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Fun at the Sony Photo Fun Mom Event And Using The Cyber-Shot WX9

 When I received the invite from Kimberley Clayton Blaine (TheGoToMom) and Sony Electronics to attend a day of photography and pampering I was excited to enjoy the event and see my fellow bloggers. But my tech obsessed side was looking forward to checking out the new Sony Cyber-Shot WX9. The Sony Photo Fun Mom Event inspiried me to get out of my “work at home” sweats off and get my fashion on. Or – at least – attempt to.

Here is a video from the Event:

Sony Photo Fun Mom Event from Kimberley Blaine on Vimeo.


The event gathered a fun group of bloggers together to enjoy San Diego, experience the Cybershot WX9 and get headshots from celebrity photographer Brian Smith.  Brian Smith’s project/book is called “Art and Soul” that has a goal to raise visibility and funding for the arts/art education.


While all the event pictures from the day were taken with our Sony Cybershot WX9 cameras, I wanted to also try out some of the special features. The WX-9 has 16.2 megapixels, easy to use HD option, 5x optical zoom, 3.0″ screen, Full HD 1080/60i video and “Exmor R” CMOS sensors and my favorite settings: 3D Sweep Panorama and soft skin setting.

Starting off the Sony Photo Fun Mom Event was a during the first night dinner at Anthology.

Jeannette Kaplun took this picture of (left to right) Heidi Leder, Michele McGraw, Rebecca Levy, Sheila Dowd and Glennia Campbell.  I was excited to see local San Diego bloggers Beth Avant, La Jolla Mom, Bizzie Mommy and Susan Kay Wyatt  from LA.

Glennia enjoyed using the “Sony Cybershot WX9’s Gourmet setting to take photos of food in low light with brilliant effect“. I found the WX9 not only easy to use out of the box, but the settings enable you to take fabulous pictures on the go (with a camera that fits in your back pocket if needed!). Here are a few pictures I took using the Sweep Panarama setting that allowed me to sweep the camera and capture more in one picture. The resulting picture can take a normal picture to the next level with more detail and perspective.


In the picture above, Jennifer Martin and the Sony Photo Fun Mom crew giving us a demo of the Sony Cybershot WX9.


The beautiful San Diego skyline at dinner.


The sweep panaromic picture above is one I took of downtown San Diego from our event the next day at the Hard Rock Hotel. This inspiried me to bring the Cybershot WX-9 on my family vacation and use the Sweep Panorama setting to capture all 10 cousins on bikes riding on a beach boardwalk. Capturing special moments like that are priceless, and now I can do it in one picture instead of many.
We also had a chance to look at accessories such as the Sony Partyshot (hands free photos) and digital photo frames.


It was great to see representatives from the Sony social media team including Sukhjit Ghag (picture between Kim and I).


Kimberley Clayton Blaine was also a great resource for learning even more about the Cybershot WX9. She showed me the Soft Skin setting – which is now one of my favorite settings.


Above is a picture of Kimberley Blaine and Jeannette Kaplun I took using the “soft skin” setting that highlights skin in just the right way. We all decided that we don’t want any more pictures taken of our face unless the soft skin setting was used.


This picture is of Sarah Auerswald and Kimberley Clayton Blaine – also using the soft skin setting on the Cybershot WX-9.


Jeanutte Kaplun and Heather from the Rookie Moms were the models for a shot Brian Smith helped us frame. He told us to look for unique landmarks to help frame a picture – and this sculpture did the trick.


We all had fun trying the different camera features.


Here I am with the fabulous  Liz Gumbinner, one of the founders (with Kristen Chase) of my favorite shopping sites Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Tech. I am thrilled to be part of the Cool Mom Tech team, so I tried to find a good pose for a picture. I think Liz nailed it – but my pose needed work. Luckily we had Brian Smith Photo to help me and the other moms out with headshots.


Brian Smith used the Sony DSLR-A900 for our headshot pictures.


Kimberley Clayton Blaine and Britt Michaelian are getting their fashion on for their headshots:


The beautiful Sheila Dowd of the Clever Girls Collective had her celebrity pose on.


