The Sony HDR AS15 Action Cam with WiFi - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 49 Old 09-24-2012, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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This new tiny cam has a combination of unique features not found on regular camcorders (but some are found on competing action cams). The main ones are:

1. A very wide-angle lens - 15mm (35mm-equivalent).

2. It does interval recording - takes stills at intervals you set from 1 every 5 seconds to one every minute. The stills are 1920x1080, just like video frames. So you can do 1080p time lapse videos, leaving the camera on for hours as it snaps away.

3. It does half-speed slo mo at 60fps 720p and quarter-speed slo mo at 120fps 720p - HD slo mo.

4. With the built in wi fi you can control the camera from your iphone, ipad or android phone or tablet - you can change the settings, view what the camera sees, and start and stop shooting from your device over wifi (it is a direct connection, no need for internet access).

I found it has a clean HDMI out, so you could attach a high bitrate recorder to bypass the camcorders compression.

Here is a first try at a time-lapse video, taken in an airport terminal and at Trafalgar Square in heavy rain (the camera comes with a waterproof case):

Select 1080p.

Each scene represents one half hour of action, reduced to 10-12 seconds each! You can see I did not set the camera quite straight up in the Trafalgar scene. You an also see the result of the wide (170 degrees) view - curves at edges, including that famous column. But it's a fun video.

So, you do not have to be a X-games participant or skydiver to get something from such a camera.
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post #2 of 49 Old 09-25-2012, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Another time-lapse video from the AS15:



Select 1080p.

This has better lighting than the other two.
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post #3 of 49 Old 09-25-2012, 07:06 PM
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a diy open mount for as15

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okGwrvwERdQ
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post #4 of 49 Old 09-26-2012, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Another time-lapse video: The Strand, London at rush hour and dusk:




Select 1080p.
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post #5 of 49 Old 09-26-2012, 07:50 PM
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this is def on my list of cams to get next spring. things i dont get tho:

releasing at the end of the summer confused.gif

16mp sensor and only 2mp stills (rest used for steadyshot?)

no 1080 60p, i was very surprised by this

720 60p & 720 120p both record as 30p.i dont get why they do this. id like to have it just output a 60p and 120p file and let me use a slow motion tool in an editor

no steadyshot at 720 120p
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post #6 of 49 Old 09-27-2012, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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While the camera's availability was delayed, a very nice thing is that almost all the accessories were available at the same time as the camera came out and, more impressively, the software that enables viewing and remote controlling the camera via wifi on both iPhones and Android phones and tablets is also available and works fine. GoPro still has not fully implemented their wifi remote capability.

The 2MP stills I think is because the action cam is *not* a stills camera - the stills are to create time-lapse videos, so each still is really a 1080p video frame. A 12-second 1080 30 fps time-lapse video (5 shots per minute) requires 360 stills. That means a 36-second time-lapse video requires over a Gigabyte of 2 MB stills. The availability of the 16 megapixels on the sensor, as you say, allows the digital stabilization as well as changes in the field of view (170 versus 120). It still seems to be more pixels than is needed; maybe they wanted to use an existing camera sensor (seems to be the same as the one used in the Hx9v).
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post #7 of 49 Old 09-27-2012, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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One unique feature of the Sony Action Cam - I know of no other camera that has this capability - it can use two battery types: either Sony's 'G' battery (like that used in the Hx9v and Hx20v) *or* Sony's new 'X' battery (used by the RX100). The camera comes with two cradles, one for each battery type. The camera comes with the 'X' battery (which has a larger capacity than the 'G' battery). I have used both battery types. This is good news for owners of Sony cameras.
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post #8 of 49 Old 09-27-2012, 08:45 PM
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Good thinking on Sony's part. Battery incompatibility between similar cameras from the same manufacturer is the bane of the upgrader's existence smile.gif

Panasonic is terrible on this - the GH1, GH2, and GH3 all have different batteries, for example.

There is one other manufacturer, however, that allows the use of two different types of batteries - Pentax K-r and K-30 owners can use standard AA cells as an alternative to Pentax-branded batteries with a $30 adapter.

