First Look: Sony Action Cam POV Camera Video & Photos


Sony Action Cam - Underwater Case In Hand

I just got the Sony Action Cam in for a POV camera shootout we’re working on. Since I’m sure a lot of you are curious about it, I decided to bust out a quick unboxing intro video along with some photos. What makes the Sony Action Cam different from other POV cameras is the Carl Zeiss lens and built-in SteadyShot image stabilization. Also, unlike most POV camera manufacturers, Sony has a long history of making cameras, lenses, and camcorders and that should give them a leg up on the competition. They’ve also been kicking some serious ass in the camera world over the past few years and it seems like when they decide to do something, they do it right. That said, they’re up against some serious competition right now. GoPro is a monster and they hit it out of the park with their new Hero3 Black POV camera -on paper they did, anyway. We’ll see how things really shake out when we can get some back-to-back video footage to compare. In the meantime, check out the Sony Action Cam unboxing video below for a hands-on overview of the camera.

Sony Action Cam POV Camera Intro Video

The Sony Action Cam can record 1080p full HD video at 30 frames per second and 720p HD video at 30, 60 and 120 frames per second. It can shoot still photos at set intervals for time-lapse video and the angle of view can be set for either 170-degrees or 120 degrees. Turning on the SteadyShot image stabilization limits the angle-of-view to 120-degrees, which probably makes it unusable for most mountain bike POV filming. The Action Cam comes with an underwater housing that can be submerged to 197 feet (60m). There’s a Wi-Fi model and a non-Wi-Fi model. We have the Wi-Fi version, which allows you to transfer photos and videos wirelessly as well as use your mobile device as a wireless remote control once you install Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app (iOS or Android) on your Smart Phone or tablet.

I’m looking forward to getting the Sony Action Cam, as well as the other cameras we have in-house, on the bike for some real testing. I think we’ve got a solid plan for a good real world test that will show how each camera performs in various situations. Of course, we’d love to have your feedback and suggestions so feel free to let us know what you’d like to see in the comments section after the article.

For more information on the Sony Action Cam, visit the official Sony Action Cam Web page:

Sony Action Cam Web Page >>

About the author: John Shafer

John Shafer, a.k.a. Photo-John, is a respected photography expert and adventure photographer. He’s been an Mtbr forum member and contributor since 1999 and you can find his writing and photography across the Web, in mountain bike magazines and on his own Web site, John loves big mountains, rocky singletrack, low-visibility powder days, 6-inch trail bikes, coffee and tacos. Look for him pushing his bike uphill, carrying an inappropriate amount of camera gear in an overloaded backpack.

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  • rick says:

    Zeiss optics sony possessing no corner vignetting this cameras quality will be far superior to a gopro . Gopros are a throw away unit , they work great but are limited in their usability without modifying or using other devices in introducing them to a production environment … Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my go pros but image quality wise I’m confident the Sony will win out …

  • Pat says:

    I tried the Sony last year before the leaves dropped.
    In the trees on the rooty single track gave a surreal video with steady shot on, NICE.
    However, the mounts are lacking, if you understand need for a side mount to avoid tree branch snags. (Sony’s side mount is lacking in adjustability).
    Also the camera I had showed artifacts on the exact center of the picture, a blocking, appearance, just awful, for that I returned it.
    I do hope that Sony addresses the problem, it is impossible to talk to any support to discuss the problem, and I have seen no one else complain of the same artifacts.
    It is most visible on a large Television.
    I think the graphics engine is a little to slow for the challenger, just a guess.
    Good Luck

  • bog says:

    I received the WiFi Sony for Christmas and got some good use mountain biking on the North Shore with mine. I eventually had to return it because it stopped taking a charge (yes, I had the camera turned off). Here are some thoughts:

    * Much better low light shooting than any camera I’ve used before and by other’s videos, better than the GoPro Black.
    * Good app that worked well on my Ipod touch and Ipad.
    * Steady shot really works – nice smooth images on rough trails.
    * Solid but limited mounting options.
    * WiFi connection is pretty cool once you get it going.
    * Decent audio even when inside the housing.

    * Poor durability. The unit stopped taking a charge so was unusable.
    * Internal rattle that can be heard in the footage. There are videos out there showing how to correct this but should I have to open up a brand new camera to fix it?!
    * App did not work well on my Android phone. It kept dropping the connection
    * Fiddly to get the wifi connection to work.
    * Cannot access the menu buttons when the camera is inside the case
    * Very limited mounting options unless you use other brand mounts with a 1/4-20 tripod screw.
    * Start and stop recording beep is hard to hear when unit is in its case.
    * Video compression is too high causing artifacts to show up throughout the picture.

  • Aaron says:

    The zeiss optics are going to be a really good selling point for the sony POV camera. I am curious to see how this is going to go up against the GoPro Hero 3 because the Hero 3 can shoot 120fps at 1080 and 240 at 720.

    -Aaron who recently watched leadville race

  • MissedThePoint says:

    Why so much favor over the lens? Isn’t what’s inside what counts? In the end, it’s about how your end result video turns out and if the Sony can’t beat the others at that…

    • Craig says:

      Because the quality of the actual lens is directly related to actual image quality, talk to any photographer about this and they’ll tell you the same thing
      (im a photographer)

  • Master Slater says:

    I know GoPro has been in the game a while, and is the go-to for many people. I also know that’s probably gonna change once this camera is released.

    Whatever advantages GoPro has in terms of market/mind share, Sony is likely to crush with the Carl Zeiss optics and other proprietary tech they’ve been developing for, oh, 30 years…

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