Video: Sony’s AX100 4K Camcorder & AS100VR Action Cam

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Among the products announced at Sony’s gaff-free (no movie directors here!) CES press event, a couple of new cameras caught our eye. First up was Sony’s latest 4K Camcorder, the AX100, which is now a far more ‘consumer friendly’ looking device compared to the company’s previous efforts. Producing a lighter and smaller camera is obviously key for Sony as they look to encourage us all to start producing and consuming more 4K content. The FDR-AX100, to give it its full name, is approximately one quarter the size and one third of the weight of the current FDR-AX1 model.

The AX100 comes with a 14.2 effective megapixel back-illuminated 1.0-type Exmor R CMOS sensor and, in addition to recording 4K footage, the camera is also capable of down-converting 4K images to very high quality 2K (Full HD) video. In terms of size, the AX100 is 196.5mm long, 83.5mm high and 81mm wide, weighing in at approx 790g. The camera is available for around £1,800 and more details can be found on the company’s UK web site. Also be sure to check out our video of the AX100 below:

The other new (or should that be significantly improved) camera that we checked out was the company’s latest action camera, the HDR-AS100VR Action Cam. This new model comes with a new image processing engine, new lens and a new image sensor for significantly improved image quality. The AS100VR is being marketed as “splash-proof” which means there’s no need for separate housing.

One interesting new feature is the ability to control up to five cameras with the Live-View Remote and record simultaneously with them all for a multi-view picture. Another, perhaps more quirky, feature of this camera (as well as its predecessor) is the ability to mount it to your dog’s back. Check out our quick hands on, and demonstration of the dog harness, in the video below:

GoPro Hero 3+: First impressions and sample footage

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Californian action camera company GoPro has been synonymous with capturing the thrills and spills of extreme sports over the years – and this week the company released an improved version of its popular GoPro Hero 3+.

What made GoPro cameras so successful is how easy it is to attach the dinky little cameras to car windows, crash helmets, handlebars, surf boards, hats, belts – just about anything you can think of via a range of clever accessories. Before the days of GoPro, if you wanted to record yourself and your best evil kenevil impression you would probably have to have a cameraman to hand, and the last time we checked that’s not cheap.

With GoPro cameras, the Californian company ushered in new era of inexpensive self-documentation whereby thrill-seekers could wear the company’s cameras to record themselves doing just about anything, anywhere. And, unsurprisingly, they did. Several years later you’ll be hard pressed to find an extreme sports clip or epic fail on Youtube that wasn’t captured with a GoPro camera.

The company’s new Hero3+ features a bevy of improvements over last year’s version: it’s 20% smaller and lighter; battery life has been improved by 30%, lasting just over 2 hours on continuous record; Wi-Fi transfers are four times quicker using the GoPro App, and the camera is now waterproof to an impressive depth of 40 meters.

Gizmodo’s early hands-on with the camera noted that it produces significantly “sharper images” thanks to the improved lens, and colours were “better” balanced thanks for improvements with GoPro’s imaging software.

The GoPro Hero+ performs at its best when capturing footage at 1080p at a smooth 60fps. You can go up to 4K (3840 x 2160) but then the fps plummet to a choppy 15 fps – which is makes its 4K less than impressive. But the Hero 3+ can record high-speed/super-slow-motion 720p video at 120fps and 640 x 480 resolution video at 240fps.

Elsewhere there’s the inclusion of a new SuperView video mode that will no doubt please the diehards as it that allows for an even wider viewing angle, allowing users to capture more of their exploits and surroundings at the same time.

Check out some sample footage in this video:

As well as being tougher, lighter, and lasting longer on a single charge – the Hero 3+ has quite a few accessories to really help users get that perfect extreme shot. The Flex Clamp is a quick way to clamp a GoPro camera to a variety of objects. It comes with an optional opposable neck to achieve a wide range of camera positions. And the clamps jaws securely grip irregular shapes and slim objects thanks to its innovative design.

The Junior Chesty is a smaller version of our adult-sized Chest Harness. Perfect for kids ages 3+, the Junior Chest Harness is great for capturing footage of a child’s world from their perspective – from skiing and skateboarding to slides and swings.

There’s also a Head Strap & QuickClip; the QuickClip is a new accessory that now comes bundled with GoPro’s Head Strap. The QuickClip enables ultra-compact, low profile mounting to baseball hats, belts and other objects ranging in thickness from 3mm to 10mm.

The new GoPro Hero3+ come in three variations: the Hero3+ Black Edition is the flagship model, packing a 12-megapixel sensor, 4K video capture capabilities, the new low-light mode, and a remote. The identically priced Hero3+ Black Edition Surf is the same camera with surf mounts included. And the Hero3+ Silver Edition drops the price down but it has a lower-resolution 10-megapixel sensor, a slower burst mode that tops out at 10fps, and it lacks the 4K video mode and bundled remote.