Ion Air Pro 3 Adds New Image Sensor, Swims Deeper

Since launching nearly a year and a half ago, action-camera maker Ion has been pumping out a new model about every six months, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Today, the company announced its third-generation camera, the Ion Air Pro 3 Wi-Fi. It will be available in early November for $350.

Air Pro 3 (2) EMBARGOED 10 30 2013

New to the camera is a 12-megapixel sensor that allows you to capture 1080p video at 60 frames per second; the previous model could only shoot 1080p video at 30fps. The Air Pro 3 also utilizes a new fog-free lens with improved light transmission and 160-degree viewing angles.

In terms of design, the camera looks largely the same as the Air Pro 2, but the casing is now waterproof in up to 49 feet of water (up from 30 feet) and features a metal tripod screw mount instead of a plastic one.

One of the advantages of Ion’s cameras is that you don’t need a separate case to bring it with you in the water, and its unique pod system allows you to add different functionality to the camera without any cumbersome accessories.

Ion faces stiff competition from market leader GoPro, which just released its latest Hero 3+ camera in September. Sony, JVC and Garmin all have action cameras, as well.

Ion CEO Giovanni Tomaselli said the company has about 3.5 percent of the market share right now, but it’s not all about numbers for them.

“All we’re looking for is for people to just appreciate what we’re creating,” said Tomaselli in an interview. “Here’s something that’s best in class, and that’s what it’s all about in the end. We do that, and we can get that recognition, the rest will come.”

Going forward, Tomaselli said the company will focus on improving optics, connectivity and mounting systems. Ion is also working to make its cameras available through larger retailers, like Best Buy.

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