Sony HDR-AS50 Review

The HDR-AS50 is a new budget friendly action camera from Sony. While it doesn’t have crazy flagship model features, it is still an action camera from the tech giant Sony. So for $148 you can definitely expect great quality. This should be a great option if you don’t want a no-name camera brand. This is the main reason why I got myself the new Sony HDR-AS50. I can personally say already that I’m very happy with the purchase. But you can read more about that in the review below!

Technical Specification

  • Dimensions: 83x47x24.2mm / 3.27×1.85×0.95″
  • Weight: 83g / 2.93oz
  • Video resolutions: 1080p 60/50/30/25/24fps; 720p 120/100/30/25fps
  • Photo: 11MP
  • Modes: Loop, Burst, Time-Lapse, Motion Shot, Live Stream
  • Features: WiFi, Bluetooth & NFC, Steadyshot Electronic Image Stabilization, small LCD screen for settings
  • Ports: MicroUSB, MicroSD card slot
  • Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 128GB
  • Battery life: 2 hours 30 minutes of 1080p 30fps recording
  • Price: $148

In The Box

  • Sony HDR-AS50 action camera
  • Attachment buckle
  • Waterproof case up to 60m / 197ft
  • MicroUSB cable
  • Live View Remote (Only with the $298 package)

Design & Accessories

Unlike the GoPro’s cubic or rectangular action camera design, Sony has their own unique trademark tube/camcorder like style. If you have seen Sony action cameras before then you know what I’m talking about. The exact same goes for the HDR-AS50 as well. With a dimension of 83x47x24.2mm / 3.27×1.85×0.95″ and 83g / 2.93oz weight, the action camera is almost meant to be mounted onto helmets. Which does make it a perfect choice for any action sports. This does of course mean that you keep it bare as it is. If you want to use a waterproof case then it will add an extra 100g / 3.5oz to the weight. So it does get a bit bulkier but not that much.

sony hdr-as50 action camera

The design of the Sony HDR-AS50 is pretty well thought out. The flat side has a small LCD screen with buttons. Those are used to change the action camera settings. You can also of course connect it to your iOS or Android device via the Sony PlayMemories Mobile app. But the buttons and the logic behind navigating through settings is really good. You will get used to it really fast. You can also turn on one button recording mode which means that the action camera will start recording the second you turn it on.

Sony has a pretty good range of accessories when it comes to action cameras. It does come with a standard adhesive mount that you can use to attach the camera anywhere. You can of course also get other mounts from either GoPro or Sony. If you want to use GoPro mounts then you will need to get an adaptor from them. The Sony HDR-AS50 has a standard 1/4″ tripod thread hole so it will definitely make your life easier. I actually really like it when action cameras have that. I have personally found a tripod to be quite useful and most of the times they do require a threaded connection.

Video & Features

The HDR-AS50 is Sony’s version of a budget action camera. Therefore don’t expect any crazy 4K videos. The action camera supports the following video resolutions and frames:

  • 1080p 60/50/30/25/24fps
  • 720p 120/100/30/25fps

This isn’t bad at all considering that even the best action cameras only support 4K with very flow frame rates. So chances are that even with them you’ll be using the Full HD 1080p. 60 frames is more than enough for shooting 1080p even when cruising down a hill. The HDR-AS50 can also be used to take still images at up to 11MP. You can also use different shooting modes such as Loop, Burst, Time-Lapse, Motion Shot and Live Stream. Pretty standard apart from the Live Stream. The action camera has also got Sony’s Steadyshot Electronic Image Stabilization system. It will remove vibrations and make your videos look smoother.

Here is a pretty good example of the video quality. The Sony action cameras just work. Even at 1080p, the video is really clear and crisp. I don’t see much blurring at all. Even under water, everything is super clear. Colors are okay. You can of course edit the colors yourself as well. Maybe you are into warmer tones etc. Only problem for the camera is the sun. This is actually a problem for 99% of action cameras. When you point the lens into the sun, the video does lose some quality and get darker. But I would say that the HDR-AS50 handles it better than any other action camera in this price range.

sony hdr-as50 live view remote

Also as I mentioned before, you can connect the action camera to an iOS or Android device and view live feed from there. Sony has also got a Live View Remote which can basically be worn as a watch on your wrist. You can view the live feed from there and even control the camera. If you really want this kind of feature then it will cost an extra $150. I’m not sure if it can be bought separately. Amazon has the Sony HDR-AS50 + Live View Remote combo on sale for $298. I personally don’t see any use of it and prefer using my phone.

Conclusion

In my opinion, the Sony HDR-AS50 is the best action camera you can get for $148. I really don’t see any other competition in that price range. It is super easy to use, design is perfect for action sports and even get a waterproof case that can actually be used up to 60m / 197ft under water. Plus the video quality is good enough for most hobby users. Of course professionals may want something beefier but for someone getting started or just wants to capture cool videos, then the HDR-AS50 is enough!

8.3 Total Score
Excellent!

Design
8.5
Build Quality
9.5
Video Quality
8
Features
8
Accessories
7.5
User Rating: 3.02 (19 votes)