The Sony Bloggie 3D (also known as the MHS-FS3) is the first pocket camcorder to feature two lenses, allowing it to shoot in three dimensions. When you've finished filming, you can enjoy your video on the screen of the device itself—and without any 3D glasses.
HandlingSony always pays careful attention to the look and feel of its products, and the Bloggie 3D is no exception, with a sleek exterior in glossy plastic that's a treat to handle. The 2.3'' LCD screen has a resolution of 234 000 pixels, which really isn't bad for a pocket camcorder. Its real strength, though, is the fact that it can display 3D video without glasses. It might not be anything like the full-size Sony HDR-TD10, but objects and people both seem to have real depth. Because only a few centimetres separate the two lenses, even small objects filmed up close benefit from the 3D effect.
The USB connector sticks out of the side
The LCD screen displays information in 3D
Despite its name, the Bloggie 3D can also shoot plain old 2D video, and capture 5 Megapixel still photos. A USB connector pops out of the side to share your videos online using the bundled Bloggie software which is compatible with both Mac OS and Windows. There's no line in for an external mic, but the built-in stereo mic does a great job.
To create 3D video, the Bloggie 3D captures two separate Full HD frames, with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels each, relying on two separate lenses and sensors. The feed from the left and right lens are then bundled into a single MP4 file which is stored on the 8 GB of internal flash memory. Both the level of detail and the colour handling are perfectly adequate, but neither can hope to rival an AVCHD camcorder. The Bloggie really struggles when light levels fall, with the subject hardly visible at 3 lux, the equivalent of a single candle. Filming anywhere dark or at night is out of the question. The lens doesn't offer a very wide viewing angle, so you'll have to make do with 47 mm as a 24 x 36 mm equivalent and there's no optical zoom either. But then again, that's true of almost all pocket camcorders.
|The Bloggie 3D films in side by side mode with two lenses and two sensors.
||Even close-ups of small objects work well in 3D.
To play your videos back, you can either play them on the glasses-free 3D screen, or use the HDMI port to connect the Bloggie to a 3D TV. You can also edit your videos, but you'll need software that's compatible with 'side-by-side' 3D mode. We imported some of our video into Sony Vegas Pro 10, which had no trouble at all with 3D video once we'd identified that we were working with side-by-side stereoscopic video in the properties pane. We also found that the more affordable Magix Video Deluxe 17 was more than capable of handling 3D video produced by the Bloggie.
We've uploaded a video that we shot using the Bloggie 3D that you can try on a 3D TV or monitor. We edited it in Vegas PRo 10 and exported it in Full HD to YouTube from an MP4 file.