Triathlon is typically one of the last sports you are going to associate action cameras with. However if you have had the chance to read our First Ride with the GoPro Hero3 you probably realize the immense benefit the cameras can offer an endurance athlete. At Interbike we saw multiple new entries to the action camera market but one that stood out was Sony’s newest entry – the HDR-AS30V.
The first thing you will notice about the AS30V is its form – it does not have the boxy appearance of a GoPro, instead you get a thinner shape that feels more applicable for road and triathlon use. The AS30V is actually 25% smaller than its predecessor model and measures in at 24.5mm x 47.0mm x 82.0mm (WxHxD). The weight including the battery is going to be about 90g (though we of course need to get it on a scale to verify).
The camera has the ability to capture 11.9 megapixel photos in both single shot mode as well as for time lapse photography. For recording modes you are going to get a number of options – Full HD (1920×1080 60p/50p and 1920×1080 30p/25p) for fast-moving action, STD HD (1280×720 30p/25p), SD VGA (640×480 30p/25p) and two slow-motion modes – HD SLOW 2x (1280×720 60p) and HD SLOW 4x (1280×720 120p).
One of the newest features, and one that will soon become standard in the market is the addition of an onboard GPS chip. With the addition of this feature, the AS30 allows you to easily overlay your speed, distance and route in the footage you are going to be sharing.
The camera ships with a waterproof housing good to 197ft, so it should do just fine recording swim video at the bottom of the pool. The housing also provides shock resistance for up to 5 ft drops.
For us the most exciting part of the AS30V are the accessories that Sony has created for it. First up is the multi-functional watch (Live View Remote) that allows you to view the cameras output and control the camera’s recording settings and start/stop record. GoPro offered some of this functionality with their remote accessory, but the Sony version actually allows you to see what the camera is seeing.
The Action Cam Camcorder Cradle turns your AS30V into a full-fledged camcorder including a 2.7” LCD. Simply drop the AS30V into the cradle and you are set to go. For those looking for an action camera that can also be used in a point and shoot manner, the Camcorder Cradle should meet your needs perfectly.
For mounting options, Sony has turned to K-Edge to help create the mounts cyclists and triathletes need to ensure a secure mount to their frames. K-Edge is adapting their existing GoPro mounting options (bar and saddle mounts) to be able to use the tripod style mount that the AS30V comes with. K-Edge will be offering both mounts with a dedicated tripod mount as well as an adapter that converts from a GoPro style mount to the tripod mount.
We are already looking forward to an opportunity to get some long term time with the AS30V. The inclusion of GPS is an obvious next step in the action camera market and one we expect to see on every camera by the end of next year. What makes the Sony stand out are the optional accessories that make it both more than just the camera you bring on your rides and when you do bring it on your rides, the Live View Remote looks to bring new innovations to the market that we have not fully seen before. Our only up front concern is the apparent lack of an extended battery pack, will the AS30V have the power to last an entire century? Only a long term review will know for sure, and we are already excited to find out!