If there was ever a camera type that desperately needed optical image stabilization, it's action cams. Oddly, though, it hasn't been available until now on the new 4K-resolution Sony Action Cam X3000R and full HD AS300.
The cameras were announced earlier this year for other regions, including the UK and Australia, but they are now making their way to the US. While Sony and others have had electronic image stabilization (EIS) in the tiny, mountable cameras, EIS typically hurts image quality, narrows the field of view and reduces resolution.
Sony's BOSS system, which stands for Balanced Optical SteadyShot, joins the camera's lens and image sensor into one unit that moves together to compensate for camera shake. Since it's mechanical and not electronic, you get the full view from its 17mm ultrawide-angle lens (35mm equivalent) and in 4K or full HD.
The two new cameras can be paired with an updated version of Sony's Live-View Remote that the electronics giant says is 30 percent smaller than the previous model. The remote gives you a view from the camera and full controls, which now includes being able to power the camera on and off using low-power Bluetooth. Sony also improved the interface and menu system and added a high-power Wi-Fi mode so the remote can be used from greater distances from the camera.
The 4K Sony FDR-X3000 arrives in late September for $400 or $550 bundled with the Live-View Remote (as the X3000R). The full HD HDR-AS300 is $300 for the body only or $450 with the remote. Pricing for the X3000 bundle in the UK is £500 and AU$650 in Australia. The AS300 bundle in Australia is AU$500, but is currently not listed for availability in the UK.