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GoPro Not the New Kid on the Block Anymore, Sony Releasing Their Own 'Action Camera' This Fall

06.27.12 @ 10:20PM Tags : , , , ,

Sony, not content to compete in…well, pretty much every segment of consumer and professional technology, has decided to enter the “action camera” arena with their own miniscule device. Sony, being the enormous company that they are, felt they could make a dent in the overwhelming lead that GoPro has in the area of action sports cameras. Sony has certainly made small cameras in the past, but this is the first time that they’ve built one to be worn specifically as an extreme or action sports camera.

Here’s a little bit from the Sony blog about the camera:

The video camera is tiny and lightweight, but it houses Sony’s hallmark SteadyShot® image stabilization technology, Exmor® R CMOS image sensor, and an ultra-wide angle Carl Zeiss® Tessar® lens. That means, whether you’re shredding major powder, jumping out of a plane, or kayaking through an epic waterfall, you’re capturing super high-quality video of it to show off to your family and friends. And there’ll be ruggedized and waterproof housings available so the camera can do its job in even the most extreme environments.

What good would an action sports camera description be without the phrase “shredding major power?” I guess that works as a description for both skiing and snowboarding, so they’re just trying to cover all their bases. While GoPro is beginning to add professional filmmaking features such as 24p, higher bit rates, and Cinestyle color profiles, Sony is just starting to get in the game — but they’re doing it in a big way with image stabilization and a Carl Zeiss lens. Sony is usually moderate with product upgrades, so I wouldn’t expect this camera to have specs that much higher than the competition right out of the gate. It seems it will take either SD or Memory Stick cards (hopefully the former), and will be released with a number of accessories.

There’s no word on real specs or pricing yet, but I would expect it to be very similar to the best that GoPro has to offer (if not better). If Sony really wants to compete, these are going to have to be inexpensive, because no one wants to have to replace a $500 or $600 camera every time one breaks. The big positive I see with this camera is that it lends itself much better to being worn on the side of your head, unlike the GoPro which works a lot better mounted on top of a helmet.

Check out some of the photos of the device below.

If you already own a GoPro, does this device interest you? What would you be willing to pay for one if the specs match the competing products out there?

Link: Sony Blog – POV/Action Camera

[via The Verge]


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Description image 25 COMMENTS

  • Tough to say. There’s been other action cameras out there already but nothing really compares to GoPro. By the time this hits the market, I’m sure GoPro will have some sort of image stabilization with their own cameras.

    Sony really needs to take a look at what they can do in raising the bar with these action cameras. If they’re just going to pretty much copy the setup of a GoPro camera, then I think most are just going to stick with GoPro.

  • The big problem with this camera for skiing/snowboarding is it is much much bigger than a go pro. It might interest people doing follow cam on a pole, but it looks ridiculous on a helmet. The case looks like a poor afterthought. The beauty of a gopro is how the form factor works with the case, and how many mounting options there are.

  • If sony can get 120 frames or more in full HD in this guy that would be a game changer

  • GoPros are cool but they are far from perfect – there is a lot of room for improvement. I welcome Sony to the market!

  • Hey Joe,
    This is totally unrelated to this post but I can’t find the “tip” button to send you this. I think this could be a game changer for indie animation, the ease and intuitiveness of machinima with the power of Maya/Aftereffects :

    Take that system and then start using video game engines like the new Unreal Engine 4 and you’ve got something pretty powerful, a whole new way of working with videos and storytelling.

    Might be worth an article and some more discussion, again sorry I posted this here, couldn’t find another way to send it.

    • You can send tips like this by using the Contact email from the Contact section above. I actually saw this yesterday and am planning on doing a post on it. I think it’s pretty remarkable.

  • Side mount on the head is way better than GoPro, but chest-mounting seems impossible.

    • Yeah I like the idea of using this type of camera on the chest harness inconspicuously and the Sony looks like it would not do well in that category, guess I will just order the Gopro Hero 2… I have a NEX 7 already anyway.

