Sony’s new action cam brings optical image stabilisation to 4K

Ultra HD, without the ultra shakiness

Another Sony Action Cam? It wasn’t that long ago the last one arrived.

It was back in January, but the new FDR-X3000 isn’t replacing that one – it’s replacing the older, higher end 4K FDR-X1000 (which we reviewed last year along with a bunch of other top models), and is designed to go toe-to-toe with GoPro’s top model, the Hero4 Black.

And what’s its killer feature then? Gotta have a killer feature.

It’s Sony’s first action cam that features optical image stabilisation, which works during 4K recording. The previous model only had the less refined digital form of anti-shake tech, and even had to turn that off during 4K capture. GoPro’s cameras, meanwhile, don’t come with any form of image stabilisation.

Sounds like a handy feature for an action cam. Does it work?

In theory, it should be a very useful addition, as it’ll smoothen out the sort of shakes and nausea-induces judders you often get from shooting handheld, or from anything less stable than a tripod. Having not seen it in practice, we can’t speak to its actual real-life effectiveness – but we hope to test it soon.

There's also a brand new live view remote control, which comes supplied with the camera and lets you not only control it remotely (including turning it off and on) but see exactly what it's pointed at. The new remote is smaller, and features exactly the same UI as the camera.

Other new features include a redesigned Zeiss Tessar lens, which Sony claims reduces distortion despite its wide angle, and a new “intuitive” user interface. It’ll record 1080p footage at up to 120fps too, for super smooth slow motion playback.

And it’s an action cam, so I’m assuming it’s tough?

Right on, at least when you enclose it in the supplied waterproof housing, which also seals it against dust and protects against shocks (like the ones that happen when you drop it on a concrete floor).

Is it out now?

It’s on Sony’s website, but not for sale in the UK just yet. Expect that to change in the coming weeks, and expect to pay around £500. Yep, this isn’t one of the cheaper action cams on the market…

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