I tried my best to go from Geek to Model Chic (something that does not come naturally for me). Luckily Brian Smith and his wife Fazia (who is a fantastic stylist) helped me find a style and some poses that worked to create my new headshots.


Thanks to event host Kimberley Clayton Blaine, Sony and Brian Smith Photo for making this mama feel like a celebrity for a day.


I not only have celebrity headshots, but I also learned how to  make my friends look like a celebrity using the features on the Cybershot WX9!


Disclosure: Travel expenses to attend the Sony Photo Fun Mom event were covered by Sony. We were given a Cyber-Shot WX9 to capture our memories (and we enjoyed it!). This is not a paid post. As always, my words are my own.


TECH NEWS: Sony Announces Market Launch of Sony Tablet

No matter what mobile devices I carry, I will always have a laptop with at least a “17inch screen or desktop for my home office. I am typing this post on my 17″ Sony Vaio that has Windows 7 and at the time I bought it one of the fastest processors (Intel i7).  But when it comes to mobile use, when I am doing mobile work I carry a 13” laptop and my smartphone. But for everyday mobile use my power duo lately seems to be a smartphone and a tablet. This morning I recieved an email with a press release with specifications and pricing for the newest tablet to hit the market: The Sony Vaio Tablet. I have not had a chance to try the Sony Tablet yet – but it sure seems enticing and in the world of accessorizing, a Sony Tablet to match my Sony Vaio would be a fun treat!

Here is the press release for more details:


Sony Announces Market Launch of Sony Tablet

Two Optimally Designed Android™ Devices Deliver Portability, Easy Handling and an Immersive Entertainment Experience

SAN DIEGO, August 31, 2011 — Sony today announced the market launch of its first two Sony Tablet™ devices. The Android-powered Sony Tablet S and Sony Tablet P devices combine unique hardware, content and network services with seamless usability to create a world of engaging networked entertainment experiences.

Available for pre-sale today and on shelves next month, the Sony Tablet S device is optimized for rich media entertainment on its 9.4-inch touchscreen display. With a powerful NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 mobile processor, the Sony Tablet S device lets you enjoy the web as well as your favorite content and applications on its large, high-resolution screen. Weighing in at just about 1.33 lbs., its unique asymmetric design allows for hours of comfortable use and built-in Wi-Fi® compatibility means Internet connectivity virtually anywhere there’s a hotspot.

Available later this year, the Sony Tablet P device is ideal for mobile communication and entertainment. With its innovative folding design, two 5.5-inch displays and weight at about 0.83 lbs., it can easily fit into a pocket, purse or backpack. It features the same NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 mobile processor and is both Wi-Fi compatible and 4G capable exclusively on AT&T’s mobile broadband network,1 offering users access to digital content including videos, games, and e-mail, while on the go, nearly anytime.

Both devices run on Android, Android 3.1 on Sony Tablet S devices and Sony Tablet P devices will be equipped with Android 3.2 by the time they ship. Both models feature front and rear facing cameras that allow for video recording and capturing still images. The devices also support micro USB interface and SD card.

Sony Tablet devices are also distinguished by four key features that set them apart from any other tablets on the market. These include: optimally designed hardware and software, a “swift and smooth” experience, network entertainment services and cross-device functionality.

“These devices truly represent the best of everything Sony has to offer,” said Mike Lucas, senior vice president of Sony Electronics’ Networked Technology and Services Division. “From hardware to software and services, Sony Tablet devices embody all our innovations rolled into one.”

Optimally Designed Hardware and Software

Unlike other tablet devices, Sony Tablet S device has an ergonomic, asymmetric design which allows it to be easily held or carried for long periods of time. The unique form factor shifts the device’s weight closer to your palm, making it feel lighter and more comfortable while reading an e-book or watching a video. The screen is sloped when placed on a flat surface, enhancing visibility and making typing more comfortable. Placing a Sony Tablet S device onto a specialized charging cradle (sold separately) converts the device into a digital photo frame, a digital clock that displays customizable information or chumby with access to over 1,500 fun and entertaining apps.

