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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action cam for hi-fi enthusiasts
The main bias of this action camera seems to be in camera technology, at the expense of usability. Whether you want to go for this depends on your priorities. The GoPro Hero3 Black may out-perform this camera in some areas, but do keep in mind the cost difference between the two.

I personally prefer the elongated form of this camera. Someone else may prefer the...
Published 17 months ago by Skaven252

versus
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sony HDR-AS15 looks nice but doesn't do what it says on the box
Hi Everyone.
I purchased the HDR-AS15 action cam before going to the Maldives. The specific purpose was for videoing during diving. I liked the shape of the Sony, because it fits neatly in the palm of the hand, which should allow for great angle shots while diving - as opposed to the GoPro, which is less ergonomic from this point of view. The Sony underwater case...
Published 14 months ago by James Hill


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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sony HDR-AS15 looks nice but doesn't do what it says on the box, 12 Oct 2013
By 
James Hill (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sony HDRAS15 Sports Action Camcorder with Full HD and Wi-Fi - Black (Electronics)
Hi Everyone.
I purchased the HDR-AS15 action cam before going to the Maldives. The specific purpose was for videoing during diving. I liked the shape of the Sony, because it fits neatly in the palm of the hand, which should allow for great angle shots while diving - as opposed to the GoPro, which is less ergonomic from this point of view. The Sony underwater case also allows a very impressive 60 meter depth limit, way deeper than I dive as a recreational diver. These were my primary reasons for opting for the Sony over the competition.

I purchased the camera on 27th Sept 2013, when I got to the Maldives and started to have a play with my new purchase I did not find the menu to be very intuitive and the instruction manual was limited in content and not that clear to follow the rather odd menu flow-path diagram. I also noted that my smart phone was not included in the list of 'models' confirmed as being able to interface with the HDR-AS15 and without the Wi-Fi interface it was not possible to change the white balance for underwater use. Luckily however I noted there was a firmware update for the HDR-AS15 and duly downloaded it and installed it. This gave direct access from the camera to change the white balance between `underwater' and above water (or as Sony call it 'Normal' white balance).

I have to say I was surprised to note that the firmware in my brand new camera was significantly out of date compared to the latest release downloaded. It appears Sony have pushed this product to market untested and are running to try to make it a more user-friendly.

I was now all set and ready to go diving. I had purchased 2 micro SDHC cards, each of 32 GB, which when I put the first one in the camera, I found I would get over 4 hours of HD 30fps recording. I also purchased a spare battery but doing 2 fifty minute dives per day I found the supplied battery easily capable of recording the day's action and still having spare capacity.

Each day I downloaded the data from the camera to my wife's notebook but as the screen resolution is not HD I could not really assess the footage until I got home.

Needless to say, I now have almost 8 hours of underwater footage and every single moment of it is really annoyingly just out of focus. I have some footage from the boat of Dolphins swimming along side the boat and that is all perfectly in focus - The camera was still in the waterproof housing. I also have some footage around the hotel, shot without the waterproof housing and that too is in focus. The conclusion is that the domed waterproof casing lens has not been designed to compensate for the diffraction of light when underwater.

I am really disappointed that all the footage is useless because it is out of focus. I am particularly disappointed because some of the subjects filmed, in particular what should have been some really impressive close up encounters with a Green Sea Turtle, Eagle Rays and Manta Rays are ruined because the waterproof case lens is not suitable for underwater filming. What is the point of a waterproof case if it does not allow you to film underwater. A complete waste of time and money! I should have opted for the GoPro.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sony Dinky Cam, 23 Dec 2012
By 
D Deacon "pixist" (Liverpool, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Sony HDRAS15 Sports Action Camcorder with Full HD and Wi-Fi - Black (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Got this today and have been having a ball with it. Great fun! It came with the waterproof housing, a battery (charge in camera via USB to a PC), a USB lead and some other attachments. No MicroSD card or strap or bag.

Instructions seems a little hard to get at with them being mixed in with other languages on a huge folded map-like sheet. Downloading the manual makes little difference to that since it's the same. Also the instructions seems disjointed. However, using them and if needed looking on say You Tube you should be able to piece together how to operate the Act Cam quite easily. The flowchart of the manual is quite simple to follow and in use is even easier.

