Personally, I love my Sony Action Cams. They’re incredibly easy to use, produce great video color and have easily swappable batteries to keep the filming on track no matter how many takes you need. That, and the Live View wrist-mounted remote is amazing, helping ensure the angle is right and easily start/stop the camera regardless of where it’s mounted. And now, they’ve made it even better.
The new AS50 looks to replace the entry level AS20, but keeps the $200 price point while bumping the feature set darn close to it’s highest end X1000V 4K model. The AS50 gets 4K recording, 4K stills and SteadyShot image stabilization. It also gets adds an 11.1 megapixel back-lit CMOS sensor, which should drastically improve low light capture and overall fine detail. To get closer to the action, there’s a new 3x Smooth Zoom and field of view angle adjustment, swapping between the usual wide angle and a new narrow view.
Controlling all of it are new, more intuitive buttons and an improved wrist remote, too.
The $200 AS50’s technical features almost match the $500 X1000V’s features step for step, with GPS and 240fps shooting being the only big things missing. But it makes up for it with a few bonuses of its own. Shared is the BIONZ image processor, Zeiss lens and EXMOR image sensor, which gets the same 6 lux / F2.8 specs but actually increases pixels from 8.8 to 11.1 over their top model. It even has the auto/custom white balance adjustments for pro users.
The form factor of the camera is familiar, but the included waterproof housing gets a new, flat viewport over the lens and separate power/record buttons…a nice change compared to the single button on the higher end models. Sony says feedback from casual users informed many of the changes, and this is a good one. It even adds additional “tally” lights on front, top and rear to indicate when it’s recording.
The waterproof housing is their advanced case, capable of diving to 60m (197ft), a much better depth than the 10m water-resistant case that comes with the other models.
Other features include WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, allowing control and review/editing on your smartphone and syncing with the Live View Remote2. It records up to 4K at 50mbps using Sony’s XAVC S codec, so long as you have a high-speed Class 10 Micro SDHC/SDXC card on hand. Like the X1000V, you’ll need to choose between using Steady Shot with standard 1080p HD or the full res 4K capture.
For $350, you get the AS50 and this new Live View Remote2. It’s only sold as a bundle for now, not sold separately.
Like the others, it’s freeze/drop/splash/dust resistant.
The AS50 and AS50R (with remote) should be available in February 2016.