Sure, I can laugh about my fear of flying…while I’m safe on the ground, of course.
When it comes to me boarding an airplane, however, and stuffing myself in the tin tube with hundreds of other people, launching into the air while speeding through space at around 500ish mph, well that’s another story all together.
So when I was presented with a new opportunity to become a member of The Sony Club, but I had to fly to San Diego to do it, I almost said no.
For a blogger such as myself, an opportunity to work with a brand like Sony that I already know and love (I’ve owned a VAIO laptop for 2 yrs and a Sony Cyber Shot Camera for 3yrs), and to be able to test other products to help improve my site, I couldn’t say no (despite the fact that I’d have to board a plane for the first time in almost 9 years, fly for 5.5hrs to San Diego, and do it without any moral support).
You see this was my first trip to the west coast, my longest flight, and my first flight ever alone. So when it was my turn to go through security at BWI, I was glad for some comic relief. After placing my bags on the belt and removing my shoes, I made my way into the scanner. I was given the all clear to come out, but before being allowed to proceed to my to retrieve my bags, I was asked to lift my massive, humid hair up and shake it out. Apparently my afro looks as though it could be concealing weapons, so in case anyone ever doubted the legitimacy of my hair, or thought I might be exaggerating how big it gets, I have that as proof it’s serious – like national security serious.
I flew South West, so without the option of assigned seats I paid an extra $40 at the gate to be one of the first 15 people on the plane. After settling into my seat, I forgot that the extra money still doesn’t guarantee you a spot near people that you’d want to sit next to for 5.5hrs. Lucky for me there was a crying baby in front of me, and a large man next to me!
It couldn’t have worked out better with the baby’s cries drowning out the sound of my own sobs, and since the burly man next to me was already half in my seat, I was able to embrace the stranger without being too obvious to anyone around us.
And you know what?
I knew getting over my fear of flying, albeit totally irrational but very real to me, was worth it as soon as I landed in San Diego. The weather was beautiful, the scenery was amazing, and as soon as I had a chance to meet some of my fellow club members I knew I had a great three days in store.
Thankfully I had been so busy being terrified for my flight, that I forgot to get nervous about meeting the professional bloggers in my group. You might remember that I had posted a self affirmation on Facebook when Sony announced who my fellow bloggers were (each who seemed way out of my league). I repeated, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And, no, I did not find two varieties of Cheerios in my bra this morning.”
Even though I had about 4 hours to kill before our activities kicked off, I resisted the urge to nap and I headed off with Carol from Girl Gone Travel, Vivienne from NY Through the Lens, and Shivani from Trending Mom to Coronado Island where I put my toes in the Pacific for the first time, and also over to the San Diego Harbor. Check out some of the scenes I captured with my phone:
Day 2 kicked off with a trip to Sony’s Headquarters which was as amazing as you might think. Fellow Clubber, Amanda from Run to the Finish, nailed it when she said it was like being at Oprah’s Favorite things.
We’re testing a variety of products (and while at Sony got hands on training with Sony Product Experts including:
In a word, amazing. I already loved my Sony Cyber Shot, but after using it for three years, I wanted to upgrade to a DSLR. I didn’t however because I wasn’t keen on the idea of carrying around a camera of that size (or the money). The NEX-5R is a compact interchangeable lens mirrorless camera that’s about half the size of a DSLR, but you get a 16MP APS-C-size sensor, fast Hybrid Autofocus, burst shooting up to 10 frames per second and on-camera operational dials. Did I mention WiFi? Take amazing quality pictures and with the PlayMemories Mobile™ app transfer pictures right to your smart phone or tablet! It also can shoot HD movies! The 3″ LCD screen also moves in 180 degrees – shoot the perfect “selfies!”
I currently own a FlipCam, but have been shooting most of my videos for my website with my Sony Cyber Shot mostly because I liked the screen for filming better (in addition to it being better quality video). Not anymore though; the Sony Handy Cam is sharp! It comes in several different colors, as you can see, I chose red, but aside from it’s good looks it also shoots clear, sharp videos with 1920 x 1080 Full HD quality. Additionally, it allows you to take 8.9MP stills. The back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor gives you awesome low-light video performance, and with 8GB of embedded flash memory you can record up to 3 hours and 10 minutes of HD video footage while in HD LP mode. Did I mention the projector? You can display your images on just about any flat surface, playing them back right from the device! The Handy Cam has 13 lumens of brightness, this projector is powerful enough to project up to 100”diagonally. The 3″ touch screen also flips around for more selfie video fun (in the picture above I took a selfie with the NEX-5R of me taking a selfie with the Handy Cam – Whoa).
The Action Cam with WiFi can capture just about any adventure you want to bring its way! It’s small (photo above shows its size relative to my iPhone), and it’s also lightweight – just 3.2oz with battery, but it doesn’t shoot small! The professional quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar® lens allows a large perspective from this tiny camcorder. The 170-degree viewing angle gets you and everything around you! Use the SteadyShot® image stabilization with Active Mode for a smooth video no matter if you’re biking, running, etc. Wi-Fi allows you to upload images right to smart phone or tablets with your PlayMemories Mobile™ application. It has a variety of accessories, one pictured above is the bike mount which I can’t wait to test on my Huffy! The waterproof case allows underwater imagery up to 60m! Pictured on the left is the dog mounts that Sony was demonstrating in San Diego! I plan on getting one of these which I’m pretty sure will work on my 4yr old too (although it’s not advertised as a kid/dog strap- Shhh). There’s also a variety of mounts/accessories to strap this cam to helmets/etc.