There is no full LCD to look at rather a small LCD with minimal information with previous and next buttons plus 'enter' at the rear. Really, though it's all you need to use it. The problem is size - they wanted to keep it very small. You can though via WiFi use your smartphone or PC Tablet's LCD screen using a small Sony App available on Google Play. I downloaded it to my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and was up and running in a few minutes - set the Dinky Cam to wifi on. There's virtually no lag in using the SGN10.1's LCD.

I note: I found that before it would recognise a microSD card and record or connect via wifi, I needed to set the camera's date, time zone etc. Having done that, wifi connection and recording were easy.

The sound is stereo and fine. Obviously with the housing on, it is muted but then sound underwater is not really viable.

The quality of the output is okay in good light. I prefer 720p since at 1080p there's too much processing. The 120fps at 720p is fantastic fun. I like the Steadyshot function which does work. The lens is okay but a bit wide-angle in look. 120 and 170 are quite big fields of view. Close ups look fisheye. Likely there's a function in Adobe Premiere to straighten that.

I think you have to take it as it is. Its a fun camera which is not perfect but certainly good enough for action and fun. Wifi, waterproof and dinky really do open up the possibilities.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't rate this camera highly enough..!, 20 Nov 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony HDRAS15 Sports Action Camcorder with Full HD and Wi-Fi - Black (Electronics)
I've had this camera for 5 months, never once had a single issue with it despite dropping it a few times with and without it's protective case on. As I use it for moto-vlogging I drilled a hole in the bottom of the waterproof case in order to allow a microphone to be plugged in whilst in the case, This still keeps it completely weather proof I just can't use this case for any underwater shots (not that I intend to) .

The upside of drilling a bottom hole for the mic is I never get the problem with fogging up when the camera warms up like some people have reported.

Mount options are limited out of the box but with a little bit of ingenuity you can pretty much mount it any way you like for very little cost, for side helmet mounting I simply purchased a £4 roll of heavy duty velcro (rated to 15kg) and have kitted out 5 helmets and still have 80% of the roll left. I have ridden at 110mph+ without issues and can easily pick the helmets by the camera without it coming loose, I used a three velcro strip stairstep effect on the camera body velcro to compensate for horizontal tilt caused by most helmets.

Image stabilizer is one of the best I've seen, far out stripping consumer compact digi cams versions. Nighttime recording is phenomenal! often pulling in more light than the human eye, I have recorded at night where it was pitch black sky to my eyes but on the video you can still see the haze of blue sky and lighter horizon almost like it's early evening, although I would always recommend switching off steady cam in low light to greatly improve image quality. I also have the more expensive Dogcam DVR system but the Sony beats it in every respect. If I ever break or lose the AS15 I would buy another in a heartbeat.

Pros
* Superb image quality
* Image Stabilization
* Night Time/Low Light performance
* Good Battery Life (2+Hrs constant record / wifi off) and low cost spares available (£4 each for third party ones that last the same amount of time)
* Super lightweight and low profile (good for helmet mounting)

Cons
* Mounting options out of the box limited (but DIY solutions easy to implement)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works well BUT rotten manuals, 17 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Sony HDRAS15 Sports Action Camcorder with Full HD and Wi-Fi - Black (Electronics)
Honestly SONY!

I am technically savy but just charging this is a minefield of undocumented gotcha's

It comes with two little black plastic battery carriers.
They both sort of fit with the supplied battery BUT only one actually works!
Apparently there are two sony batteries types that could be used (G and X), hence 2 carriers. The carriers do have a distinguish mark... in black writing on the black plastic.

Sort that out?... So lets just plug in the uUSB and charge the battery... Not that simple. You need to actively put the device in POWER OFF before it charges.

Charge up, put in your memory card, and you can test it works.

Finally... lets get the supplied firmware updated. There is a downloadable app from Sony to do this. Well that makes things easy doesn't it. So why didn't it work first time? Turns out you need to remove your memory card before you can get the USB in the right mode.

HURRAY!
In use the video quality and image stabiliser are great.

But my final negative is that while I have it in 10 sec auto power down, that doesn't seem reliable and I often find my previously fully charge battery is flat when I want to use it later in the day. I suspect the WIFI is keeping it powered up even when I don't have a WIFI control device attached.

To summarise

When it is working it does the job fine, but it is a minefield of poor documentation..
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sony, 8 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony HDRAS15 Sports Action Camcorder with Full HD and Wi-Fi - Black (Electronics)
I love this little Sony! With the firmware upgrade and the iPhone app to assist the setup remotely it's a winner! Very light and the quality is amazing for something so small.

