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Customer Review

207 of 220 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than industry leader + much lower cost = No Brainer, September 18, 2013
This review is from: Sony AS30V High Definition POV Action Video Camera HDR-AS30V (Electronics)
I've been in the market for an action camera for a while now. Just a few weeks ago, I picked up a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition. Considering the Hero 3 Black is the industry leader, I was quite surprise to find out that there is no image stabilization built into the camera. Further, while shooting some video clips at night, the video quality was quite bad in low light situations. When Sony announced the predecessor to their action cam at IFA 2013 last month and having heard of all the features, I decided to pre-order the camera.

The Sony HDR-AS30V comes with 6 accessories.
- Micro USB
- Rechargeable battery pack
- Waterproof Case
- Adhesive Mount Attachment Buckle
- Flat Adhesive Mount
- Curve Adhesive Mount
- Set of printed documentation
The 73 page user manual is provided as PDF on the camera's memory and can be accessed when the camera is connected to a pc.

To access the settings on the camera, you have 3 buttons. An ENTER button, PREV, and NEXT. Navigating through the menus take some time to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, it's quite easy.

Sony also offers a free mobile app called PlayMemories Mobile. With the camera on and app launched, once you enter the SSID and password provided to you on one of the printed documents, you'll have a LIVE VIEW of what the camera is aimed at. This comes very handy when framing your shot. With the app, besides starting and stopping the video recording, you have options to turn on and off the SteadyShot, toggle the camera viewing angle between 120 degrees and 170 degrees, and set the camera in PHOTO or MOVIE, or INTERVAL RECORD mode. The lag time between what the phone display sees versus what is happening in front of the camera has been noticeably improved from Sony's last year model.

From initial tests, the camera does an excellent job in low light situation and bumpy video footage. I have yet to test the NFC, GPS Data Overlay on Video, nor underwater picture quality yet.


- image stabilization
- gps data overlay on video (shows map view, average speed, distance traveled, current time, duration time, total time, and date.)
- nfc for quick one touch connections
- excellent low light
- battery is REMOVABLE, allowing one to carry spare battery packs without needing to stress about finding a charger when the camera is out of battery
- cheaper than industry leader
- video quality is better than industry leader all around
- one touch START and STOP video recording
- PlayMemories Mobile

- does not have "G-sensor" to detect camera orientation and keep horizon consistent through recording. if camera is up-side-down, video will be up-side-down

I would highly recommend buying the Sony HDR-AS30V if you're in the market for an action camera that takes really nice video with all the features I've mentioned. This is a very fine camera.
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Showing 1-10 of 67 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 22, 2013 4:43:04 PM PDT
MacGruber says:
AS30 is exactly the same sensor as the AS15
You are paying the same amount as a GP3 BE, I have had the AS15 and the white balance was too blue
I took it back and got the GP3 instead
Don't get sucked into the AS30 when the PQ is no different to the AS15, 12 MP pictures is the only PQ improvement
If you are buying the ASD30, think twice about the PQ...

Posted on Sep 22, 2013 4:45:01 PM PDT
Mike says:
I know most cameras/camcorders that don't have G-sensor will allow you to change the video format to play or view right side up. Although, it is an inconvenience, do you have the option of flipping the video or picture using a 3rd party software?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2013 5:09:19 PM PDT
MacGruber says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Sep 23, 2013 8:56:55 AM PDT
Mark Twain says:
I have seen many youtube comparisons, side by side etc. The sony always wins in my opinion (with the exception of the ultra blue skies, which I don't mind)- and thats based on sony's previous model. As pointed out above it may not be the best comparison because they are on youtube and both put through software but I have to assume each camera's footage was affected to the same degree. Add that together the battery issues with GP, the lack of steady shot, the wonky mount (I much prefer a standard tripod mount), the fact that GP is much more cumbersome- isn't as streamlined. Its a no brainer to get the sony.
Go Pro obviously has alot of fans because it was the first really successful cam of its kind but why keep backing it? Granted GP will no doubt launch a new cam in the next few months that will prob make improvements, but until then, this sony is superior.
This is coming from someone who is generally not a sony fan.

Posted on Sep 23, 2013 12:58:29 PM PDT
A. M. Lee says:
I apologize if this is the wrong place to ask, but does anyone know if the accessories are backwards compatible between the 15 and the 30? Thanks, Art

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2013 2:06:26 PM PDT
MacGruber says:
everything is interchangeable
AS30 case works with AS15 and vice versa

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2013 2:17:18 PM PDT
MacGruber says:
Sony is in no way superior, it has way too many issues
Incorrect white balance
flat lens correction for underwater filming
low bitrate captures
edge distortion aretefacts
no ability to capture in RAW
IS is cropping the sensor which means you do not get full image resolution
Unable to tilt cam without extra mount
Inability to use cam on flat surface without case
lower resolution capture settings
software sharpening

GP3 BE has 2 distinct issues:
Batteries and yellow tinge, both can be fixed
1600 mAH batteries from eBay fro $4.99
yellow fixed in post

If this makes the Sony superior, then I must have the wrong cam, I had the Sony AS15, it went back because of these issues...
I have yet to see a Sony action cam used in a professional manner, ie for broadcast purposes, GP3 BE is used all the tome...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2013 9:46:54 AM PDT
Mark Twain says:
Well I don't agree that buying a crap china battery on ebay for $5 is a "fix" for GP battery issues. I do agree that GP is used all over the place in professional applications, there is a lot to said for that, but i'm not willing to hand them the win for it, especially given the huge amount of pissed off people who bought GP3- more than 25% of reviewers gave it 1 star.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2013 2:03:00 PM PDT
MacGruber says:
Crap China battery? where do you think theyre all made?
Where do you think the GP3 is made?
Have you tested the battery?
Are you one of these elite racist saying that anything made in China is crap?
Dont start on the Wassabi range of batteries either, theyre a rip off

As for most of the issues re GP3, this was user error, ie incompatible SD card, or just inability to upgrade FW from user
Now tell me when the GP4 is released with rumored 4K @ 30 FPS, 120 FPS @ 1080P, 240FPS @ 720P, you're now comparing apples and apples, and the Sony looks ancient
The AS30 does nothing other than add a few features
Why bring out a newer model if it does nothing different in a capture mode?
The AS30 (aka AS10) is now 1 year old, technically speaking, at least the Team @ GoPro make advancements every year
Have you been reading the issues already with GPS logging on YouTube?
I'd be pissed off and rate the cam 1 star on the AS30 if I just bought it specifically for this feature and it never worked...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2013 9:19:23 AM PDT
Patricia says:
you forgot GPS :D, this is a huge improve.. :D beside 12 MP
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