Lat­est GPS de­vices

Sony’s lat­est Ac­tion Cam is light­weight and sim­ple to use, writes Rod­ney Ch­ester

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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