It’s your turn, America: Affordable Sony W810, WX220 compacts and rugged ActionCam AS20 land stateside
posted Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 1:31 PM EDT
America, it's time for you to do some catching up! Sony has today announced that three cameras announced quite some time ago in other markets will be coming here too: the Sony W810 and Sony WX220 compacts, and the GoPro-challenging ActionCam AS20.
Of the trio, the Sony W810 is the one we've waited the longest for. It's also the most affordable, priced at just US$100. It was announced alongside the Sony W830 at the Consumer Electronics Show, way back at the start of January. Like that camera, the Sony W810 sports a 20-megapixel CCD image sensor and 2.7-inch LCD monitor, but where the W830 opts for a Zeiss-branded 8x optical zoom lens, the Sony W810 instead features a Sony-branded 6x zoom.
The W810's lens is not quite as wide as that on the W830, and also a little less bright with a maximum aperture of f/3.5-6.5 across the zoom range. It still boasts a reasonably generous 26mm wide angle, though, and most of the difference from the W810's optic is to be found at the telephoto end of the range. The W810 is also just a little larger and heavier than its sibling, shoots a little slower (likely because it lacks a BIONZ-branded processor), and has slightly lesser battery life. For that, you save around US$30 on list pricing.
If you're looking for an entry-level camera with a pricetag that means you don't have to worry about letting the kids use it, watch for the Sony W810 in the US market from September, priced at US$100 and available in silver only.
Next up is the Sony WX220, a sibling to the WX350 that launched at the CP+ tradeshow in mid-February. Here again, both cameras share the exact same 18.2-megapixel Sony Exmor R image sensor, but this time around they also both sport BIONZ X-branded image processors, allowing equal 10 frames-per-second shooting for both cameras.
The main difference is to be found in their lenses. Where the Sony WX350 opted for a powerful Sony G 20x optical zoom, the WX220 instead selects a 10x zoom, likewise with Sony G branding. And because it has significantly less reach, the Sony WX220 is both more compact and lighter than its sibling, as well as boasting a brighter maximum aperture of f/3.3-5.9 across the zoom range. However, it does also save a little on cost by using a smaller 2.7-inch LCD monitor, rather than the 3.0-inch panel of its pricier sibling.
The Sony WX220 goes on sale in the US market from August in black or gold-bodied versions, priced at US$200. By way of comparison, US list pricing for the WX350 is US$320.
And finally, we come to the ActionCam. This is actually a fairly recent announcement even in Europe, where it launched in the middle of June. The Sony ActionCam HDR-AS20 shares much the same body as the existing ActionCam HDR-AS15 and HDR-AS30V, as well as the same 15.3mm-equivalent f/2.8 lens. It also accepts the same mounting accessories.
Its 16.8-megapixel Exmor R CMOS image sensor is the same as that used in the AS30V, and offers higher resolution than the 11.8-megapixel chip of the HDR-AS15. It also opts for the optical SteadyShot image stabilization of the AS30V, rather than the Electrical SteadyShot of the HDR-AS15. However, the ActionCam AS20 forgoes the NFC and GPS radios of the more-expensive AS30V, opting solely for Wi-Fi like the AS15.
Available from August in the US market, the Sony ActionCam HDR-AS20 is priced at US$200.