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Sony HDR-AS100V Action Camera Review

The Sony HDR-AS100v is the action camera for the 21st century. It is both a great take everywhere digital video camera, and a hi-res still camera. It seems like everyone is going pro these days when it comes to capturing video of all the action in our lives, but for better production value, step up to the Sony AS100v series of Action Cam video cameras.

Design

I’ve found Sony HDR-AS100v has more professional quality features than any other camera, such as built-in Wi-Fi, Advanced Steady Shot real time processing, 120 or 240p frame rates, and XAVC S HD recording features. The water resistant case on this camera includes a mounting screw nut for tripods, cycle clamps, car clamps, or airplane mounts.

I even mounted mine to my remote drone quad-copter and I am happy I did. What a fantastic video of the beautiful Puget Sound area of Western Washington I was able to make, flying high while I was still standing on the ground! Whatever sports, entertaining, or stunts you are into, you need a clear, presentable picture or long-running video clip of all the ways you are in action with your life. I may get a second AS100v to give me a second camera view.

Sony HDR-AS100V Features

This sturdy go, go, go camera is perfect for catching you, or your family, and friends in action, in the air, making big jumps with skateboards, or surfing the waves. You can rely on the GPS tagging feature to record exactly where you were with each still shot or video sequence. When you are back home, you can use the built in USB port or the Wi-Fi interface to download and edit your unique creations, just like I did. While your adrenaline is pumping in the middle of your non-stop action, you can ignore the Sony AS100v as it comes along to record every glorious maneuver at every event. Here is a list of the major features:

  • Long life lithium ION battery
  • Exmor R CMOS low light shooting sensor for dimly lit scenes
  • Ultra wide 170° Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar professional quality lens
  • Still images with 13.5 Mega pixel HD quality in Photo Mode
  • Memory Stick Micro & Micro SD/SDHC standard compatible storage
  • Has HDMI output which makes for faster file transfers
  • Full fidelity stereo sound recording and playback
  • Waterproof durable construction for outdoor action

Video Quality

The amazingly perfect SteadyShot image stabilization makes every shrieking descent, every flat-out edge of the curves, and every flip through the notch look smooth and clear, even though the Sony HDR-AS100v is bouncing around with me. I can fine tune it with Active Mode, to enable 3-way jitter removal, to produce truly smooth video clips. The professional grade XAVC S recording technology with 50Mbps fast transfer means I can capture every nuance of fast-paced action, beyond what my eyes can detect. But, this pro cam also supports 24p very high speed recordings with either 120 frames per second (fps), or 240 fps, with sound. I am able to play clips made with the high-speed setting and see all the action in slow motion perfection. If you are planning to share you active talents with the world, you can set this camera to directly record to MP4 HD video. But, I mostly use it to build up my own clip library for a my movie.

Light

Sony’s Exmor R CMOS low lighting sensor technology, coupled with the Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar pro wide 170° lens, produces low-light video with much better image clarity while also greatly reducing the graininess of the image. Whether on the ski slopes, on ocean waters, or mountain biking, the high quality super wide angle Carl Zeiss lens takes it all in. When in still mode, you can take 13.5 Megapixel (MP) still photos, with near-panoramic widths. There is also a “flip” switch to record normally when the camera is mounted upside down, which I may try sometime if I ever go zip lining with it.

Sound

The fast paced action, whether skydiving, surfing, skiing, or just recording your kids doing cartwheels at the family BBQ, needs the accompanying soundtrack that happens mixed in with all that action. This pro cam records every second of that soundtrack in superb stereo. That way, when you play it back, or share it with others over the Internet, there is no need for continuous narration, your audience can both see and hear the action for themselves. I like the quality of sound this camera produces.

Battery

The Sony AS100v only weighs one pound. The long-life Lithium ION battery is included and it is one durable, tough, and reliable power supply. I can fully recharge it via the USB port in as little as 5 minutes. The full charge will last different amounts of time, depending on which recording settings I have selected. A very high frame rate will drain the battery faster. For instance, recording continually at 50fps will result in a little over 2 hours of battery life, whereas a lower rate will last past 3.5 hours. I bought a second one so I can change one out for charging and keep recording with the second battery. It’s all good, I just cycle through 2 batteries all the time.

Accessories Included

The Sony HDR-AS100v in its most basic model includes: the camera, lithium ION battery, and an USB cable. These are all you need to actively use the camera. There is no need for a separate waterproof enclosure, as the camera’s body is waterproof. You can find it offered with an accessory bundle, or buy each accessory separately. The typical bundle includes a nice fitted camera bag, an AC and DC battery Charger, 32GB Mico SD Card for extra storage, an standard HDMI cable, extra battery, and a lens cleaning kit. There are several different versions of this camera that include many more features, such as remote control operation, special focus lens adapters, various different camera mounts, tripods, and carrying straps.

Pros

  • High bitrate recording
  • GPS
  • Good Image & Audio quality
  • Image stabilization
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • microSDXC needed for high bit rate recording
  • Video quality suffers in low-light
  • Shallow water depth limit

Our Verdict

I take my Sony AS100v everywhere with me now. It’s small, really tough, and always takes great still shots, slow or fast video, in low light or in bright sunlight. I guess it helps me stay active, as just having it around causes me to think about all the things I like to do, especially out of doors, that my Facebook and Twitter followers will enjoy. Then I am motivated, so I go out and actually do things. Video saved the sedentary old man, surprisingly.