Sony may be surpassed in the smartphone industry, but the tech giant continues to blossom with inventions. The company has an outstanding performance in the digital imaging sector. The DSLR, which is on their entry level, have much pressure from the mirror-less cameras from Sony. A recent release by Sony of a full frame camera weighing considerably less than the top heavyweights was a great innovation. 2012 saw a further branch in Sony after its first introduction of the Sony Action Cam. The Sony's HDR-AS30V is more ambitious targeting a $299 price point. An in-depth review can determine if the Sony camera will get a run with the big boys.
The Sony HDR-AS30V does not come with a sleek, trendy design, but it's a forward step in comparison to its predecessor. The camera is less bulky than the GoPro model as it is about 30% lighter on average. This has no weight down effect on you when you mount it on your helmet. The Sony HDR-AS30V has the same control layout as its predecessor so this will not come as difficulty in its operation.
Inspired by its predecessor, the Sony HDR-AS30V comes with waterproofing accessory though you are limited to a depth of 16 feet. Its predecessor's waterproofing allowed for a whopping 197 feet of depth, so this may seem like a downgrade. Its waterproofing housing is thinner and lighter. The camera's microphones are waterproofed to allow audio recording even below the water surface.
The Sony HDR-AS30V features Carl Zeiss Vario-Tesser lens with a view angle of 170 degrees, a BIONZ image processor, and 1/2.3- inch back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor also featured in Sony HDR-AS15. This translates to an excellent 1080p performance at 30p or 60p in low light areas. Its predecessor was only capable of 30p at 1080p. Some marginal improvements in video quality would have been great, though.
One of the camera's unique strength is the built in steady-shot technology for its ability to keep rough rides looking smooth. No matter the zoom level, you will experience some notable blur reduction with its 3-way shake-cancelling method.
The camera brings along two new great features. NFC and built-in GPS are nice new additions. Android smartphone users will benefit from the NFC feature as it makes pairing much easier and quicker. NFC uses Wi-Fi for connection with Android devices. It assists in the easier transfer of videos from the camera to the smartphone.
You can overlay some useful data on the video with the inbuilt GPRS.
The Play Memories Home App reads both videos and photos.
Basing judgment on the features, the sony hdr-as30v is more of an iteration upgrade aiming at fixing some of the complaints that arose from the cheaper HDR-AS15. As successful as it might seem, its price tag of $299 makes it hard to sell. Before thinking of more powerful competitors, a look into Action Cam Accessories is recommended. The yet-to-come RM-LVR1 is a unique accessory acting as a wristwatch with a viewfinder. It is compatible with any other Action Camera models. Sony also plans to release other buy-separately accessories such as a roll bar mount, universal head mount kit and chest mount harness to add even more value to their Action Cameras.