Sony showed us what it had in store for the action camera market earlier in the year, but someone has been playing with the cameras for even longer, as professional skateboarder Tony Hawk details what life is like shot through a Sony 4K Action Cam.
Action sports aficionados are about to have a new toy to play with, as Sony gets its competitor to the GoPro Hero 4 Black ready, coming in the form of a new action camera that can grab recordings of 4K Ultra High Definition video, and even let you shoot some lower definition video on the go.
The camera looks a little like a tiny Handycam, and will be light, sturdy, controllable from either an app or a remote screen you can wear on your wrist, and will include Sony’s Advanced SteadyShot technology to stabilise what you capture and see later on, providing an algorithm that can work out what to do with the shake from bicycle mounts, board mounts, and even a drone mount.
And Sony has even enlisted a well known skate- and snowboarder to test this all, with Tony Hawk telling GadgetGuy that the camera has performed like a dream for him thus far.
“I got one of the first samples out of Japan, so I got to take it on my trips right through New Years,” said Hawk to a small group of journalists in Sydney this week.
“I went to the snow, I went to the surf, I did some skating and it performed well every time. Any lighting, even in the water, I’ve never shot anything in 4K before,” he said, adding “as soon as yo hit go, everything is perfect.”
The camera can be set to record in more than just 4K, with 1080p Full HD possible at 120 frames per second, while 720p HD scores a slow-motion friendly 240 frames per second. However, if you decide to go for the luxury of 4K, you not only get the full detail, but also the ability to grab 8 megapixel frames out of the video, which is something Hawk uses a lot of.
“Before, if you were shooting HD and you took a frame grab, you could still see the artefacts if you were putting it on Instagram, but not in 4K,” said Hawk. “Sometimes, instead of trying to get a photo, I just shoot, a video of the trick and take the best frame out of it.”
Durability is also key, as Hawk told us later on, because if you’re strapping this to the front of a snowboard or the bottom of a skateboard, you’re going to want to make sure it can survive your handiwork.
“I’ve put it on the bottom of my board and misjudged a grind, and I’ve slid on the camera,” he said. “On one, I sacrificed the lens and that was it. I haven’t had one break with the functionality.”
If all else fails, there’s the selfie stick, with Sony supporting the camera through its own monopole that you can hold up, which Tony says works better if held in the back hand.