Sony has added a new mid-level action camera to its line-up which is designed to make recording your everyday adventures easier, while still boasting high-quality Full HD video and SteadyShot stabilization. Also announced is a new Handycam camcorder which packs pro-level features and 4K video, but comes in at a consumer-focused price.
The new HDR-AS50 action camera is specified and priced, at US$200, to sit under its flagship FDR-X1000V which was one of our favorite action cameras of 2015. This makes it a rival to the likes of GoPro's Hero+. It features an 11-megapixel 1/2.3-inch type back-illuminated sensor and a wide angle F2.8 lens. While video recording peaks at Full HD 1080p 60/50 fps, it also has slow-motion 120/100 fps recording at HD 720p.
Footage should also look suitably wobble-free thanks to the use of a new version of SteadyShot which is reported to be three times better than its predecessor when it comes to cutting the judders. The stabilization is said be to particularly suited to the sort of low amplitude vibration you get when mounting to a drone. If underwater is more your thing than up in the air, it will be good to know the AS50 will ship with an underwater housing which is certified down to 60 m (197 ft).
Based on feedback, an updated user interface is also said to make the HDR-AS50 easier to use when selecting and changing features thanks to larger, more intuitive icons and buttons. The camera is also compatible with Sony's Action Cam App along with a new, smaller, lighter Live-View Remote which it can also be bundled with for $350.
Meanwhile, the new FDR-AX53 4K Handycam camcorder is a follow-up to the FDR-AX33 and pairs a 20x (26.8-536-mm equivalent) newly-developed Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens, with a 1/2.5 type back-illuminated 8.29-megapixel sensor. 5-axis image stabilization is also on hand to ensure smooth and jitter-free footage.
4K video can be shot up to 3840 x 2160 30/25/24 fps and 100 Mbps for very high quality and detailed recording. If you want to shoot slow motion footage, the camera also has Full HD 1080p 120/100 fps high-speed recording. More advanced videographers will be interested to note the FDR-AX53 features an electronic viewfinder in addition to its 3-inch LCD monitor, along with a customizable manual ring and manual button and is compatible with Time Code and User Bit functions.
The Action Cam HDR-AS50 is due to arrive in February for $200, or $350 bundled with the new Live-View Remote, while the FDR-AX53 4K camcorder will be available in March for around $1,000.