The Good The Sony Action Cam is a good entry in the POV camera market that includes a waterproof case with a standard tripod mount; is available with or without Wi-Fi; has a small, lightweight body; and offers a decent number of recording options.
The Bad Video quality is disappointing viewed at larger sizes; can't rotate lens or flip video 180 degrees; camera can't stand on its own and can't easily be used without a door on its case; no access to mic jack when inside case; no still photos beyond interval shots; and additional purchases almost required.
The Bottom Line The Sony Action Cam is a solid first effort and worth its price, but some design shortcomings may be enough to put off some potential buyers.
Good, but not without its issues
The action cam market is dominated by companies that don't have a history of making other types of cameras. There is no GoPro point-and-shoot or Contour digital SLR. So, when a manufacturer like Sony gets into the market, it's reasonable to think it might be able to make a great POV camcorder, at least in terms of video quality.
Its first efforts in the category, the Sony Action Cam HDR-AS10 and HDR-AS15 (the AS15 has built-in Wi-Fi, the AS-10 does not), make a good initial impression, too. That impression doesn't hold up after use, though.
Maybe Sony was trying to stay below a certain price or wanted the camera to be as small and light as possible. Whatever the reason, in design and usability the Action Cam falls shy of models both above and below its price level. That said, it does offer some nice features, especially if you opt for the Wi-Fi-enabled AS15, and video is on par with that of similarly priced models, though it's best suited for small-screen viewing.
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