What I want in a rugged sports camera: High definition (to see every detail), a waterproof case (so I don’t have to worry about taking a dip), a slim and stylish body (to match my own!) and probably some other things I never thought of yet.
And here comes the Sony HDR-AS10 HD Action Camcorder, which takes care of all of these bullet points, including the last one.
What’s the mystery feature? A super-fast frame rate. No jaggy slo-mo here: the Action Cam shoots 720p at 120fps. Slow that down to a TV-standard 30fps and you get quarter-speed slow motion, all without jerks or stutters (unless your sports companions are morons with speech impediments). Shoot at regular speed and you get 1080p.
Instead of being merely waterproof, the Action Cam comes with a waterproof housing, good for down to 60 meters (197 feet), and weighs a featherweight 90 grams (just over three ounces). The lens is a Carl Zeiss Tessar which shoots a 170˚ field of view, the sound is stereo, the start/stop button is huge and you shoot to regular SD cards.
The price for this pocket wonder? A mere $200, which puts this squarely into GoPro territory. In fact, I’d pick this one, all other stuff being equal. Why? Because I missed an entry on my list at the top of the post. I also want my cameras to be cool-looking, so I don’t look like a dork. And the GoPro, great as it is, is a dorkathon waiting for the starter pistol.