Sony has just shown off its prosumer-geared 4K video camcorder at IFA in Berlin, and it's called the Sony Handycam FDR-AX1.
Let's just get this out of the way: ti will cost $4,500 (£2,884) when it lands in October. That might seem like a lot of money (and it is), but the FDR-AX1 will ship with a ton of beefy specs. Specifically, 4K specs.
The FDR-AX1 looks very similar to Sony's HDR-AX2000. It comes with a 3.5-inch LCD screen, two XLR audio inputs, a 20X-optical-zoom/29.5mm wide-angle/F1.6-aperture lens, manual controls and relay recording. However, the good stuff really concerns video-capture resolution and storage format.
Sony's new 4K camcorder offers video resolution at 3840 x 2160 pixels. That's four times the resolution of 1080p video. It can also capture HD video at 60FPS, though there are 24p and 30p modes as well. With such detailed resolution, a 64GB card will likely only hold about an hour of footage (when shooting 60p at 150Mbps).
The FDR-AX1 compresses 4K video using the XAVC S codec. It also relies on XQD cards for storage and comes with one 32GB XQD. They're bigger than SD cards but smaller than CompactFlash cards; the FDR-AX1 provides two XQD slots and one SD slot for 1080p video.
Moving on to the image processor and lens, the 1/2.3-inch type Exmor R CMOS image sensor is actually quite small. APS-C sensors found in DSLRs usually pack more punch, but they can't capture 4K video or 60 8-megapixel images per second. The FDR-AX1′s high-performance image processor is what facilitates 3840 x 2160p 4K video recording at 60FPS.
Finally, yet importantly, the FDR-AX1 can send full-resolution 60FPS video to 4K televisions thanks to an HDMI 1.4 cable that's included.
The entire bundle from Sony - Handycam FDR-AX1, XQD card, HDMI cable and Vegas Pro 12, which edits 4K XAVC S video — will land in October for (as mentioned earlier) $4,499. Not too bad of a price now that you've seen what it comes with, eh? No word yet on availability, so stay tuned.
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