Action Video Camera from Sony HDR-AS15 (Black)

Video Cameras

Relive the glory of every hardcore, gravity-defying moment in legendary Sony quality and share it wirelessly over Wi-Fi. No other mountable POV camera combines Carl Zeiss optics with a rugged exterior that welcomes mud, snow and water. So no matter what you do-snowboard, surf, skate, bike-record it all in HD and share your shredding with the world.

Action Video Camera from Sony HDR-AS15 (Black)

Features Action Video Camera from Sony HDR-AS15 (Black)

  • Compact, rugged Wi-Fi enabled HD video action camcorder
  • High quality Full HD 1080p recording
  • Ruggedized, waterproof housing 1with universal tripod mount included
Overall Rating: Rating=4.5
(Full Reviews Product)

List Price: $ 269.99
Sale Price: $ 269.99

This Product is available at AMAZON for the best Price

Action Video Camera from Sony HDR-AS15 (Black)

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  1. Y. Yamamoto says:
    389 of 402 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Sony Action Cam, GoPro Hero2 or Hero3, September 30, 2012
    By 
    Y. Yamamoto
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    (Updated 11/26/2012) I now have GoPro Hero3 Black Edition. This review changes a bit. Although Sony is pretty good, if you can afford $399 action cam, I would go with Hero3 Black Edition. Otherwise continue with my review.

    If you are OK with the following limitations of the Sony Action Cam, this little Sony Cam is absolutely fantastic. Otherwise, I would go with GoPro Hero 2 or Hero 3 Silver Edition.

    1. CANNOT RECORD SOUND in 60/120FPS modes. Not that I value sound from any Action Cams inside a case, but no sound can be a deal breaker for some.

    2. Underwater footage is much worse than GoPro Hero2 in terms of color (Mainly Sony auto white balance does not work underwater). The case of the Sony Action Cam also has a curve lens, so it cannot focus underwater. Sony will release the door pack that includes the flat lens dive door.

    3. Severe Lens flare. Some lens flare can be a good visual effect. I am OK with it if the flare is not too much, but Sony cam often washes out some colors under certain conditions.

    I do not record any action cameras in 1080P/30FPS mode since CMOS jello effects can be very pronounced in fast action scenes. So I record most clips in 720P 60FPS. The problem is that Sony records 60/120FPS footage without sound and output videos as 30FPS. I do not mind the output frame rate, but the sound should be there.

    Sony underwater AWB does not function properly yet. I do not believe Sony adjusted the camera for underwater usage. The color is very strange. Too green, too blue, and a bit noisy.

    If you do not mind these issues, then this is the camera to get because

    1. The Zeiss Lens is absolutely the sharpest among all action cams out in the market right now
    2. The SteadyShot is just unbelievable. I was not a big fan of an electronic image stabilization, but this one really works!
    3. Colors produced by the image processor is very natural. The tonal curve is flat, so it is much easier to post process.
    4. The lens is wider than GoPro Hero2 or GoPro Hero3 Silver Edition and much less fish eye (Less distortion)
    5. Low light performance is better than GoPro Hero2 or GoPro Hero3 Silver Edition.
    6. The Noise Reduction works really well.
    7. Very smooth motion.
    8. Lower price.
    9. The case is high quality.
    10. The case has a standard tripod thread.
    11. The case latch is pretty solid. It should not pop open like the GoPro Hero2 one. Hero3 case is very solid BTW.

    Other minor issues that you may want to know (could be major issues for some)

    1. It cannot stand on its own without the case. The bottom of the camera is round, so it falls down on its side.
    2. I wish Sony added two more buttons on the case. This is not the Wifi version. I cannot change any settings once the cam is inside the case. I can easily change settings in GoPro though.
    3. Not so compact with the case.
    4. Unrealistic blue sky. It can be attractive, but to me, it is way too artificial.
    5. No battery can be added to extend recording time
    6. All input/output ports on the bottom of the cam. I do not know how I can use any ports including the Mic input simply because it cannot be used with the case. Also the cam cannot stand without the case, so I have no idea how to use the mic input or other ports while recording.
    7. No dedicated photo mode like GoPro. It has the interval (timelapse) mode where photos are limited to 1920×1080.
    8. Slower start up time.
    9. No adjustable beep volume on Start/Stop button. I need louder beep sound from the cam to acknowledged record start/stop when my recording environment is noisy.
    10. No underwater focus solution has been released yet. Sony will release the flat lens door in November as a part of the door pack. The pack will cost around $50.
    11. CA (Purple fringing) is pretty bad around corners especially in high contrast situations.
    12. I could be wrong, but I do not see PAL 25/50FPS options. Not that I care for my use.

    The reasons why I did not get the Wifi version:
    1. Higher price of course
    2. I cannot use Phones or Tablets to adjust the cam underwater or in extreme environment anyway.
    3. More battery consumption

    If I use the cam more above water, then I would get the Wifi version.

    Conclusion:
    I did not include GoPro Hero3 White Edition into this review because it would not be comparable that the white edition is the same old technology as Hero1.
    Sony Action Cam’s video IQ, SteadyShot, and image processor was the best among other competitors on land footage before Hero3 Black Edition came out. There are minor issues, but if Sony includes sound for 60fps and fix the underwater AWB, then I would go all the way with Sony Action Cam if you cannot afford Hero3 Black Edition.

