Review Sony Bloggie and Melbourne Aquarium

At the start of the month, the kids and I headed into the city to go visit the Melbourne Aquarium, taking with us for its first test run out of the house the Sony Bloggie Touch. It was also my first time at the Aquarium. Check out some of the lovely footage we took:

Tips for getting the most out of your visit to the Aquarium

  • Timing – Without a doubt the dive feed was the highlight for the kids and that occurs only twice a day. Check the What’s On page before you go, but currently these sessions are 11am and 3pm.
  • Mobility – Although you can take a pram around the Aquarium, it does make getting around a little more difficult. The Melbourne Aquarium is over levels and if you follow the natural flow of the design it takes you up and down escalators. We had to head to the elevators, meaning we had to double back a bit and the younger school kids were a bit frustrated about not being able to exactly follow the map!
  • Getting there – there is no onsite car parking (other expensive options near by though) and we caught the train to Flinders Street and walked down. The Aquarium is easily accessible by trains and trams so recommend using public transport to get there.
  • iPhone App – Now I didn’t know about this app before I went but I wish I did. It would have been a great addition for the school kids. The app lets you find out interesting facts about the exhibits you are looking at, has questions and highlights for the kids to look out for and tells you about any special events that are on that day. You can download the app here: Melbourne Aquarium App.

Review Sony Bloggie

Review Sony Bloggie Touch
The footage in our video is taken using the Sony Bloggie. It is a pocket size (it literally does fit in your back pocket!) HD video camera. Here are some things that I loved about the Bloggie:

  • Large 3-inch LCD touch screen – The touch screen is super easy to use and intuitive. Being a decent size you can easily see with fantastic clarity what you are filming. It also means the kids can use it easily. When we were watching the dive feed it was pretty crowded. I gave the Bloggie to one of the kids, who made their way to the front and filmed it for me.
  • 8GB internal memory – This means it takes lots of footage! I always go for taking too much so I capture everything which can be tricky if memory is small, but the Bloggie can records up to 4 hours of HD.
  • Battery Life – The day we took the Bloggie with us into the city to visit the Aquarium we also did other things and I filmed on and off the whole time. The battery ran out only as we were leaving the city, so it had lasted for our 4.5 hour adventure. According to the instructions it will take 110 minutes of continuous recording.
  • It takes photos too! – This was one of my favourite things about the Bloggie. Often when I am videoing something I wish that I could snap a pic as well. With the Bloggie you can easily click a button and take a photo. A small image appears on the screen so you can see what you have taken. For those of you who like to know specs the camera is 12.8 megapixel with 4x digital zoom.
  • Built-in USB arm – this means that you can just stick into your computer download footage and charge the battery instantly. This is super helpful for anyone, but if you are a blogger, it is fantastic. With a few simple clicks you can share your videos straight to Youtube and Facebook.

It took me a few shots to get used to the autofocus with the Bloggie. I found letting it get the focus in on my target first then starting to film worked best for us. I also need to see if there is a way that I can set it to turn off after a certain time without use, as I accidentally filmed the inside of my pocket a couple of times.

The Bloggie is a great little camera when you are out and about with the kids. Because it is so portable and easy to use, I have already started to take much more footage of the kids. My Macbook is starting to hate me though as it is running out of space! The Bloggie is not the camera you can take to the school assembly and video your child from the back row – the zoom just isn’t there. But it is perfect to capture the kids in HD for those moments when they are close at hand. The Bloggie has RRP of $299.

Planning With Kids received the Sony Touch and entry to the Melbourne Aquarium compliments of Sony.