Whether you're speeding down the slopes, on a biking epic through the woods or riding the rapids in a kayak, having to wait until you get to a laptop to share your recorded adventures with friends and family is nothing short of inconvenient. The ION AIR PRO HD Sports Video Camera is said to be one of the first actioncams capable of recording full HD video and sharing it in real time on social networking sites. The camera does this by wirelessly connecting with a smartphone or tablet running the company's free-to-download app, although users will need to buy an extra bit of kit to make all this possible.
The ION AIR PRO is a handy, lightweight (123g/4.5 ounces), Contour-like video camera that consists of two parts. Users can simply use the device to record full 1080p High Definition video at 30 frames per second and save to microSD media for later transfer via USB, or they can attach a circular disc called a Wi-Fi PODZ to the back of the camera to wirelessly upload footage to an online social networking portal via an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet running the ION app. The disc also makes it possible to preview what the AIR PRO HD sees in front of the lens or replay what's already been captured, and the ION the GO app allows a user to fully control the camera's functionality from a smartphone or tablet - providing it stays within range.
Unlike the somewhat boxy HD HERO from GoPro, the ION AIR PRO is waterproof to 30 feet (10 meters) without the need to add an extra outer casing. Its f2.8 fixed-focus, wide-angle lens offers a 170 degree field of view, it benefits from one click record and has a built-in mono microphone with auto gain control. It can be used as a single shot, 5-megapixel stills camera or can be set to sequence stills at one photo every 10, 20 or 30 seconds or one quick burst of ten frames for those must-see, action-packed stop motion movies.
The camera's 1100 mAh Lithium-Ion battery should be good for around 2.5 hours between charges, and users also get 8GB of free online storage at ION CLOUD.
The basic ION AIR PRO HD camera bundle - which includes a mini-tripod and cables - will be available in the UK next month for a recommended retail price of £199.99 (US$318.50). You'll then need to get hold of the Wi-Fi PODZ module for another £80 ($127.40) to take advantage of the wireless connectivity detailed above. Other options - including a complete CamLOCK system for securing the camera to bike handlebars and helmets, an extended battery pack to boost the fun to seven hours of shooting, and/or a Wi-Fi dongle - are also available at different price points.