Sony FDR-X3000R Review

Sony is an amazing tech giant that has the highest quality products. The same goes for their action cameras. You might remember their amazing FDR-X1000R action camera. I believe that was actually the first 4K action camera on the market with a digital image stabilization system. Well it has been 2 years since then and Sony has now released their newest flagship model: Sony FDR-X3000R. Based on my previous experience with Sony action cameras, the FDR-X3000R might actually be the best action camera on the market. Luckily I have managed to use it for the past week and so I have written my own review about it.

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 83x47x29.4mm / 3.27×1.85×1.16″
  • Weight: 114g / 4.1oz
  • Video resolutions: 4K 30/25/24fps; 1080p 120/100/60/50/30/25/24fps; 720p 240/200/120/100fps
  • Photo: 12MP
  • Modes: Loop, Burst, Motion Shot, 4K Time-Lapse, Live Streaming
  • Features: WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, Small LCD screen, Balanced Optical SteadyShot with Active mode Image Stabilization
  • Ports: MicroUSB, MicroHDMI, MicroSD card slot, Stereo minijack
  • Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 128GB
  • Battery life: 60 minutes of 4K 30fps recording with WiFI turned off
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In The Box

  • Sony FDR-X3000R action camera
  • Waterproof case up to 60m / 197ft
  • Wristband, Mount Adapter, Cradle and Attachment Buckle
  • Live View Remote
  • MicroUSB cable

Design & Accessories

What I like about Sony is that they have developed their own unique design and kept it pretty much the same on all their models. I mean yeah there are some differences in dimensions and button placements but overall it has been the same. In my opinion, their design is the best for action sports. It doesn’t take much space and the slim design makes it perfect for mounting to helmets. So if you are into snowboarding or riding a downhill bike, then Sony action cameras are probably the best option for you.

sony fdr-x3000r action cam

The same applies for the Sony FDR-X3000R. If you have used a Sony action camera before then it won’t take any time to get used to it. They still have a small LCD screen for settings on the side of the camera. Top has the recording button and ports are on the back. The bottom of the camera has also got a threaded tripod hole. Really good for adding non official mounts or accessories! Like I mentioned before, the action camera is perfect for mounting onto flat surfaces such as cars and helmets. Sony has plenty of mounting options for you to get crazy with. When you buy the camera, you also get a waterproof case, mounting adapter, cradle and an attachment buckle. I recommend getting some adhesive bottoms as well. They are really helpful if you want to attach the camera to a solid surface.

Sony FDR-X3000R action camera

Besides that, the Sony FDR-X3000R also comes with a live view remote! You can use it to control the action camera and view live feed. It’s pretty good if you have it attached to a moving object such as a car. You can also use your iOS or Android device but sometimes it’s easier to use the remote. The live view remote also comes with a wristband so it can also be worn as a watch. The cheaper Sony action cameras don’t have it included and it usually costs around $150. So in my opinion a 4K action camera + a live view remote for $469 is a pretty good deal.

Video & Features

The Sony FDR-X3000R is currently the most powerful action camera available. Yes both the GoPro Hero5 Black and the Sony can recording in 4K resolution and similar frame rates. The difference is the video recording rate. While GoPro is capable of recording at a bitrate of 60Mbps, Sony FDR-X3000R can do up to 100Mbps. That means that the Sony can save more data faster and while 60Mbps can be enough, the extra 40 can definitely help when recording in 4K. 4K has includes so much data that the Sony should perform better there. Just make sure that you use a microSD card that supports this high bitrates. If you don’t then it won’t record in 100Mbps.

Besides that, the Sony action camera has also got the standard video modes such as Loop, Burst, Motion Shot and Time-Lapse. What is cool though is that you can even use Time-Lapse in 4K. Also, Sony has created a new digital image stabilization system that actually works while recording in 4K resolution. If you have used stabilization on other action cameras then you know how it only works up to 1080p. This next generation 4K stabilization is currently only on the FDR-X3000R!

Just watch this video and see for yourself how good the Sony FDR-X3000R is. The video quality is just amazing. Everything is super clear and sharp. Notice how smooth the video footage is even in 4K? That is again thanks to the next generation image stabilization system. You won’t see this kind of smoothness on the GoPro Hero5 Black as it can only stabilize up to 1080p.

So besides the crazy good video quality, Sony has also added some interesting features. For example you can live stream everything via Ustream. You can also connect up to 5 FDR-X3000R’s to your iOS or Android device via the PlayMemories Mobile app and control them all. You can also enable GPS which will save all of the data while recording and later on overlay on your video. For example create a map of the distance you covered.

Conclusion

In my opinion, the Sony FDR-X3000R is currently the best action camera available. The fact that it has an image stabilization system that works with 4K and records at 100Mbps, is more than enough to make it the best. Not to mention that for $469 you also get a live view remote.

I think that this is actually the only action camera on the market that beats the newest GoPro Hero5 Black. I’m planning to compare the two action cameras soon so it should be pretty interesting. But simply based on using the two separately, I’m really impressed with the Sony and do think that it’s the best camera at the moment. But if the price is too much for you or you don’t need the very best video quality, then you can also check out my best action camera list.

9.5 Total Score
Excellent!

Design
8.5
Build Quality
9.5
Video Quality
10
Features
10
Accessories
9.5
User Rating: 2.46 (78 votes)