GoPro used to be the default action camera choice for years. But now, Sony has launched its own product in this category that looks like a genuine GoPro alternative. We look at the features of the GoPro Hero 3+ Black and the Sony Action Cam AS100V to help you decide which one will work better for you.
There is little to choose between the two cameras when it comes to image quality. Sony’s images are sharper, while GoPro’s images are crisper. Sony’s default color mode option is Vivid which provides cool saturated colors. GoPro’s images are warmer and look more natural. In low-light, Sony scores with its better exposure and color.
GoPro is the winner in this category. Sony claims its camera is waterproof up to a depth of 16 feet. But its housing gets affected by water droplets that stick to the lens and mar images. GoPro shakes off water more easily.
The Sony camera’s surf mount is a problem that the company acknowledges and is working on. GoPro’s mounting is more sturdy, though Sony offers more options.
Sony’s menu layout is easy to navigate compared to GoPro. It has two buttons (up and down) for navigation compared to GoPro’s one.
But Sony’s record button is harder to press, and the recording indicator light has been kept on the camera top, so you do not know if it is on while looking at the camera. The light is also quite dim making it to difficult to determine if it is on. The record sound is also too quiet making it hard to know if the camera is rolling or not.
Sony is the clear winner in this category. GoPro’s Hero 3+ has an upgraded mic but still cannot beat Sony’s audio prowess. Comparatively, Sony’s sound is louder and clearer, making you immerse wholly in the footage.
Professionals can shoot at higher bitrates using these modes. GoPro offers Protune mode with a bitrate up to 35 Mbps to enable professionals to do advanced grading of the images. GoPro uses this mode for all its ads. So, if you have the talent and time, you can produce stunning footage with this GoPro feature.
Sony ramps up its Pro Mode bitrate to up to 50Mbps. You can shoot stunning colors and use the image correction offered by the basic mode. There is no need to manually sharpen the images. A major difference is you need a more expensive micro SD card to use the Pro Mode in Sony, while you can use GoPro’s Protune mode with a standard micro SD card.
GoPro provides many more shooting options such as wide, extra-wide and squarer dimensions at a range of different frame rates. You can shoot in the Super Mode to get more image in the shot. The medium and narrow FOV modes remove image distortion completely.
Sony offers a more limited range of shooting options. If you want to shoot a cinematic look at 24 fps, you need to use the Pro Mode which needs a more expensive micro SD card. Thus, GoPro offers a more flexible range of shooting modes for the lay consumer.
The Hero 3+ Black kit, that includes remote control, costs $400. Sony Action Cam AS100V’s standard kit is just $270, but if you want a remote control, the price ramps up to $370.
To sum up, GoPro’s strengths are good image and audio quality, waterproof housing, and better mounting options and shooting modes.
Sony scores with its excellent audio and image quality, and longer battery life. Extra features are Wi-Fi and built-in GPS. Thus, the Sony Action Cam AS100V is certainly a legitimate competitor to the established GoPro.
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