Sony AS100V POV Camera is phenomonal.

John_Cline wrote on 4/16/2014, 4:54 AM
I bought a GoPro Hero3+ Black and a bunch of mounts and accessories a couple of months ago and I've been perfectly happy with it UNTIL I played with Sony's new entry into the POV camera market, the HDR-AS100VR/W, it looks spectacular! I wish I had been paying attention, I would have very likely bought the AS100V instead of the GoPro. It has stereo audio, Steady Shot, GPS and a very cool Live View remote (as well as a smartphone app), and the body is "splashproof" outside of the included waterproof case. It also has a "Pro" mode which records XAVC-S at 50mbps, Vegas handle it just fine. It's $400, the same price as the GoPro Hero3+ Black. (It's also available for less money without the Live Remote.)

Here is a pretty in-depth 35-minute review of it from Techmoan on his YouTube site:

He also has some 50mbps 1080-60p Promode clips you can download via DropBox from his blog.

(Truth be told, while I justified the purchase of the GoPro for "professional purposes", I basically bought it to mount to various places on my sports car and record me "hooning" around on Northern New Mexico's mountain roads and all their gorgeous scenery. High frame rate at a high bitrate is highly desirable.)


PeterWright wrote on 4/16/2014, 5:34 AM
Looks great John. I have an AS15 and an AS30, so I'll probably add this to the family soon. I like the Live view remote - not sure how much extra this is ..

I also have a Mk I GoPro Hero, and I find the Sonys are generally better, including a better menu system.
ritsmer wrote on 4/16/2014, 11:57 AM
Have been very satisfied with my AS15 as well - but now looking forward to receiving the AS100 kit with remote control.
Ideal for the planned sail-boat videos (my Folkboat) this summer.

I have checked the mentioned original video downloads: 50.8 Mbps - great - but according to my Mediainfo just still 4:2:0...
TeetimeNC wrote on 4/16/2014, 1:36 PM
Peter, I bought an AS15 a couple months ago and used it as a stationary cam in that wedding shoot you provided a voice over for. I like it but am thinking of putting it on ebay so I can upgrade to the AS100V. One really nice thing Sony did - I can use the AS15 camcorder cradle with the AS100V. Excellent!

John_Cline wrote on 4/16/2014, 5:22 PM
XAVC-S is always 4:2:0, GoPro's Protune files are also 4:2:0 at 45 Mbps.
PeterWright wrote on 4/16/2014, 6:59 PM
Like JC I mainly use my mini-cams for self-indulgent purposes, but they have also come in really useful for pro jobs.
Shooting a live band, you can get amazing shots by strategically placing them around the stage, including in amongst the drummer's cymbals, looking along a keyboard from close up and amongst the machine heads of a guitar, looking down the neck.
I've also used them for extra angles in theatrical or dance shows, and even for "straight" occasions like lectures - CU of presenter from the lectern or looking out at the audience.
ritsmer wrote on 4/17/2014, 1:08 AM
XAVC-S is 4:2:0 ?? Ah, yes, right - my fault.

There has been some discussion if the new AX100 / CX900 were recording in 4:2:2 - but then obviously not as they also record the XAVC-S ??
Jay M wrote on 4/17/2014, 3:23 AM
I was told by a Sony person at NAB that this camera uses the same sensor as the best GoPro. So images should be about the same. From some quick YouTube browsing, it appears that some make the Sony look better and other make the GoPro look better. That leads me to believe that they offer about the same picture quality.

What makes me want to sell my GoPro stuff though, is the feature set on the Sony cameras. That wristwatch looking video monitor is brilliant. One big fat record button to simultaneously start all your cameras, and view them as needed. That's a game changer for me. The 1/4-20 mount will be really nice. I assume the audio will be significantly better.

There are also GoPro to Sony adapters so you don't need to re-purchase suction cups and other expensive accessories.

I think the shape of the Sony makes more sense as well.

In the past, the bottom line for me was which camera looks best, and it was always GoPro. That is why GoPro cameras are uses extensively on broadcast TV. But now, Sony has a cam that looks and good, and has a better feature set.

John_Cline wrote on 4/17/2014, 4:39 AM
I may have been wrong about XAVC vs XAVC-S color sampling, but I can't find a definitive answer.

XAVC supports up to 4096x2160-60P I-frame only (up to 180 fps in HD resolutions) using 4:2:0 8-bit up to 4:4:4 12-bit with a maximum data rate of 960 Mbps, all of this is wrapped in an MXF container and it aimed mainly at the cinema production crowd.

XAVC-S supports "television 4K" or "UHDTV" which is 3840x2160 at up to 60 fps long-GOP and is wrapped in an MP4 container, but I can't find any information that clearly states what the highest color sampling that XAVC-S supports, it may or may not be strictly limited to 4:2:0.

Regardless, I just did a 4K (3840x2160) render using both XAVC and XAVC-S from Vegas and the XAVC was 4:2:2-10bits at a whopping 486 Mbps and the XAVC-S was 4:2:0-8bits at 56 Mbps. It does not appear that Vegas 12 supports all the variations of XAVC/XAVC-S yet, but enough of them to be really useful.

I'm still digging for information. It looks like an incredibly flexible format and Sony has made it open source and many manufacturers have already jumped on it. This could very well be my new default HD, 2k and 4k production codec.