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Old Nov 23, 2013, 01:18 AM
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GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition vs Sony Action Cam HDR-AS30V/B

Hello everyone!
I'm a new member here, i do not do aerial photography but i registered here specifically to show a direct comparison of images and video's between GP H3+ and Sony Action HDR-AS30V/B.
Here is how i ended up with both (one of them is going back).

I went into best buy to purchase the Sony, after checking it out a saler rep at best buy (cure girl) showed me the new GP H3+ and basically told me that it's been improved and it's a good camera. I knew GP was pretty much a benchmark so i decided to buy it and went home, got online and than found this thread and read a bunch of negative reviews on it. The next evening i decided to go back to BB and purchase the Sony as well so i can compare them side by side. The following day i went to the track in my car and put both cameras to the test.

I did not play with the settings much and just mounted both cameras. After i got home i reviewed both videos and when both camera were in the case GP blew the Sony away. That's when i said wait a minute something is not right here! As the video's on the Sony looked different that Sony videos online. Apparently GoPro recorded in Superview max setting and Sony was in 720p by default. (that was my issue, not equal settings). The next day i went and recorded them both on the highest setting GP being in superview mode and Sony being in 1080p 60FPS. Now, videos looked pretty much identical! (Sony was actually little better at some angles)

Later on i went outside and snapped some pictures just to see what you guys are talking about AND again pictures are very close to each other in everything. I did not experience out of focus images as many of you did.

Here is my little summary of both cameras.

Pretty much equal video quality,
Comparable photo quality, ( I am NOT a pro photographer therefore pictures look similar to me for the most part)

(Also it should be noted. Picture quality is NOT a huge deciding factor for me because i need a camera for filming track days and snowboarding, not taking pictures.)

Now, here is where Sony absolutely BLOWS GP AWAY..... In the battery department! Yup, GP lasted about 1 hour and 20 minutes as opposed to Sony lasting 3!!! Hours throughout the day recording.. Both cameras were turned on/off at the same time until obviously GP's battery died and Sony continued to record for an additional period of about 80 minutes!

My primary use of the camera is Motorsports and snowboarding.
For Motorsports i preferred the Sony mount simply because it has more adjust-ability when compared to GP mount. Both of them will adjust (on the mount) up and down, but the difference is that Sony will also adjust sideways and GP's mount does NOT.

What i actually did like in the GP is that you can flip the video right there in the camera if you have to record upside down and on the Sony you have to do it later on via Sony's editing software, it would have been really nice if Sony had that feature as well!

I like both camera's personally, something about GP's design that kind of appeals to me, it's simple, compact and i think it looks cool. Sony looks like a mini video camera which is also appealing but in a different way.
GP is $100 more expensive, but comes with a remote control where is Sony is $100 cheaper and has no remote, but for $100 you can purchase Sony's new wrist wearable remote with a view screen and price will be equal pretty much.

Summary.

I liked both camera's, both performed really well and i wish i could keep both, but i have no need for both so 1 has to go back. It's up to your personal opinion of course, but for me i decided to keep the Sony and return GoPro. 1 feature of recording upside down is simply not enough when Sony is able to make video's with the same quality, produce nice pics and most importantly battery record capacity DOUBLE's the capacity of GP H3+ BE's!

I will provide pics and video's, you decide which one is better.

And let me know how you liked my review

Thank you!

P.S. I am NOT offiliated with either Sony or GP (but that would be nice!) This is just my personal review as i really could not decide which one to buy, so i bought both and picked the winner.

Now onto some pics.

NOTE: Picture are NOT edited and are NOT re-sized. I just uploaded them to my photobucket account and posted them here.

GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition pictures:















Sony AC pictures:











Videos will follow as soon as i figure out how to just make a short video of 2 minutes each instead of posting 20+ minutes.