  • We had them on a shoot 3 weeks ago. The quality was spectacular. Their mounts were subpar but I’m sure that will be worked out. And yes, 120fps at 720p and micro sd. I’m not sure that the steady shot worked on the version we had. If it was I don’t think it was used.

  • john jeffreys on 06.28.12 @ 1:26PM

    Is it just me or does that camera look like a red one

  • No mention of Contour in this? It seems clear that Sony is very much basing their design on Contour. Especially in that waterproof case.

    I’ve used both Contour and GoPro and definitely prefer Contour + (especially for the clean HDMI out and the iPhone sync via bluetooth) but I’m interested to see what Sony will be offering.

  • Having competition is always good for the end user, I look forward to the raising of the bar in the near future by Sony, GoPro and Contour.

  • i would love to know if it will have WiFi control like the new GoPro cameras. Start Stop, Remote viewing via Iphone! Does anyone have a price?

  • Russell Steen on 06.29.12 @ 9:34AM

    As we were standing at the GoPro booth at NAB watching the crowd yelling “GO PRO!”, I turned to my (producer) friend and said, “Don’t think Sony, Canon, Panasonic, and everyone else isn’t noticing this. I bet within a year they’ll all be offering a ‘Sport Cam’ of some type.”

    Sony may be the first, but it won’t be long before the others get in. It’s a no brainer. A video camera that is disposable and costs less than a lift ticket or a good set of snorkling gear. As a cinematographer, I hate point and shoot cameras, but I’ve used a GoPro several times because of it’s size and (inexpensive) underwater capability. By all means, let the competition bring improvements, but GoPro may regret that big noisy booth at NAB.

  • I saw a camera on the side of a helmet on a St. Louis Rams ‘Wired” Segment. It was on the side of a players helmet as he ran drills in practice. I was confused on what they where using, but it looks like this Sony. Could they have gotten it early though? I don’t know but looks exactly like it.

  • Daniel Mimura on 06.30.12 @ 5:39AM

    It can’t be any worse or more awkward than the GoPro, so I’m stoked to see Sony get into this.

    Clearly labeled buttons and a side display screen! I always forget how to do all the controls to my GoPro as I don’t use it daily or weekly…etc…so I spend too long d-cking around with it or double checking it…

    I have the rear screen when I want to adjust the settings in English instead of a random collection of beeps and blinking red lights…but then you have to change out the backs to the housing…and add a significant amount more weight (which when using it with the side mounted helmet bracketry basically makes it unusable.)

    The GoPro brackets suck…the screws break out of the plastic housing, they introduce a lot of flex b/c of the weight, material, shape, design of it (which sucks because the jello is already horrible as it is)…hopefully Sony will make something better (although one comment makes it seem that they haven’t improved anything on that front).

  • Interesting to see if the Japanese (Canon, Sony, …) bring their optical, electronic & miniaturization technologies into the sports camera areas more successfully than Go Pro.

    Sony’s longer slim shape suites miniatures better: landcraft (robots, tanks, cars, …), seacraft (water-top, submarine) & aircraft (planes, helicopters, … ) better than the Go Pro.

  • I use GoPro,GoPro2, Contour Roam and bullet cams to shoot underwater videos. One of the biggest advantage GoPro has (especially over Contour/Bullets/etc) is that you can change the batteries. You can also use TWO batteries (with the option back battery) , giving a real world shooting time of about 3h+. Since I shoot the videos in anywhere from 100-1200ft deep, how long the batteries last is critical. 60 fps is minimal, 120 is better. The things i don’t like about GoPro..1) as aerodynamic as a brick 2) It took GoPro way too long to realize that the waterproof casing needed a flat lens 3) There is no easy way to change a scratched lens. 4) The buttons on the GoPro2 stick out (unlike the first Hero) 5) SD card limited to 32MB
    I can’t wait to test this new Sony unit. I hope that Sony will throw its full wealth of technological experience behind this project.

  • check out the sportbuddy HDX camera. Much better than gopro, costs less and super easy to use. I have had mine for 2 months and love it

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