(Pocket-lint) - As part of its annual camcorder line-up refresh, Sony has introduced a powerhouse 4K Handycam that brings professional standard features to the consumer field. And it won't be priced in loopyville neither, as it comes in at the same price as last year's top-end model.

The Sony FDR-AX53 will cost $999 in the States (around £680) yet offers a new Exmore CMOS sensor with approximately 1.6 times the pixel size for better low light capture.

It also has five-axis image stabilisation, a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens, 20x optical zoom and 30x Clear Image zoom.

The built-in microphone is also new, now capable of recording 5.1 audio as standard. And as well as Ultra HD footage, it can also shoot slow-mo Full HD video at 100 frames per second.


Other pro-style features include a manual focus ring and time code recording.

UHD 4K video can be recorded at 100Mbps, so ensures high bitrates. And thanks to wireless internet connectivity, footage can be streamed live through Ustream if you tether the Handycam to a smartphone or hook it up to a Wi-Fi hotspot.

It's a very capable camera for the price and although we'd need some time with it to get an impression on picture quality, we can say that it's light and portable enough to chuck in a bag, yet can theoretically produce broadcast standard images. Ace.

The Sony FDR-AX53 will be released in March. A couple of new HD cameras - the HDR-CX625 and HDR-CX450, will also be available, coming to Europe in mid-February.

Writing by Rik Henderson.