Wednesday, June 12, 2024

REVIEWED: Sony FDR-X3000R Handycam

This action camera impresses on core quality and image stabilisation, but as a package it’s of questionable value

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Action cams are for self-obsessed people who have an odd obsession with documenting their travels using more and more parameters. The FDR-X3000R has GPS so as well as filming a downright dull video of yourself having a bike ride, you can link it to a map of exactly where you went, with other stats like speed and altitude also possible. But why?

Good stuff

Let’s start with the FDR-X3000R’s incredibly good points. It comes with a waterproof housing – nice – and incredibly powerful, effective image stabilisation tech. You can wave the thing around and the resulting video remains oddly watchable.  It’s got a useful 3x digital zoom for close-in shots, a tripod thread, some remote monitoring via a small Live-View remote (in the box) or via a phone app, and there are plenty of accessories available. 4K footage is awesome.

Bad stuff

Now the bad stuff. The GPS, the Bluetooth (for linking to the Live-View remote screen), and the WiFi (for the app to join in) all drain the battery badly. Seriously, 40 minutes? That’s poor. Still images are very bad – just so soft and pixel-y – while the operating system on both the camera’s tiny screen and the Live-View remote is confusing. The app is so, so much better. This action cam also records in the XAVC S format. Err …

Pointing the finger

Although it’s an optional extra, the FDR-X3000R comes with a finger grip. Sounds weird? it is, but it works a treat; you basically used a little plastic device that loops around a finger and therefore act as a surprisingly stable camera rig. You can even pin the Live-Remote on the top, though doing so means a judder is introduced into the video each time you press its record on/off button.

Stable footing

The FDR-X3000R is a fine action cam, reaching highs rarely seen in the genre. The image stabilisation in particular is something else, hugely helping its 4K 30fps footage. But that mountable Live-View remote? It’s more an annoyance than an upgrade, and unless you’re going to be biking and only biking (and thus insistent on creating some of mankind’s dullest-ever videos), we would advise

Price as reviewed: £500

Buy the Sony FDR-X3000R Handycam