Optical image stabilization—Balanced Optical SteadyShot—has at last arrived in the action camera world. The newly unveiled Sony FDR-X3000 and HDR-AS300 mark the latest in 4K and Full HD Action Cams from Sony. These new models exhibit a design and basic form factor that have a lot in common with the previous models, the 4K FDR-X1000 and HD HDR-AS200V, but a few things have changed internally. Most notably, these newest models feature a 12MP image block, combined with a new lens. Shake is a big problem with action cameras, especially when they are mounted on something moving, such as bicycle handlebars. The previous Action Cams offered an electronic form of SteadyShot, which works at HD resolution, but not at 4K. This is because electronic image stabilization needs to “crop” a window out of the full sensor to work. Optical technology enables the lens, as well as the imaging block assembly itself, to shift independent of the camera, for stabilization that works even in 4K. The new lens also reduces distortion for ultra-wide POV capture without so much of the “fisheye” effect.
As we have come to expect with modern cameras, the FDR-X3000 and HDR-AS300 feature a plethora of frame rates and still photo modes. At the pinnacle, the FDR-X3000 shoots 3840 x 2160 4K at up to 30 or 25p, making it Sony’s flagship option. Meanwhile, both cameras can shoot FHD (1920 x 1080) at up to 120 fps, and 720p HD at up to 240 fps, to create extreme slow-motion effects. Besides the basic 12MP mode, these cameras have an 8.3MP interval mode, which is perfect for creating 4K time-lapse footage. For hard to capture, fast-moving subjects, they can handle bursts at various speeds up to 10 fps.
The FDR-X3000 features Wi-Fi for pairing with your mobile device using the Action Cam app. You can view a live feed, transfer footage, setup a time-lapse, and even stream video. For a waterproof alternative to your smartphone, there is an updated Live-View Remote (RM-LVR3) with a built-in screen. The new remote is 30% smaller than the previous version and features a “Wi-Fi high power” mode, offering extended range, presumably at the expense of shorter battery life. The remote is designed so that it can be worn or mounted in various ways. It will be offered separately or can be bundled with either the FDR-X3000R or HDR-AS300R.
Sony hasn’t forgotten that many professionals use action cameras as “crash cams,” or to otherwise capture footage impossible with a conventional camera. Therefore, these cameras include many pro-oriented features, from a 3.5mm mic input for using external audio to Time Code/User Bit to make footage easier to manage in post. Manual settings—including white balance, exposure compensation, and adjustable color profiles—will appeal to the pro and advanced user alike.
Like other Action Cams, the naked FDR-X3000 and HDR-AS300 are “splash proof,” and they should survive even if briefly submerged. This gets you by in a lot of situations. For added protection from dust and impact, or for use underwater, a 197’ housing comes included. The housing is designed so that camera controls remain easily accessible, and it has a rating that takes you well beyond the depths of recreational scuba.
Will this Action Cam have 23.98 fps?
Hi Flemming -
We will not know the final specificatipons until SONY actually releases the camera.