Latest GPS devices
Sony’s latest Action Cam is lightweight and simple to use, writes Rodney Chester
ACTION CAM BUNDLE Sony, $ 399 sony. com. au ★★★★
IF you’re of a certain age, your childhood photos will mainly consist of your first day at school, your birthday parties and Christmas. All very straightforward, stationary and static.
The kids of today, thanks to the popularity of small action cameras, will grow up with footage, both video and stills, of them hurtling down the hill on their first bike, catching their first wave and being wicket keeper in a cutthroat game of backyard cricket.
Sony has joined the likes of GoPro and Contour with the appropriately named Action Cam which has the ability to shoot full HD video at 1080p or 2 megapixel still images.
The camera, which weighs 65g, is simple to use, with a big red button on one end that says start and stop.
Menu controls on one side let you toggle between movie, still ( interval) and set- up modes, with a range of further options including image resolution, interval frequency and a 4x slow mode.
Open the flap on the bottom of the camera to get access to micro USB and HDMI output. Slide open the panel on the rear to access the rechargeable battery and the slot for a microSD or MemoryStick Micro card.
The Action Cam model Sony is delivering to Australia comes in a product bundle which includes a waterproof housing, which lets you take images up to 60m underwater, plus a few mounts.
This model is also wi- fi enabled, meaning you can link the camera to an app on your smartphone or tablet.
Why would you want to do that? For one, it lets you see what your camera is seeing, because the Action Cam does not come with a viewfinder, just the option to set a field angle of either 170 degrees or 120 degrees.
If you’re having trouble using your app ( and it’s far from intuitive), consult the full manual on the Sony site.
We tested the camera just as many people getting this camera in summer would do. We popped it in the underwater case and dived into the pool.
Putting the camera in the underwater case is simple, with the case having a slide clip and a tag that connects the front of the waterproof case to the body, so you don’t drop it. The case restricts you to just controlling whether the camera is in hold mode and the start and stop of image taking. If you want to switch the camera between movie and still mode, or adjust other settings, you need to remove it from the case.
We also found that the case fogged up surprisingly quickly.
When shooting still images, your options are just to select the length of interval between exposures. So, you can tell the camera to take a snap every 5, 10, 30 or 60 seconds but you can’t just point and shoot. The underwater video quality was impressive, the still quality was not.
The Sony Action Cam is lightweight and easy to use. It’s an interesting new player to the category of cameras that are all about seriously cool play.