Sony Action Camera Mini (HDR- AZ1) review

7.4/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Sony Action Camera Mini (HDR- AZ1)

A leaner, lighter version of its top POV camera, the Sony Action Cam Mini HDR-AZ1 puts big performance in a little package.

- Joshua Goldman, Cnet 

Specs / Features


Sony's smallest splash-proof Action Cam | SteadyShot(TM) image stabilization conquers bumps and blur | Control Action Cam via phone or up to 5 w/ Live-View Remote | 5 video modes (1080/60p @50Mbps HD and 2x slow motion) | Built-In stereo mic for quality sound recording

Sony's smallest splash-proof Action Cam | SteadyShot(TM) image stabilization conquers bumps and blur | Control Action Cam via phone or up to 5 w/ Live-View Remote | 5 video modes (1080/60p @50Mbps HD and 2x slow motion) | Built-In stereo mic for quality sound recording

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Specification

Brand Sony
Model HDRAZ1/W
Size 7 x 2 cm (2.8 x 0.8 in)

Critic Reviews


Best Action Camera

Most complete action camera package ever

from Best Action Camera

The main feature of the Sony ActionCam Mini is the really small design. And what is truly remarkable is how they have fit inside the bigger Sony AS100VR video specs. This and the top recording button makes me prefer it over the AS100VR model. It is also cheaper at $298 for Camera+Remote or $198 for just camera.

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The main feature of the Sony ActionCam Mini is the really small design. And what is truly remarkable is how they have fit inside the bigger Sony AS100VR video specs. This and the top recording button makes me prefer it over the AS100VR model. It is also cheaper at $298 for Camera+Remote or $198 for just camera.

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A Better Ski

Great little everyday action cam

The Sony HDR-AZ1 really is a great little camera. If you find all the other cams to be a bit on the big side, you’ll love how small the Mini cam is. It still takes decent video at 1080p, and is a relatively easy to use point and shoot camera. We’d like to see a bit better battery life, and ma...More

The Sony HDR-AZ1 really is a great little camera. If you find all the other cams to be a bit on the big side, you’ll love how small the Mini cam is. It still takes decent video at 1080p, and is a relatively easy to use point and shoot camera. We’d like to see a bit better battery life, and maybe a larger side screen, although that may be hard to do without compromising overall size.

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Reviewed

There are too many key areas that come up short when compared to other action cams

from Reviewed

Overall we like the smaller design of the AZ1 over many action cams, but the downgrade in performance that comes with it isn't worth the cut in size. Even simply as an action cam, the fact that it only goes 16 feet underwater—compared to 131 feet with any GoPro—is off-putting. We hope...More

Overall we like the smaller design of the AZ1 over many action cams, but the downgrade in performance that comes with it isn't worth the cut in size. Even simply as an action cam, the fact that it only goes 16 feet underwater—compared to 131 feet with any GoPro—is off-putting. We hope this is remedied in future case designs, as divers are a significant part of the action cam market.

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Digital Trends

Great image quality, compact size

from Digital Trends

If you want an action camera that’s simple to use and delivers great image quality, the AZ1 is a no brainer. It isn’t overly complicated, and it performs better than budget models. GoPro offers a cheaper Hero model that costs only $130, but the AZ1 has better resolution and Wi-Fi/NFC....More

If you want an action camera that’s simple to use and delivers great image quality, the AZ1 is a no brainer. It isn’t overly complicated, and it performs better than budget models. GoPro offers a cheaper Hero model that costs only $130, but the AZ1 has better resolution and Wi-Fi/NFC. If you want a stronger action cam that lets you fine-tune settings, you’re better off with GoPro’s pricier Hero4 models. Otherwise, the AZ1 should satisfy the majority of consumers looking to get into action-cam videography.

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Expert Reviews

Respectable image quality

from Expert Reviews

A decent action camera. The small and light body is particularly impressive and the included remote control is extremely convenient and easy to use. We had no issues with the companion apps either. However, it’s just slightly let down by average image quality.

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A decent action camera. The small and light body is particularly impressive and the included remote control is extremely convenient and easy to use. We had no issues with the companion apps either. However, it’s just slightly let down by average image quality.

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TechRadar

The AZ1VR is competitively priced and as a feature packed action camera with live view remote it's hard to beat

from TechRadar

The AZ1VR is a well thought out and easy to use action camera that lets you capture the action without having to worry about settings or fiddling around with miniature buttons. It's the partnership between the camera and remote that really makes this a great action camera and with the enhanced video capture format and SteadyShot features it's a good choice for any enthusiast....

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The AZ1VR is a well thought out and easy to use action camera that lets you capture the action without having to worry about settings or fiddling around with miniature buttons. It's the partnership between the camera and remote that really makes this a great action camera and with the enhanced video capture format and SteadyShot features it's a good choice for any enthusiast.

Sony has been in this market for a few years with its AS range of action cameras there are already a good variety of mounts out there, so what ever the sport or activity you want to film then there's sure to be a mount to help you do it.

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Pinkbike

Stunning picture and sound quality

from Pinkbike

The compromises around settings, battery life, 4K and HDMI-out may put you off, but operating the camera via the app or Live-View remote is pretty straightforward, and if you tend to stick to one shooting mode for the majority of filming and/or photos, the removal of superfluous settings and butt...More

The compromises around settings, battery life, 4K and HDMI-out may put you off, but operating the camera via the app or Live-View remote is pretty straightforward, and if you tend to stick to one shooting mode for the majority of filming and/or photos, the removal of superfluous settings and buttons may make little difference to you. The final clincher though, may be the price, with the bundled camera and remote kit we tested costing considerably less than other rival products, making it a good budget alternative.

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Cnet

Full-size performance in a tiny body

from Cnet

The first couple Action Cams from Sony gave the impression it was coasting on its brand recognition. The Action Cam AS100V and the Action Cam Mini HDR-AZ1, on the other hand, are serious entries that deserve consideration. Thanks to its size, weight and performance, the AZ1 might just have you saying goodbye to GoPro.

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The first couple Action Cams from Sony gave the impression it was coasting on its brand recognition. The Action Cam AS100V and the Action Cam Mini HDR-AZ1, on the other hand, are serious entries that deserve consideration. Thanks to its size, weight and performance, the AZ1 might just have you saying goodbye to GoPro.

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Nerd Techy

High-end technology that looks promising

from Nerd Techy

It’s a rugged, high-tech mini camcorder that’s ready to be put through the wringer of any action sport you’d like. Super, smooth imaging thanks to the SteadyShot technology. It records a still image even when it experiences bumping or blurring – perfect for mountain biking, motorsports, and other high-movement activities.

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It’s a rugged, high-tech mini camcorder that’s ready to be put through the wringer of any action sport you’d like. Super, smooth imaging thanks to the SteadyShot technology. It records a still image even when it experiences bumping or blurring – perfect for mountain biking, motorsports, and other high-movement activities.

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Bike Rumor

One of the smallest on the market

from Bike Rumor

Take off the housing, and it feels impressively small and since the new body is splash proof you can run it without the housing. What does splash proof mean? We’re told normal mountain bike conditions should be fine, even if you were to briefly drop it in a puddle or stream. Just don’t go surfing without the waterproof housing.

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Take off the housing, and it feels impressively small and since the new body is splash proof you can run it without the housing. What does splash proof mean? We’re told normal mountain bike conditions should be fine, even if you were to briefly drop it in a puddle or stream. Just don’t go surfing without the waterproof housing.

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