Software taking advantage of the unprecedented design of the Sony Tablet P device allows its dual screens to be used for different  functions simultaneously such as playing video on one screen while using the other as a controller or reading email on one screen while using the other as a virtual keyboard. The displays can also be combined to form a single large screen for Internet browsing and more. By holding the device vertically, you can also read eBooks much in the same manner you would a physical book.

Both Sony Tablet devices are equipped with Sony’s TruBlack™ displays which reduce reflection and glare from sunlight or fluorescent light for high-contrast visibility both indoors and out.

Swift and Smooth Experience

A combination of Sony technologies, Quick view and Quick touch, allow for faster loading of web pages, a highly responsive and fluid touch screen as well as an exceptionally intuitive user interface. The large keys of the virtual keyboard take full advantage of screen real estate while automatically adjusting to the task at hand. A numeric keypad pops up when inputting passwords and word suggestions or auto word complete make email and texting a breeze.

Networked Entertainment

Both Sony Tablet devices come complete with access to a full suite of Sony’s network entertainment services.

·         Sony Entertainment Network services: Video Unlimited is your ticket to the latest releases from every major movie studio to rent or own. A pre-open campaign for the Sony Tablet devices will be offered at device launch with limited content and more content will continue to be released over time. Music Unlimited, available in October, offers instant access to a global catalog of over 10 million songs from every major record label (numbers vary by country). Simply sync to the cloud and enjoy the music you love on Sony Tablet devices or any other Internet-enabled Sony device. A six month trial basic membership from Music Unlimited and a free movie download from Video Unlimited come with the purchase of each device.

·         PlayStation® Certified: Sony Tablet devices are the first PlayStation® Certified tablets that provide out-of-the-box gaming with included favorites “Crash Bandicoot” and “Pinball Heroes.”

·         Reader™ Store: Access bestsellers, new releases, classics, magazines and more from more than 2.5 million titles at Reader™ Store by Sony. The store’s intuitive reading interface is ideal for on-the-go reading, allowing book lovers to set bookmarks, make highlights and adjust font sizes as they read. A free eBook download is included with the purchase of the device.

·         Personal Space™ by Sony: This free service allows you to easily share pictures and videos captured on Sony Tablet devices. You can also access albums that were previously uploaded from other devices.

Video, music, games and other content can be directly accessed by way of the “Favorites” menu without the need to re-launch any of the respective applications.

Cross Device Connectivity

Control your home entertainment system and enjoy content in new ways. With Sony Tablet devices, you can “throw” personal pictures and video to DLNA compatible televisions such as BRAVIA® HDTVs with the touch of a button. You can also throw music to compatible wireless speakers such as Sony’s HomeShare™ speakers. The Sony Tablet S device, which is equipped with infrared technology, can act as a remote control for multiple home entertainment components such as TVs, Blu-ray Disc™ players, cable and satellite boxes, and more. The built-in Universal remote not only controls your Sony products, but other brands as well. Sony Tablet S device is the world’s first Android Tablet running Honeycomb with a built in A/V remote control. Both Sony Tablet devices are compatible with the Media Remote™ app which allows you to control Sony devices, including BRAVIA televisions, through Wi-Fi® technology.

Wide Range of Applications

A variety of applications add to the entertainment options. With access to the Android Market™, you can browse thousands of useful time-saving and fun apps. Sony Tablet devices also provide instant access to Google™ mobile services and applications, including 3D maps and easy web search with Google Voice Search. To make app discovery even easier, Sony offers its Select App site which highlights new and unique Android applications in a number of categories, recommended for Sony Tablet devices. Recommended applications will be spotlighted at launch with more to come in the following weeks and months.

Accessories, Pricing, Availability

A range of optional accessories includes a cradle, AC adapter, LCD screen protector, carrying case and USB adaptor cable for Sony Tablet S devices, and a rechargeable battery pack, AC adapter, LCD screen protector, carrying case and detachable panels for Sony Tablet P devices. A Bluetooth keyboard is also available for both models.

