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Sony HDR-AS50 Review: All Questions Answered

by on February 27, 2016
Year Manufactured


Price Range

$199 - $349

Manufactured for



Dive Housing
Field Of View Control
Improved UI
Improved Battery Life
Improved Timelapse Functions
Digital Stabilizer
Low Light Performance


Cheaper Body Design
No External Mic Support
No Compatible With Old Cases
LCD Hard To Use In Low Light
Minor Innovations


Establishing Sony’s foundation on where they see the bare minimum in acceptable Action Camera quality.

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Bottom Line

The AS50 is going to give you a lot of options at a very consumer friendly cost. While it doesn't have all the big show stoppers we'd like, it makes the right cuts in setting up Sony's foundation on where they see the bare minimum in acceptable Action Camera quality.

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  • Bart
    March 4, 2016 at 3:49 am

    Hi! Can you upload the test still images? Thanks! Bart


  • Lukas
    March 9, 2016 at 8:19 am


    I will consider the AS200 and AS50. When proper comparison between those models it? Or you do not know or come in tomnto year some even newer model from Sony?

    thx :)


    • MarkHawk
      March 16, 2016 at 11:27 am

      Filmed most of it this weekend. Hoping I have some freetime this weekend to wrap it up. Sorry for the delay.


      • Ari
        March 20, 2016 at 2:18 pm

        Yeah, really waiting for this one! :-)
        Truthfully the AS50 looks now like a better deal, but very much wishing for your thoughts.



  • viorel
    March 12, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    hallo,ich habe eine bitte bei Ihnen ,ich möchte sony actioncam kaufen aber wie heißen stativ oder teleskop?danke

    I want to buy room but as it is called Teleskop?


  • Admir
    March 13, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Hey MARK,

    what action cam do you suggest the AS200 or the AS50,which one do you think is better….pls your mind, would help me a lot!



  • Ceasars
    March 23, 2016 at 5:54 am

    I am fan of your reviews.

    Really waiting for AS50V vs AS200, I am still between Go Pro and Sony. Some people say that even video view is not possible from remote, however from the specs it seems possible. So anyway waiting for your comparison. If AS50 is as good as AS200 in terms of qualify I think I will go with that.

    Another thing is Sony VCT-STG1, do you think this is worth the price, I could go with Go Pro 3 Leg Grip (or knockoffs).



  • An Le
    April 2, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Hi Mark,
    Can i ask you a question: with the price 200$, should i get Sony AS50 or Gopro 4 Session?

    Many thanks!


  • Gabriel
    May 22, 2016 at 10:01 am

    How many hours does the battery last?


  • Justin
    July 21, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU for the most informative review on the AS50. I’m off to Okinawa for snorkeling in a month and been looking at the gopro H4/ Yi 4k then I found your clip on youtube on the AS50R. Helped me out so much on my purchasing decision. image stabilization is important for me as i’ll be too lazy and lack the technical skills for post production.
    anyhow, thanks again for the really detailed and amazing reviews. look forward to more videos from you.


  • Alejandro
    July 25, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Would you recommend this camera over the go Pro hero 4 session?


    • EisCat
      August 16, 2016 at 10:36 am

      Hola tio, la session le gana un poca en calidad de imagen a la Sony. La Sony es mas versatil, pero te diria que vayas a por la AS200 mas que por la AS50. La puedes pillar bastante barato en EEUU con varios accesorios. Si la calidad de imagen no te importa tanto como a mi, pues la AS50 te servira bien, ya que viene con la caja sumergible incluida y con el nuevo menu, un poco mejor que de las camaras anteriores. Pero no cuenta con conexion para mic externo.


  • Dip Singha
    August 11, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Hi There,
    I want to buy a action cam but a little bit confused. Would you please suggest me which one I should buy.

    1. Yi 2 4k
    2. Sony HDR AS50
    3. SJCam Sj5000X Elite
    my budget is $249. I am from India.


    • EisCat
      August 13, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Well, there is an alternative for Sony, that gives You more bang for the buck, and it’s a name that’s not less known than Sony. Consider Kodak PIXPRO SP1 Action Cam with Explorer Pack, it has the same IQ, just misses FHD 60fps, only 30fps. But it has everything included at the same price:
      32ft. / 10m Waterproof
      6.5ft. / 2m Shockproof
      Dustproof, Freezeproof
      Full HD 1080p Video
      14MP CMOS
      10 fps Burst Shooting
      1.5” LCD
      Wireless Connection

      And all the mounts and accessories needed to attach it to a bike + a superior interface with more buttons. It’s $158.99 & FREE Shipping on amazon.


