Will Sony Bloggie 3D bring mainstream to 3D?

New toy just arrived: 3D Sony Bloggie. Will try it out as soon as it is charged.

I bought a Sony Bloggie 3D last week because I am researching 3D. Vizio gave me a 65-inch 3D TV to help in this research and to give me a screen for the studio I’m building, too, but that will be the point of a future look at 3D.

Yesterday I shot video at a six-year-old kid’s birthday party. You’ll need 3D glasses and you’ll need to setup YouTube on first play to view this video.

Most people I talk with on Twitter hate 3D. Most of them complain about glasses and headaches, but a good chunk complain about no content. My brother-in-law returned a 3DTV because there wasn’t any content, so he thought he’d save the hundreds of dollars it cost extra.

I just upgraded my Comcast line to the latest cable box. Not even one channel is in 3D right now.

The folks who run TV stations tell me they aren’t about to buy 3DTV cameras and broadcast equipment. They say the move to HD nearly bankrupted them.

So, what is the Sony Bloggie 3D? And, will home movies be enough content to get people excited by 3DTV (at least the part of the market that doesn’t care about wearing glasses or doesn’t get headaches watching?)

It’s a small video and still camera that looks a bit like the FlipCam. Except it takes still and videos in 3D and has on its back a new 3D screen that doesn’t require glasses.

Will being able to shoot your baby in 3D save 3D?

Not yet, is my review.

Why not?

Because the software sucks. I still can’t figure out how to use it to do 3D photos on my computer (they work great when you hook the camera up to your TV screen via an HDMI cable). Editing is a major pain in the behind, although I figured out how to do it that was only because GoPro’s team (another 3D camera I’m testing) showed me how to do it and how to upload it to YouTube properly. Even there, you’ve got to add a special tag to enable the 3D player and you’d only know that if you when looking.

Also, does it really add much? Actually it does. I love seeing my kids in 3D and my family loves watching them. But is that enough to spend several hundred dollars more on a 3DTV? And then $250 on the Sony Bloggie 3D? And then potentially even more on 3D glasses (the Vizio came with four sets of glasses, which isn’t enough if you are throwing a 3D viewing party, which you most certainly will if you have the only 3D TV in the neighborhood).

Some other things to pay attention to:

1. The screen on the back of the Bloggie isn’t all that good. The screen on other cameras I’ve seen is better. It’s hard to see, and the 3D effect on that screen isn’t very pronounced. Don’t worry, on a good 3DTV the effect is much better.

2. The menus aren’t all that good and aren’t consistent.

3. Battery life is pretty short. I was at one bar after not shooting very long at the birthday party yesterday. I’m used to getting a lot more out of my video cameras.

4. Focus isn’t all that good and it’s nearly impossible to see on the screen whether something is in focus or not. So, you just have to shoot and pray it came out.

5. Editing tools aren’t setup for 3D. iMovie or FinalCutPro doesn’t know how to do 3D titles, or other effects. So, trying to edit is very frustrating. I have some tools from GoPro (they bought another startup that does 3D editing software, but it’s woefully incomplete and hard to use too).

That said, for $249 I’m happy, but I’m an early adopter who likes nearly every shiny new thing that I get my hands on (the video I shot at a friend’s six-year-old kid’s birthday party yesterday is pretty good). I sure wouldn’t recommend this for a normal user. Not yet.

So, 2D lives on to see another day.

You can order one and look at customer reviews on Amazon.

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

13 thoughts on “Will Sony Bloggie 3D bring mainstream to 3D?

  1. I looked at the bloggie, not specifically for the 3d feature… but simply because I needed a small video cam so I can start posting video to my blog…  In the end I settled for the iPhone 4.  How original of me!  Ha.  I’ll be keeping an eye on this though as hopefully the software improves.

  2. I looked at the bloggie, not specifically for the 3d feature… but simply because I needed a small video cam so I can start posting video to my blog…  In the end I settled for the iPhone 4.  How original of me!  Ha.  I’ll be keeping an eye on this though as hopefully the software improves.

  3. i agree. 3D will not catch on because it’s don’t put value for customer. It’s just a fun to have to make the show.

  4. I don’t often watch videos online  … But the 3d did pull me to wait till it downloads (yes we still don’t have high speed everywhere !) and watched the same , yes the initial experience was wow (was able to get a 3d glass from my kid;s comic . …. but to be frank was not able to watch it more than 2 – 3 mins …. this needs to evolve a lot , i mean a really a lot before it can be mainstream !

  5. 3D forces the eyes and brain to converge and focus at different locations in space, which they were never designed to do; that explains the headaches. We are built for our vision to converge and focus at the same location in space.  3D is a cool concept, but more than a few minutes of it is not worth the eye strain.

    I’ve experimented with 3D video in Roxio 2011 (which converts 2D input into 3D output, I assume by calculating the parameters of the camera lens shooting the video and assuming standard measurements). It works okay, about the same as the output you got from your 3D bloggie. And I actually bought a pair of plastic analglyph glasses from the local T-Mobile shop (they’re for the new LG G-Slate tablet, but I had a discount for buying two or more accessories for the phone I had and I was playing with 3-D at the time).

  6. For a moment I was afraid your answer was going to be “yes.”
    Watching video is a huge enough commitment – but when you’re mobile, at least you can plug in headphones and not annoy everyone around you. But carry 3D glasses just in case? Nope. Not happening.

    It seems like a good concept executed poorly and ahead of it’s time. You’d think that cameras like that would pop up *after* 3D had a foothold rather than beforehand.

    I’m still ticked that Cisco killed the Flip – which was useful and loved. No way I’d invest in this Sony when the medium isn’t really flying here yet. Someone will come up with a glasses-free option soon enough and then you’ve just got the personal camera equivalent of Betamax.

    1. Nintendo’s new 3DS attmempts 3D without the glasses. It appears to apply the same concept as the 3-D baseball card: the divergence between two different images creates a 3-D effect.

  7. 3D is a miserable experience for consumers and those making 3D content. I don’t see that changing in the next few years. As long as you need glasses to enjoy, the adoption rate is going to be rare.

Comments are closed.