Sony adds image stabilisation to new 4k Action Cam

Balanced Optical Steady Shot, 4k footage, Bluetooth, WiFi and more

The action camera market is fierce, and with the GoPro Hero5 rumoured to launch next week Sony has unveiled its newest Action Cams: the  FDR-X300R 4k and HDR-AS300R Full HD model.

Both of the new cameras will feature Sony's ‘Balanced Optical Steady Shot’, which joins the lens and sensor to create an internal gimbal of sorts that compensates for the camera shake and vibration experienced while riding.

This new system allows the footage to retain full resolution instead of slightly cropping the footage, which most optical stabilisation systems do. If the video below is any indication, it seems the new system works pretty well.

It appears the new Balanced Optical Steady Shot stabilisation works pretty darn well

These new Sony Action Cams also feature a new Zeiss Tessar lens, which the company claims has significantly less distortion than previous models. Both cameras also get a new back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor with large pixels designed for 16:9 aspect ratio video, and a powerful BIONZ X processor which is said to keep video quality consistent across all settings.

Carrying over from the X1000, the Flagship FDR-X300R can shoot in 4k at 30fps or 1080p at 120fps for epic super slow-mo action. The slightly less feature-rich, but more budget friendly, HDR-AS300R doesn’t have the ability to film 4k but still offers up to 1080p footage at 60fps and 720p footage at 100fps. Both cameras also offer three preset zoom modes — wide, medium and narrow — and see a built-in stereo mic with wind noise reduction.

Sony is also offering its Live-View remote with the cameras, which the company says is 30 percent smaller than the previous version. The new remote is equipped with Bluetooth and WiFi (as are the cameras) and offer full control over the camera including shooting settings, start/stop recording and even live view.

Sony is also releasing a range of mounting accessories for the remote, and we’d guess the handlebar and watch mounts will be a hit among riders. Despite the new remote, the new Action Cams can still use all of these features with the PlayMemories app available for Android and iOS.

Sony's new Action Cam the FDR-X300R can film 4k stabilised footage (pictured in the waterproof housing)
Sony's new Action Cam the FDR-X300R can film 4k stabilised footage (pictured in the waterproof housing)

Based on feedback from athletes, filmmakers, and average Joes, Sony says they’ve also overhauled the user interface to make the the Action Cam’s menu system easier to understand.

The new FDR-X3000R and HDR-AS300R inherit built-in GPS, which allows for location tracking and live metric overlays to be added to the footage when using the Action Cam Movie Creator software. Also built in is the updated version of the Highlight Movie Maker, where the camera assembles a ‘video highlight package’ and sets it to music automatically.

For the budding filmmaker, the new cameras include more manual controls such as white balance and auto exposure shifting. Both cameras also get a new time-lapse capture feature, which shoots still images at pre-set intervals — these can later be transformed into a 4K time-lapse movie utilising the Action Cam Movie Creator software or Full HD in the Action Cam App for some epic b-roll.

The new Action Cam FDR-X300R and HDR-AS300R come with the basics, but it looks like you'll need to purchase mounts separately
The new Action Cam FDR-X300R and HDR-AS300R come with the basics, but it looks like you'll need to purchase mounts separately

The FDR-X3000R and HDR-AS300R also have a splash-proof body and are waterproof with supplied Underwater Housing that is certified down to 197 ft. / 60m in depth.

Coming it at £N/A / US$400 for the camera only or  £500 / US$550 with the Live-View Remote, the Action Cam FDR-X3000R will be available at the end of September in North America. Australian pricing and availability is yet to be announced.

Slightly cheaper is the HDR-AS300R, which is set to retail for US$300 for the camera only and US$450 with the Live-View Remote. It will also ship at the end of September and UK and Australian pricing and availability are to be announced.

Colin Levitch

Staff Writer, Australia
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Colin now resides in Sydney, Australia. Holding a media degree, Colin is focused on the adventure sport media world. Coming from a ski background, his former European pro father convinced him to try collegiate crit racing. Although his bright socks say full roadie, he enjoys the occasional mountain bike ride, too.
  • Discipline: Road, mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Tarmac mountain climbs into snow-covered hills
  • Current Bikes: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9
  • Dream Bike: Mosaic Cycles RT-1
  • Beer of Choice: New Belgium La Folie
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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