PICTURE QUALITY:This action camera spits out 4K video—best-of-the-best in amateur handhelds—and decent stills (8.8 megapixels), both of which are super-clear and sharp thanks to its ZEISS lens. Unlike most other POV cams, this Sony uses image stabilization software; footage was smooth even when we were hurtling down rocky slopes and postholing on shoulder-season treks.
SOUND: Thanks to proprietary software, the built-in stereo mic effectively reduces wind noise. Note: It does reduce battery longevity, so if it’s not windy, we recommend turning it off (in the appropriately named “Wind” tab in the setup menu).
PROTECTION: The camera itself is splashproof, but the (included) plastic housing ups the ante, making it waterproof (up to 33 feet), dustproof, and shockproof.
OPTIONS: Tired of plain old video? We liked mixing up regular b-roll with time- lapse and slow motion (hidden under the nomenclature “High Speed REC”). “It’s nice being able to shoot a powder-turn slash or a runner kicking up dirt in slow-mo,” one tester says. “With other action cameras, you’d have to go into video-editing software and add in the slow motion afterward.”
REMOTE: Sony’s Remote Viewer (sold separately) adds another $150 to the package, but it’s totally worth it: This easy-to-use wrist controller lets you preview your shot, review your film, and adjust settings while the camera is positioned on your helmet or other hard-to-view areas. “No more coming home and realizing that I memorialized my epic trip with a continuous shot of my thigh,” one editor says.
FEATURES: It’s wifi-enabled, so you can connect your phone (to upload or share), but the coolest feature is its built-in GPS, which allows you to geolocate your footage. Note: Price is steep, but you get more features than with competitors that cost the same.