It has already been one year since Sony entered the “action cam” market with the AS10 camera. The AS30 is the second generation of Sony camera to cover this segment and Sony has applied lessons learned from the first iteration. On the outside, the AS30 looks very similar to the AS10, but the first visible difference is that the new waterproof housing is much smaller (and cheaper) than the original one. Sony points out that the first waterproof case is still available for those who want to dive very deep, but most people can do just fine with the new, smaller case.
Inside, Sony has added a GPS capability, which is cool because you can then re-use the data at a later date, possibly to overlay you position on a map on top of that movie of you racing on your bike, for example. The editing software, Sony now supports multi-view, and that’s how you can super-impose the map and your movie during editing. You can also record with two cameras to offer a 360 degrees view of the action.
The AS30 camera can connect to a smartphone via WiFi, which is nice if you want to setup/frame the camera using your smartphone (the camera does not have a control display). This is something that Sony has done on other products, so they are leveraging their existing knowledge here.
Technically speaking, the AS30 camera has a 16 Megapixel EXMOR sensor, a Carl Zeiss lens, 170 degrees view angle, image stabilization. Video can be recorded at 1080p60, which is extremely important if you want to use slow-motion with your footage. There is support for additional storage with Memory Stick Micro and Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots.
Finally, there are more and more mount options for this camera. At IFA, Sony introduces a chest mount (AKA-CMH1), a Roll Bar Mount (VCT-RBM1), and a Universal Head Mount Kit (BLT-UHM1). At $299.99, this is not the most affordable action cam on the market, but it is certainly one of the best in terms of quality. What would you do with a couple of these?