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Sony HDRAS100V/W Video Camera (White)

Sony HDRAS100V/W Video Camera (White)

Step it up with the Action Cam that brings pro-quality features along for the ride. Keep things smooth with Advanced Steady Shot and enjoy the convenience of built-in Wi-Fi with remote viewing and control from your mobile device. All in a housing-free, splash-proof body that packs XAVC S HD recording and high frame rates in 120/240p. It”s ready for the big time, are you?

  • Advanced image stabilization adjusts to vibration
  • New splash proof body with tripod mount
  • View and control via smartphone/ Live View Remote1

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What customers say about Sony HDRAS100V/W Video Camera (White)?

  1. 243 of 248 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    This is the action cam you want., March 25, 2014
    B. Jordan (Chicago, IL) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    Firstly, I’m a heavy user of action cams. I’ve used them for everything from B-roll footage, timelapses, drones/quadcopters, helmet cams, weather balloons, high speed recording of MMA and plenty other things. I’m saddened that it took until 2014 for me to be wholly satisfied with a product all around (I’ve eagerly waited on my pre-order for over a month!).

    I’m going to get straight to the main course. The quality of the video alone is an embarrassment to Go Pro (the innovator of this product and the “industry standard”). The sharpness of the lens and fluid motion of the CCD, even with the stabilizer turned off, isn’t even in the same category as the competition’s. It handles color beautifully, and allows you to record 1080p at 60fps so even the quickest turns and motions are captured accurately and not lost in frame sync.

    On paper, there are a few competitors. The Go Pro Hero 3+ Black Edition offers just about the same specs, but lacks a live view remote. But the quality difference gets lost in the fine print. Sony’s image sensor is far superior, its stabilizer is subtle and effective, and most importantly, there seems to have been a fine display of quality control and testing, whereas Go Pro absolutely craps themselves in that regard. The Hero 3+ is off focus, the Hero 3 is fragile and buggy, the Hero 2 skips frames and cannot focus underwater, etc, etc. That being said, I’m sure you can understand why I was so excited to try the Sony AS100VR out.

    You’re probably thinking: “But wait, doesn’t the Hero 3+ support 4K video?”
    Technically it almost does. What Go Pro considers to be 4k is actually about a thousand pixels short of the WHXGA standard. Practically it does not even come close. It can only shoot (almost) 4K at 12fps, which is about half of the suitable minimum for video. Remember claymation? That was mostly 15fps. You’re also shooting “4k video” out of a lens that isn’t designed for that resolution, or even properly focused.
    Not that it should even matter right now. Most of us can’t even keep a 720p video stream from Netflix or Youtube without buffering. 4k as a standard is a decade away.

    The AS100V handles dynamic range very intelligently in both bright and dark settings, and adjusts the exposure faster than most other cameras. This means that if you’re wearing it on a bike and ride out of a tunnel, it won’t take 3 seconds to adjust to the drastic light change.
    I was a little worried that the AS100V would fall short on low-light performance, as almost all action cameras do. But, anxiety averted. Recording under streetlights looks sharp and clean. I would put it far beyond the Hero 3 or 3+, and just slightly above the Hero 2 (which was my previous pick for low-light
    performance). Sony takes the gold with quite a bit less noise. I would assume that the the Sony had a larger aperture lens while the Hero 2 had to compensate with ISO, but they’re both f/2.4, so I have no explanation other than an improved CCD.

    Finally, the game changer: You can opt to record in XAVC format if you buy a high speed memory card. If you plan on using this for anything other than your own enjoyment, this is huge. Before this camera, XAVC was only used in high-end professional camcorders. The compression is much crisper, and there’s an upgrade in color depth from your standard 8-bit, to 12-bit. It’s a proprietary format, but it is supported by all current Adobe products as well as Vegas and other mainstream video editing applications.

    Other goodies worth mentioning:
    -240 FPS/480p and 120FPS/720p for super slow motion fun.

    - The option to shoot at 170 degrees or crop to a less wide 120 degrees.

    -Tripod screw on both camera and waterproof case. The waterproof case has a standard 1/4 screw hole, and the camera has a 1/8. However it comes with a 1/8 to 1/4 base should you choose to use the camera on a tripod without the waterproof case.

    - Both the camera and the wrist display charge via standard micro-usb. (Android phone charger)
    - On-board GPS that doesn’t require specific software or a website to use (although you have the option). It saves the data in a .log file, so you can load it into virtually anything.

