Sony’s snappily-named AS100VR has had some extremely good reviews but the company has apparently decided that at 92 grams it’s just too darned heavy for tired old outdoor activity people – so they’ve launched a smaller, lighter version.
The equally trip-off-the-tongue HDR-AZ1VR weighs just 63 grams and is around two-thirds the size of its bigger sister. That means it loses the inbuilt GPS and screen but fear not as they’re now supplied in an included, wristwatch-like control unit that operates the action cam over WiFi.
As before, the cam boasts a Zeiss lens with a 170 degree field of view (120 degrees when SteadyShot stabilisation is used – ie most of the time) and an “EXMOR R” sensor which are renowned for their abilities in low light conditions.
Video can be captured at up to 50Mbps in Sony’s XAVC-S format which is a high bitrate format of the H.264 codec, as well as various mp4 bitrates. Storage is onto Micro SDXC memory cards for XAVC-S, SD cards or better for mp4.
It’s got an IPX4 “equivalent” case which is splashproof out of the box but is also supplied with a waterproof case that’s said to protect the camera from drops, sand, grit and immersion to depths of 5m.
The wrist controller works up to 5 separate cameras and enables the wearer to start and stop recordings and change camera settings. It can also live stream via websites such as ustream.com provided you’ve set up an account with them.
There are various accessories too, including a backpack mount, head mount, the aforementioned waterproof case and a rechargeable spare battery.