Sony HDR AS100V POV Action Cam Review: Premium Quality for the Tech-Inclined

sony hdr as100v pov action cam picture

With the latest generation of the HERO series, GoPro's managed to completely overhaul some of the defining features of its most popular camera.

The Good

  • Ultra-compact form factor
  • Splashproof with waterproof case available
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC

The Bad

  • High-bitrate videos will quickly eat up storage
  • Exposure and other image settings can't be manually adjusted
  • Live video feed doesn't work when the camera is underwater

The Verdict

Sony squeezed a lot of advanced technology into the small AS100VR. While the camera packs a ton of features, you probably won't touch half of them. However, If you want the most feature-rich camera in the smallest package, this is the option for you.


Tech Specs

Image Quality

13.55 MP, max 1080p @ 60fps

Audio Quality

High

Battery Life

135 minutes (approx)

Wifi and Bluetooth

Enabled


Design and Hardware

Sony doesn't pull any punches when it comes to design. The AS100V features a rounded, splashproof body that weighs in at a mere 2.4 ounces. The camera itself is only 3 1/4 inches long and less than an inch wide, making it portable enough to strap to a helmet or headband. To put the size and weight of this camera into perspective, it can be safely attached to the outside of a car using a suction cup!

The back of the camera features a large button for recording video and taking images. Next to the button is a simple LED which lights up while the camera is recording. The side of the camera features an LCD screen along with two other buttons used for controlling the camera. The bottom of the camera features a variety of ports including mini-HDMI, a Memory Stick Micro reader and a microSD card reader.

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Image and Video Quality

Sony's history of making cameras and camcorders translates seamlessly into their action cameras. The AS100V is capable of recording 1080p video at 60 frames per second (fps), 720p video at 120 fps, and 480p video at 240 fps. This camera has no problem recording smooth high definition video and high-quality slow-motion video. Sony's built-in image stabilization technology actively smoothes out jittery video, making it easier to see what's going on even when you're in the middle of the action.

The camera packs a 13.5 megapixel sensor and features automatic adjustment for scenes of any color or brightness, including scenes shot underwater. The camera's Bionz X image processor was designed to reduce noise and help details pop out in images. The camera supports a field of view up to 170° degrees, though this is reduced to 120° with image stabilization enabled. Pictures can be taken in 5, 10, 30, and 60 second intervals, with a burst mode that goes as high as 10fps.


Battery Life and Performance

The AS100V has a decent battery life of roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes, outperforming the GoPro HERO3+ but not breaking any records. The battery is user-replaceable, meaning you can bring additional charges with you while you're out shooting.

The AS100V has no problem crunching high quality video. Your micro SD card is more likely to suffer than the camera itself, since the camera can record at an incredibly high bitrate of 50 Megabits per second. A five minute video at the highest setting will use over 2 gigabytes, which means you'll probably want to bring along at least 64 GB of storage.

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Other Features and Accessories

The AS100V provides a wealth of premium options and features. The case is splashproof and dustproof, while an additional case provides waterproofing and shockproofing. The camera has built-in Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC) for easy pairing with an Android phone or tablet: just tap your device to the camera and you're ready to go. In addition, Sony's BRAVIA Sync feature lets you easily pair your camera with a Sony TV for showing your pictures and videos on a big screen. The camera also includes a GPS module for tagging images and videos with location information.

Sony also provides a watch-like remote viewfinder known as the Live-View Remote for controlling the AS100V. With the Live-View remote you can live stream the camera's feed, control settings, set up shots, and start/stop recording from your wrist. It also allows you to watch feeds from other cameras simultaneously.


Conclusion

Sony's put their might into making a top-of-the-line action camera, and it shows. The AS100VR packs a wealth of premium features into a small package capable of outperforming some of the best cameras on the market. While it may be overkill for users looking for a more basic action camera, its huge array features will appeal to any tech-savvy photographer.


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