Video: Sony Action Camcorders
Zak Billmeier grew up in southern Vermont and coastal Maine. After graduating from Mary Washington College with a Geography degree he still isn't sure quite what to do with, he eventually settled in the mountains of Central Virginia. He spends his free time chasing his daughter around, taking pictures, gardening and cooking. He joined Crutchfield's car A/V writing team in 2007 and is now a lead producer on our video team.
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There is nothing more immediately compelling than extreme wide-angle, point-of-view video of people doing something your brain tells you not to do. If you're a cyclist, water-skier, skateboarder or snow-shoer — if your favorite pastime involves speed, the elements, and skill outdoors — a Sony Action Camcorder is for you. Strap it on, stick it on a helmet, tie it to your vehicle. I guarantee it will deliver a level of personal involvement you haven't seen before in your videos.
Zak: I'm at the Sony booth at CES 2013 and Eldean, tell me about the Action Cam.
Eldean: So this is a really exciting product for us, and as you can see it's really, really tiny. And this takes you, you know, from filming the action to being part of the action. Now when you use a traditional camcorder like our Handycam, you know normally you use that for special events, like birthdays or vacations, or maybe becoming creative and shooting your own little film. The Action Cam puts it as a point-of-view so you basically, or your viewer, gets to see what you're experiencing.
But what we try and do differently to the market is improve the quality and the performance of what these tiny little HD cameras can do. And a few things that we have done differently than everybody else: number one, we use a Carl Zeiss lens, so you have superior optics to anything else that's on the market. We also use our Exmor R CMOS sensor, which is phenomenal for low-light capabilities, so it really expands how much you can use the camera, also the quality of the video that it stars to capture.
Including in that we layer over image stabilization so, you know, if you're thinking that this is going to be, you know, connected to a helmet, a bicycle, a skateboard, you know that this is going to be a stabilized image in the camera.
One of the other things that we do differently is the form factor of the camera. You know, we have a removable battery so you can carry multiple batteries with you. The worst thing is being up on the slopes and you're about to, you know, go down this gnarly run and you run out of battery. Here I can carry spare batteries with me.
I can also change my memory stick or my media out. You get a Wi-Fi and a non Wi-Fi version. The AS15 is Wi-Fi enabled, and then I can use the "PlayMemories" camera app to view what's happening. So, let's picture I have this stuck to my helmet, I'm about to go down a run. I don't want to take the camera off, make sure that it's on, make sure it's in the right mode, I can literally whip out my Android or IOS based cell phone, I can have a look and I can see exactly what the camera is seeing as it's feeding a Wi-Fi signal to me and I can start and stop it. So I can see, okay, it's in the right position, maybe make an adjustment, start the shot, head down the slope with my phone in my pocket, and you know, get the run. When I get to the bottom just hit stop and end.
So, there's a few other things like I was mentioning with the form factor. We've got a variety of accessories that we've included with the camera. First of all, you get the water housing, and in addition to that, you can buy additional accessories like helmet mounts, bicycle mounts. We even have a pet cam. We started noticing people online creating their own, or jury-rigging their own point-of-view camera onto their pets, so we decided we'll actually make a pet cam.
One of the newest ones that I really like is this little device here. And I can take my little Action Cam, slip it in, and what it uses is the HDMI connection at the bottom right. Close that up, and guess what. Now I have a traditional looking camcorder. So, you know, I've really got a really versatile small camera that can do multiple different things.
Zak: Wow. That's really fantastic. Thanks a lot.