Sony unveils three new video recorders, including first-ever 4K Handycam geared for the masses


posted Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM EST


In addition to its new QX-line of 'Lens-Style Cameras', Sony announced three new video recording devices, including its first 4K camcorder geared for consumers -- the Sony FDR-AX1 4K Handycam. Sony also introduced the sleek, premium Sony Action Cam HDR-AS30V  featuring an improved imaging sensor and built-in GPS, and the all-new Sony HDR-MV1 music video recorder.

Sony FDR-AX1 4K Handycam
Sony is hoping to get 4K video into the hands of mere mortals with the introduction of the FDR-AX1 4K Handycam. No longer is 4K video confined to the realm of professional videographers and cinematographers with enormous budgets and six-figure cameras. Sony is aiming the consumer-focused FDR-AX1 at budding filmmakers and video enthusiasts who have been wanting to experience the ultra high resolution video format but have otherwise been hit by a high barrier of entry with the price of other cameras.

The FDR-AX1 camcorder records 4K and Full HD movies in the XAVC S format, which, according to Sony, uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Long GOP for video and Linear PCM for audio compression all wrapped into an MP4 file. With the XAVC S format, Sony states the recording time for 4K video is about two hours on a 64GB XQD memory card, while standard 1080/60p HD video can be recorded up to three hours. To capture all this resolution, the FDR-AX1 uses a 1/2.3-type Exmor R CMOS sensor to capture true 4K resolution (3840x2160) with four times the detail of 1080p HD video. Other stand-out features include a 20x optical zoom G-series lens with Optical SteadyShot image stabilization technology, three neutral density filters, two XQD memory card slots (note: no other memory card options are present), and support for the recently-announced HDMI 2.0 spec that will allow for 4K 60p output via HDMI to other HDMI 2.0 devices.

The FDR-AX1 4K Handycam is scheduled for October 2013 availability with a retail price of US$4,500. To get you ready to shoot 4K video right out of the box, Sony is also including a copy of VEGAS Pro 12 video editing software and a 32GB XQD memory card with the camcorder.


Sony Action Cam HDR-AS30V
Despite the action camera market being too hot for some companies to handle, Sony is upping the game with a new Action Cam model feature built-in Wi-Fi and NFC plus GPS, all within a slimmer housing designed to enhance wearability. The new Action Cam HDR-AS30V features Sony's back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, a first for its Action Cam line. Including a host of video recording formats like 1080/60p, 1080/30p and 720/30p, the new Action Cam can record 11.9-megapixel still photos. In another first for Sony's Action Cam lineup, the new HDR-AS30V features built-in GPS plus Wi-Fi and NFC for easy pairing, sharing and controlling with smart devices using Sony's PlayMemories Mobile app (Android & iOS).

The new Action Cam HDR-AS30V will be available in late September 2013 for a suggested retail price of US$300. Furthermore, the current HDR-AS15 model will be offered at a reduced price of US$200.



Sony HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder
Are you tired of recording musical performances with video cameras with tiny, poor quality built-in microphones? Sony aims to solve this problem with the new HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder, which, in addition to recording Full HD 1080p video, features a 120-degree X-Y stereo microphone specifically designed for better recording of musical performances, both live and in the studio. The HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder can record audio in uncompressed Linear PCM or compressed AAC formats. External microphones or instruments can also be directly connected to the device. On the image side of things, the HDR-MV1 features a back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor and a wide-angle 120-degree Carl Zeiss lens. Other niceties include built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for pairing with Sony's PlayMemories Mobile app.

The new HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder from Sony will be available in December 2013 for a suggested retail price of US$300.