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Sony's GoPro Alternative, the Action Cam, to Be Released This September

08.29.12 @ 11:05PM Tags : , , , ,

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

A little bit from The Verge about the camera:

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?

Links:

[via The Verge]

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  • As an action sports film maker and photographer this is just what i wanted to hear. Now I cant wait to move to the Sony A99 and Pick this up.

  • GoPro has yet to add that advanced color profile they promised back in April. I’ve been looking. They’re also very late on their WiFi streaming app that was promised earlier this year. Seems to me, although a good product, GoPro got too big too quickly and may have overpromised. Sony having been in consumer electronics for forever – is poised to eat up a huge market.

    • I wonder what’s taking GoPro so long then. Maybe they’ve got a major upgrade coming that they’ve been working on?

      • Christian Vargas on 08.30.12 @ 2:23AM

        Gopro should be working on a new camera since they were hiring for camera system architect, photonic architect and other jobs relating to the new camera system.

  • Ryan Farner on 08.30.12 @ 1:03AM

    Since I’ve been using the GoPro for years now I don’t see any reason I would make the switch. The GoPro Accessories all work exactly like they should and are very affordable for the most part. Just the fact that GoPro was the first to make a really affordable quality product for all of us action sports enthusiasts means a lot to me. They have also been on board and support everything action sports. When a company provides support like they have and listens to there customers I cant justify bailing on them anytime soon. I love GoPro, sorry Sony where were you when we really needed this product?

  • where is 24p?

  • I don’t care if it’s cheaper or slightly better, I would still rather support GoPro. I live in SF and GoPro is based in Half Moon Bay about 30 minutes south of here. They are not a huge corporation, the are a business that is being run by people who made these products because they wanted to use them. Sony is in it for the money because they see how well GoPro is doing.

    We should all continue to support GoPro if we need a camera like this, because someday I’m sure they will release something to compete with DSLR’s. Maybe a DSLR that will be able to stream to an iPad.

  • Lliam Worthington on 08.30.12 @ 9:16AM

    I’m loving the gopro loyalty. WIll support them also.

  • Videoscaper on 08.30.12 @ 2:28PM

    I’ve had my Hero2 since May of this year. The GoPro is not perfect but I have no plans to switch to Sony.

    The GoPro comes with many more items then the video showed the Sony will.

    And you can’t forget that since GoPro has been in the market longer there are more 3rd party accessories.

  • trackofalljades on 08.30.12 @ 3:41PM

    Interesting, there was only a glimpse inside there for a moment…but was that the same new battery format that’s inside the RX100? If so, that could make them a nice pairing for a modest budget / gorgeous performance sporty vacation type kit.

  • Not impressed with the quality at all. It surprises me that a big box manufacturer came out with such a junk product. Look at the amount of thought and detail that goes into GoPro videos, and look at what Sony produced. Clearly the people behind it are not as passionate about the product like the people at GoPro are. And if you read the fine print, you have to be on an active wifi network to use the wifi function. The GoPro WiFi BacPac creates its own network.

    It’s actually kind of funny to me….

    • I was pretty impressed with the quality of the Sony from the Intel shoot I worked. We didn’t mess with the motion stabilization but the 720 120p was amazing. There were a few issues with the housing and mounts but the quality was definitely the best I’ve seen from a self contained POV cam. I love Go Pro but I wouldn’t discount the sony. Especially if you need HD slow motion. I don’t think there is anything wrong with competition. I’m sure working with Cineform Go Pro will have an amazing Hero3 up there sleave. Maybe a full frame PL mount 4k Raw POV cam?

  • I remember a few years back, checking all of the different POV style cameras. I choose GoPro because of the numerous accessories available. To me, a small POV/sports camera like these is all about the versatility that you can get out of it….accessories. I’d stick with GoPro…I choose it over the $1,000-$2,000 Sony POV camera (XC505?).

  • GoPro is the most popular POV camera in the skydiving community because it looks the best straight out of the camera. Most of them do know/care to color correct. Sure, the colors are exaggerated, but that’s what most action sports viewers like to see. I have 3500 jumps, and approximately 3000 of them are with camera/s on my helmet. Sony will succeed only if it’s color rich, rugged and easy to use.

  • Excited about the new products as usual but as almost all the time disappointed after the presentation…

    First of all I didn’t like the video quality, with that said all the rest is very secondary. A 2012 pov camera should be at least at the same video quality level of GoPro. At least.

    Anything about manual adjustments such as exposure and white balance ?

    Codec? Bitrate ?

    Barrel roll distorsion wide angle, I don’t like it, it also flaps on the sides when you try to stabilize it in post, even with warp stabilizer.

    No composite video out ? That is very needed in some applications such as remote controlled aerial videography (drones, airplanes…) for live video transmission (we fly our drones also a mile away, builtin wifi will work within 30-40 meters).

    Anyway I think it will fit the consumer market very well, for the size and shape, for the Zeiss name and price. I’m still waiting a kickass POV camera for pro use.

  • I like what they’re doing as far as amping up the frame rate for HD. When Go Pro starts doing that I think they’ll be unstoppable. Otherwise, it’ll just be nice when Go Pro slaps on that upgrade with 24p and the Technicolor profile log.

  • how good would 120fps 720 be on canon dslrs,

  • The thing I like the most over the GoPro about the Sony Action Cam is the form factor. The block style of the GoPro doesn’t contribute much in the aerodynamic aspects, while Sony has taken the route of Contour. The slimmer design I think is great for the uses these type of cameras are placed in. The only thing missing is the rotating lens…

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