    - Easy smartphone integration/preview/sharing.

    At the time of writing, this is easily the best in class for action cams, and probably the best video capture quality you will find behind the DSL price-range.

    The only thing I can’t comment on is it’s longevity. But if it breaks easily or stops working, I’ll certainly change those 5 stars and complain to the world by updating this review.


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  2. 76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Get the camera; forget about the lousy Live View Remote, June 3, 2014
    John H. Meyer (Carmel, CA USA) –

    I give the camera five stars, but the LV Remote only one star.

    I’ve used the GoPro Hero 3+ Black and wanted something better. The AS100V Action Camera is better in just about every way: much better battery life; better picture quality; but most of all, it includes motion stabilization. This is extremely important for an action camera, and not just for the obvious reason that it makes the video more stable. Even more important is that all action cameras have a “rolling shutter” and this can cause vertical structures to “lean” back and forth as the camera moves, and can introduce the dreaded “jello effect” if you use the camera on a motorcycle or other vehicle that vibrates. While some of this can be removed in post production using Mercalli, or similar stabilizer, the better way is to not allow the shake or shimmy to be recorded in the first place.

    This camera’s motion stabilization does just that, and it works very well.

    I found both the enclosure and the mounts much easier to use than those that come with the GoPro.

    The menu organization and function is very similar to the GoPro.

    The only downside I see to this camera compared to the GoPro is that it doesn’t have as much third-party support. So, if you want to control the camera through the expansion connector, like you can do with the GoPro, you won’t be able to do that. As a result, this Sony camera would not be a good choice if you want the camera to be part of some larger, custom image capture system.

    So, except for those small caveats, the camera is really good.

    However …

    The “Live View Remote” is an absolutely terrible product. Save yourself some money and instead get just the bare camera, without this viewer. Use a smartphone, or some other device instead.

    What is wrong with the viewer?

    1. You can’t see it in sunlight. Let me repeat that: you cannot see anything in the display when viewed in direct sunlight, or even bright shade. The attached picture shows the problem (and yes, the viewfinder IS turned on in the outdoor picture). This flaw pretty much makes the LiveView Remote not fit for its intended purpose. If you want to use the viewfinder to help frame the picture while you are filming outdoors in full sunshine, you simply will not be able to do that.

    2. You can’t easily get it onto your arm. The wrist band strap must be completely opened in order to get it over your hand, if you happen to have large hands. If you are a man, and are over 5′ 11″, you will not be able to get it over your hand. You can, however, completely un-do the strap, and then attempt to get the velcro back through the opening of the buckle, using just one hand. However, because the end of the velcro strap is doubled over and therefore barely fits through the hole, I found that even after several tries, this took over one minute each time I wanted to use the view finder. I have a few old watches that have old-fashioned leather straps that you have to put on in this way, but on those watches, the leather end easily slips into the buckle.

    3. You can’t see the video on your wrist without putting your arm at a strange angle. To see what I mean, try this: if you wear a watch on one arm, hold a camera with the hand on your other arm, and then, while filming, hold the arm with the watch so you can read the time. Now imagine having to hold your watch-hand in that position while filming for a few minutes. Not pleasant, eh? The mounting for the viewer should have included ways to mount it at an angle to your wrist, or to wear it on other parts of your body, or to allow the video to be shown in portrait mode as well as landscape. Even if your are wearing the camera (e.g., on a helmet), the “watch reading” approach to viewing the video is awkward.

    So, while the “Dick Tracy 2-Way TV” is initially appealing, for those of us old enough to remember that comic strip, it is actually a lousy way to view video while simultaneously participating in some sort of activity.

    4. You cannot play back recorded video!! Yes, that’s right, you cannot review anything that you have recorded. This is actually quite unbelievable. So, you cannot use this to edit and delete your videos, from within the camera.

    5. The range of the Live View Remote is less than ten feet. You will see this mentioned in other reviews. I tried it indoors, and as soon as I took even a few steps, the video froze. I realize that this remote viewer is not designed for watching the video while the camera is mounted in a quadcopter, but it sure would be nice to be able to step into a group on the other side of the room and still at least turn the camera on and off, or snap some still photos.

    Unfortunately, you cannot do this because the range is so limited.

