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22 December 2015

[REVIEW] Sony 4K Action Cam FDR-X1000V (with videos)

Review: Sony FDR-X1000V/W 4K Action Cam

Review: Sony 4K Action Cam FDR-X1000V/W

Few months back I got this new Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V to play with and use to record my adventures during my travels. It looks really different from the action cam that I used before and I always enjoy exploring new gadgets that ease my life. Especially when they are related to photography and videography =D

I am going to share the pros and cons of Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V with you and some photos/videos that I've captured using it. Overall I am satisfied with the performance, especially the 170° ultra-wide field of view and super stabilized footage when I shoot videos using it.

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Sony 4K Action Cam - FDR-X1000V review:


Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V can record 4K video footage
Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V can record 4K video footage

4K Quality and XAVC S Format
Let's talk about the video quality of this Sony 4K Action Cam. If you love to have your video shoot in 4K high-resolution, this is the video camera you should have especially when you use it to record beautiful scenery. Since I don't need 4K resolution for my video work, I didn't really record much 4K footage during my travels.

Here's a tip for you, in order to record 4K or 100 Mb/s footage using FDR-X1000V, make sure you get the correct fast-performance memory card (microSDXC card with a UHS-I U3 rating) or else you won't able to record videos until you change to a lower bitrate.

Wide angle camera suitable for scenery shot like this.
Wide angle camera suitable for scenery shot like this.

170° ultra-wide ZEISS Tessar lens and Panoramic 170° viewing angle
A good wide angle lens is important in an action cam as you wouldn't want to miss out any precious moments within the frame. It is actually a very good way to capture expansive landscape and awesome aerial images, especially when you use a drone.

Easy selfies taken using Sony Action Cam  FDR-X1000V
Easy selfies taken using Sony Action Cam  FDR-X1000V

Since the action cam's lens is in wide angle, I can easily use it to do travel vlogs by attaching it on a monopod for even more extended view. I do use it a lot for selfie too.


Photos of penguins captured in the dark using Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V

Inside Sony Action FDR-X100V, it has BIONZ X processor that excels in fast action recording and smooth motion. The Exmor R CMOS cutting-edge sensor packs in more pixels for low-noise shooting in dark settings, using only incident light. Although the video quality recorded at night won't be as great as DSLRs nowadays which allow us to adjust aperture, I do believe that this cam manage to record enough details at night. One tip for you, bring extra lights to illuminate dark scenes =)


Moving ride in Hong Kong Ocean Park taken at night
Reasonable night video quality with low noise
As an action cam user, I am quite surprised by the quality that this camera can record at night. I won't say it is perfect but I can still see the details that I want even though it was really dark outside. Of course, it is highly recommended if you can illuminate your subject with extra lights. Now have a look at the video I recorded at Hong Kong Ocean Park. Do take note the night footages at the second half of the video:




Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V with AKA-DDX1K Dive Door and housing
Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V with AKA-DDX1K Dive Door and housing
Beautiful underwater scuba diving footage using the waterproof diving housing
When I travelled to Mabul Island for diving trip, I used this AKA-DDX1K Dive Door that allows my action cam to go underwater up to 60m depth. Sony FDRX1000V has the built in 'Underwater mode' which compensate the red color that will be lost when you dive deeper.  Instead of having all blue footage, it helps to recover the red color in certain corals and fishes. The 'Underwater mode' works best when the weather is sunny and the underwater is well-illuminated, and it works well within 15m depth.
Photo of a sea turtle captured using 'Auto White Balance' mode, lost red color in image and it appear blue overall
Photo of a sea turtle captured using 'Auto White Balance' mode, lost red color in image and it appear blue overall
However, if you are diving deeper than 15metres and bringing torchlights with you, just use the 'Auto White Balance' and illuminate your video subject with the torch. This is to prevent the lighting from appearing as red lights (instead of normal light) shining on your subject.



