Action cams have been catching the winds of 4K video since last year, with GoPro's Hero 4 Black and DJI's Inspire camera both offering ultra-high resolution options. Sony's Action Cam will not be left behind with their newly announced model, the X100V. This thing sports 4K deliciousness of its own.
The new Action Cam will record 30p video in 4K with Sony's XAVC S codec at 100 Mbps. If 4K isn't your bag, it also adds 120 fps recording in Full HD and 240 fps in 720p for silky slow-motion. These are the same frame rate options currently offered in the GoPro Hero 4 Black. It's more than just features that Sony and GoPro are sharing with this update. It's price too. The X100V will cost you a cool $500 (UK price TBC).
To separate itself from GoPro, Sony is boasting better image stabilisation, wind-noise reduction, and a wider field of view (same as the older models). Sony will also debut a new piece of video editing software called Highlight Movie Maker. The program will use fancy algorithms to detect the best parts of your footage, so you don't have to sift through hours of failed ski-jump attempts. Colour me sceptical about the efficacy of such automation, but we'll have to see.
Other minor goodies are stuffed into the new model, like a mode that detects your microSD card is full and automatically start looping the recording over the last few minutes of free space, to make sure you don't miss the banger. Sony is also implementing a bit more manual control, with options for adjusting exposure compensation and white balance. Lastly, you'll be able to control multiple Action Cams through the PlayMemories mobile app.
Sony is clearly unwavering in its attempt to steal away some of GoPro's glory. It's a tough job, and one that they haven't always succeeded at with past efforts. Matching specs will only get you so far; it's image quality and user experience that are going to convert people. You can be sure we'll be putting the new Action Cam through the paces when it launches in February.