The POV sport camera companies, such as GorPro, Drift Innovations, Contour and Replay have had the market to themselves, but the big boy’s, including JVC and Sony are stepping into fold.
Sony had their new Action Cam video cameras on display at the show, and the camera comes in two models, the HDR-AS15 with built-in Wi-Fi, and the HDR-AS10 without Wi-Fi. Other than the Wi-Fi, they are exactly the same camera. The rugged and wearable full HD video camcorders weigh 90 grams/3.2 oz including battery, and measure 1″ x 1.9″ x 3.2″ in size. The HDR-AS15 retails for $269.99 and the HDR-AS10 for $199.99, and the kits include the camera, a waterproof housing which is good to 197 feet/60m, flat and curved surface mounts and a rechargeable battery.
The HDR-AS15 and HDR-AS10 are POV (point of view) high-definition sports camera, and use a 16.8 megapixel, 1/2.3″ back-illuminated ExmorR CMOS sensor. Sony does masking of the sensor for the 16:9 widescreen to get an effective resolution of 11.9 megapixels. They use a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens with an ultra-wide 170° viewing angle (120° with SteadyShot), which is fixed focus with a F2.8 aperture. Sony equipped them with their SteadyShot image stabilization with Active mode technology, and the digital design helps reduce blurring and shaky footage. They can record 11.9 MP video footage in 1080p, 720p and standard formats, and 2MP photos in a time lapse and manual shutter mode. They record data onto a micro SDHC or Memory Stick Micro, and is powered with an internal rechargeable Li-Ion battery that gives around three hours of recording time. They have ports for a micro USB for computer connection and recharging, and a micro HDMI for live streaming to a TV or other source, a handheld device adapter, and a mini microphone jack for higher-quality audio recording.
The housing attaches to an assortment of mounts, including stick-on for flat and curved surfaces, and optional handlebar, suction cup, and goggle. They also have a headband mount in which the camera directly snaps into a tray mount.
The camera can shoot in High and Standard Definition, and shoot in various video resolutions, including 1080p at 30fps, 720p at 30fps, vga at 30fps, 720 at 60fps and 720 at 120fps, the latter two being slow motion shooting modes. Each of the video resolutions is captured at different bit rates, which entails varying recording times and storage requirements, meaning greater resources are needed for the higher usage formats. The resolution settings are altered using two buttons in concert with an LCD menu that reside on the right side of the camera. It uses the H.264 video codec, AAC audio compression, and a .mp4 file type.
The camera can shoot still 1080p photos in manual, and time lapse modes. The automatic time lapse mode allows photos to be taken every X number of seconds, where X is 5, 10, 30 or 60-second intervals. The megapixels for photos is 2MP with a 170º FOV.
With the HDR-AS15 model, you can connect to a Wi-Fi enabled mobile phone and tablet that are equipped with Sony’s free PlayMemories Mobile app. The camera can transfer and compress movies and photos to your device, and then use a 3G or 4G mobile broadband connection to email movies to people or upload to social media sites. In addition, the app allows remote control functions, to alter settings or check the camera viewpoint.
They also were showing a prototype handheld device, in which the Action Cam plugs directly into the unit. It would then act like a normal camcorder, with a larger LCD screen, that would have real time viewing and easier usage of the controls.