Dirt Rag Magazine

First Look: Sony Action Cam Mini


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Bottle cap for perspective. This thing is small.

A few weeks ago Sony invited us out to New Jersey to check out its new Action Cam Mini, a slimmed down version of the successful AS100 series Action Cam, which isn’t exactly a big camera either.

The new smaller camera still packs the same sensor and Zeiss lens as its predecessor. The battery and small display screen are even smaller on the Mini Cam as well, though the smaller screen cuts down on-screen info to just battery life, memory card error warning and wi-fi settings. There is a small red LED on the back of the camera that glows when recording, but it can be hard to see in direct sunlight.

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A basic rundown of features from Sony’s website:

  • Sony’s smallest splash-proof Action Cam
  • SteadyShot™ image stabilization conquers bumps and blur
  • Control Action Cam via phone1 or up to 5 w/ Live-View Remote
  • Five video modes (1080/60p and 2x slow motion)
  • Built-In stereo mic for quality sound recording
  • Broadcast your video live via Ustream as it happens
  • Ultra wide up to 170 degree pro quality Zeiss lens
  • Exmor R CMOS sensor for excellent low light performance
  • Capture amazing high quality 11.9MP still images in photo mode
  • Ruggedized, waterproof housing with universal tripod mount included

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I also used the Live View Remote, a wrist mounted wi-fi remote control. Besides acting as viewfinder, it also controls all functions of the camera. A cell phone app is available as well, and functions quite well, even on my older Android phone.

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I shot a lot of mountain bike footage, and besides showing me riding like a chach, it also exposed my laptop’s weakness: the lack of a proper video card to be able to edit true HD video in any kind of professional fashion. Something to keep in mind while shooting video for those of us out there without the latest hardware.

We spend some time on an archery range as well, and the new Mini Cam is light enough to mount to an arrow. After quite a few attempts, I managed the shot below:

The camera itself is splash-proof, but both the $349 kit (with camera and live view remote) and the basic $299 camera package include a waterproof case with a universal tripod mount on the bottom.

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The tiny size of this camera should open up even more mounting locations, including tucked under a full-face helmet visor, a placement that was visible on quite a few riders at the recent Red Bull Rampage. Tony Hawk is mounting an Action Cam Mini under his skateboard deck for an interesting perspective as well.

Here’s a bird flying around Paris:

There are tons of mounts available including the expected handlebar and chest mounts, but also a mount for your dog, a great universal head mount that works on all kinds of hemts and bare heads, and suction cup, stick-on, and rollbar mounts as well.

Check out Sony’s website for more info or to purchase direct: www.actioncambysony.com

Stay tuned, we have Shimano’s new video camera and hope to get a hold of a new Go-Pro soon as well, so expect more in-depth reviews after we put them through their paces.

 

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