SONY HDR-AS30V Review – This Sony action cam is clearly a bit on the wee side, but does that mean it’s a wuss? In short: a bit, yes, sadly. Sony noticeably don’t quote a battery life for the HDR-AS30V and ours dropped battery bars faster than mostly action camera like Drift Ghost-S and Garmin Virb Elite.
SONY HDR-AS30V, Camera for more sedate action
SONY HDR-AS30V also didn’t cope brilliantly at night, with video very dark, undetailed and muted in colour. That’s far from an uncommon complaint on this test – trust us, you’re going to hear it a lot – but it is more surprising given Sony’s use of a Carl Zeiss lens and its experience in the camera market. On the upside, however, including a dedicated waterproof case is a great move.
It means the AS30V is fine to be dunked down to briny depths of five metres and the housing also means sound quality is the second best on test after the GoPro, with the microphone protected from distracting wind noise. Take Sony’s cam out in glorious daylight and things look a lot better and, when the image stabilisation kicks in, things get pretty smooth. Previously jittery footage recorded whilst riding over some of the worst potholes in the West Country are suddenly rendered serenely and in excellent clarity.
Technically it’s a great feature, but we feel that by smoothing everything out the Sony cam loses some of the dynamic rawness of action cam footage. It all seems a bit, well, tame. When it comes to providing a mount for every occasion, this cam looks to have things stitched up. There’s a surfboard mount and you can even add a dog harness. You’ll notice one glaring omission, though: no vented helmet mount. Urban cyclists looking to record their rides will have to pedal elsewhere.
If you value pocketability over power, and don’t mind restricting recordings to short bursts in daylight, the AS30V will do the job reasonably well. We demand more action, though. This weedy action cam fits in your pocket, but struggles to impress when out of it
Accessory Sony RM-LVR1 Live View Remote
Control the camera via this wrist-mounted preview screen and remote control. It’s pretty flash, but we’d still prefer a free app.
- Good image stabilisation
- Waterproof casing included
- Very little wind noise
- Night performance is woeful
- Limited range of mounts
- short battery life
SONY HDR-AS30V Specifications
- Screen None
- Sensor 12-meg/1080p at 60fps
- Burst Mode None
- Storage MicroSD only (128GB max)
- Connectivity Wi-Fi, microHDMI, USB, mic
- Water Resistance 5m with case provided
- Battery Life Not quoted
- Mounts Included Flat surface
- Price $187