The action cam market has gotten a little larger. If you factor in the size and prestige of the manufacturer behind its latest player, it’s actually a lot larger. Sony recently announced the full details on its first action camera. The Action Cam packs proven hardware into a small, rugged package designed for adventure sports and exploits.
What it lacks in creative naming, the Action Cam makes up for in intriguing specs. Unlike the vast field of action cam start-ups, Sony has decades’ worth of experience in developing and partnering on video recording hardware. It leverages this experience in building an action cam that promises to offer brilliant footage and hassle-free recording. Toward the former, the Action Cam processes all the action with a Carl Zeiss Tessar 170-degree lens and Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor. The sensor is optimized for low-light shooting, so even if the weather isn’t quite cooperating, your camera will be. A single “Press-n-Go” button means that starting and stopping filming is as sure and simple as putting your thumb on a big, easy-access button.
One of the Sony Action Cam’s defining features is its slow motion capability. Sony equips the camera with both 720p/60 fps 2x slow motion and 720p/120 fps 4x slow motion modes that allow you and your crew to relive every millisecond of action in crisp HD. The slow motion also helps you break down your performance for training and improvement. Of course, Sony also gives you access to 1080p/30 fps recording for the full HD experience.
To ensure that your footage comes clean in spite of the jolts, drops and splashes, Sony packages the Action Cam in an included waterproof ruggedized (197 feet/60 m) housing. The housing includes a universal tripod mount. SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode and 3-way Shake Canceling ensure that others will enjoy watching the footage as much as you enjoy making it, no matter how many bumps, drops and wind gusts rattle the camera in the field.
The Sony action cam uses a long, cylindrical design similar to existing cameras like Contour and Sports-Vue models. It measures 1 x 1.9 x 3.25 inches and weighs 3.2 ounces. The camera comes with both flat- and curved-surface mounts, and Sony will empower athletes of all stripes by selling all the necessary accessories, including a Handheld Grip with LCD display and sport-specific mounting hardware.
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Sony will begin delivering the first Action Cams later this month. The basic HDR-AS10 Action Cam will retail for $200, and the HDR-AS15 Wi-Fi version will come in at $270. The latter lets you wirelessly pair the camera with your smartphone or tablet computer running Sony’s free PlayMemories Mobile app, enabling video sharing and playback.
Thanks to its selection of vetted hardware, competitive specs and slow motion recording, the Sony Action Cam should be a venerable competitor in the action cam market. It comes just in time for the upcoming ski season, not to mention the holiday shopping season.