With unmatched ruggedness and out-of-the-box ease of use, GoPro cameras are the reigning king of extreme videography. Sony wants to change that. Instead of hitting ‘record’ on several GoPro cameras at once, Sony’s betting that users will prefer a host of cameras slaved to a single, wrist-mounted controller.
That's the concept behind the HDR-AS100V, Sony's newest video recording solution. Up to five of Sony’s AS100V cams can be linked to the "Live-View Remote" RM-LVR1 wrist controller, and while each camera is priced competitively ($299 per cam or $399 bundled with the wrist controller) compared to the latest Hero3+ GoPro, the little Sony cams are slim enough to duct tape to helmets and gear, removing the need for costly GoPro mounts.
While these wee cameras are splashproof, and can record video in 1080p or slo-mo in 720p, the coolest thing about this setup is the ability to sync the cameras. Sure, you’ll take the reinforced wristwatch over a smartphone into the field any day, but like its lower-priced AS30V linemate, the AS100V can pair with NFC devices over Wi-Fi.
The AS100V also inherits GPS tagging from the AS30V, which lets you tag location and speed to your recordings. Meanwhile, the included PlayMotion software lets you use location data to sync footage together for split-screen action. The AS100V’s improvements over the AS30V include an ultra-wide lens with 30% higher resolution, an 18 megapixel sensor, and improved SteadyShot image stabilization. The AS100V is also splashproof without requiring external housing (though one is provided), making it easier to use than the AS30V and AS15.
While GoPro still rules the slopes/waves/skies, Sony’s latest entry in its Action Cam line edges closer to a synchronized, device-controlled networked future for amateur extreme videographers.