The Sony Xperia Tablet is 10.1″ and currently the thinnest tablet on the market at just .27″ thick. It’s an Android, and as you can see from the photos above, with the tablet’s ports all closed, it’s actually waterproof as well (can go up to 3ft of water for up to 30 minutes in case you wanted to watch Shark Week while swimming with sharks or something). Sony Club Member Dave (pictured above on the right) gave it a real pool test you can watch here! The colors and picture quality on this tablet are the sharpest that I’ve ever owned, and it also features up to 9 hours of battery life. It’s quad core processor makes it really fast and there’s even a One Touch feature that lets you transfer content wirelessly to your NFC compatible TV, smartphone or speakers. The camera is also the best around as far as tablets go, and the sound quality is also noticeably better than the other tablets I’ve owned (iPad and Galaxy).
I love this MP3 Player! You just drag and drop songs from anywhere (iTunes, Windows Media Player, or where ever you have music), and it’s as simple as that! No more wires, the device fits easily in your ears and around the back of your head. There’s a band for adjusting to make it tighter, but I haven’t had an issues with it falling out when I’ve used it on my Huffy and also just running around the house. It has 4G of memory which equates to about 900 songs, and also has a great rapid charge feature which gives you 60 minutes of play from just three minutes of charging. Oh, and fully charged you’ll get about 8hrs of uninterrupted play. Are you a swimmer, and wish you had something to listen to in the water? Guess what? No, seriously, it’s waterproof (pools only, salt water not recommended) up to 6ft! I haven’t tested it in the pool yet, but Sony Club member Carol from Girl Gone Travel has and she says it’s amazing!
So I’ve had these products about two weeks now, but I’ll be running them through a variety of tests. Serious product testing too, not just stuff like my usual shakey face pictures and PSA’s on farting in the tub. I mean, yes these products will make blogging easier, but I’ll be giving my honest opinion just like with everything else I chose to review.
We did get a chance to test out the cameras around San Diego, check out some of the shots from the rest of my trip. First up was the Del Mar Racetrack.
While we watched the races, we also had our Sony experts to help us the our new NEX-5R cameras, and to try out some of the interchangeable lens. (Drew was one of them pictured below) with Diana from Diana Elizabeth Blog (right) and Crystal from Simply Being Mommy (left).
We were even allowed to go back to the stables at Del Mar, and the horses were even more beautiful up close. This guy was my favorite.
Actually, they really were awesome, and some of my fellow club members even pet the horses like Ryan from Pause the Moment (below). I wasn’t so brave because they are also much larger in person, and I don’t know the difference between when a horse is saying “Pet me” and “I’m gonna bite you.”
After the racetrack we headed out to explore a little more of Del Mar, and I think this is when my family started to think this wasn’t really a “work” trip …but it was, I swear. Look, we’re busy testing the products!
Keep in mind I’m a not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination, and these were some of the cool shots that I captured with the NEX-5R :
Our last day was just as amazing as the first two since Sony had the great idea for us to take advantage of the beautiful water views by sailing with Sail Jada Charters.
And in case you didn’t think I learned anything new other than how to use Sony products, there was this – I thought our Captain was messing with us when he told us as we sailed past the various Naval ships that they use dolphins and sea lions to protect the harbor and restricted areas around the base. Apparently that IS true, and now I’m totally thinking there really are sharks with frickin laser beams, and we just don’t know about it yet. Go Navy!
So there you have it!
Let’s all have a glass of wine after that adventure! I know this post was filled with product overload, so I’ll be adding a Sony Page at the top of my website where I can give you the skinny on each of the Sony products that I review in due time. You’ll get all the details there plus be able to see how I use it to
fuel my narcissism improve my blogging like this:
So many selfies.
Stay tuned too, I’m hoping that we can work in some giveaways (no promises yet).
Special thank you to the whole team at Sony who showed us a great time in San Diego! Yes, the products are great, but when you have great people behind them it shows! The whole experience was great, thank you!
Do you own any Sony products? Do you live in San Diego? Can I move in with you? Leave me a comment if you managed to make it to the bottom of my longest post eva so we can become BFF’s. I’d love to hear from you!
Oh, and check out my fellow Sony Club Members! I had so much fun with this group! If going to bed each night with my sides hurting from laughing is any indication of the fun people they are, well, go see this talented group for yourselves:
- Run to the Finish
- Girl Gone Travel
- Pause The Moment
- Hopscotch The Globe
- Dave Amirault
- Diana Elizabeth Photography
- NY Through The Lens
- This Week in Photo
- Trending Mom
- Simply Being Mommy
As I mentioned before, I did receive free products from Sony, but all opinions expressed are my own. The Sony Club members were selected based on a number of things including our familiarity already with the brand (we all already previously owned Sony products). Follow my Sony Club page for full product details after I have time really use and review each item.