P.S.S.
As i was trimming video's i noticed i have news flag from Sony, i opened that page in the software and guess what?! A firmware update and NOW Sony IS able to record upside AND you can flip it right there in the camera!!!! Aside from GP form, in my opinion feature-wise Sony kill's GP especially because of the battery!
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Last edited by RusWolf; Nov 23, 2013 at 01:42 AM.
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Old Nov 23, 2013, 09:20 AM
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United States, FL, Miami
Joined Aug 2009
961 Posts
Thank you for your review.

Did you take the GP and Sony pictures with the widest field of view settings ? They are both supposed to have 170 degrees, but the Sonys looks much wider. I'm guessing one of those isn't using all the pixels of the sensor for the picture since they FOV looks very different.

I prefer the GoPro pictures in your example, mainly since the fov isn't as distorted.

You forgot to mention the Sonys GPS speed/location telemetry overlay feature, which I would imagine for your snowboard / track day applications pretty much sells itself.
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Old Nov 23, 2013, 09:43 AM
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Israel, Ness Ziona
Joined Sep 2004
4,704 Posts
Cool

I have the GP 3 white and the Sonyactioncam first gen..(not the new one)
Still i use the GP for stils pic and the sony for video


Great review
Guy
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Old Nov 23, 2013, 07:07 PM
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New Castle, PA
Joined Oct 2006
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Nice comparison. I have done a few comparisons between my gopro and my Action Cam. Here is a short video of my comparisons from my quad copter.
Amish School House (2 min 38 sec)
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Old Dec 02, 2013, 11:16 AM
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Joined Oct 2013
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I just purchased the Sony HDR-AS30V/B action cam at BB on Black Friday, so don't have much use of it yet, but do want to correct a couple of errors in your first post (which by the way, was a great review). 1. The Sony has a firmware upgrade that gives "flip" ability...so you can hang it upside down and it will record right side up, so you get the recording correct without needing to later flip it. 2. The Sony does not come with a remote, but any android or ios device can control it via wi-fi...so in essence, your phone acts the same as the remote...so you don't have to keep up with a separate device. So, with that said, what finally sold me were two things...the price ($150 cheaper than the Hero 3+) and the 19+MB still pictures. Very nice. So far, I'm very impressed...but also should point out that I have NO experience with the GoPro, so can't offer any more perspective than the above.
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Old Dec 02, 2013, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUsome View Post
I just purchased the Sony HDR-AS30V/B action cam at BB on Black Friday, so don't have much use of it yet, but do want to correct a couple of errors in your first post (which by the way, was a great review). 1. The Sony has a firmware upgrade that gives "flip" ability...so you can hang it upside down and it will record right side up, so you get the recording correct without needing to later flip it. 2. The Sony does not come with a remote, but any android or ios device can control it via wi-fi...so in essence, your phone acts the same as the remote...so you don't have to keep up with a separate device. So, with that said, what finally sold me were two things...the price ($150 cheaper than the Hero 3+) and the 19+MB still pictures. Very nice. So far, I'm very impressed...but also should point out that I have NO experience with the GoPro, so can't offer any more perspective than the above.
Thank you.

if you look at the bottom of my review where it states P.S.S. i talk about firmware update. (at the time of review there was no update). That's true Sony is running $50 off promotion for the holidays. Again, at the time of purchase there was no such promotion so price difference was $100. (i did go to best buy and then price matched to the current promotion)
As far as phone controls', GoPro does the same thing.. What i was referring to is actual remote.. For example when i snowboard i do not carry my phone with me because i do not want to break it in case i fall on it. If you will go swimming you will not take your phone as well.. etc you got the idea.

Also old model of action cam.. HDR-AS15 is on sale for $129! Great buy if someone is on the budget.
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Old Dec 19, 2013, 08:24 PM
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Canada, ON, Guelph
Joined Mar 2008
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Thanks Ruswolf,

Just the info I've been looking for.

