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Trevor Tan
Digital Life, The Straits Times
Friday, May 23, 2014

News, Reviews, Science And Tech

Review: Sony HDR-AS100VR Action Cam

Digital Life, The Straits Times | Trevor Tan | Friday, May 23, 2014

Sony HDR-AS100VR Action Cam

There is just one small difference between the HDR-AS100V and HDR-AS100VR - the first does not have the Live-View Remote, or RM-LVR1.

The funky-looking RM-LVR1 is essentially a waterproof small LCD screen with Wi-Fi, which you can strap to your wrist.

It lets you start and stop recordings as well as toggle between photo and video modes.

Otherwise, the two are one and the same - Sony's flagship action camera. Its many features include built-in Wi-Fi, integrated GPS, Near Field Communication, Sony's SteadyShot image stabiliser and high frame rates of up to 240 frames per second (fps).

But the accessories that come with it are rather spartan. Apart from the Live-View Remote and waterproof casing, there is only a base plate and two adhesive mounts.

Unlike the boxy designs of many models, the HDR-AS100VR looks like a miniature camcorder with a small, glossy white splashproof body.

On the right side are Previous and Next buttons. At the back is a Record/Enter button with a Hold switch. You open the rear cover to access a microSD slot and a battery compartment.

To power up, press Previous or Next and use them to cycle through the various modes, including Movie, Photo, Interval, Setup and Power Off.

This means that when you want to switch off the camera, you must get to the option before you hit the Record/Enter button. This is rather counter-intuitive.

The waterproof casing provides protection only down to 5m, the shallowest in this round-up. Remember not to flick the Hold switch on before putting the camera into the casing. Both this switch and the casing's Hold switch must be off.

Aside from this, the casing lets you access all the three buttons.

In terms of video quality, this camera is second only to the GoPro Hero3+.

The videos were quite sharp with accurate auto white balance and vivid colours, but nowhere near the sharpness of the Hero3+.

Night videos showed slight pixelation and chromatic noise, but not to an extent that will degrade the videos significantly.

The image stabilisation worked very well to prevent any excessive shake and auto exposure was quick to adjust to new scenes, though it was slightly slower than the Hero3+. Audio quality suffered from too much ambient and wind noise.

The Sony HDR-AS100VR Action Cam rates high on features and great video quality. But its high price and lack of included accessories may put you off.

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