The Sony Tablet S device is available in both a 16GB and 32 GB version and will be sold at Sony Stores including online and other authorized retailers nationwide for about $499 and $599, respectively. For more information, please visit tablet or check out for a video unboxing.

*** For additional information about Sony Tablet devices, you can call (888) 315-SONY, or visit Sony’s web site at:  


Apple and Sony Tech Updates Sept. 1

I know many families use multiple Apple and/or Sony products. Today it seemed to be the "day of tech updates" with press meetings for both Apple and Sony. While I did not get to be there live, I felt like I was there because of all the posts I have been reading all day. I decided to curate the links I found using Pearltrees:





Press Release: Sony Cyber-shot® digital camera goes rugged with the new TX5

It was good timing that I received this press release in my inbox
while watching the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Sony announced updates to their
Cyber-shot® line with the new DSC-TX5 – a camera that is waterproof, freeze proof,
shockproof and dust proof.  Because being a mom is like living a non-stop Olympics, rugged features will help this gadget hold up to my family of little athletes.

Kelly Davis, Director of the Digital Imaging business at Sony Electronics, was quoted in the press release on the TX5:  “It is so versatile because it’s a great camera for both indoor and outdoor usage. You can easily take it from a day at the beach with the kids to a cocktail party with friends. This camera is also great for activities such as snorkeling, snowboarding or boating.

Here are the key points of the Sony press release about the TX5:

  • Waterproof “in up to 10 feet of water for an hour, the TX5 lets you take high-quality photos, including panoramic pictures, and 720p high definition videos of your friends, family or pets underwater.”
  • Freezeproof: “Camera is also freeze proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can take pictures of the kids sledding or snowboarding. Not only is it ready for cold weather, but the TX5 is durable enough to withstand an accidental drop from up to approximately 5 feet.”
  • Dustproof: “Additionally, it is dust proof, so you can take it with you on a camping trip or a mountain bike ride.”
  • Continuous burst shooting for capturing action: “The camera features an “Exmor R” sensor and offers 10fps continuous
    burst shooting for capturing action shots, so you can get great photos
    of the perfect moment such as when your kids are in mid air while
    jumping into the pool.”
  • Video: HD movie recording (1280 x 720 at 30p).
  • Panoramic Photos: “In one easy press-and-sweep motion, take panoramic photos of the underwater landscape or breathtaking views from the top of the mountain
    using the Intelligent Sweep Panorama™ feature. Another benefit of the
    “Exmor R” sensor, this innovative feature combines separate captures,
    detects faces and subject motion and intelligently adjusts the width
    while stitching the images together, resulting in natural looking
    panoramic photos.”
  • Lowlight: “In addition to making it easy to capture entire landscapes or tall
    buildings, the TX5 camera also helps to manage difficult lighting
    situations. The “Exmor R” CMOS sensor lets you take high-quality photos
    in low light without a flash.”
  • Backlight: “With in-camera multi-shot Backlight Correction High Dynamic Range (HDR), the camera combines highlight and shadow detail of two separate captures into one remarkably natural looking image—even without a tripod. HDR offers a solution for strong backlight situations which typically result in either dark shadows in
    the foreground or a washed out background. Sony’s “Exmor R” sensor and
    BIONZ® processor help to correct these issues.”
  • Memory card compatibility: “A memory card slot compatible with both Memory Stick® (PRO Duo™) and class-four and above SD/SDHC formats.”
  • Other Features: “An inch thin. Equipped with a foldable, 25 mm equivalent wide-angle 4x optical zoom Carl Zeiss® Vario Tessor® lens…. The
    camera also has a three-inch (measured diagonally) Clear Photo LCD
    Plus™ (230,400 pixel) wide touch screen display that functions—even
    underwater. You can focus on your subject, operate the menu and share
    photos and videos with a touch of the screen—wet or dry…Self portrait timer that automatically takes the shot two seconds after one or two faces are detected.”
  • Pricing and Availability: “The TX5 camera will be available in
    silver, black, pink, green, and red this April for about $350. Pre-sales begin in February. The cameras and a range of accessories will be available online at”