Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Adventure Tech: New Action Cameras Give Adventurers Alternatives to GoPro

As mentioned yesterday, the Consumer Electronics Show is set to begin in Las Vegas, with hundreds of new gadgets and high tech devices being shown off to the public for the first time. In addition to wearable technology taking center stage, there are also a number of new action cameras on display, giving adventurous filmmakers some true alternatives to the GoPro cameras that seem to have become ubiquitous over the past few years.

Yesterday, Sony unveiled the X100v, the next generation version of their popular Action Cam. This updated model is capable of shooting in 4K at 30 fps, as well as 1080p at 120 fps and 720p at an amazing 240 fps. That puts this camera on par with the new Hero 4 Black from GoPro. But Sony also claims their camera has improved image stabilization, a wider field of view, and improved noise reduction to cut back on the sound of the wind blowing through the microphone. The X100v will also have more manual controls over exposure and white balance as well, and the ability to automatically loop its recordings over the remaining free space on the microSD card in case you start to run low on storage. A new mobile app will also give users the ability to control multiple Sony Action Cams from their smartphone too.

The X100v will run $500 and will become available in February.

If you're looking for something a bit more affordable to record your outdoor adventures, than perhaps the new MHD 2.0 Action Camera from Monoprice will be more to your liking. It's specs are a bit more modest – capturing 1080p HD footage at 30 fps – but then again so is its price. This camera is just $89.99, and features a 170º ultra-wide field of view, a 2.5 hour battery life, and a 5 megapixel sensor. It is also waterproof down to 10 meters (33 feet) without the need for a separate enclosure, and is shock, dust, and freeze proof as well. It even ships with a handlebar mount for your bike so you can start capturing the action immediately.

The MHD 2.0 is available now.




Finally, check out the new Giroptic 360º Camera that promise to do something that neither GoPro nor Sony can match at the moment. This tiny device is capable of filming in a complete 360º circle – in HD resolutions no less – at the same time, ensuring that you never miss a shot. The camera is waterproof down to 10 meters as well and weighs just 6.3 ounces. It comes equipped with GPS for geotagging photos and video, a 185º fisheye lens, built-in Wi-Fi for streaming video and remote control, three microphones, image stabilization via a gyroscope, and a universal camera mount.

This device is capable of a number of very unique things, such as streaming realtime video via Wi-Fi, as well as capturing preset timelapse photos and shooting still shots in HDR. The camera can upload videos directly to YouTube and even Google StreetView. Its ability to shoot in 360º of rotation, as well a 300º up and down, makes it a great option for creating virtual reality films, and mobile apps are available for iOS and Android, with desktop software available for Mac and PC. There is even software that supports the Oculus Rift.

This camera will run $499 and will be available by spring.

As you can see, there are some interesting new options for budding filmmakers, with some powerful tools available at prices that would have seemed unattainable just a few years ago.


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