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Sony Unveils Smaller, Revamped Action Cam Mini

GoPro has a new rival. Sony promises to take action videos to the next level with its new HDR-AZ1 — or more simply, the Action Cam Mini. The camera is 30 percent smaller than the current Action Cam and weighs just 2.2 ounces. And with a price of $250, it will cost $50 less than the already svelte new 2.6 ounce GoPro Hero3+ action camera.

Sony Action Cam Mini versus the older Action Cam

Sony Action Cam Mini versus the older Action Cam

The Action Cam Mini features a 170-degree field of view from its image-stabilized Zeiss Tessar lens, and it can capture 1080p video at 60, 50, 30 and 25 fps, as well as still images up to 11.9-megapixels. It also has a 120 fps high-speed mode for capturing slow-motion videos. For water-based action, the Mini has an IPX4 equivalent splashproof body and an included waterproof case that protects it to a depth up to 16 feet. Those who can't wait to share their footage can stream it live to sharing site Ustream using the camera's built-in Wi-Fi and a smartphone.

MORE: Best Rugged and Waterproof Cameras 2014

One downside of the Action Cam Mini is shorter battery life compared to the original — the trade-off for the decreased size. The Action Cam Mini battery lasts an estimated 1 hour, 15 minutes shooting 1080p video, versus the 2-plus hour battery life of the previous model. Sony will offer extra batteries and chargers to supply the Mini with enough juice to shoot all day.

Buyers can buy a bundle including the Action Cam Mini and Sony's wristwatch-style Live View Remote for $350. With it's LCD screen, the remote allows users to control up to five different Action Cams to adjust settings, view pictures or videos, and embed GPS data.

Sony will also release a slew of accessories for attaching the camera to a bag, helmet, or hat.  As you can see in our photo, industrious adventurers can mount the Action Cam Mini to an even wider range of products like an RC car, providing new filming possibilities for Sony's diminutive camera.

Sony has scheduled the Action Cam Mini for an October release — a little late for capturing water sports, but in plenty of time for ski season.

Sam Rutherford is a Staff Writer at Tom’s Guide. Follow him @SamRutherford on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @Tom’s Guide on Facebook and Google+