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Watch out GoPro: The Ion Air Pro is a lighter, more versatile action cam

A new competitor has entered the action camera arena, and it just may dethrone the king of that market, GoPro’s Hero2 camera.

Ion Worldwide is today launching the Ion Air Pro, a camera for adrenaline junkies that’s lighter than the Hero2, waterproof without the need for a clunky external case, and capable of synchronizing media over Wi-Fi. The Ion Air Pro  can even output a livestream of video to other Ion Air users.

The camera is the brainchild of Giovanni Tomaselli, an industry veteran with decades of experience in the consumer camera market. After helping other companies launch cameras in the last few years, he told me that he was compelled to jump into the action camera business because he simply thought he could do it better.

The Ion Air Pro is also upgradeable with “Podz,” circular expansion modules that plug into the rear of the device and offer things like better battery life , an improved microphone, and more. With this expansion functionality, Ion can add even more upgrades to the camera down the line.

The camera comes in three bundles: the bare Ion Air Pro for $230, the Ion Air Pro Plus for $290 (which comes with CamLock bike and helmet attachments), and the Ion Air Pro Wi-Fi, which includes a Wi-Fi Podz. The Wi-Fi version of the camera can synchronize with Ion Air’s iOS app — Tomaselli showed it to me synching live with speeds around 3 megabits per second.

In addition to being lighter than the GoPro cameras, the Ion Air Pro is also more versatile: It can work up to 30 feet underwater without any additional case, sports a waterproof microphone, can be rotated into different orientations, and it’s even smart enough to flip the video if it ends up shooting upside down.

I’m not an experienced user with action cameras, but it’s clear that Tomaselli is on to something with the Ion Air Pro. I’ll be testing out one of the cameras this week, and will report back with more detailed impressions soon.

You can catch a glimpse of the Ion Air Pro in action below:

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