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Sony HDR AS100V Action Camera Review

Updated on February 26, 2016
(Me) Shot from the HDR AS100V
(Me) Shot from the HDR AS100V

GoPro's Competitor

So, to start off, I have nothing against GoPro whatsoever. In fact, for the longest time, I've begged to get one (hoping that it would get me out of the house and enjoy some extreme sports). But for christmas, I was gifted the Sony Action Cam. And I must say, I love the thing.

GoPro finally has a true competitor, and it's a close run. There's quite a few attributes and features I like about both products. So let's get started, starting with all the positives!

Easy Set-up

I've heard some serious issues with gopro's setup, and I was frightened to even get started on Sony's. After opening the present I knew to just set it down, but I fought the urge...I opened it immediately and tried for the set-up. Out-of-the-box set-up was actually a breeze. The 2 "left and right" buttons were easy to handle with the record button as the "select", and the screen was easy to understand. Within the first 5 minutes (pretty good for setting up a camera) I was able to figure out slo-mo, super slo-mo, and even slower motion than that. The pictures were easy to figure out as well. It connects perfect with a phone with the "Play Memories Mobile" app, although you need to keep hold of the original paperwork for the wifi password (if not, it's ok...just plug the device into the computer via USB and click "PMHOME" then "INFO" and the wi-fi code is in there).

Golfing Video (apologize for slight profanity)

Video (In Action)

I've been able to use the video feature underwater and out. While golfing and while running. It held up exactly how I wanted it to. It caught all the action without the blur that the average camera would tend to capture in a fast-paced movement. With a high resolution of 1080/60fps it truly is high definition. Although I haven't tried it bungie jumping or sky diving, I wouldn't oppose to the opportunity. The lens also spans at a 170 degree angle, which I've heard is quite larger than the GoPro's. But I've also heard some complaints from it, making the camera have a fish eye lens look. Maybe it's not crucial for "selfies" but it worked real well for me... ;)

Selfie while golfing :)
Selfie while golfing :)

Pictures!

Man, pictures with this thing are sooo wonderful. I try to take it everywhere but there are nights I forget to charge it. If there's any chance I get, I pull out the Sony to capture the moment. It'll capture a group of 120 people in a tight space because of how big the lens expands! And it doesn't take the worst selfies either (judging by that beautiful picture above), and that was in high speed movement in a golf cart. I do wish I had a stick for it though. I ended up purchasing the attachments for other activities and left out the stick.

Attachments

The sony HDR AS100V has several attachments that are compatible with the camera. If you're a runner or biker and would like to capture videos of your trips, the Sony is amazing. It also has some sort of equilibrium concept software that balances the video even if it's shaky from left to right. Attaching it to your helmet, or putting it on your wrist, the attachments are typically sold as a bundle. It also has a very durable case that is meant to protect from underwater, dirt, sand or any other crazy particle. The case came in handy during those underwater pictures.

It also has a very nifty watch/video display that is connected wirelessly and controls the functions of the camera and can be connected to 5 cameras at the same time! This wrist display and live view recording has a very clear display that isn't distorted or hard to see in sunlight.

Wrist Display
Wrist Display

Comparisons (Sony perspective)

Downfalls

(I apologize, but GoPro didn't have a comparison video).

Water Spots

The sony HDR AS100V created a few problems for me, especially for my underwater shooting. Although it did really well while under water, when I came up for air, the camera would hold onto water and create a water mark on every picture (on the case). The GoPro case has some sort of Rain-X features or something along those lines. I guess it wouldn't be too much of a hassle to just spray some Rain-X on the Sony case and that'll do the trick. But that was one thing I noticed after playing around in the water.

Water Spot Demonstration

You can sort of notice (before jumping in the pool) that there's a water spot on the camera.

Excessive 170 degrees

Unchangeable Degrees

Sometimes I wish the 170 degrees was changeable. I have a hard time taking pictures (selfies, lol) on this camera because of how "fish eye" the lens becomes. It pushes my face out and makes it look abnormal compared to an average camera or iphone and these options are unchangeable. Although a simple crop via an edit, would take care of the large aspect ratio, it wouldn't change the way faces or objects are distorted.

Handling

The cases and all attachments really make it easy to handle the camera. But without these attachments, it's insanely difficult to hold the camera in a comfortable position. I can't decide to hold it like an old camcorder or hold it like a playstation portable. While in action, I grasp the camera so it doesn't fall, and hold on for dear life. While taking a regular picture I gently hold it like a landscape iphone.

In other words, these attachments come in handy and reduce the motion while running. Take advantage of the cheap deals online, and if you can, find a Sony stick for those perfect angles.

Breakdown

With all these negatives, I've found solid solutions in order to handle the Sony without problems. Although I'm pro-sony, I believe any action cam will get the job done with extreme sports or even a casual walk with your dog.

It's so easy to handle, insanely lightweight and so much fun to look over the memories. If you're looking to analyze mechanics in golf, or record your puppy running in water, this camera will do exactly the job and probably record the things around you as well with such an amazing lens. Take into consideration other aspects if you're truly stumped on an action camera. There are so many other reviews that are much more extensive. This camera is truly something else, and i'm highly impressed with what I got.

Even Chief thinks the camera ROCKS!

Here's a video of the slo-mo feature...and even a solid angle of Chief urinating ;) I hope you enjoyed my personal review and what I thought was the most important! Be sure to check out the HDR AS100V on Lifestylemerc.com.

Thank you!

-Kory Groves

Owner of lifestylemerc.com

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