Cheers,

Bill
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post #9 of 49 Old 09-27-2012, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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That's interesting. But now that Sony cameras/camcorders can be powered/charged by usb, one can use some standard AA battery packs that put out 500mA or more from a usb port to run the camera. Connected by usb, of course, is not the same as a AA battery pack that fits in the camera. Sony P&S cameras are too small to ingest AA's internally.
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post #10 of 49 Old 09-29-2012, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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High bitrate shooting with the AS15. The Sony HDR AS15 puts out a clean HDMI signal including the sound from the microphone, which means you can record externally. I recorded with the Atomos Ninja2 using 144Mbps Pro Res. The camera was recording at its native MP4 at 16Mbps. Both recorded at 108030p. The uploaded file that contains both types of recordings (two scenes) is MP4 108030p at bitrate 26Mbps (combined in Vegas Pro). Thus you can see if there is a quality change if the bitrate were higher than what the camera uses. The internally recorded clip precedes the Pro Res clip for each scene. See any difference?




Choose 1080p.
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post #11 of 49 Old 10-03-2012, 07:44 AM
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For a few reasons I think I am going to sell my GoPro Hero 2 and equipment and get one of these Sonys instead.

The reasons:
1. The whole GoPro thing with the WiFi app 'coming soon' has left a bad taste in my mouth.
When I first bought the GoPro and then the wifi bac pac I didnt know that GoPro had a history of making
promises and not keeping them. As I bought the wifi the gopro website said app available early august.
I paid my $100 and then watched it change to late august, then September, then 'Fall', without a month listed.
Now they have removed some of the available features that they originally said were going to be part
of the wifi app when (if) it ever gets released, and those were features I bought the bac pac for.

2. Its nice that the sony has the wifi built in....with the gopro you have to charge the camera and the
wifi bacpac seperately. You also have to charge the remote for the wifi bacpac seperately...and the
remote will run out of power long before the gopro with extra batteries...rendering it useless before
the gopro, since you can switch batteries out as needed.

3. The form factor of the Sony makes more sense to me.

4. Steadyshot may be a nice feature.

Revo Ion...XBMC For Windows...Dharma RC2
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post #12 of 49 Old 10-05-2012, 04:16 PM
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Here's a great comparison of the gp & the ac - using a multirotor platform.

Photos: bad CA on the AC
Video: stabilization works!

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1741513&highlight=soni+action+cam
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post #13 of 49 Old 10-06-2012, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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There are lots of comparison videos now of the GoPro HD 2 and the Sony Action cam

It is clear in all of them the Sony has higher resolution, better color, and better audio. It also performs much better
in low light.


Here is one example (good light):

Select 1080p



Here is another:

Select 1080p.
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post #14 of 49 Old 10-07-2012, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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An early morning time-lapse cloud video (one hour of shooting collapsed to 24 seconds):


Select 1080p.

End of the day time-lapse video (1.5 hours of shooting collapsed to 38 seconds):




Select 1080p.
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post #15 of 49 Old 10-09-2012, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Morning Time-Lapse Video from Grand Central Terminal, NYC.

One of the darkest and busiest main trains stations in the world. This was at a non rush hour:



Select 1080p.
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post #16 of 49 Old 10-11-2012, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

That's interesting. But now that Sony cameras/camcorders can be powered/charged by usb, one can use some standard AA battery packs that put out 500mA or more from a usb port to run the camera. Connected by usb, of course, is not the same as a AA battery pack that fits in the camera. Sony P&S cameras are too small to ingest AA's internally.

Hey Mark, just found this thread via a Google search.

I see above you said that the cameras can be run with USB power. Have you figured out a way? I haven't delved too much into the menus besides messing around a bit, but I did a time lapse last night (10 second interval, 170*), and the battery was fully dead in exactly 3 hours to the minute. WiFi was on, which I should turn off next time, but I'd love to be able to hook it up to a unit like the Vagabond Mini Lithium from Paul Buff and power the thing for 24 hours (or until the memory is filled up -- 40,000 shots on a 32GB card).

This is the Vagabond Mini, which I've got a couple of for my still photo work:

http://www.paulcbuff.com/vm120.php

Anyhow, have you had any luck shooting with the camera while powered via external USB input?

Thanks!
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post #17 of 49 Old 10-11-2012, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I have done this for camorders, but not yet with the AS15. I will test. But what is true for Sony's regular camcorders is that to shoot video with the camcorder while powered by usb the amps provided must be at least 1500mA, not just the 500mA need to charge the battery while off.

For the AS15, another issue is how to hold the camera in place with the bottom door open to receive the usb power. WiFi, btw, will really eat up battery life.
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post #18 of 49 Old 10-11-2012, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

I have done this for camorders, but not yet with the AS15. I will test. But what is true for Sony's regular camcorders is that to shoot video with the camcorder while powered by usb the amps provided must be at least 1500mA, not just the 500mA need to charge the battery while off.
For the AS15, another issue is how to hold the camera in place with the bottom door open to receive the usb power. WiFi, btw, will really eat up battery life.

