|Overall rating 4.5 / 5|
We recently stumbled upon another action camera that we tried out. The Sony HDR-AS200VR Full HD is not the typical ActionCam shape, but the shape of a regular camcorder. However, it has a lot to offer and has a very good value for money!
The high quality of the recording is especially positive. Because the camera is equipped with an 8.8-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor that delivers incredibly clear images and footage.
ActionCam is popular with snorkelers because it has an underwater body. With a 170 degree wide-angle view, you can create beautiful underwater images.
The recording quality does not deteriorate during sports activities when the camera is subject to vibration as it has a built-in image stabilizer.
scope of delivery
With the Sony HDR-AS200VR Full HD, you can choose between a camera with or without a live kit. If you order the former, the kit includes the following parts:
• ActionCam with 8.8 Megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor and 170 degree wide angle
• Tripod adapter
• Underwater hull
• Rechargeable battery NP-BX1 (1240 mAh)
• USB cable (micro USB to regular USB)
• 2 adhesive mounts
• Remote control for live view (included only in Live Kit)
The live kit is usually about € 100 more expensive, but it is currently discounted on Amazon, so the price difference is just over € 10.
Unfortunately, the tripod adapter doesn’t come with hinges or knees. It should also be noted that the Live View Remote is only waterproof to a depth of 3 meters. The underwater hull is sealed to a depth of 5 meters.
Unfortunately, this action camera is not suitable for full-fledged diving. If you want to use your camera in deeper water, we recommend the Sony MPKAS3.SYH * underwater housing for ActionCams, which is waterproof up to 60 meters.
You can also use a standard waterproof case for surfing, swimming or snorkeling up to 5 meters.
Sony ActionCam advantages and disadvantages
The camera is more than enough for hobby use. In our opinion, for this price, you get a very good action camera. Below we have collected the most important advantages and disadvantages for you:
• Very high quality video recording.
• Respectively good sound quality for ActionCam
• Suitable for both beginners and advanced users.
• Typical camcorder design, yet beautiful and compact.
• Very good camera image thanks to the 8.8 megapixel sensor.
• Live View Control
• The menu is not overloaded
• Camera of the upper middle class with a good price / quality ratio.
• The closed case is only water resistant up to 5 meters.
• The Live View control is only waterproof down to 3 meters → not suitable for diving.
• Fewer accessories available than other cameras in this price range.
Sony HDR-AS200VR Full HD operation
The camera is simply controlled from the back of the camera. Various buttons are located above the battery cover.
Since the battery compartment can be accidentally opened during operation, the compartment can be locked. There is also a black and white display on which you can read information about the current state of the camera, which is typical for Sony.
Fortunately, again, there is no overloaded menu. (Real problem with some models …) So it’s actually very well organized. Even a beginner should have no problem with this operation. However, it is nerve-wracking that the camera pops out of the menu navigation as soon as you change the setting. This is when you need to go through all the menus again.
We would rate the quality and complexity of the menu as average. Other manufacturers can do it better than Sony.But there are those that implement the menu much worse and confuse the user, which is not here. Anyone who has already dealt with several cameras from the manufacturer of this camera will be able to recognize Sony’s handwriting in the menu navigation.
Remote control live image
The remote control has 6 buttons that you can use to control the camera. Above the remote control is a small display that allows you to view the live camera image with incredible clarity. The remote control may be within 10 meters of the camera, otherwise the connection will be lost. The image on a small monitor is most stable up to 5 meters.
As for the menu, everything is pretty simple. Menu navigation is mainly used to configure the remote control. You can also operate the remote control from multiple cameras at the same time. This feature is called “multi-camera”.
Up to 5 cameras can be connected to the RM-LVR2 Remote Controller. You should take the exact settings from the instruction manual. The explanation for this will get out of hand here. Connecting to multiple devices is not easy, but if you follow the operating instructions that came with the remote control precisely, you will quickly become familiar with it.
Convenient app control
If you don’t want to control the camera with the remote, you can simply use the Sony app.
However, this app is not specifically designed for Sony HDR-AS200VR Full HD camera, it is a universal app for all Sony cameras.
Establishing a connection between a camera and a smartphone is quite simple. Bring your smartphone to the camera and the app will launch automatically. The same applies here as with the remote control: if you move your smartphone further than 5 meters from the camera, the image will start to twitch or its transmission will be interrupted.
Photo, video and image quality
The extremely crisp recording quality is probably the main reason you should take a closer look at this camera. It is currently one of the best devices on the market for ActionCams.
Videos can be recorded at 1080p at 30 (17 Mbps) and 60 images (25 Mbps) per second. The following video shows a short ride on my hoverboard that I shot with a Sony Actioncam, see for yourself.
The images are very well balanced with the Image Stabilizer. The photo and video quality is impressive. Images are characterized by high contrast and great depth of field. However, if image stabilization is on, the maximum wide angle is limited to 120 degrees.
Without this mode, you can take pictures with a wide angle up to 170 degrees, which are very clear in the middle. Sharpness decreases slightly towards the outside, but there is no unpleasant blurring or excessive sharpness around the edges.
If you create a photo in 120 degree mode, it will be saved at 5.4 megapixels. At 170 degrees, all 8.8 MP of the HDR-AS200 sensor is used. These shots are test shots and completely raw:
Excellent sound quality
Before we forget: the HDR-AS200VR’s sound quality is surprisingly good compared to competing products.
With other action cameras, background noise is often in the foreground and voices are either difficult or impossible to recognize. However, this is not the case with this camera. The sound is virtually silent and gives a high quality impression. The following short video shows a microphone test.
Conclusion: buy Sony HDR-AS200VR Full HD
Here you will get a really hot product at a great price. Since this camera is discounted on Amazon, you save about a third while the Sony HDR-AS200VR Full HD offer is in effect, including the remote control.
Perhaps some more features and more scope could be provided to ActionCam.You will also need a different camera housing if you want to go diving with the device.
An underwater housing, waterproof up to 60 meters, is available here *. The CMOS sensor of the camera is very high quality and the images are of high quality. This is why we can highly recommend ActionCam, even if you are a beginner. It is currently available on Amazon for just under € 200. *
Additional Action Camera Tests:
- Action camera GoPro Hero 3
- Action Camera Go Pro Hero 4
- Go Pro Hero 5
- Go Pro Hero 6
- Action Camera Apeman
- Jeemak 4k Cam
- SJX5000 Elite Kamea
- Yi 4k Plus
- Action Camera TecTecTec