Monday, March 14, 2011

Sony 3D Bloggie® HD Camera

It's no good guys, you're going to have to shuffle out from under that rock -- 3D is officially here to stay, having infiltrated affordable, pocketable devices like Sony's nifty Bloggie range.

We had a chance to play with the Bloggie 3D at CES 2011, view its lenticular screen -- which lets you watch back your footage without the need for glasses -- and saw a demo of footage shot with the device. Click through the photos above to check out this futuristic gadget, and read on to hear our first impressions.

The Bloggie 3D, or Bloggie 3D MHS-FS3 to give it its full title, is the first 3D pocket camcorder to shoot in 1080p. Around the back of it you'll find two separate lenses, each with its own sensor, which work in tandem to capture footage from slightly different angles.

[3D Video after the jump]

This is then combined inside the Bloggie and spat out the back, where you can enjoy your masterpieces in on a 2.4-inch lenticular screen, which will show you your videos in 3D, without the need for you to don any ridiculous specs.

We weren't entirely convinced by this panel. Sure, it works, and you can get a 3D effect as long as you hold your head in the right spot, but being so small, it looked a little dark and muddy, so we can't see it actually being that useful when it comes to critically reviewing your footage, when you'll want to be checking that things are properly in focus and so on.

We were more impressed by the lenticular screen in the upcoming Nintendo 3DS, so we reckon it's entirely possible to implement this tech in a convincing way.

Frustratingly, the Bloggie on show at CES wasn't able to shoot any video, and was showing a rolling demo on the screen instead. We were, however, treated to a screening of some 3D footage shot on a Bloggie 3D, for which we donned our 3D specs.

The footage was something of a mixed bag to be honest, clear and smooth enough, and with lots of the 3D stuff working really well. We did notice a few instances where the effect didn't work so well, however, or the Bloggie seemed to have become confused about what was part of the background and what was foreground material.

Based on this, we can see the Bloggie 3D appealing more to amateur movie-makers amused by the 3D novelty than serious video types who need the Bloggie to produce quick, high-quality footage.

The Bloggie 3D has 8GB of on-board storage, and like other Bloggies attaches to your computer via USB, which pops out of the Bloggie's left side, switchblade-style. There's an LED light for brightening up dark environments, and a socket for hooking the Bloggie up to an HD telly via HDMI. It can also shoot 5-megapixel stills.

The Bloggie 3D is looking pretty cool, but we'll need more time to test it before we decide whether it's the next step in camcorder evolution, or just a gimmicky bit of gadgetry. We'll have a review as soon as possible -- it's due out in the UK in April.

"Use a TOYin3D to watch this video in PARALLEL-VIEW on your mobile"


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