Sony

Sony HDR AS50 vs AZ1

July 6, 2021

AS50 and AZ1 are currently two popular models in Sony’s action camera line-up. Sony HDR AS50 has been designed to be a budget cam, whereas Sony HDR AZ1 is the mini, highly portable cam. In addition to the form factor, Sony HDR AS50 vs AZ1 also differ from each other in terms of use case.

Our discussion below will tell you more about:

  • The problem of accessory compatibility with Sony HDR AZ1
  • Why Sony HDR AS50 is more recommended for shooting underwater
  • The similar features that both AS50 and AZ1 have
  • What accessories that are included in the box with each Sony action cam here
  • The photo and video quality of Sony HDR AS50 and Sony HDR AZ1

Sony HDR AS50 vs AZ1: Form Factor

The first obvious difference between these two action cameras is the form factor. However, this is not only about one model being bigger than the other. Sony HDR AS50 has a similar form factor to the company’s previous models, and because of that, it can easily work with existing accessories. Meanwhile, Sony HDR AZ1 comes with a smaller body, which makes it incompatible with some existing accessories.

Sony HDR AS50 measures 24.2 x 47.0 x 83.0 mm and weighs about 83 grams with the battery. In a glance, it may remind you to the likes of Sony HDR AS200V and Sony FDR X3000. Such models have a nice form factor that makes holding them in your palm feel comfortable and natural, which is quite different compared to the blocky, ultra-compact action cams from GoPro.

Another advantage of Sony HDR AS50’s form factor being consistent with its predecessor is the compatibility with existing accessories. If you previously owned a Sony action cam from an older generation, chances are you will be able to use the underwater housing, finger grip, or head mount kit with the AS50. In addition, you can easily find cheaper alternatives (used or third-party accessories) on the Internet.

Sony HDR AZ1 is the mini action cam in the line-up. Measuring 24.13 x 36.06 x 73.91 mm and weighing barely 62.93 grams with the battery, it is indeed a little easier to carry around on your trips. Unfortunately, this means the AZ1 can’t work with existing Sony action cam accessories, and finding cheaper alternatives is also more difficult. However, if you absolutely need something that can fit effortlessly into what little space available in your bag, this might not be an issue.

 Sony HDR AS50Sony HDR AZ1
Best Offerclick hereclick here
Product Dimensions3.37 x 0.96 x 1.87 inches
3 x 0.97 x 1.06 inches
Item Weight2.93 ounces
1.25 pounds

Sony HDR AS50 vs AZ1: Use Case

The next thing that you have to consider carefully when choosing between AS50 and AZ1 is whether you want to use your action camera underwater or not. If you do, you better go with the AS50. Otherwise, the AZ1 remains a valid option. Read also: Akaso V50X vs Brave 6.

There are two reasons why Sony HDR AS50 is better for underwater shooting. First of all, it comes with the MPK-UWH1 underwater housing, which will keep the action cam operational in depths of up to 60 meters. This housing is also dustproof and shockproof, and is equipped with precise buttons that will enable you to keep accessing all of the camera’s controls.

Secondly, Sony HDR AS50 has a built-in setting for underwater shooting. Simply press the Menu button, scroll down to the Scene menu, and then choose the option with the fish symbol. This setting has a fixed white balance that is specifically aimed for clear, accurate underwater images while using the MPK-UHW1 housing.

On the other hand, Sony HDR AZ1 is not suitable for underwater shooting. While it does come with the SPK-AZ1 waterproof housing, this housing is only intended to protect the camera from rain, splashes, and shallow waters. In addition, Sony HDR AZ1 does not have any built-in setting for underwater shooting, and you will find the image quality underwhelming if you force it to shoot underwater.

How about the other use cases, such as motorcycle riding or mountain climbing? Generally, both AS50 and AZ1 can be adapted for such purposes. However, you may want to take into account that Sony HDR AS50 can work with a wider range of accessories, and its housing seems to be a lot more durable, suitable for extreme aerial sports. Meanwhile, Sony HDR AZ1’s housing is only shockproof to 1.5 meters.

Sony HDR AS50 vs AZ1: Included Accessories

As mentioned above, Sony HDR AS50 comes with the MPK-UWH1 underwater housing and the attachment buckle. There is also the 3.6V NP-BX1 rechargeable battery pack, a Micro USB cable, and the startup guide.

The attachment buckle is designed to bind the housing to another object, such as a helmet or your bike’s handlebar. The camera actually has a standard 1/4-inch tripod thread hole, which can be very useful if you often shoot videos using a tripod.

In the box of Sony HDR AZ1, you can find the SPK-AZ1 waterproof housing, the 3.7V NP-BY1 rechargeable battery pack, a Micro USB cable, an adhesive mount, and a tripod adaptor. You can use the adhesive mount to place the action camera on pretty much anywhere you want. The camera does not have a built-in tripod thread hole, but the tripod adaptor can work with all standard tripod mounts and thus will solve the issue.

Sony HDR AS50 vs AZ1: Features and Image Quality

Sony HDR AS50 is a budget action camera, so do not expect 4K videos at crazy-high frame rates. That said, the AS50 is already more than capable to shoot 1080p at 60/50/30/25/24 fps, and 720p at 120/100/30/25 fps. There is also the option to take 11.9MP still images in the 16:9 ratio. Standard shooting modes like Time Lapse, Burst, Loop, and Motion Shot are available, plus the capability to do Live Stream.

Despite being an affordable model, the image quality offered by the AS50 simply showcases the superior quality of Sony products. Videos shot in 1080p at 60 fps look crisp and clear, and the colors are pretty good. Minor tweaks in post-production can easily help you achieve more vibrant results. Movements look smooth. Thanks to the SteadyShot electronic image stabilization, you will consistently get good results without blurring or dizzying shakiness, no matter if you are shooting from a bike running downhill or a boat.

Sony AZ1, similarly, can shoot 1080p at 60/50/30/25/24 fps and 720p at a maximum frame rate of 120 fps for slow-motion. The photo resolution is also 11.9MP, and the shooting modes available on the AS50 is also available on the AZ1 including the Live Stream.

You won’t find any significant difference if you try to compare the image quality of Sony HDR AS50 vs AZ1. You will also get the SteadyShot electronic image stabilization technology from the AZ1, so rest assured you can use it to record your actions on the trail paths or the hills.

Sony HDR AS50 vs AZ1

- Full HD with XAVC-S, 11.1MP, Exmor R sensor
- Optical Steady Shot, ZEISS Lens
- Wi-Fi/NFC/Bluetooth, Multi camera control, 60m waterproof housing
- Height: 1.9" Width: 1" Length: 3.3" Weight (Approximate): 2.05 oz
- Sony's smallest splash-proof Action Cam
- SteadyShot 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)

Conclusion

Between these two action cameras, Sony HDR AS50 is generally better. It is compatible with a lot more accessories. Perhaps more importantly, it can shoot underwater just fine, thanks to the durable housing and the built-in underwater setting.

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