Sony HDR-AS15 Action Video Camera


Positives
  • The cam is small if not put in the waterproof case
  • The battery life is impressive
  • The price is very fair
  • The ability to record HD videos
  • Easy to use
  • Small without waterproof case
  • Good battery life

Negatives
  • There is no option to rotate the lens
  • The video quality is not very high
  • There is no option to time lapse picture option


Amazon Rating: 3.9 out of 5.0

Sony-AS15-reviews

Looks like the cam was liked by most of users because the product has an excellent rating on Amazon. It has an overall rating of 3.9 out of 5.0, which is excellent, given the fact that this is only the very first wearable cam by Sony.

Using the Sony HDR-AS15 is an exciting adventure, but this camcorder is not the best in the world. While this is the first wearable camcorder by Sony, the company included lots of features in the cam; however, most of the features are also available in the GoPro type of cameras.

The camcorder comes in two versions: the simple version and the WiFi enabled version. This is a Sony HDR-AS15 review, and this WiFi enabled version is sold for about $270. The other version is a bit less expensive. Let us go into details.

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Design: 6/10

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The Action Cam comes with a waterproof case. You won’t find a lot of mounts in the package, though. As far as design is concerned, the cam is appreciable. The menu system of the cam, though frustrating, is the best thing I have seen on a cam that can be worn. The on-screen display and the “next” and “prev” buttons make it easier for you to cycle through and make changes to the options on the menu. The tiny buttons, however, give the annoying water-like feeling.
As with other mountable camcorders, this one is unique as far as usability is concerned. In one way, the cam is easy to use, but you may take a while to master it. It’s easy switch it on and push the record button, but the advanced functions, such as pairing the cam to a smartphone could be a challenge.

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Usability: 6/10

Mounts and cases play a great role in making a cam useful or useless. The HDR-AS15 comes wit6h a sturdy waterproof case offering good protection from the weather. It also protects the cam in case it gets dropped in the water 197 feet below the surface.

You may have to put in a bit of effort to open and close the case. However, when the cam is inside the case, you can only access the stop/start button. The other buttons won’t be accessible. Here it is important to keep in mind that the cam doesn’t come with loads of grips or mounts, but it does include some adhesive mounts. The waterproof case has an in-built tripod screw. By spending a bit more, you can get your hands on more grips, mounts and accessories.

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Performance: 6/10

At times, the video performance of the cam was impressive. The cam recorded motion scenes fluidly, particularly when compared to the choppy footages recorded by its competitors. However, the cam didn’t do well in low light, and the details were compromised. Plus, there was a lot o noise in the footage recorded in low light.

Looks like Sony has programmed the cam to over-saturate colors. The blues and greens look like neon-like tones in daylight conditions. When taking the performance of the cam into consideration, you need to keep in mind that this cam is an adventure cam. We all know that the quality of the picture is not as important as capturing that memorable moment in the first place.

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Features: 5/10

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The camera has lots of exciting features, such as the Carl Zeiss Vario-Tesser lens, which makes a good impression and enables the camera to get a 170-degree view angle.

If you are a Sony fan, you should be familiar with the powerful Exmor R backlit CMOS sensor found in a lot of compact cameras and Xperia phones. You can see this sensor in the Sony HDR-AS15 too, and this sensor enables the camera to do well in low light too. As far as the overall video quality is concerned, the cam doesn’t run circles around the top POV cameras by competitors, but the 1080p videos are impressive.

One thing that the camera is proud of is its SteadyShot technology for image stabilization, which can be found in the regular digital cameras by Sony. This technology reduces the shaky moments with 3-way-shake-canceling. Since the camera features a digital image stabilization technology, image quality suffers a bit, but is still impressive. The picture will be high quality even if you zoom at high level. You can use the camera to take slow motion videos apart from the 1080p high definition videos. Since the frame rate gets doubled, the recorded videos are 2x slower, but look smooth anyway. If you want to, the camera lets you increase the frame rate to 120 fps. Remember: in slow motion mode, you can record videos at 720p maximum.

Here it is important to note that all of the features we talked about so far are included in the Sony HDR-AS10, and this cam is a little cheaper. However, what makes Sony HDR-AS15 prominent is its in-built wireless LAN feature, which makes the cam a bit more convenient to control. This is handy if the cam is inside its waterproof case as the settings on the cam cannot be changed. All you need to do is download the PlayMemories Mobile app on your Android/iOS phone or tab. Afterwards, you can configure the settings or transfer the recorded videos to your phone or tab wirelessly. For good performance, it is recommended to keep the distance between the camera and the device 10 feet or less.

Sony offers an amazing Windows app called PlayMemories Home, which is compatible with the HDR-AS15. After you have installed the app on your PC, you can edit the footages on the cam and order them as desired. Based on the type of content, you may need to edit the videos since the AS15 cannot flip the recorded videos 180 degrees. The same app allows you to upload the videos to social media sites, such as Facebook and YouTube.

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Value: 6/10

Apart from the image stabilization feature, the Sony HDR-AS15 doesn’t offer anything special. However, the price tag of $140 is impressive making the device a great buy, especially if you are on the lookout of a wearable cam with WiFi support. But if you need a cam with image rotation feature, you may want to wait for the company to release a cam with this feature. The Sony HDR-AS15 price is very reasonable, and this cam is a good buy, on the whole. Hope, this Sony AS15 review will make it easier for you to make the buying decision.
So what do others say about Sony HDR-AS15 Action Video Camera

Amazon

Overall Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 based on 306 customer reviews. Here are 104 questions answered about the product. Here is a customer review which was found helpful by 522 people.

Expertreviews

Rating: 4 out of 5

CNET

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 Bottom line: “Sony’s first action camera is good. It just needs a few design tweaks and feature fixes to make it stand out even more.”

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Additional Resources

Here is a comprehensive video review of the action camera on YouTube. Community Sony: Discussion about the product on this forum

Sony HDR-AS15 Q&A

User Manual

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SPECIFICATIONS

Basic Specifications
Rating ****
Recording
Optical zoom 0.0x
Digital zoom 0x
Sensor 1/2.3 CMOS
Sensor pixels 16,800,000
Widescreen mode letterbox
LCD screen size 1.2in
Viewfinder type none
Video lamp No
Video recording format H.264
Video recording media microSD
Sound AAC 48KHz stereo
Video resolutions 640×480, 1,280×720, 1,920×1,080
Maximum image resolution 1,920×1,080
Memory slot microSDHC
Mermory supplied 0
Flash no
Physical
Digital inputs/outputs HDMI, Micro USB
Analogue inputs/outputs 3.5mm microphone input
Other connections none
Battery type li-ion
Battery life 2h 24m
Battery charging position camcorder
Size 47x25x82mm
Weight 65g
Sony HDR-AS15 Action Video Camera
8.9 Total Score
Super

DESIGN
6
USABILITY
6
PERFORMANCE
6
FEATURES
5
VALUE
6
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