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New Sony AS50 action cam steals the best 4K tech features; costs just $200

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sony as50r 4k action cam with live view wrist remote

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.

sony-as50-4k-action-cam-2016-g

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.

sony-as50-4k-action-cam-2016-e

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.

sony as50r 4k action cam with live view wrist remote

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.

sony as50r 4k action cam with live view wrist remote

For $350, you get the AS50 and this new Live View Remote2. It’s only sold as a bundle for now, not sold separately.

sony-as50-4k-action-cam-2016-h

Like the others, it’s freeze/drop/splash/dust resistant.

The AS50 and AS50R (with remote) should be available in February 2016.

Sony.com

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28 Comments
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Stockflo Jeff
Stockflo Jeff
7 years ago

Has anyone used the Action Cam for photos? I’m looking for something with an easy to use remote burst mode and GoPro seems to fit the bill. Can you configure the Action Cam to shoot say a ten-frame burst of photos with a push of the Rec button? Thanks!

Allan
Allan
7 years ago

It’s always amazing to me how much these name brand action cams are marked up! There are so many cheaper options that take video just as good as the brand name ones, and cost literally 10x as less!

AlanM
AlanM
7 years ago
Reply to  Allan

Please, tell us about this great $20 camera.

Dead
Dead
7 years ago
Reply to  Allan

Can you post a link to a one of these nice $20 Cameras you speak of?

crybabychris
crybabychris
7 years ago
Reply to  Allan

Of course he can’t!

Allan
Allan
7 years ago
Reply to  Allan

Darn, you are right, Gopro hero 4 black $500, Runcam HD $55, only 9x cheaper…sorry.

If you want comparable specs, Runcam 2 $99, only 5x cheaper. I’d say video quality is as good or better than GoPro.

Allan
Allan
7 years ago
Reply to  Allan

Darn, you are right, Gopro hero 4 black $500, Runcam HD $55, only 9x cheaper…sorry.

If you want comparable specs, Runcam 2 $99, only 5x cheaper. I’d say video quality is as good or better than GoPro.

jlg
jlg
7 years ago
Reply to  Allan

Comparable specs ???

EisCat
EisCat
6 years ago
Reply to  Allan

>It’s always amazing to me how much these name brand action cams are marked up!<
It's all about money. Sony has a beautiful marketing department and SEO. They will sell You Your own a$$ for Your own money and will greet You with a happy purchase after. It's like selling happiness. Never get what You are advertised for. That's the AS50, bro.

EisCat
EisCat
6 years ago
Reply to  Allan

Well, there is an alternative for Sony, that gives You more bang for the buck, and it’s a name that’s not less known than Sony. Consider Kodak PIXPRO SP1 Action Cam with Explorer Pack, it has the same IQ, just misses FHD 60fps, only 30fps. But it has everything included at the same price:
32ft. / 10m Waterproof
6.5ft. / 2m Shockproof
Dustproof, Freezeproof
Full HD 1080p Video
14MP CMOS
10 fps Burst Shooting
1.5” LCD
Wireless Connection

And all the mounts and accessories needed to attach it to a bike + a superior interface with more buttons. It’s $158.99 & FREE Shipping on amazon.

bob
bob
7 years ago

I find these Sony cameras pretty good compared to gopro. But. Did you get a “press paper” that told you about the strong points that you should write down instead of looking at it for yourself?
Because it sounds exactly like that 😉

Robot
Robot
7 years ago

According to Sony’s specs, video recording is limited to a max reolution of HD (1080); but it can do stills and time lapse at 4K. See: http://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/actioncam/hdr-as50/specifications

nightfend
nightfend
7 years ago

I’m not a big fan of that camera mount, but I do like the size of the unit.

Velociraptor
Velociraptor
7 years ago

> cost literally 10x as less

Literally 10x less… Okay, let’s the do the math… literally…
$200 x 10 = $2,000

$200 – $2,000 = -$1,800

Where are these cameras that I can buy and get $1,800 cash back?

Allan
Allan
7 years ago
Reply to  Velociraptor

Sir, you have a lot of idle time on your hands…

jlg
jlg
7 years ago
Reply to  Allan

Is it so hard to admit you’re wrong ?

Rahul Mehta
Rahul Mehta
7 years ago

Things made outside India are no good, period!

John
John
7 years ago

Not digging that form factor for a bike-mounted action cam…

M
M
7 years ago

People run cameras like that? Head or chest for me (and anyone I’ve ever seen on the trails).

Ryder
Ryder
7 years ago

What the bottom of the cam look like? Is there a small door housing the usb connector?
Best thing about my AS200V is that I can tether a external battery for 11 hours of continuous recording

KB
KB
7 years ago

I got my ASV100 last year for $150 bundled with the wrist viewer and thought it was a steal.

@200USD this is pretty much a no brainer.

Dave
Dave
6 years ago

For the life of me I can’t find any review that says exactly what can be controlled remotely with the android app. Is it as full feature as the live view remote or is it lacking?