  • EiCat
    August 11, 2016 at 11:50 pm
    None. Chinese cameras already have good UI and other features Sony advertises. At the same or better IQ, for less money. Add lots of accessories included.
    Poor IQ Poor light/shade balance Poor low light performance And, yeah, it "gets hot", when recording

    Hi, Mark. I hope Your reviews are unbiased, cause You missed some really important points about this little and very noisy marketing trick from Sony.
    Why noisy?
    Cause it makes a lot of noise when used in medium-light conditions. In low light it is unusable at all. You said there is little difference against AS200, but the difference is huge. AS200 has got that very good micro-detail level the AS50 misses completely. And it’s impossible to bring the detail back even using advanced algorithms in a good video-redactor. I bought this cam via a relative from Austria, where it is still sold for 189 Euros on-line, advertised with free shipping. About 210 $. The sad thing is I cannot get my money back. In my country, Moldova, it is unavailable for purchase. And it is completely “bald”. Inside the pack there were: the cam, a short USB cable, one case, one base. Well, I thought, it should impress me with an astonishing video quality. When I tested it in different light conditions I was totally disappointed. The result – low detalization, high noise, bad light/shade balance. The cam comes with a 60m waterproof case. What’s the point, if going deeper than 30m the light intensity decreases so much that the cam becomes useless without an external powerful light-source. Add the heavily blurred image and welcome to the AS50 owners club. I advice those who think about buying this “marketing trick” to look at AS200, the one that comes with Live-View remote, waterproof case and some more accessories. In EU it is about 289 Euros, but You really get some more camera for Your buck. Sorry, Euro. And the most important thing – the IQ. The rest of the features “packed” in AS50 are of no use if the image quality is bad. On a 4K screen it looks like a camcorder from the 20th century. And it is a firmware issue – Sony deliberately worsens the IQ, but they can drastically improve it in the next version. Till then – DO NOT BUY THIS “PRODUCT”. It does not worth Your endeavor, time, money and it is a waste of Your good mood. Thank Lord, I haven’t bought the SONY RML-VR2 Live Remote which is another 119 Euros. More money?
    The xavc-s mode is no visually different from MP.4, but it requires a 64GB SDXC U3 classed microSD card, otherwise camera switches to MP.4 mod. So it asks for more money. Always. What do I need xavc-s if the general IQ is blurred and noisy?
    If You are (crazy) a Sony fan – the only way is AS200 at a sale price. Or save Your money for FDR X3000.
    If You are not, consider this one:
    Runcam 2 $99. A lot more camera for the money. Thank You.


  • Stephen H
    November 22, 2016 at 6:54 am
    Small Universal Fittings Light
    Plasticy exterior Sound issues Software Usabilitity

    Hey MarkHawkCam!
    Really need your help. Been looking at buying a camera to make some YouTube home videos (interviews, etc) and take on some hikes. I ended up buying the Sony HDR-AS50 but I’ve noticed three things have me stumped.
    1. Can I insert pictures into my videos using the editing software?
    2. I accidentally left the case on the first time and the audio was horrendous. The camera seems a little fragile, do I have to leave the case off?
    3. Is there any way to change the screen settings? Sometimes when you make a video you don’t need that wide angle lens, so I was wondering if it was adjustable.
    If you can recommend a different camera to better fit my needs, please do. I’m working on a time sensitive project, and guidance would be appreciated.


  • Andrew
    January 2, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Hi there Mark,

    I’m between the HDR-AS50 and the Hero Session. Please make a comparison! Also, I’ve read a lot of bad things about the audio in the waterproof case… do you still recommend it?


  • Regis
    January 4, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    I don’t realize on your video, if the audio with de waterproof case is poor or not. Can you detail to me pleaze? and if possible post a video with audio comparison With and Without the case?


  • Tom
    May 29, 2017 at 2:45 am

    Hi Mark, I saw somewhere at a reaction on YouTube that you are making the video AS50 vs Gopro session 4, but I can’t find it. Do you have a link for me?
    At this moment the as50 is €159 and the gopro is €169 in the Netherlands.
    Thanks in advance, Tom


  • Scott Johnson
    June 25, 2017 at 12:56 am

    I regularly go on scuba dives of up to 20 metres for around 45 minutes. The camera housing advises waterproof for continuous shooting up to 30 minutes for up to 60 metres.. Will the camera still maintain being waterproof for 45 minutes at a (much) lesser depth and not being constantly in use? Thank you


  • July 9, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Is there a video that can explain how to connect and use multiple cameras with remote and phone?


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