Best image stabilising comes from Sony

With the Sony FDR-X3000R, the photo quality is equally stellar with great dynamic range and accurate rendition of colours.
With the Sony FDR-X3000R, the photo quality is equally stellar with great dynamic range and accurate rendition of colours.PHOTO: SONY

The Sony FDR-X3000R 4K action camera kit comes with the Live-View Remote RM-LVR3 (with a wristband) and an underwater housing for down to 60m in water resistance.

There is an FDR-X3000 version, which is essentially the same model but without the remote and is $100 cheaper. I would recommend paying the extra $100 for the FDR-X3000R version.

Unlike the boxy designs of many action cameras, the FDR-X3000R looks like a miniature camcorder without the flip-out display.

Instead, it has only a monochrome display on its right side to show vital information such as shooting mode, battery indicator and number of frames left. Thus, it is better to have the wristband remote to know what you are shooting.

Beside the display, you will find the Previous and Next buttons as well as the Menu one. On its top is a Record/Enter button in the centre, and a Power button close to the rear of the camera.

While the live remote allows you to take a photo or start video recording easily, it does not allow you to access settings such as formatting an SD card. You still need to use the physical buttons to navigate.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $799 (with live remote)

    IMAGE SENSOR: 8 megapixels

    LENS' FIELD OF VIEW: 170 degrees

    DISPLAY: Remote 1.5-inch display

    WATER RESISTANCE: 60m (with waterproof casing)

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

    WEIGHT: 46g (body only)


    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

 

And it will take a while for you to familiarise yourself to use these buttons to navigate the menu. As the Record button is also the Enter button, there are times when I keep pressing the Menu button instead to enter a setting.

Operation of this camera is pretty fast. Powering up the camera takes only 1.5sec, while shutting it down takes just 1.1sec.

Powering up the live remote takes around 1sec, but connecting it to the camera requires another 1sec or 2sec.

The 4K video quality is excellent, with sharp rendition of pixels and vivid colours. The image stabilisation (IS) works really well without any major jerks or shakes.

Obviously, the IS will not help if you are in a jeep riding on a rough terrain. But for cycling and walking, it is like using a dolly on tracks. Overall, I think it has the best image stabilisation in this roundup.

The photo quality is equally stellar, with great dynamic range and accurate rendition of colours.

But, like most action cameras, the videos and still images shot at night display many noise artefacts.

Trevor Tan

• Verdict: The Sony FDR-X3000R might be a little pricey, but its great image stabilisation and superb image quality will win you over.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2016, with the headline 'Best image stabilising comes from Sony'. Print Edition | Subscribe