The Olympus TG-Tracker is Aimed at the GoPro Market

It was only a matter of time until Olympus was going to take its excellent TG series of cameras and turn them into a full GoPro competitor–and today is that day with the announcement of the new Olympus TG-Tracker. At its heart is a 1/2.3 8MP CMOS sensor. Just like other action cams, it boasts a really wide angle lens. This one is 13.9mm equivalent and has f2 lens. The body is capable of being used at down to 100 feet of water without a housing. It is also dustproof just in case you happen to sling it into the dirt.

It also has an LED lamp, 5 axis image stabilization, and can shoot from 1/2 sec – 1/24000 sec. Unfortunately there isn’t manual shutter control–but you get sequential shooting abilities which can be quite cool.

More details are after the jump.

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The Sony X1000V Action Cam Shoots 4K Video

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At CES 2015, Sony is introducing their latest additions to the action camera world–which seems like a very serious competitor to the GoPro line. The FDR-X1000V is the camera that makes it debut today and is also of the greatest interest. For starters, it shoots 4K video (3840 x 2160 @30p 100Mbps/60mbps) and has a Zeiss Tessar lens with a 170 degree wide angle field of view. Behind the lens is an Exmor R Back Illuminated CMOS sensor along with a BIONZ X processor. The camera shoots video in the XAVC S codec in an MP4 format.

According to the press release, the company has already put it in the hands of famed skateboarder Tony Hawk. He’s probably really enjoying it because the company also stated that they added an updated version of SteadyShot to this camera.

If you don’t want to shoot at 4K though, the camera can shoot 1080p HD video at 120p, and 720p HD video at 720p. Additionally, it adds wind noise reduction and manual controls in the form of white balance and auto exposure shifting.

The company is also introducing a new Live View remote, called the LVR2. It is a live view LCD remote that is said to work at up to 10 feet underwater. But in case you don’t want to use the remote, you can use the PlayMemories Mobile app on your phone or tablet to control and see the output.  Lastly the X1000V incorporates GPS.

The new Sony X1000V will be sold for about $500 and is packaged with the SPK-X1 waterproof case. The Action Cam Sony 1000VR bundle adds the RM-LVR2 Live View Remote and will be sold for about $600. More images are after the jump.

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Ricoh Dives Into Action Cameras with the WG-M1

Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Ricoh WG-M1 Product Images 4

Ricoh has announced its first ruggedized action camera, the WG-M1. Sporting a compact design, the camera looks like a miniature flashlight. Add in the robust orange body and the top mounted 1.5-inch LCD surrounded by a round watch like circle and the WG-M1 is one of the strangest (and coolest) looking action cameras around.

As you might expect with the WG-M1’s tank-ish build it’s designed to take some punishment. Users will be able to drop the WG-M1 from six-feet without having to worry about damage as well as taking the camera 32-feet underwater or into below freezing conditions in -10° Celsius. While adventure seekers are taking the camera underwater they can also switch the camera to a narrower 90-degree field of view mode.

The WG-M1 also sports a 14MP sensor coupled with an ultra-wide-angle 3mm f2 fixed focal length lens. The lens is effectively 17mm in terms of full-frame equivalence and it captures a 160-degree angle of view for still images. When capturing 1080p 30fps video, the camera will narrow this wide field of view to 135-degrees in order to add electronic shake reduction. The camera can also shoot 60fps video at 720p or 120fps slow motion at standard definition.

The action camera also includes integrated stereo microphone and built-in Wi-Fi to offload flies. Plus there’s a strip of adhesive on the WG-M1’s body letting users quickly mount the camera to a surface such as a wall or surfboard. The WG-M1 will be available in October for $299.95. Check past the break for more images and video of the WG-M1 Continue reading…

Watch Surfer Ryan Hipwood Take on the 7-Meter Wave that Nearly Killed Him

Ryan “Hippo” Hipwood Surfing

Two years ago big wave rider Ryan “Hippo” Hipwood nearly drowned when he dared to surf “The Right,” an Australian break known for being the heaviest waves in the world. Hipwood told the Courier Mail how the thundering white-water of the middle-of-the-ocean break held him down as the power of the waves threw him around like a rag doll. In short it was a horrific near-death experience that left him terrified of returning to take on The Right again—that is until now.

Earlier this month Hipwood returned to the break off Western Australia’s coast with a few other daredevil surfers and a couple of cameras to record it all. Together the death defying wave riders took on Australia’s most fearsome waves some of which rears up to 7-meters tall (22-feet).

In the Monster Energy-sponsored video you’ll see some surfers just narrowly making it through the wave by the skin of their teeth. Others aren’t so lucky and there’s even a jet ski that gets flipped up by the wave halfway through the footage. Check past the break to catch all the gnarly action.

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The Next GoPro 4 Might Shoot in 4K and 120fps at 1080p

Image courtesy of DGISE

Image courtesy of DGISE

GoPro may soon deliver the fourth evolution of its popular action camera. A small gadget website called DGISE, posted the purported specs of the new GoPro Hero4 that supposedly can record in 4K at 30 fps. Although the two-year-old Black Edition GoPro 3 was also able to shoot in 4K it could only do so at a paltry 15fps. This higher frame rate could make 4K footage from a GoPro camera actually decently viewable.

Along with the quadruple HD resolution, the new camera will supposedly feature 1080p recording at 120fps and 720p at 240fps. On the still capturing front there is also Multi-exposure HDR and Wide Dynamic Range tone mapping. Meanwhile to keep all the rocking action steady the camera purportedly has an electronic image stabilization system backing up the camera’s 13MP sensor. DGISE also posits the GoPro Hero4 will have a completely new lens for shooting in dark and it will arrive this summer.

