Videos shot with action cameras can be immersive and fun to watch, but the all too common problem of wobbly footage can also make it somewhat nauseating. Sony is aiming to improve this with a pair of action shooters featuring Balanced Optical SteadyShot, its new image stabilization technology which moves the camera's lens and sensor together to compensate for camera shake.
Previously announced for Europe, but now also making its way to the US, the new flagship in Sony's action-cam line-up will be the FDR-X3000, where it will be joined by the FDR-AS300. The main difference between the pair is that the X3000 can shoot 4K, while the AS300 tops out at Full HD.
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Physically both cameras look a lot like previous Sony Action Cams, the company so far resisting the urge to morph them into a GoPro doppelganger (unlike Garmin's recent Virb Ultra 30). They are splash-proof and freeze-proof out of the box, but come with a waterproof housing which is good to depths of 197 ft (60 m) and shockproof for those times your camera may take a knock.
The duo pair a new wide-angle Zeiss Tessar F2.8 lens, with an 8.2-megapixel 1/2.5-inch type back-illuminated CMOS sensor. However, the headline attraction is undoubtedly the way in which the lens and sensor of the cameras move together internally to compensate for camera shake. This should result in much smoother and more stable footage, and the feature will even be available in 4K or high-frame-rate shooting modes.
The X3000 can record action in 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution at 30/25/24 fps (frames per second) and Full HD 1080p at up to 120/100 fps. Meanwhile, the AS300 can do Full HD at up to 60/50 fps. Both cameras feature built-in GPS for location tracking and speedometer functions – so you know exactly how fast you were going when you pulled that crazy stunt.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity not only enables live streaming and control via Android and iOS apps, but also use of the new Live-View Remote. This remote LCD screen is said to be 30 percent smaller than previous models, and can be worn like a wristband, or mounted to other accessories.
The new action cameras will be available in the US later this month, with the X3000 coming in at US$400 body-only, or $550 with the new Live-View Remote as the X3000R. The AS300 will cost $300 body-only, or $450 with the Live-View Remote as the AS300R.
You can check out a promo video for the X3000R below.