Sony's GoPro Alternative, the Action Cam, to Be Released This September
A few months ago, Sony announced that they were going to be entering the action/extreme sports camera arena and go head-to-head with GoPro and Contour. While GoPro seems to be the go-to action sports camera, Sony is hoping to chip away with a similarly-priced alternative. That product, the Action Cam HDR-AS10 and HDR-AS15, will be released this September and will be able to shoot up to 120fps. Check out an in-depth video showing off the new Action Cam below.
Here is a list of specs:
- 16 Megapixel Sensor (2MP still images)
- 1080p up to 30fps
- 72op up to 120fps
- SteadyShot Image Stabilization
- 2.7-inch LCD
- Bitrates: HQ: Approx.16Mbps – SSLOW: Approx.24Mbps – SLOW: Approx.12Mbps
- Memory Stick Micro/microSD/microSDHC card compatibility
- Optional Model with WiFi (HDR-AS15)
- HDMI Output and Built-in Stereo Mic
- Weight: 2 ounces
- Availability: September 30th
We were able to briefly play with the new Action Cam line, and from what we saw, the footage looks pretty good. The cameras are really small — smaller than a GoPro — and the prominent record button should be easy to use even with gloves on. The cameras have Sony’s usual quality build, and the one-button set up is pretty easy to use. We also really liked being able to use a smartphone as a viewfinder with the Wi-Fi-equipped model, courtesy of Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app for Android and iOS.There will be two models available initially, the HDR-AS10 which will retail for $200 and the HDR-AS15 (with WiFi) which will retail for $270. The higher-priced model seems like it competes very evenly with the GoPro HD HERO2, but obviously if you’re heavily invested in GoPro accessories, they may not work with Sony’s camera. For someone just entering the game who doesn’t need WiFi, the SteadyShot image stabilization should make a huge difference with the quality of the footage, especially if the camera will be moving a lot.
Where GoPro does have an advantage, however, is being able to more closely match film footage. At some point they will be adding 24p and the Technicolor log color profile (I’m not positive if that has happened already or not). Having the ability to get a gradable image and 24p will save a ton of time in post if you’re working in a traditional filmmaking workflow.
Is this worth the money? If you own a GoPro already, are the Sony models fully-featured enough to bring you over to the other side when you decide to update?