Dave
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Old Dec 20, 2013, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markarch View Post
Nice comparison. I have done a few comparisons between my gopro and my Action Cam. Here is a short video of my comparisons from my quad copter.
http://youtu.be/l8eX6ONc-9A
Nice comparison. Looks like the GP needs a white balance to compare the two. WB on the Sony was far superior.
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Old Dec 20, 2013, 05:02 PM
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New Castle, PA
Joined Oct 2006
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Yeah. I think that each time that I see footage compared. But when I only view the GoPro footage on its own, I don't seem to mind it. I just work with it during the editing process to suit my needs.
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Old Jan 13, 2014, 08:48 AM
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Brazil, SP, São Paulo
Joined Feb 2011
86 Posts
Hi! Great review, I'm planing to buy another camera… I was inclined to buy the Sony one, but now I'm definitely buying it!

I had a ContourHD and now I own a Contour+. It also have internal GPS and Bluetooth streaming/remote control capabilities (10 or 15fps, don't really remember). It's a good camera but image quality is a step down compared to GP 3 Silver Ed. I was taking a look at JVC's action camera, it looks very good too… there are many competitors now (even Garmin released an action cam) but I narrowed it to GP 3 and as30.

Reasons I was considering Sony:

• it's lighter than the Contour and the GoPro (and the others as well)
• Contour is currently out of business (it bankrupted, but I heard some group is bringing it back)
• side mount design
• more useful (IMO) accessoires (OK, GP got lot's of BACPACKs, but for 100$ (I live in Brazil) I can get a an external LCD that turns the camera in a small and simple handcam).

Personally I don't like GP, I use cameras for karting and I mount them on my helmet… with the GP looks like I'm carrying a toaster in my helmet. And it's not just for looks… lateral acceleration (lateral "g force") keeps pushing the helmet against the curve… when the camera is much higher than the eyes and the helmet is close to the shoulder, the camera travels a bigger arch (and faster). It's usually not by much, but with wide angle lenses, it really looks like we are laying on the kart… :-D

Not that GP is bad, on the contrary. All my friends are using GP… in my case, mounting the camera closer to my eyes is important (I'm picky)… so, even if GP would be a bit sharper, I'd stick with the Sony… now that I know they are very close, going for the Sony!

The reason GP got more mounts is because it's a top seller. If Sony keeps improving this line of camera, soon it will have lots of nice 3rd party accessories.

Well, one thing I like about the GoPro… the mounting clip system. I use it with my Contour and I'll use it with the as30 too.
Brief explanation… well, we are at RC Group and I also assemble plastic kits, so I know a thing or two about handcraft and materials. I took a Contour mount and combined with a clip, using epoxy and putty for finishing. Then I made silicone mold and casted it out of resin. Since it's custom made, I don't need adjustment screws or hinges.

There's the new HDR-as100, better image sensor (2k pixels more, I think) and splash proof to be released next April. I'm not going to wait for it (although it looks all I needed/wanted from a camera… I'll buy it later… compared to GP, Sony still looks a bet… let's see if I really like the camera first).

To be honest with GP, I'd buy one if I had a big quadcopter…

It ended up a bit longer than I expected, but this is another subject I like to discuss…. :-)
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Old Jul 18, 2014, 02:11 PM
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Brazil, SP, São Paulo
Joined Feb 2011
86 Posts
Digging it...

Got the as30 for a few months now. It's very good, I like the camera... BUT the built-in GPS is garbage!!!!!!

It works at a useless 1 Hz rate, anything faster than a jogging/racing will result in poor data accuracy. And it doesn't log altitude.

Included software for creating overlays hammers down video quality (I'm using an external GPS and 3rd party software for overlays).

Apart from this, it's a good camera, would buy it again. I got a bigger quad in the mail, I'll try to mount this camera...

BR
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Old Oct 10, 2014, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafael Togami View Post
Digging it...
It works at a useless 1 Hz rate, anything faster than a jogging/racing will result in poor data accuracy. And it doesn't log altitude.


BR
Hello,
I have not tested the GPS at super high speeds yet. HOWEVER! next weekend i am going to roll racing top speed event with my car and i am expecting to reach speeds of 150-160+ MPH..
Are you saying that GPS function will be all effed up?

Also, which 3rd party editing software are you talking about? Also i noticed that overlaying video with GPS data takes LOOOOONNGGGG time! Is it the same for you?
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