Sony upgrades Action Cam, lightens load on a mirrorless

It’s nice to see some cool developments happening in the world of digital cameras, and this year at CES, Sony has at least two for you to see.

This year, the electronics giant is thinking of those who like to engage in action, and even carry a camera everywhere they go without realising they’re weighing down their body.

We’ll start with the action camera, though, because that’s exactly what it’s called: the Sony Action Cam.

It’s an update on last year’s model, and brings with a upgraded 170 degree angle lens, for wide-angle shooting, and a 13.5 megapixel Exmor R CMOS imaging sensor, working alongside the BIONZ X image processor for what Sony says is “picture quality that’s better than ever.”

High-bit rate recording is also possible here, up to 50Mbps, though for those who don’t need it, you can switch to slo-mo (slow motion) video shooting at either 120 or 240 frames per second, with regular speed possible for playback, too.

We’re told the new Action Cam is a little bit more resistant than the previous generation, with a splash-proof body, though it still comes with an external transparent casing (above) if you’re planning on taking the camera diving, so that’s positive too, and some of Sony’s Advanced SteadyShot technology will keep blur out of the video, too.

One of the cooler features, though, seems to be that the new model comes with the Live-View Remote wrist-watch system, which can also control up to five Action Cam cameras from a wrist.

Pricing in Australia hasn’t been announced just yet, though Sony has said it will be coming to Australia in March this year.

Now, if you don’t really care about taking your camera into sporting environments, but do want something lightweight and powerful, Sony is showing off the world’s lightest interchangeable-lens digital camera.

Another of this week’s announcements, the Sony A5000 is a 20.1 megapixel camera capable of taking lenses from Sony’s NEX E-mount.

This newbie manages to hit the scales at 210 grams without a lens or battery, making it marginally less than HTC’s One Max, which is impressive, to say the least.

The camera still comes with a built-in flash, an APS-C sensor (which is on-par, at least sensor-size-wise, with the sensors used in DSLRs that aren’t full frame), and a tilting multi-view LCD screen that can even be flipped so that people can see it when they’re looking straight down the barrel of the camera.

Low light images are possible up to ISO 16000, though it’s ISO100 to 6400 natively, and both RAW and JPEG images can be shot here.

Near-Field Communication and WiFi are also supported, making it easy for Android smartphones and tablets to find the camera and transfer files over wirelessly, as well as control the camera like a remote viewfinder from afar.

All up, the Sony A5000 looks like a neat entrant in the compact system camera space, and with a March 2014 release in Australia, we’re looking very forward to playing with it.