Sony Action Cam Review

I get it.

This is an 'Action Cam' so the point of this "Prove Yourself: Take Your Adventures to New Heights" campaign is to demonstrate the image quality and capability in capturing adrenaline pumping high impact activities.

However, after much thoughts and planning, I decided to do a range of activities that allowed me to test the camera's capability in different scenes/environments. What I, the ordinary home-user, am looking for in a POV camera is its capability to capture life moments with quality images.

My birthday getaway video which sums up my three months of
adventures with the boast-worthy Action Cam

There were other factors I was judging the Action Cam on i.e. durability, battery life, ease of use etc.

So for those who have been following my adventure stories for the past three months, you have probably read my raving reviews about the 4K Action Cam FDR-X1000VR so this is pretty much a recap of all that has been said.

My review is based on a POV-camera-idiot home-user and not as a professional. This is my first time owning a POV camera please do not expect big technical blah-blah reviews.

Action Cam Positives

#1 - Image Quality and Clarity
When I first started using the Action Cam, I was a tad bit disappointed with the image quality especially the dog's POV.

Do not be mistaken.

It was not because the Action Cam is lousy. It was because I had not figured out the settings and the dog harness positioning (read my Tips and Tricks article). Once I did, I was very happy with the image quality and clarity which improved progressively throughout the campaign as I became more savvy with the Action Cam.

One key criteria I was judging the Action Cam on was whether I had to do any image/stability/colour adjustment on the footages. I would not be a very happy dog if I had to do any form of adjustments to the images.

The editing is tough enough, do I really need to do video enhancements too?

I am delighted to say/announce that all my videos were - "what you see is what you get". The image quality and clarity speak for itself in the videos.

The image quality turned out really good and clear for both indoors and outdoors.

The Advance Steady Shot function is really quite impressive.

HD mode is good enough for regular daily use. I only tested using 4K mode once but otherwise never used it. The image quality was good enough without going 4K.

To watch all my Action Cam videos, you can watch it on my YouTube channel.

Be realistic about 'on-the-move' images i.e. when the camera is handheld/stick-mounted while you (the human) are jogging/running and recording at the same time; or when the camera is mounted on the dog and it is running or jumping. You WILL end up with several nauseating footages and/or very blur images - otherwise known as NG (no-good) images.

It is tricky getting good on-the-move images so plan the camera position and shots before recording

Image Quality and Clarity Rating:
Overall, the Action Cam produces good quality
images and does not need much tweaking for 
home users. Very satisfactory and definitely

#2 - Durability
Between mummy's butter fingers and my intense back-rubbing ways, I am proud to announce that my camera is still in one piece! So it's been mentioned in two separate articles that I missed scratching the lens by 1 mm, so yes, durability gets A-star from me. Pleasantly surprised that it survived our (mummy and me) use and abuse, not forgetting how often we ended up at the beach. I think most techies would know that sea water and technology/electronics are enemies.


Mummy's butter fingers + sea water = R.I.P.

The Action Cam survived our death fingers... or should I say death paws?

Me in action doing my violent back rubs
So mummy learnt the hard way.... Always put the waterproof case when the camera goes on me!

Action Cam Durability Rating:

#3 - Ease of Use/User-Friendliness
As a first time POV camera user, I did have my initial struggles figuring out how to use the camera - other than the very obvious red button = record.

Overall, it was not too difficult figuring the camera out.

In addition, after figuring out my 'sweet-spot' setting (read my Action Cam tips and tricks), it became a breeze after that.

That sweet-spot setting pretty much works for all activities, allowing me to crop the images and speed-up/slow-mo without losing much image quality.

In addition, the Live View Remote (see #4) and ability to connect to all mobile devices make it all the more user-friendly.

Ease of Use Rating:
Need to spend time understanding the
functions and referring to the online manual.
But once figured out, it is an easy camera
to use ESPECIALLY with the Live View
Remote and/or mobile device(s).

#4 - THE Live View Remote
My absolute favourite thing in the whole wide world.

I was all oooh and ahhh when I was presented the Live View Remote for the very first time with the Action Cam.

Love love love it.

Biggest plus-point of owning the Sony Action Cam. Makes ease-of-use that much easier.

It allows me to frame the image before recording, able to control up to five cameras simultaneously, able to playback (only with single camera connection)... what is there not to love?

Can't live without it but my Live View Remote is right at the bottom of the sea... already.


Live View Remote Rating:
Need I say more how much I truly love the LVR?

#5 - Battery Life
Another fabulous feature of the Action Cam - the battery life.

On average, it allows up to approximately two hours of continuous usage.

A must-have and good accessory investment:

Frodo and Action Cam recharging during our Jeep Road Trip

Battery Life Rating:
The respectable two hour battery life is a big
plus point for buying the Action Cam.

#6 - Underwater Feature
The one thing that got me very very excited about the Action Cam was being able to take it underwater AND the fact that it comes with a default underwater/waterproof casing.

The image quality/clarity was decent underwater though I discovered after my first underwater test that I should invest in the flat dive door lens.