EisCat
EisCat
6 years ago
Reply to  Dave

>I can’t find any review that says exactly what can be controlled remotely with the android app<
I can tell You. It controls the same as the remote. However the Windows playmemories app is so poorely designed, that I would not recommend to buy it only because of that. Consider AS200. Better IQ for less money. And buy the 60m waterproofcase separately. The AS50 is pure marketing, it's like me trying to sell You a typewriter as a laser printer for the price of a Ferrari.

EisCat
EisCat
6 years ago

I posted this on http://www.markhawkcam.com/review/sony-hdr-as50-review-all-questions-ansawered/#comment-206

Hi, Mark. I hope Your reviews are unbiased, cause You missed some really important points about this little and very noisy marketing trick from Sony.
Why noisy?
Cause it makes a lot of noise when used in medium-light conditions. In low light it is unusable at all. You said there is little difference against AS200, but the difference is huge. AS200 has got that very good micro-detail level the AS50 misses completely. And it’s impossible to bring the detail back even using advanced algorithms in a good video-redactor. I bought this cam via a relative from Austria, where it is still sold for 189 Euros on-line, advertised with free shipping. About 210 $. The sad thing is I cannot get my money back. In my country, Moldova, it is unavailable for purchase. And it is completely “bald”. Inside the pack there were: the cam, a short USB cable, one case, one base. Well, I thought, it should impress me with an astonishing video quality. When I tested it in different light conditions I was totally disappointed. The result – low detalization, high noise, bad light/shade balance. The cam comes with a 60m waterproof case. What’s the point, if going deeper than 30m the light intensity decreases so much that the cam becomes useless without an external powerful light-source. Add the heavily blurred image and welcome to the AS50 owners club. I advice those who think about buying this “marketing trick” to look at AS200, the one that comes with Live-View remote, waterproof case and some more accessories. In EU it is about 289 Euros, but You really get some more camera for Your buck. Sorry, Euro. And the most important thing – the IQ. The rest of the features “packed” in AS50 are of no use if the image quality is bad. On a 4K screen it looks like a camcorder from the 20th century. And it is a firmware issue – Sony deliberately worsens the IQ, but they can drastically improve it in the next version. Till then – DO NOT BUY THIS “PRODUCT”. It does not worth Your endeavor, time, money and it is a waste of Your good mood. Thank Lord, I haven’t bought the SONY RML-VR2 Live Remote which is another 119 Euros. More money?
More.
The xavc-s mode is no visually different from MP.4, but it requires a 64GB SDXC U3 classed microSD card, otherwise camera switches to MP.4 mod. So it asks for more money. Always. What do I need xavc-s if the general IQ is blurred and noisy?
If You are (crazy) a Sony fan – the only way is AS200 at a sale price. Or save Your money for FDR X3000.
If You are not, consider this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYXRlpyzOME
Runcam 2 $99. A lot more camera for the money. Thank You.

POSITIVES
None. Chinese cameras already have good UI and other features Sony advertises. At the same or better IQ, for less money. Add lots of accessories included.

NEGATIVES
Poor IQ Poor light/shade balance Poor low light performance And, yeah, it “gets hot”, when recording

EisCat
EisCat
6 years ago
Reply to  EisCat

If there is someone like me, who mistakenly bought this so called action cam and has issues with sound recording using the box, here is Your DIY homemade solution:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIjWkzVN730
Poorely designed underwater box.

Hex
Hex
6 years ago
Reply to  EisCat

Hi EisCat, sadly I didn’t get to see your comment before getting AS50. I totally agree that it’s not usable in medium/low light condition. Image quality is bad and lack of sharpness. It’s disappointing that it can’t perform as per expected. Do you think if it’s worth selling it off to get AS200? Will I be seeing major changes in video and photo quality?

EisCat
EisCat
6 years ago
Reply to  Hex

Hi, Hex. I was not monitoring this forum for answers to my comments. Sorry.
What You can do is to change the AS50 for AS200 only if the microcontrast is the only thing You need. You’ll get a little better low light performance, but nothing astonishing. The downsides are: old menu and no underwatercase. I mean underwatwer case and not the usual protection case. Later You may want to spend some money to get the case http://www.sony.com/electronics/actioncam-waterproof-case-housing/mpk-as3
This one exactly, with the black anti-flare sidings.
The “flare” case is this one https://www.amazon.com/Sony-MPKAS3-Underwater-Housing-Clear/dp/B00HPM07U4
The problem is I don’t know the prices in Your country. In some EU countries You can get the AS200 for 179 Euros ~ 200$ in its basic version and buy the underwater case separately.
Anyway you’ll have to spend Your time to change it and I don’t know if it worths.
I would have done it already if such a change was passible in my country.
Here are some videos where You can see that the sharpness and dynamic range on AS200 are slightly better:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uSIqw3eAUg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z67ydnq-Now
But this is just a firmware issue that can be easily solved by Sony. Sony is well known for separating products in marketing niches and limiting their function potential by firmware.
Here are some examples:
http://nofilmschool.com/2014/08/video-guide-hacking-sony-f5-record-internal-4k
https://www.cinema5d.com/sony-alpha-hack/
It allows them to make more money on credulous customers.
I will place a firmware wish here:
https://community.sony.com/t5/Action-Cam/Action-Cam-Firmware-update-wishes/td-p/56759
and see if we get a firmware update.

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