Scarily, I’m in the generational age group that grew up with the Sony Brand being the only option when it came to quality and innovation in electronics (a scary reference to my age, not the brand). I remember at the age of around 16, saving all of my hard earned for what seemed an eternity, to buy the then top of the range Walkman.
I also know that many of our readers probably don’t know that the Walkman became the somewhat “generic” term for a personal, portable music player (my 13 year old certainly doesn’t), let alone having ever seen a cassette tape that you played in the walkman. Most these days would equate the use of Point of View cameras with the GoPro brand.
GoPro footage in the fishing community has become the standard, and it seems that almost every angler, be they land based, kayak based or boat bound runs at least one of these units. And why wouldn’t you? GoPro brought decent video and still capture capabilities to the masses. Waterproof, shock proof and lightweight, mounted on all manner of mounts and contraptions, they have allowed anglers to capture the hook-up, the fight, the underwater video and images and the ubiquitous “fishing selfie”.
So who would possibly dare to challenge GoPro? Sony of course!
Thanks to the guys at Lusty Industries, Steve Morgan and I got an invite last night to the launch of the new Sony AS100VR Action Cam in Australia at Red Bull HQ. No, I wasn’t really all that interested in the Red Bull shots, but this new iteration of the Sony Action Cam is going to make some waves.
Boasting ultrawide Zeiss Tessar lens technology, 170 degree viewing angle, Sony image stabilisation that automatically compensates for different movement and an 18megapixel image sensor, we’re already talking serious kit that will challenge the GoPro Hero 3.
The system records video at 1080p60 with neutral and vivid colour modes, has built in time coding, Wi-Fi and GPS that will allow you to overlay location and speed information onto your video. There’s also high speed shooting capabilities at 120 and 240fps on this camera.
The AS100VR will come standard with a Live View Remote, a small waterproof colour LCD that interacts wirelessly with the camera. The beauty of the remote is that you can use it to set up and control the camera, and even more exciting, is that the remote device is smart enough to control up to 5 cameras at once giving you the capability to shoot multiple, time coded angles all controlled from one device.
I can see Chris in his element with these toys and the time coding will save him a whole heap of headache during post production. The problem will be, if we have 5 remotes, who’s in control?
The camera is only splash proof, but it comes with a waterproof housing and a separately available dive housing – perfect for the avid fishing enthusiast. There is a whole host of other accessories and mounts available for the camera as well. That being said, the Sony Marketing people have given serious consideration to “cross-grading” existing GoPro users to the Action Cam, because we are told that the camera is compatible with existing GoPro mounts by using a separate adaptor.
Initial thoughts and impressions (without actually having used one)? Very impressive. I can see some great innovation and functionality in these cameras, and at a price that will compete with GoPro.
The cameras will be available in Australia from Monday.