    If you can afford GoPro Hero3 Black Edition, here is why I like the…

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  2. joshua says:
    71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Sony Action Cam vs Hero 2, September 26, 2012
    By 
    joshua

    This review is from: Action Video Camera from Sony HDR-AS15 (Black) (Electronics)

    Overall this is a great product at a great price. The camera captures good detail with accurate white balance, good color and saturation, and sharpness across the field of view. The steady shot works very well, and there is a definite improvement in low light detail and noise compared to competing cameras in this segment of the market. The wifi feature works as advertised and allows easy framing and control of the settings through an IOS or Android smart phone, although it can take a while to browse the content if you have a large number of photos or videos on the card.

    Pros:
    White balance and auto exposure are more accurate than the go pro hero HD or Hero 2. The gopros tend to have a warmer white balance and will over expose the sky when a person is slightly back lit. The Sony will slightly under expose back lit subjects and preserve highlight detail in the sky.

    The 4x slow motion works well and is smooth even when further slowed down in post. The image and individual frames maintain sharpness and their is no ghosting or other artifacts. Sony also writes the metadata tag so that the 120fps videos play back and drop into a 30fps timeline.

    The lens has much less barrel distortion than the gopros even at the 170 degree setting, and the Zeiss lens provides sharpness across the entire field of view.

    Cons:
    The still photo size is limited to 1920×1080 or 2MP only in the 16:9 aspect ratio, whereas the gopros offer 5mp, 8mp, and 11mp at 4:3 or 16:9. The gopros also offer a greater range of intervals at 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, and 60 seconds vs sony’s 5, 10, 30, 60.

    In the 720 / 60p and 720 / 120p modes there is no audio recorded as Sony write the metadata to play back at 30fps

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  3. SuperDad says:
    127 of 138 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Initial impressions a good start for Sony – Sony HDR-AS15, September 26, 2012
    By 

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Action Video Camera from Sony HDR-AS15 (Black) (Electronics)

    Customer Video Review Length:: 2:10 Mins

    Pros: Camera size (small), built-in Wireless WiFi for live video monitoring during recording, transfer to smart phone and computers without cabling. Free smartphone application. Included waterproof case with tripod mount and basic helmet / flat surface mounts. Built in microphone, microphone jack, HDMI output, price.

    Cons: Some controls are not accessible via the smartphone app, poor user manual (download the real one from sony support), microphone jack not accessible when camera is in its waterproof case, no means to connect to a tripod when not in waterproof case, No audio noted on smartphone app when doing live recording. (available on playback)

    Watch the video to see some examples of raw footage from the camera near dusk on the US West Coast. My apologies for doing too much panning in the video and the boring subject, although this was done on purpose to observe any video artifacts. This gives you a sense of the camera’s ability in low light conditions and also allows you to hear the microphone quality.

    I also include a timelapse test in the video. For this test, the battery lasted for 3 hours and 15 minutes for about 400 photos taken at 30 minute intervals. The camera was also set at the shortest time available before it goes to sleep. I had hoped for a 9 hour window due to less power required to take photos, but this was not the case. For this purpose then, the user will need to plug the camera into a USB charger or portable USB power pack. Unfortunately the USB connection is not accessible from the waterproof case and the camera will not “stand up” on its own due to its curved shape. (I’ll need to get a bit creative if using for this purpose) I notice that Sony has included a proprietary accessory port on the camera. Perhaps they will address this with a future accessory option.)

    The camera includes a waterproof case with a tripod mount and some additional mounts that are self-adhesive.

    Recording Media: Sony recommends Class 4 or better Micro SD cards (not included). Video is recorded in MP4 movie format.

    This is the WiFi model. I tested this with an iPhone4s (iOS6) and an iPad (iOS5). Both were able to connect to the device. The included instructions are terrible. If you don’t download the manual, you will have difficulty figuring out how to use the WiFI feature. Visit Sony’s website to download the handbook. [...]template_id=1®ion_id=1&tab=manuals#/manualsTab Once I read the online manual, I downloaded the PlayMemories Mobile app (iOS or Android). See page 39 of this handbook for instructions to enable the WiFi feature. It is NOT turned on by default.

    After turning on WiFi connecting to the camera (via password supplied as a sticker in the poorly written “operating guide”) the PlayMemories App launched and connected to the camera but threw an error. I could see the output video (good) but once I clicked “ok” on the error dialog box, the application would quit. If this happens to you, this is due to attempting to run the camera without a MicroSD card installed. Once the card is installed, the error goes away.

    The PlayMemories app can function as a remote and as a video viewfinder (be sure to set the camera remote function to on (see pg 22)) and select either interval or movie mode. In this mode you can start/stop recording and do some basic adjustments (recording quality, steadyshot on/off), etc.) but there are several functions that are only accessible via the camera itself. For example, you can’t change the interval delay setting from the smart phone. This is a bummer because it means you have to remove the camera from its waterproof protective housing (if you are using it) and then make these adjustments. The most useful feature of the remote app is likely its use as a viewfinder. I can see this being very helpful when shooting in auto racing situations for example because you could mount your smart phone in the vehicle and view what the camera sees without running any wires.

    When it comes time to get images or video off of the camera, you have a few options:

    1) Remove the micro-sd card and us a card reader on your computer
    2) Use the supplied USB cable to transfer
    3) Use the camera as a WiFi “hot spot” and browse to the files
    4) Use the PlayMemories app to transfer the files to your smart phone for viewing. I suppose you could then easily upload the result to youtube or the like, which I have done here: [...]
    I have tested options 2 – 4 above successfully.

    Sound: Sound recording is good through the built-in microphone (as you see in the clip). Having a built-in microphone jack is also a good bonus but unfortunately the waterproof case supplied by Sony does not have a means to get the audio cable outside of the housing when the camera is in the case. Hopefully there will be others that will supply a…

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