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Sony Bloggie Live MHS-TS55 Camcorder Review
Lens & Imaging System
The lens on the MHS-TS55 has no optical zoom, but it isn't entirely fixed. It undergoes some slight automatic focal adjustments when the camcorder is pointed at different subjects, and the aperture has a range of f/2.8 to f.3. There is a digital zoom feature on the Bloggie Live, but it does not use any kind of optical lens element to produce the zoom.
The 3-inch LCD on the Bloggie Live is nearly identical to the screen Sony put on its previous Bloggie Touch camcorders (like the MHS-TS10). As we said before, the screen is one of the better LCDs in terms of the responsiveness of its touchscreen interface, and we like the flat look of the screen that creates a single pane rather than one that is indented by a rectangular bezel.
Like the Bloggie Touch MHS-TS10, the screen on the Bloggie Live has an auto rotation feature that changes the way your videos are recorded. If you hold the camcorder horizontally when recording, you're videos are captured in the standard 16:9 format. Holding the camcorder vertically still allows for Full HD video recording, but the video clip will appear tall and slim with black borders to the left and right when viewed on a widescreen television or monitor.
On the surface, the Bloggie Live has few connectivity options. The camcorder is outfitted with a built-in USB arm and a mini HDMI port, but that's it. No other ports, jacks, or terminals are found on the body of the TS55 (the camcorder does come with a USB extender cable, though, which makes it easier to connect the USB arm to a computer).
But those two connectivity options only tell half of the Bloggie Live's story. The other part is referenced by the tiny print of the word "WiFi" on the camcorder's right side, just around the corner from the LCD. Yes, with the MHS-TS55 the Bloggie has finally gone wireless. By having built-in WiFi, the Bloggie Live can upload content directly to the internet (without connecting the camcorder to a computer), video clips can be viewed on a synced-up smartphone, and you can even stream live video wirelessly (hence the moniker "Live" in the camcorder's model name).
These new features are the exciting elements of the Bloggie Live, and they clearly overshadow the presence of an HDMI port and USB arm. By incorporating WiFi capability into the camcorder, Sony drastically increases the Bloggie Live's versatility, and makes the camcorder a perfect device for those who want to upload content on the fly. It's not as free as an iPhone, however, as the camcorder does need to connect to a wireless network in order to upload content. Whereas the iPhone can upload video over the cellular 3G network instead. Still, it's an important move for Sony and it's the most inviting feature on the Bloggie Live MHS-TS55.
The thing to remember about the Bloggie Live is that its battery is not removable, which is the case with many new ultracompact camcorders. So, if you deplete the battery by recording for too long, you must stop using the Bloggie Live until you recharge its battery. To recharge the camcorder, you must connect the Bloggie Live's USB arm to a computer's USB port, or use a wall-plug adapter that must be purchased separately. Either way, recharging the Bloggie MHS-TS55 is something you'll have to do a lot of (as is the case with all camcorders), and you can't plan to use the camcorder to record while the battery is recharging. Find out how the Bloggie MHS-TS55 performed in our battery life test.
The Bloggie MHS-TS55 comes with 8GB of internal flash memory, which is a decent amount for such a small camcorder. Unfortunately, the TS55 does not have a memory card slot, so when the 8GB of memory is filled up you must delete some videos to open up recording space. It's not too difficult to copy videos from the camcorder to a computer, and the wireless capabilities of the Bloggie Live make it very easy to upload content to the internet, so opening up recording space on the camcorder isn't a huge challenge.
Most of the competition in the ultracompact camcorder market use SD/SDHC memory card slots rather than relying on internal memory. The Apple iPhone 4S is an exception, as it only has internal memory like the Bloggie Live (but it is available with up to 64GB—eight times what the Bloggie Live contains). Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of various media types.
- Product Tour
- Color Performance
- Low Light Performance
- Motion Performance
- Sharpness Performance
- Sample Videos
- Ease of Use
- Recording Options
- Other Features
- Sony Bloggie Touch MHS-TS10 Comparison
- Samsung HMX-W200 Comparison
- Apple iPhone 4S Comparison
- Photo Gallery