by Leo Jakobson | February 19, 2013

There are many times people are willing to whip out a smartphone to record video, but not usually when they're out mountain biking, running, swimming or participating in other athletic or sporting activities. There are a number of reasons for this, notably the $600 or more replacement cost of a fragile smartphone and the inability of their fairly simple video cameras to capture moving, bouncing action very well. 

Sony's palm-sized Action Cam — technically the HDR-AS15 — is powerful enough to record in full 1080p HD at 60 frames per second, yet weighs in at less than 3.2 ounces and ships with a ruggedized, waterproof housing good to 197 feet deep, as well as against dirt, dust, and mud. It is small and light enough to be barely noticeable when mounted to a bike helmets, scuba mask, or any other place you’d like to strap a camera that you normally don’t dare. 

Features include SteadyShot image stabilization, a 2x and 4x slow motion HD recording setting, built-in stereo microphone, Carl Zeiss ultra wide angle lens, large start/stop button for use with gloved hands, HDMI output, and an Exmor R CMOS sensor for low-light performance. As well as a universal mount, it comes with adhesive mounts for flat and curved surfaces (like a helmet), and a number of other mounts are available separately. 

The camcorder retails for $199.99. There is also Wi-Fi enabled version, so video can be transferred to an Apple or Android mobile phone or tablet. That retails for $269.99. For more details visit Sony Premium Incentive Sales.