1,080 as well as 1,280 x 720 at 60fps, and the screen has been increased from a feeble 1.8-inch to a more visible 2.4-inch.

It's an easy to use cam, which is mainly due to the bloggie having only a few, fuss-free controls. There's nothing to get tangled up in and the on-screen menu layout is dull – but in a good way.

On the downside, the record button is unresponsive. It's not tactile or fast enough, especially when the USP of the camcorder is being able to blog your life.

bloggie review

Connectivity is also something of an issue. There can be no complaints in having component and AV outputs, and the USB arm is a cracking addition, but after bumping up the resolution to Full HD it seems crazy not to include an HDMI output.

Yes, the device is online-orientated, but why give users the chance to record in 1,920 x 1,080 but not be able to connect via HDMI to a HD TV and see it?

Video performance is a mixed bag. There's no doubting the extra image detail that Full HD delivers and the bloggie's colours look spot on, but when movement enters the equation this bloggie just gets blocky.

bloggie

Whether it's objects moving within the frame or a quick pan or tilt, images can become pixellated and display picture noise. Low-light performance is equally murky and jerky.

One slightly annoying quirk of the bloggie's operation means that although it features a comparably good 4x digital zoom, this can't actually be used when shooting in 1,920 x 1,080 mode.

Digital stills can be recorded at a variety of settings, not just the maximum 5MP resolution, and are accurate colour-wise and have an appreciable level of detail and clarity. The bloggie also has Face Detection tech and generally this picks up on the majority of grins and gurning.