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Manufactured by Sony
- Can shoot stabilized 4K video
- Balanced Optical SteadyShot technology is amazing
- Water-resistant out of the box
- Comes with a waterproof casing too
- No screen present on the action cam
- Might be difficult to keep inside pockets due to the lens placement.
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- CURRENT PRICE $549.99
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Sony FDR-X3000 Review
Sony has finally done it. They’ve managed to make an action camera that can easily take on the GoPro Hero5. Their all new FDR-X3000 action camera packs in quite a few things that the GoPro misses out on and it is sure to lure in all the action-cam enthusiasts. It is the first ever action camera that can shoot stabilized 4K video. Mind you, this is not digital stabilization but a new technology that Sony has used. It is dubbed as Balanced Optical SteadyShot (or B.O.S.S.) and it generates extremely stabilized footage that will blow you away. It is the first time that Sony has used this technology in one of their cameras.
So, is the Sony FDR-X3000 the best action camera out there? Can it rival the GoPro Hero5? The initial impressions are promising and it looks like GoPro may have very strong competition from Sony. So let’s head straight into the in-depth review of the Sony FDR-X3000 action cam.
GoPro Hero5 rival from Sony, the all new FDR-X3000 that can shoot stabilized 4K video
Box contents and design
The box pack of the FDR-X3000 comes with a lot of stuff. It might confuse a newbie but enthusiasts will not have any trouble in figuring it out. The box highlights the specifications of the camera and it is very similar to that of the GoPro Hero5. Now for the contents of the box, it comes with a tripod mount, a clip mount, a charging dock and a watch attachment for the live remote, a USB cable, NP-BX1 battery, the live remote itself and the FDR-X3000 in a dive unit.
All these accessories come inside the box and Sony may release a unit without the live remote that costs less. Coming to the device itself, it has a different design approach comparing to the GoPros. The lens is placed in the front and it looks a lot like a mini handycam. There is a small display on the right hand site which can be used for viewing the settings and other minor details.
The tiny display on the left-hand side shows quite a few important details
There is no live feed on the FDR-X3000 and that is where the live remote comes in. The live remote is a small display unit that can be connected to up to three devices simultaneously. You can alternately go for a smartphone that can be used to connect up to five action cameras at once. The advantage with the live remote is that it uses very less space and can be easily mounted on the action camera and other accessories that come with it.
Performance and Features
When Sony claimed that the FDR-X3000 could capture stabilized 4K video, everyone was a bit skeptical about it. But once you turn on this bad boy, all your apprehensions will be cleared. The visuals are extremely good that words can’t describe them enough. It is definitely much superior compared to the GoPro Hero5. This might sound a bit technical, but the GoPro captures videos at 60 Mb/s which is too low for 4K videos. In comparison, the Sony FDR-X3000 captures videos at a whopping 100 Mb/s. This action camera can easily shoot 4K at 30fps, full HD at 120fps and 720p at 240fps. It has everything that you need. The camera is also water-resistant out of the box and also comes with an external dive unit.
The image on the right shows the stability of the FDR-X3000 against a non-stabilized action cam
The action camera can further be made waterproof to up to 60m with the external dive unit and this can be used to shoot underwater footage without any issues. The underwater housing can also be used when shooting outside water as it makes the camera shock and dust resistant.
The most vital feature of the FDR-X3000, which can be a groundbreaking addition, is their brand new Balanced Optical SteadyShot system. This is their very own optical image stabilization technology that does not use a gimbal but moves the lens itself to counter the sudden jerks and vibrations. This is an ingenious technology developed by Sony and kudos to them for bringing it to an action cam.
Below is an image comparison of the conventional electronic image stabilization versus the Balanced Optical SteadyShot technology. Electronic Image Stabilization basically uses electronic processing methods to reduce blurring due to shakes. B.O.S.S., on the other hand, is a mechanical method that moves the lens to counteract the shakes in order to produce stabilized footage.
Electronic Image Stabilization versus Balanced Optical SteadyShot
The FDR-X3000 uses the Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor which captures some brilliant footage in low light as well as well-lit conditions. There is also a ZEISS lens which is a clear indication that Sony has not compromised on any aspect. This action cam ticks all the right boxes and is on its way to becoming the best one out there.
We started off this review with the question, is the Sony FDR-X3000 the best action camera out there? And the answer to that question is a mighty yes. It is an amazing action camera and the features that it provides are no match for its competitors. There is no other action camera that can capture stabilized 4K video and Sony has managed to do it with this one. The camera also records videos at higher bitrates ensuring extremely high-quality footage. The design is one aspect that may require some getting used to. Fans of GoPro might find a lot of issues with this one, but to be honest, it is just too good for the GoPro Hero5.
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- The Sony FDR-X3000 is manufactured by Sony and was added in September 2016 in the Action Camera section
- This product has a rating of 4.5 out of 5
- The best price of the Sony FDR-X3000 in Canada is $549.99 at Henrys
- In Canada this product is available in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa-Gatineau
- You can find this product at Dell.ca, Henrys, B&H Photo