LAS VEGAS — Sony isn’t just doing an action cam. It’s doing an action-camswarm.
The Sony HDR-AS100V is actually five action cams in one, or at least it can be. While the camera works just fine mounted to a helmet or shoulder, it really levels-up the experience when you have a bunch of them all networked via an optional wrist controller.
Up to five cameras can be “meshed” in this way, letting the user adjust the footage captured by each cam. The cameras themselves are splash-proof, and can capture video at up to 1080p at 24 frames per second. At 720p, they can record in slow motion at 120 fps or even super-slow at 240 fps.
With multiple cameras and the RM-LVR1 wrist controller, extreme videographers could mount cameras all over the body, or several bodies, to build some seriously creative footage. The supplied PlayMemories software has tools for merging material from multiple cams, making split-screens easy. The footage even has timecodes, although you’ll need a pro suite (such as Sony Vegas) to use them. The cameras’ onboard GPS can integrate map views, too.
Built into the camera is Sony’s SteadyShot image stabilization, which can adjust to the different kinds of vibration that goes hand in hand with action videography, whether it’s gentle bumps on a ski run or the constant rumble of a motorcycle.
I got a little hands-on time with Sony’s tiny but powerful action cam, as well as the wrist mount, and they’re pretty fun.
The camera itself is remarkably lightweight, and the white finish is pretty. Since the footage is relayed wirelessly, there’s a slight but perceptible delay in the camera view on the wrist monitor, but it worked well with no dropouts.
The AS100V will be available in March. Each action cam costs $299.99, and a bundle with the wrist controller is $399.99, so a full five-camera system will set you back about $1,600. Steep, but if you get some friends in on the action, you can split the cost.
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