Build quality and handling

  • Waterproof housing included
  • Standard tripod thread
  • Short battery life in practice

Unusually, Sony has chosen to supply its action camera with an Underwater Housing (MPK-UWH1), which makes it waterproof up to 60m, by default. Indeed, it's wearing it in the box (though it's easy enough to pop the camera out of it).

Also in the box are a micro USB cable and a rechargeable 3.6V lithium-ion 1,240mAh battery – the Sony NP-BX1, which claims to record in maximum XAVC S quality for 60 minutes, or 50 minutes if live streaming over Wi-Fi, or in Full HD for 135/125 minutes. In our tests – largely with 4K – battery life was more like 40 minutes.

Recording is started simply by pressing the red button on top of the FDR-X3000R's, although by default it makes obnoxiously loud polyphonic beeps. This red button also doubles as the menu selection tool when using the tiny screen on the FDR-X3000R's side. That takes a little getting used to, and the myriad icons and readouts on that screen are initially baffling for anything other than basic settings. It's certainly not as intuitive as the YI 4K, and the confusion is merely replicated on the live view remote. It’s much better to rely on the app. 

The lens is has a focal length of 17mm when filming in 4K, with 23mm and 32mm settings also available, while there are just two main shooting modes – ‘normal’ and ‘underwater’. However, you can make tweaks to the white balance, auto exposure shift, and color temperature via the app.