Verdict

The FDR-X3000R is a fine action cam; small, hugely capable and fully featured. However, it's also hugely expensive, and overkill for most users. The chief problem is the live view remote, which adds to the cost of the FDR-X3000R package considerably, but does not impress. The concept behind it – to act as a preview screen on the handlebars of a bike, or even on a wrist – is good, but the execution poor; it just doesn't stay connected reliably enough. 

The PlayMemories app on a smartphone is much more impressive. There are other features here that most people won't use, such as GPS and the included waterproof housing, while voice control and decent-quality still image capabilities are missing. However, at its core the FDR-X3000R does impress, with the detail in 4K and the effective image stabilization tech in particular some very high highlights that put it ahead of the GoPro Hero5 Black on core video quality.

So while the FDR-X3000R remains a great, even a uniquely-skilled action cam, forget the live view remote; if anything it turns this action cam into an inaction cam. Instead, go for the more affordable Sony FDR-X3000, which comes without the remote (but with the waterproof casing), and use the PlayMemories app on a smartphone (a handlebar mount for a smartphone will do the same job).

Go for the basic package, spend the extra money on a few badly needed extra batteries, and awesomely smooth, stabilized, un-distorted and versatile high-quality 4K can be yours. 

Competition

The Hero5 Black is a great reminder of why the name GoPro is so revered and why it's still our top action camera pick. It's simple to use, and the addition of a rear touchscreen, voice control and GPS make it one of the most feature-packed cams currently available. 

Read the full review: GoPro Hero5 Black

This well-constructed POV cam shoots the same 4K 30fps video and 12MP stills as a GoPro Hero5, yet has a bigger touchscreen and a lower price. There's no voice control, and a waterproof case is an optional extra, but aside from that the YI 4K is a polished performer, and terrific value.

Read the full review: YI 4K