Sony has shown us the first 4K camcorder for the consumer – the Sony FDR-AX100E. It’s aimed at those looking to future-proof videos as well as take full advantage of their new pricey 4K sets.
Watch our hands-on video:
Note: This is not a full review but a preview based on a short amount of hands-on time with the product.
It’s 75% smaller and 66% lighter than last year’s semi-professional Sony FDR-AX1E, which costs more than twice the price at £3,800. While a lot smaller than its big brother it is still a reasonable size – although it carries the Handycam moniker don’t expect a pocketable device. Fortunately, it is light enough and well-balanced for one-handed use.
A wide angle ZEISS lens with 12X optical zoom is supported by a 20 megapixel 1-inch Exmor R Image sensor for 4K image recording at 30p and 24p and 1080 at 60p. It also comes with the ability to shoot high sensitivity images with background defocus. There are manual controls for dial, lens ring and ND filters, as well as an OLED view-finder and a 3.5-inch LCD screen for checking out what you’re shooting.
With 4K at 60Mbps expect it to eat 64GB memory cards for breakfast, but the Sony FDR-AX100E also supports HD 120p (XAVC S Format) Full HD in AVCHD. Dual SD card slots would make a lot of sense here as 64GB will provide about an hour’s footage 5.1 surround sound is supported, but you need to rely on the built in microphone for audio as, being a consumer camcorder, the FDR-AX100E doesn’t possess an audio input.
Connectivity consists of Wi-Fi and NFC for quick pairing with compatible smartphones and tablets.
The Sony FDR-AX100E is set to hit stores in April 2014 at a fraction under £1,800 in the UK or $2,000 in the US.