Underwater photo captured using Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V with 'Underwater' white balance mode on to preserve the red color
Underwater photo captured using Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V with 'Underwater' white balance mode on to preserve the red color

There are many sea creatures that look gorgeous and colorful. You just need the right setting to preserve their color
There are many sea creatures that look gorgeous and colorful. You just need the right setting to preserve their color
I would like to show you a video that I recorded during my diving trip in Mabul Island. You will able to see some interesting sea creatures that you can find here in Malaysia:
Scuba Diving @ Mabul Island, Malaysia 

What do you think about the underwater footage taken at Mabul Island?? I think all I need is additional underwater torchlight for better video footage next time.



Live-View Remote RM-LVR2 and Mobile Control using PlayMemories Mobile
If you need a screen to see what you are recording especially when you are doing water sport, you can get your Sony Action Cam an additional Live-View Remote (RM-LVR2). This Live-View Remote is water resistance up to 3m depth and suitable for surfing sports;

You can always use your smartphone as a live-view monitor/control too by using the mobile apps 'Remote app:PlayMemories Mobile'. With that you can easily control the settings of your Sony Action Cam. You can also use the built-in Highlight Movie Maker feature to make video highlights (up to 2 minutes) of the day.

Do note that when you using Wireless/NFC connection, your battery will drain faster. Therefore use the Wi-Fi LiveView function only when you need to.

Do you really need Live View Remote RM-LVR2? Well it depends, if you are a surfer and always do sports, you can definitely get this gear (eg. surf board and skateboard). Or else, just use your smartphone as live-view tool which would make it easier for you to control the settings too.


Livestreaming using USTREAM
According to the info on Sony website, you can do live streaming straight from your action cam but I haven't got chance to try it yet. You may find more info here.


Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V review

My verdicts on Sony 4K Action Cam FDR-X1000V:
To me, the first thing you need to consider in your mind is what you need from an action camera. Do you need an action camera that can capture fast action? Do you need a camera that can capture good images in low light? And is it important to have stabilized footage? For me, a wide and stabilized footage is very important as it give viewers a great view of my visual story without making them feeling nausea. Glad that this action can give me what I need.

So far this splashproof and shockproof 4K Action Cam has been perform well when I use it to record my travelogue in many countries. I did go through some funny mistakes like accidentally pressing the REC button and recording the 'dark side' in my pocket (there is a hold button to prevent this) or syncing my phone to live-view but forgetting to disconnect it hence draining the battery faster than it should. However, with this action cam I've manage to capture many precious moments of my journey and it makes me smile when I look back at these footage together with my friends. You can check out my YouTube channel for more upcoming videos recording using this action cam.

You may want to read my previous post related to Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V:
Things that I hope this action cam can improve is to include extra charger for all the action cam series. We all know that all action cameras drain battery power quickly and you definitely need at least a spare battery for almost whole day usage. Luckily you can charge your action cam directly through USB charge (using powerbank) but you might miss out some important moments when your action cam is still under charging. Just wondering why Sony sells it separately.

The stereo mic in front of the camera did pretty well in recording the surrounding audio and it even has 'Wind Filter' features on too. That's why it is good for vlogs even when you are taking a speedboat ride or doing skydiving =)

Although Sony Action Cam doesn't have as much accessories (including third parties) as other brands, I believe Sony is at the right direction by coming up with their own series of action cam. Other than this 4K Action Cam, Sony also has a mini version of the action cam which is much easier to bring along or attach to your headgear. There are now actually plenty of accessories to meet your needs and to pair with this action cam. I just hope that their next version of action cam will be improved according to consumer's need as that's how to win our hearts.

Sony 4K Action Cam FDR-X1000V retail price starting from RM1,599, you can choose to buy additional Live-View Remote Control too at RM479. To get it at cheaper price exclusively from Lazada, visit this particular page.



Capture motion pictures easily with compact Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V
Capture motion pictures easily with compact Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V
Stay tuned for more videos shot using this action cam!! Do check out my FB Page and YouTube too!

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