Sony FDRX3000 Action Camera Review
With the rise of social media and streaming, there is an increasing demand for a powerful and versatile action camera that is capable of capturing high-quality footage that can be instantly transferred to another device. Sony aims to tend to the consumer’s needs with their impressive FDR-X3000 action camera. Providing a suite of features in a compact unit, this Go-Pro competitor is worth a look.
In the box you will find an assortment of extras, including an attachment buckle, a Live-View Remote with a wristband and a mount, as well as an adapter and cradle. Also included are the essential accessories, such as a micro USB cable, a rechargeable battery pack, an underwater case and some literature.
This adds up to provide everything you need to get started, bar a micro-SD card, which you’ll have to pick up yourself. Sony recommends getting a class-10 version or higher as 4K footage requires a more beefy storage chip.
Visually, Sony has built a unit with a clean and consistent design. The small white body is somewhat reminiscent of a portable projector, with a narrow rectangular build housing a large lens on the front. The exterior provides all the buttons and navigation components you need to control the camera without having to connect to an external unit.
The body is also splash proof and freeze proof. Add the included case and the camera becomes a whole lot more versatile, now being water, dust and shock proof. Cover it all in some matte-white paint and you have yourself a clean and attractive build.
The high-end flair of the FDR-X3000 immediately translates to the camera. The ZEISS Tessar lens features a f1.25 aperture back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor. This unit is capable of capturing virtually any resolution video up to 4K at a smooth framerate. Being a camera, the Exmor sensor can also snap 12 megapixel photos. One great feature about the camera is it’s ability to capture images at timed intervals while still recording video, providing a more comprehensive end-result.
This sort of capability further translates into a multitude of features, including time-lapse recording, composite image shots, selectable viewing angles (from wide to narrow) and up to 3X zoom. Thanks to the Balance Optical SteadyShot image stabilization technology, the FDR-X3000 provides stable video without the distortion that you would usually find in digital stabilization. Burst shooting up to 10fps is also available, which is especially useful for fast-moving subjects.
One feature that most manufacturers tend to overlook on action cameras is sound. Not when it translates through after filming, but when filming is still taking place. Sony focused on this with the FDR-X3000 and included a built-in stereo mic that is capable of reducing the wind-noise usually associated with action sports videos.
Everything is powered by Sony’s in-house BIONZ X processor, which is more than adequate for an action cam and provides an impressive list of capabilities. The high-speed image processing reproduces detail without any artificial filtering and is capable of efficient encoding, which is important if your SD card is low on space. Noise is virtually non-existent, even at night and tonal graduations are impressively rich.
While 4K footage is locked to around 30fps to save storage space, lowering it to Full HD lets you record at 120fps, which is more than adequate to provide smooth slo-mo videos while retaining a crisp image.
Sony Product Photos
To sum it up, Sony has stuck one of the most powerful and comprehensive combinations of lens and sensor that is currently available on the market into their camera. Videos look crisp, smooth and distortion-free at higher resolutions throughout the day and the underwater recording quality rivals that of more dedicated cameras.
One accessory that the FDR-X3000 has that very few, if any other action cams have is the included Live-View Remote. This little piece of tech essentially acts as a controller that you can use to interact with the camera. It can be used as wrist wear or mounted onto the back of the FDR-X3000 via the included adapter.
Sony’s Ustream service allows you to live-stream your recordings via the camera through wifi. When tested, the service proved adequate, but naturally demanding on resource power and internet speed. Simply uploading your videos after recording them will prove to be much easier.
Moving on to connectivity, the FDR-X3000 provides a suite of options. This includes the standard WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 capabilities, as well as data transfer through micro USB. External storage capabilities are rather impressive compared to other cameras in the class, with support for Memory Stick Micro and Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC variants.
The end result is a powerful and comprehensive unit that does everything an action cam should, and it does those things as well as the price tag would suggest, if not better.
Dimensions: 1 3/16 x 1 7/8 x 3 3/8 inches
Weight: 4.1 oz
Processor: BIONZ X™
Sensor: Exmor R® CMOS Sensor
Screen: Small black & white side screen or optional Live-View remote view
Video: MP4 PS: 1920 x 1080 60p/50p, MP4 HQ: 1920 x 1080 30p/25p, MP4 STD: 1280 x 720 30p/25p, MP4 HS120 (HS100): 1280 x 720 120p/100p, MP4 HS240 (HS200): 800 x 480 240p/200p, XAVC S: 3840 x 2160 30p/25p/24p, 1920 x 1080 120p/100p, 1280 x 720 240p/200p, 1920 x 1080 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p
Photo: 12 megapixel
Lens: ZEISS® Tessar
Battery: 3.6 V, NP-BX1 battery pack
Battery life: 155min
Storage: Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC
Remote Control: Yes, RM-LVR3
Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS): Balanced Optical SteadyShot with Active mode
Waterproof: Yes, up to 60m with included housing
Firmware & User Manual
You can download the latest firmware and user manual here
What’s in the box
- FDR-X3000 4K Action Cam
- Rechargeable Battery Pack (NP-BX1)
- Micro USB cable
- Underwater housing (MPKUWH1)
- User Manual
Promo video from Sony for the FDR-X3000