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First Look: Sony's Action Cam is hit-and-miss

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First Look: Sony's Action Cam is hit-and-miss

2:05 /

Though it has good features and specs for its price, the tiny POV camera's design and performance is a bit of a letdown.

Hi. I'm Josh Goldman with CNET and this is a look at Sony's first crack at making a tiny POV camera, the appropriately named Action Cam. As you can see it's a pretty small device and it's very lightweight and pretty slippery unfortunately, but on the back you have a door with a big record button and that slides open to reveal the removable battery and memory card slot. And then on the bottom you have various jacks including one for an external mic and one that lets you pop the camera into a cradle with a 2.7-inch screen so you can shoot with it like a regular camcorder. However because of the curved body there's no way to stand the camera up on its own and you'll need to put it into its waterproof case to use it with a tripod or one of the two adhesive mounts that come with the camera. The front of the case is removable, perhaps a little too easily removable and can be replaced with a flat lens door for diving or one with 2 holes in front for the stereo mics. The door it comes with blocks those mics since its waterproof and you really can't use it without the door or it'll just fall out and you can't start and stop recordings either without pushing it in. Basically for everything that's good about the design, there's something not to like. And the same can be said about the video quality. In general it's good to very good, but lens flare and fringing and some significant artifacting with complex scenes or fast movement make it best for viewing in small sizes. Lastly, there are 2 versions, one with Wi-Fi and one without. The Wi-Fi lets you connect to smart devices not only for transfers and uploads but for controlling the camera too which is worth the extra money. All in all, not a bad first go with the category for Sony, but there's definitely room for improvement. I'm Josh Goldman and that's the Sony Actin Cam.

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