A camera for all your action sports (or just action) needs.
The Pitch: Ion Air Pro has released a trio of small, sleek, lightweight sports cameras ranging from $250 to $350. The new generation of sports-centric HD cameras promise easier access to social media.
What It Really Is: Decent enough. The cameras challenged our assumptions about what a sports camera should be (watch out GoPro). Its advantage? Instead of nesting the camera inside a waterproof casing, the Ion Air Pro camera comes watertight out-of-the-box without a separate plastic exterior. The Air Pro Plus WiFi version (the most expensive of the three) wirelessly connects with a smartphone or tablet through the company’s free app. Just swap out a cap on the rear of the camera—Ion Air Pro calls the functional casings “Podz”—and you can frame your shot without a separate monitor in real time, zap your wipeouts to an iPad for instant playback, or use your smartphone to impress your Twitter followers with an immediate upload. Not only does its bullet shape give it a more aerodynamic feel, fewer components and add-ons means less gear to haul around.
What’s Cool: The cameras vibrate whenever you hit the record button, a nice feature when it’s strapped to your helmet, head or butt cheeks. The Ion Air Pro contains a ball and socket joint so the camera angle can be switched easily, as opposed to some of the clumsy ergonomics of its competitors. For photo enthusiasts, it captures 5mp shots in single shot, burst, and time lapse.
What’s Not So Cool: For all of its smart design features, some of the more advanced camera settings can only be changed through downloadable software for your computer. The company has promised to upgrade their mobile app to include the controls but serious pros might want to wait for the new release. (UPDATE: The app has now been upgraded according to the company. Read the press release here.)
Coming Soon: The company also promises to release additional Podz, including a Car Podz for instantaneous charging on the road, a Microphone Podz with serious audio capabilities and an Ion Battery Podz to elongate recording time. (For the pros, having a Microphone Podz with a lavalier would be a serious advantage.)
What Do You Get: The Air Pro is the most basic model, which comes with a mini tripod, travel power adapter, USB and AV cables, a Cam Locker and a pouch. The Air Pro Plus includes a bike and helmet mount. The Air Pro Plus WiFi includes the Air Pro Plus accessories and the WiFi Podz. However, the Air Pro and the Air Pro Plus can be made WiFi compatible by purchasing the Air Pro Connect Kit, which contains the Wifi Podz and a battery booster.
Maxim.com Press-Ready Burlb: “Say ‘Please!’ and smile for this handy camera.” - Maxim.com
Who’s It For: The adventure sports crowd; clumsy people; those who love to brag on Twitter; camera nerds; indie filmmakers; indie perverts.