    6. The free Sony PlayMemories software (download from the Sony site) is completely useless for…

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  3. 132 of 138 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A worthy upgrade from the AS30 and beats GoPro, March 24, 2014

    This review is from: Sony HDRAS100V/W Video Camera (White) (Electronics)

    This is a great action cam and is better than its predecessor and any of the GoPro products in many ways.

    Weight is minimal. The feature I’m most happy to see is the mount on the camera. This means you can mount it to most anything without needed a bulky/heavy case. For use on a Quadcopter (some people call these “personal drones”), weight is critical. The case adds another 60g, nearly 2/3 the weight of the camera. Thats 60g I’d rather not have to carry around draining battery. When mounting it to a helmet or other headworn method every bit of extra weight is weight you’d rather not have. The AS100 resolves that by adding a mount to the camera. HOWEVER, this mount is NOT a tripod mount. It is a smaller threaded hole that allows for an adapter to be mounted. That adapter has a standard tripod mount and anti-rotation pin hole. It adds minimal weight, but one could use the correct bolt to mount the camera directly in some applications. For example, on my quadcopter I’ll use the proper screw to mount the camera directly to the frame and skip the adapter.

    The camera is now splash proof. This is great for the times when I would use it without the case (i.e. mounted in the ‘skeleton’ mount) and in environments that it might get wet: sledding, biking, hiking, etc.

    Another issue with needing the case at all times is fogging. In colder weather the case cools off and the camera heats up. This causes fogging inside the case and directly on the lens area. I could use the skeleton case, but most of the time when it is cold there is snow and I need the protection of the full case. They sell an anti-fog accessory, but I’m not sure it works and no case is of course a MUCH better way to make sure the case won’t fog!

    The mounting options alone make this a great upgrade. However there are other features that make this a contender for best action camera:

    -50MB professional Codec. If you don’t know what a Codec is, think “secret recipe for making video look great”. Its like a higher bit rate MP3 for your music. More data means better looking video. I found the “Pro” setting made video look sharper and have more accurate and rich colors. Definitely noticeable even when comparing the AS100 “Pro” 1080P to the AS100 standard 1080P (50Mbit vs 16Mbit).
    -Improved image stabilization. The Sony’s have an advantage to GoPro with in camera stabilization. The AS100 stabilization is better than the stabilization in the AS30.
    -Wi-Fi preview. The iPhone app (and Android) does not let you access every setting on the camera, but enough. You can adjust the recording quality and frame rate. The real time preview is something I cannot go without. I just connect it to my iPhone and voila! I can see a real time preview of what the camera is recording. Great for framing when mounted to something or as a viewfinder when doing more “run and gun” handheld style recording.
    -slim profile is better for speed applications vs the flat wide face of the GoPro. On small R/C aircraft this make a difference to the flight performance. On larger full size cars and aircraft it certainly won’t but does mean less wind induced vibration and movement.

    There are a few issues that are not improvements. Those are:
    -To use the “Pro” Sony XAVC codec you need to use a microSDXC card. My existing SDHC cards will only record to the h264 codec (~20MB) and not the 50Mbit codec. Those cards are not cheap. They are only available in 64GB and up, and a card capable of 70Mbps read is about $60. Write speed need only be 10Mbps (50Mbit video is 6.25MB per second), but read speeds should be as fast as you can get so you don’t have to wait an hour to transfer the video. These micro SDXC cards will of course also work in the lower bitrate recording modes.
    -I already mentioned the screw mount is not a tripod mount, but a mount for the tripod adapter. Not bad, but it would have been nice if it at least allowed you to connect it to a trips even if that isn’t recommended.
    -There is no longer an option for 120degree or 170degree field of view. You can use 120degree by turning on image stabilization, but that will drain battery faster. You can of course always shoot at 1080 and then crop in post to get a narrower FOV, but you lose resolution that way.
    -No altitude data in the GPD log. No idea why. This baffles me. It is data most of use that use GPS are interested in, and I don’t see any reason it can’t be in the log file. Hopefully a firmware update can fix this.

    I have not used a GoPro, but from what I see, the research I’ve done, GoPro users comments, and what my needs are this one is the best option for me. What sold me on the AS30V was the video quality, stabilization, choice of field of view, mounting options (i.e. accessories), and the size/weight. The AS100V only gets better (well, apart from the loss of a non stabilized 120degree FOV). Sony is clearly moving into this market…

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