Given that this is a small and largely unknown source, we’re look to take these early specs with heavy skepticism. There are some merits to these rumors however. Many of the same specs were leaked back in September by Ambarella, the company that manufactures the GoPro’s underlying electronics system for several generations. It’s been two years since the adrenaline junkies started strapping GoPro Hero3s to the sides of the safety helmets…and pelicans, so we’re due for a new GoPro action cam any day now.

Via DGISE

Panasonic Announces HX-A500 Wearable 4K Camcorder, Makes You Look Like a Borg from Star Trek

Panasonic HX-A500 4K wearable camcorder

Remember the Borg from Star Trek, those vile half-human half-machine cyborgs that would have a some kind of laser thingie sticking out from their faces instead of a second eyeball? Designed to be worn on your face, Panasonic’s latest action cam, the wearable HX-A500 4K camcorder, will make you look a bit like one of them.

The device comes in two parts connected to each other by a cord. The first part is a small camera unit that you can wear on your cheek, attached over your ear, like a gaming headset. This is the part that makes you look like you’re out of a science-fiction movie. The other part is the actual recorder, including buttons and a display, that you can strap to your arm, for example. Makes you look even more like a futuristic space-farer.

The HX-A500 captures 4K video footage at 30 fps, and can transmit it wirelessly via WiFi and NFC. The lens has an ultra wide angle of view of 160° and sits on top of a 1/2.3″ BSI sensor. When the resolution is reduced, the action cam can even record slow-motion video at 60, 120, and 240 fps. And for your diving adventures, it can withstand water for up to 30 minutes at depths up to 10 feet.

The futuristic device will be available in June, with US retail prices yet to be announced (though dpreview mentions GPB 379.99 for the UK, which equals US-$ 630 at current exchange rates.) And now go pre-order it from B&H Photo because, you know, RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!

GoPro’s New Hero 3+ Has Some Slight Improvements

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The action camera that everyone has always loved has been upgraded today. The GoPro Hero3+ contains some slight improvements over its predecessor, but doesn’t seem to be as jaw dropping as when the original Hero 3 dropped. The 3+ has upgrades in the form of being 20% smaller in the Black Edition, 33% image sharpness according to the company, a new auto-low light mode that will adjust the frame rate (though one of the big rules of videography is that you never touch your frame rate) and 30% better battery life. The company’s silver edition (which isn’t as fancy pants as the black) can shoot 1080p at 60fps, and 720 at 120 fps.

The Hero3+ are available now for pre-order with prices starting at $299 for the Silver, and $399 for the black.


Sony Introduces FDR-AX1 4K Consumer Camcorder and Two HD Camcorders

Sony FDR-AX1 see-through view

Together with the QX10 and QX100 smartphone accessory lenses, Sony today announces a full-fledged 4K camcorder aimed at both amateurs and professionals, as well as two smaller HD camcorders. The FDR-AX1 is Sony’s first consumer 4K camcorder, but at the same time it qualifies for professional work such as news coverage. The HDR-AS30V continues Sony’s series of small action cams and comes with its own underwater casing, while the HDR-MVR1 is aimed at music recording and consequently sports 120° stereo microphones. Details after the break.

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This Jaw-Dropping Aerial Video of ‘Battleship Island’ Was Taken with a Sony Action Cam

Via Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%E7%AB%AF%E5%B3%B62011.JPG)

Hashima Island, sometimes called Gunkanjima (“Battleship Island”), is a deserted Island nine miles outside of Nagasaki, Japan. The ruins covering the island were originally housing over 5,000 people, consisting of coal miners and their families, until the business went downhill and eventually the last inhabitants left in 1974. In a matter of only forty years, nature claimed back most of the island and turned the human-erected construcions into a dystopian vision of a deserted future world.

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These are Photos of Sony’s New Action Cam Backpack Mounted to Cute Animals

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Not too long ago, Sony announced a new backpack for users to mount their action cams to the back of their canine friends. If you go onto YouTube you can actually see that many people love doing this when they go for hikes or anything else just to get the dog’s point of view. At BlogPaws 2013, Sony mounted the packs to a bunch of dogs and a giant rabbit.

The hilarious photos are after the jump.

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Sony’s Action Cams Get a Firmware Boost: Now Sport 60P Video

Sony Action Cam

Sony’s action cams got a weird new accessory last week that allowed you to mount the thing to your canine companion. But we should have expected a new improvement to their cameras as well–and today they’ve made available a new firmware for their HDR-AS10 and HDR-AS15 cameras. The major new features are 1080p 60P video shooting (which means that you’ll be able to slow it down a lot in post) and a mode change that can be done via their PlayMemories app. However, that feature is coming in June.

This isn’t all though, there are also other new accessories.

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Would You Mount an Action Camera to Your Dog?

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What could be better than mounting a video camera on your dog to get their point of view? Well, Sony today announced a little backpack to make this easier for you to do when you want to use their action cam. The addition wraps around your canine companion in pretty much the same way that some leashes work and some sweaters might. The harness is adjustable, but is only designed for dogs over 15 kilograms (33 pounds) with a belly circumference of between 50 to 80 centimeters.

You’ll be able to pick one up on April 26th in Japan. No idea when it might hit the US though.

Would you put this on your dog?

Via the Verge

Ready. Set. Sony Action Cam.

This is the Action Cam by Sony and the company has taken a strange approach for this little guy. Sony began showing of images of the camera as well as releasing a teaser for the little guy not too long ago. They wanted perspective buyers of their competitors that they would be releasing a new action video king.

The Action Cam is incredibly well spec’d and during our press conference they made sure we knew what they offered compared to the GoPro Hero and the Contour Roam cameras. I’m going to take a little bit of time going over why this cam will be a better fit for you than the previously mentioned competing cameras. Continue reading…