New Sony Action Cams are tiny 4K adventure takers

The Sony FDR-X1000V is the company's most powerful action yet. It matches the video capabilities of the GoPro Hero4 Black, shooting 3,840 x 2,160 4K video at 30fps, 1,920 x 1,080 full HD at 120fps and 1,280 x 720 standard HD at 240fps.

It can record at 100Mbps with a UHS-1 Class 3 card or 60Mbps otherwise – but it can also save clean, uncompressed video to an external recorder.

The FDR-X1000V is splash-proof, but comes with Sony's SPK-X1 Waterproof Case, which is waterproof to a depth of 10m.

Like other POV (point of view) action cams, the FDR-1000V uses a fixed focal length super-wideangle lens – in this case, a 170-degree Zeiss Tessar.

Sony FDR X1000V

The Sony FDR-X1000V comes with a waterproof case, bottom right, but you can also get a wristband remote, bottom left.

The Sony has the full pixel readout technology from other Sony cameras, such as the a7s full-frame compact system camera, and this is designed to deliver very smooth, highly detailed video. This can be saved in a variety of formats, including MP4 and XAVC S.

Sony says it's improved its image stabilization system, adding electronic stabilization three times more effective and compensating for high-frequency motor vibration. This should help produce smooth footage when you've attached the camera to a flying drone, for example.

The stereo microphones at the front of the camera have wind noise reduction, and you can use manual controls, including white balance adjustment and auto exposure shift. The Sony FDR-X1000V also has a loop recording mode.

Sony Action Cam HDR-AS200V

If your needs are more modest, the Sony HDR-AS200V, announced at the same time as the FDR-X1000V, might fit the bill.

Sony HDR AS200V

The Sony HDR-AS200V comes with a tripod mount, seen here.

Sony says it includes many of the features and technologies found in the FDR-X1000V, including the full pixel image readout, improved image stabilisation and clean HDMI output.

The HDR-AS200V does not shoot 4K, but it can capture 1,920 x 1,080 full HD at frame rates up to 60fps and at a bitrate of 50Mbps (with a Class 10 SDXC card). It can shoot 1,280 x 720 standard HD at speeds up to 120fps.

Sony HDR AS200V

The Sony HDR-AS200V also comes with its own waterproof case.

New Sony Action Cam accessories

Sony has also announced a new RM-LVR2 live view LCD remote for use with the two new action cams. It's waterproof to a depth of 3m and lets you start/stop recording, play back movies (though without sound) and delete unwanted files.

There's also a VCT-HSM1 Helmet Side Mount which lets you adjust the shooting angle and a VCT-BDM1 Board Mount that sticks to a snowboard or surfboard.

Prices and availability

The Sony Action Cam FDR-X1000V will be go on sale at around US$500 (about £328/AU$618) and comes with the SPK-X1 waterproof case included. There will also be an Action Cam FDR-X1000VR bundle which adds the RM-LVR2 Live View Remote and will sell for around $600 (about £392/AU$742).

The new Sony HD Action Cam HDR-AS200V is cheaper and will go on sale for around $300 (about £196/AU$372) and comes with the SPK-AS2 waterproof case and a standard tripod mount. The HDR-AS200VR bundle adds the RM-LVR2 Live View Remote and will be sold for around $400 (about £261/AU$496.

Sony says both cameras will be available in March 2015.

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