I figured WiFi was really eating up the battery. Will try again tonight, setting the camera up later and turning off WiFI.

The Vagabond Mini packs have a ton of juice so putting out 1500mA shouldn't be a problem, it's finding a USB charger that pushes more than 500mA which seems to be the challenge!

I have tons and tons of mount options, so I'm not terribly worried about that aspect...I've even got an idea of how to charge while it's in the waterproof housing.
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post #19 of 49 Old 10-11-2012, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Sony makes a battery charger that is also an AC source for usb: the BC-TRX. It charges the battery that the AS15 uses *and*, with the flick of a switch it becomes a regular wall wart putting out 1500mA through a usb cable (which is included).

http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921666458996
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post #20 of 49 Old 10-11-2012, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Sony makes a battery charger that is also an AC source for usb: the BC-TRX. It charges the battery that the AS15 uses *and*, with the flick of a switch it becomes a regular wall wart putting out 1500mA through a usb cable (which is included).
http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921666458996

Too cool! Thanks for that!

It just remains to be seen if there's a way to use the camera while powered from USB!
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post #21 of 49 Old 10-11-2012, 12:31 PM
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Oops, double post!
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post #22 of 49 Old 10-11-2012, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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"It just remains to be seen if there's a way to use the camera while powered from USB!" Yes

I powered the AS15 by usb from a 1500mA source and I could turn on wifi, watch and control the camera via my Android cell phone and shot 108030p video (170). I did not try this for hours, but the camera was clearly being powered and no battery icon was showing. And I could leave the camera in the 'on' state, with wifi enabled, without it automatically powering down, as it would as the default in battery mode.

So, yes, it looks like you can shoot indefinitely with usb-connectecd 1500mA power.


Now what is your solution for doing so and having a stand for the camera?
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post #23 of 49 Old 10-11-2012, 03:20 PM
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Perfect! That's good to know.

My first thought for charging in the housing would be to drill a hole in the housing, plug in the cable, and seal it with some silicone. Obviously you'd have to leave the camera in the housing permanently or re-do the silicone seal every time you put the camera in. Doesn't seem too practical. I'm going to have to think more about what might work for that.

For mounting outside of the housing, I thought I would just gently clamp the camera in a Super Clamp. I haven't tried it yet, but I can't imagine anything wrong with the idea...
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post #24 of 49 Old 10-15-2012, 03:12 PM
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Which USB 1500mA source did you use? It appears that the iPad charging "brick" is capable of outputting 1500mA, though I can't confirm this...
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post #25 of 49 Old 10-15-2012, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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post #26 of 49 Old 10-21-2012, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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A video road test: the Sony Action Cam mounted on a sports car versus a camcorder mounted inside

First, the Sony Action Cam, mounted by suction cup on the outside of a turbocharged sports car. Stabilization was turned on in 108030p mode. The Sony Action Cam was inside the waterproof case, closed front. Fall day, with some fall colors.

Then the same journey using a good-quality HD camcorder, mounted (loosely) inside the same car, using optical stabilization, active mode and 108060p.

The quality of the videos is not that different. The dynamic range and autoexposure of the camcorder is somewhat better. The sound of the Action Cam is surprisingly good, picking up the rumbling sound of the engine much more than wind noise, though a little rattling in the case is heard. The stabilization (a very bumpy road), did well too.

Edited in Sony Vegas Pro, combining the 108030p Action Cam clip with the 108060p camcorder clip. Outputted 108030p MP4 clip uploaded to Youtube.





Choose 1080p.
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post #27 of 49 Old 10-22-2012, 08:24 AM
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Mark , what kind of car was that . In the first half i could have swore it was a motorcycle cause of the sound and the way the gears changed .
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post #28 of 49 Old 10-22-2012, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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The difference in sound was due to the location of the cameras - in the first part the camera was mounted outside over the right front of the engine hood; for the second part, the camera was inside.

Suburu WRX.
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post #29 of 49 Old 11-20-2012, 01:44 PM
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Does this camcorder have the ability to stream live to the web?
im thinking of starting a business and need this ability
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post #30 of 49 Old 03-30-2013, 06:37 AM
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Just got a HRD-AS15. Wondering what card to use? the SDHC or a SDXC. Will it make any difference to recording quality?
My previous experience has been with Sony Lipstick Cam recording to mini Dv . These are just so much more compact and No wires everywhere.
At the moment i'm just using a class 4 card to play with but know I need a class 10. But which one?
Thanks.
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