The flat dive door lens did improve the image quality quite significantly but at this point, hopefully Sony comes out with a version 2.0 for that flat dive door lens (read my tips and tricks article)

Underwater Feature Rating:
Uber happy for its underwater feature but
not happy about investing an additional 
lens that needs a V2.0.

Action Cam Neutral

I am not too fussed up about the aesthetics as long as the camera is not bulky and not pink in colour.

  • Love that it is palm-sized, making portable and easy to hold;
  • Love that it is neutral coloured like white;
  • Did not fancy the toy-plastic-feel of the camera initially but after some time, it became an acquired taste and came to like it as is.
  • The micro-sized 'video-camera-adapted' design is quite nice except it does not allow one to place it at the front of the dog (at the dog's neck) especially since the screw-mount is located at the base of the camera.
  • Splash-proof, dust-proof and shock-proof design make it convenient and alleviates stress from careless and rough-users (*cough* mummy) - read #2 positive above on 'durability'.
  • The buttons on the Action Cam can sometimes be unresponsive.

Action Cam Design Rating:
Overall design is acceptable and size is a big
plus for portability and easy everyday usage

Action Cam Negatives

#1 - The Accessories
I shall not dwell too much into the accessories.

Needs version 2.0 pronto.

The accessories has to be able to stand the 'adrenaline impact' as solidly as the camera.
Needs to be 'sand-proof'.
My accessories are finding the grave - soon.

However, apart from the travel battery pack/charger, there is one other must-have accessory: The Clip Mount. It is versatile, stable, good quality and importantly, can act as a one-for-all accessory except as a dog-mount.

The must-have accessory - The Clip Mount.
Versatile, stable, good quality and can act as a one-for-all accessory
except as a dog mount.

Action Cam Accessory Rating:
Version 2.0 for accessories, please!

#2: Charging the camera
Can sometimes be unreliable. Doesn't happen very often but does happen.

  • Sometimes - had difficulty getting the camera to charge.
    • Had to try on multiple plug points before the camera finally decided to start charging.
    • Thought camera caput.
  • Occasionally - camera does not charge.
    • Charging indicator went on and left it to charge. A while later, the camera appeared to have finished charging (indicator light off). Then alas! Discovered the camera did not get charged during an activity.

4K Action Cam FDR-X1000VR

Overall Rating:

Personally, I love love love the Action Cam and it is a camera I would highly recommend to anyone considering a POV camera.

The image quality, durability, battery life and ease of use are impressive and exceeded expectations. And of course, how can I forget my all-time favourite Live View Remote? A must-have for heightened user-experience with their POV camera.

Priced at SGD749.00, the FDR-X1000VR comes bundled with the underwater case (up to 10 meters deep) and the to-die-for Live View Remote, it is value-for-money for its impressive specifications and well, it delivers.

As for the accessories, mine (other than the clip mount and travel battery pack) are visiting the grave... soon. Perhaps another visit or two to the beach and it will officially R.I.P..

The camera, however, on its own is a nifty and impressive little gadget. I truly do think I have been so blessed to be an owner of the Action Cam which now enables me to capture my life moments - no matter how big or small, indoors or outdoors.

Me wearing my Action Cam, capturing life moments.... and capturing the sunrise on my very special 9th Birthday
My very fit and agile brother, Frodo, wearing the Action Cam
How can we miss out my silly sister, Pebbles?  The dog hardness is oversized for her but she still looks good wearing it.
Note: For long-necked breed dogs like Pebbles, the extension mount MUST BE used.

And Uncle Nic Says....

Uncle Nic, my photographer and sleep buddy, who has dedicated his professional time to help me with this Action Cam campaign.
I decided to get a review from Uncle Nic of Furry Photo Pet Photography who faithfully walked this Sony 'Prove Yourself: Take Your Adventures to New Heights' Action Cam campaign journey with me. He is, after all, the professional and owns that renown POV-camera-that-shall-not-be-named.

And in Uncle Nic's usual cool style, short and sweet does it.
  • Ergonomics/Design
    • Rectangular design can make placing in tight corners odd.
    • Easy to handhold. 
    • Integrated tripod mount and splash proof makes it convenient to grab and go.
  • Accessories could be better built IMO (in my opinion).
    • Velcro loses grip over time with dogs.
    • Mounts become jammed with sand.
    • Love the clamp/clip mount though.
  • Features/Usability
    • Menu system hard to navigate without phone or live remote
    • One-touch NFC pairing is awesome (only available with Android phones).
    • Battery life excellent compared to most competing products for both the camera and live view remote.
    • Minimal to no lag for live feed video.
    • Short delay to trigger start/stop of recording.
    • 100mbps video gives great quality footage.
    • Photo modes leave much to be desired with long write times and high shot-shot delay.
Uncle Nic's Action Cam Rating:
Great video performance and very decent battery life. Live View Remote is a big plus. 
Shot to shot delay for photos, unusual sideways design when mounted and 
accessories with disappointing build quality mar an otherwise great product.

Just FYI....

For more information about the Action Cam:

To watch all my Action Cam videos:

For mummy's tips and tricks on the Action Cam:

For any question(s) about the Action Cam:
  • You can leave a comment after this post;

You Might Also Like