I looked at YouTube before I purchased this against some of the more high profile brands and having an interests in still photography quickly figured this one was for me! Great time lapse function and the Hd video with waterproof case is great value for what I paid on Amazon!

I purchased the head-strap for surfing and mountain biking ! You can read to much into the mounting issues but I purchased some very strong magnets and made a mount myself using the supplied Sony fitting shoe!

Packet of cable ties and your away! Nothing wrong with a "Heath Robinson mount"

Hope this helps!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect :), 7 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Sony HDRAS15 Sports Action Camcorder with Full HD and Wi-Fi - Black (Electronics)
I wanted an 'action' camera for the following purposes:

Motorcycle riding
Mountain biking
Urban exploring
Recording photoshoots (photographer PoV)
Investigating the bottom of ponds (surveying)

After much asking around, I bought a GoPro Hero 3 Black. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to mention just how much editing would be required to get the colour balance I want. I find the GoPro raw footage to be pretty horrible unless I spend time editing the colour in Premiere.

A friend of mine bought a Sony Action Cam and let me borrow it for a day. Well, I was hooked. The Sony gives beautiful footage right out of the camera. Sure, everyone has different opinions on what's right and what's not, but the Sony does exactly what I want, as easily as I want, and at a price that my accountant wants.

Sure, the (currently) available accessories are limited, but they do what I want, and I could buy every single one of them on top of my Action Cam, and still spend much less than a GH3 costs. I use the curved helmet mount (supplied), a camera monopod (already owned) and a Sony headband (bought) and that's all I think I'll need. If not, I still have the GoPro Grab Bag mounts and I'll order an adaptor if need be.

I'm putting my GoPro up for sale now.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The image is what I was expecting The image stabilization ..., 15 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Sony HDRAS15 Sports Action Camcorder with Full HD and Wi-Fi - Black (Electronics)
The image is what I was expecting
The image stabilization also very decent

But unless you drill some holes in the CASE you will experience fogging. Even with holes you might experience them if they are not in the right place. After 15 minutes the cam gets hot and FOGGING will start. Now I have 4 holes in mine and it is working perfectly. I bought the MPK AS3 for underwater and with the holes I get some audio as well. SONY should have thought of all that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good camera, works brilliantly, 23 July 2014
By 
Mr (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Sony HDRAS15 Sports Action Camcorder with Full HD and Wi-Fi - Black (Electronics)
I bought this camera for skiing and for snorkelling. The headband attachment has both the advantages of working very well and stopping you having to look like a d@ckhead with a camera stuck on the top of your helmet!!!!

Take good quality video for both uses, it handles changing from light to dark well.

Glad i bought it and I'd definitely buy the same camera again.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars price and spec good, its very unreliable, 25 July 2013
By 
P. WRAY "sofghost" (Yorkshire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Sony HDRAS15 Sports Action Camcorder with Full HD and Wi-Fi - Black (Electronics)
didnt have time for a full review, so heres what i dont like,

1. fogs up inside the protective case, sonys solution for there design flaw......you pay for some silica pads that slip inside, youd think theyd throw some in with the kit, and they have to be special thin ones, the mountain of ones ive got in packaging dont fit.

2. Random switching off, empty card-check, under 40DegC-Check, wifi switched off after setup- check, press record and switch on hold-check.........still does it.

3. Poor micro sd slot, theyve made it compatable with there m2 card so the slot its slightly bigger, it takes several attempts for the AS to find the card.

4. the crappy lower cover for the external sockets, feels like its gonna snap off, it hasnt yet.

5. wifi could do with more reliability and double range, no app for windows phone that i could find

i might just have a bad one, overall its the right price in comparison to others, the specs great, and it more aerodynamic (not like having 1/2 brick straped to your helmet), wifi good for android or apple for setting up.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good little camera, 6 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony HDRAS15 Sports Action Camcorder with Full HD and Wi-Fi - Black (Electronics)
I bought this in lieu of a GoPro for 2 reasons
1. It was cheaper ,and a video review quite correctly stated that the GoPro was more attuned to sunnier climes than those found in UK
2. The Gopro was accused of "freezing" & locking up....didn't want to chance it

OK that's 3 reasons.......
Anyway, delighted with the quality, features and the lack of accessories (compaed to Gopro) doesn't bother me one little bit....I'm not using the camera for surfing, biking etc
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