I've always thought action cams had a limited audience. I mean, how many extreme and adventure sports enthusiasts who like to film their own accidents can there be? When Sony takes a bite out of GoPro with the Sony Action Cam, though, we have to guess there's a lot of them.
Not that I'm really surprised. Everyone and their best friend already document every minute of their life now, so action cams simply take it up a notch: you film yourself from a first-person POV while doing something cool like hitting your head on a rock while riding downhill on a mountain bike or falling to your death while free-climbing up a cliff.
The Sony Action Cam is, pretty much, a GoPro clone: it's rugged, it's compact and it can mount to a variety of objects, including helmets, handlebars and items of clothing. Heck, it even comes with a waterproof case, so you can use it to film your deep sea adventures battling sharks, manta-rays and giant tentacled monsters. The big selling point of course is that it brings Sony's long experience in video recording to the table, which, let's be honest, makes for a darn compelling argument.
Features include full HD 1080p video recording, SteadyShot image stabilization, a back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, 170-degree wide-angle Carl Zeiss lens, built-in stereo mic, built-in mono speaker, HDMI out (for instant playback on a TV) and 4X slow-motion when recording in HD. There's also a WiFi version that you can control wirelessly via an iOS or Android app.
Slated to ship September 21, 2012, the Sony Action Cam is available for preorder now, priced at $199.99.