Going to the Maldives without an underwater video camera would be akin to seeing a long-awaited 3D movie blockbuster…without the 3D glasses.
Thanks to impressive technology in the recent decade, underwater video cameras are now palm sized, handy and created for active people. The challenge these days is in choosing which video camera to go with as there are several brands out in the market, in varying budget.
For our recent Maldives trip, we took with us the Sony HDR-AS30V Action Cam
This is the video camera with the standard case that it comes with:
On its own, the camera isn’t waterproof, so the standard given case is required if using this underwater.
And because we mainly used this underwater, these accessories were a must for us:
The squarish frame in front is one of the most important features of this case, and a must if documenting whilst scuba diving (or even snorkelling).
If you use the camera with the standard case, the dome shaped lens cover will sort of distort underwater images and you won’t get a very focused footage.
We used a handheld monopod to use this underwater, and the slim design and structure of the camera is excellent, especially if you wish to cover some marine life in almost macro- closeness.
Now one of the biggest things we like about the Sony HDR-AS30V is the huge power button:
It’s quite easy to press , and I love that the design was built with the forethought that should the user be wearing gloves (be it for snowsport, cycling, or, in our case, dry-suit diving in Iceland), then they would still have ease of use controlling the camera.
And here are our underwater footage using the Sony AS30V in the Maldives:
This camera being 1080P in HD has really captured all the elements underwater. The Sony Action cam’s slogan is “Prove Yourself”, and it’s definitely helped us prove how much fun we had, and relay to you the wonders we have seen underwater.
Steadyshot Image Stabilisation
My personal favourite feature of the Sony AS30V Action Cam is the Steadyshot Image Stabilisation. This proved very helpful when shooting overland.
A perfect proof of the wonders of this feature is this:
You will see that this entire video was shot in just ONE clip. No cuts or edits were done, just the additional text.
This, along with Zombie’s steady hand is just marvellous.
Here’s another video utilising the Steadyshot Image Stabilisation (with cuts)
On both videos above, no ‘anti-shake’ any extra stabilisation effect were added at all.
The Handheld Viewfinder
This is another cool accessory that we found very helpful in shooting overland.
Sure the other action cam brands also have a viewfinder accessory, but in our opinion, the design of this viewfinder is the best as it resembles the shape of the traditional handheld video camera. So using it feels very familiar and comfortable.
It’s also worth noting that the Sony AS30V Action cam comes with Wi-FI and GPS. The Wi-Fi comes in handy to upload footages without wiring, and most of all with a Sony App, you can use your mobile phone as a remote viewfinder.
This action cam is terrific in the following aspects :
– Great video quality with 1080P HD
– slim and compact built, not bulky at all
– awesome additional accessories
– The Steadyshot Image Stabilisation feature
They say there always room for improvement, and for us, that would be:
– if the actual camera itself (without the standard case) would be waterproof on its own that would be great
– if the underwater casing (the one that you could take diving) has control buttons on the side, it would greatly help as this means we can change the mode while underwater (eg from video to still shots and vice versa)
*Post note: Sony has just recently launched the newer version of this Camera, the Sony AS100V, and they seem to have read our sentiments, the actual body is now waterproof*
*Sony Australia has supplied us with the gear and accessories.There is no obligation to write favourably, and all opinions of this post are ours*
Great review and nice videos. I came across your blog while googling “Sony AS100V snorkeling”. Glad to see that your Sony video cam worked great underwater during your trip.
I just ordered an AS100v but one question remains: Which monopod to use?
Which monopod did you use for your AS30? Would you recommend?
Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
Jean Holy Smithereens says
Hi Kyle! Thank you the camera was really a great trip companion during the trip. The monopod we used was from Go Drift. I know sony offers a lot of monopods as well. Things we looked out for in getting a monopod – lightweight, telescopic, and has minimal metal parts as seawater salt can be corrosive. Zombie shares more underwater coverage tips here http://photosnail.blogspot.com.au/ Where are you taking your Sony AS100V? – great product btw, we have seen it at the launch and you will not be disappointed 🙂
Tony Louis says
This is a great review and gives a great detailed insight into this accommodation. I really do appreciate this and the awesome camera tips. I was going to purchase a Go Pro Hero 3 but now after seeing you review I am now undecided which camera to buy. I like the fact that the Sony shoots in 1080P (Progressive). This resort, you and the HAPPY SNAPPER are pure class, what a great review thank you very much….
Jean Holy Smithereens says
Thanks Tony! So glad you found the review helpful. What we really loved about it is the steadyshot feature – something you will find on normal camcorders but not on sports action cam. So it makes it so versatile to use for both land and water. Looking forward to seeing your videos with the new cam 🙂
Hi Jean, I’m interested with the handheld monopod you used. Do you have a name/link for that? I already have the cam and the housing, just need a handheld monopod, also I’m not sure if random ones on Amazon are capable for scuba diving.
Jean Holy Smithereens says
Hello! We used a brand called “Drift” we got this monopod at a shop in Martin Place in Sydney. It’s really been serving us well, and as I type this we are in Labuan Bajo (indonesia) and we just took it snorkelling 🙂