Sony unveils the FDR-AX1E Handycam for shooting 4K videos

At its press event at IFA, Sony unveiled its new Handycam. What makes this one special is that it is capable of recording videos at 4K ultra HD resolutions.


At its press event at IFA, Sony unveiled its new Handycam. What makes this one special is that it is capable of recording videos at 4K ultra HD resolutions. The Handycam, named FDR-AX1E, records videos in the XAVC S format using MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Long GOP for video and Linear PCM for audio compression. The end result is a video that can run on almost any system thanks to it being in the MP4 format.

The XAVC-S format allows longer recording times, storing almost two hours of 4K video on a 64GB XQD memory card, making 4K recording easier and more convenient. Switching to full HD recording can store almost 3 hours of 1920x1080 50p footage on a single card. For further compatibility with existing consumer devices, AVCHD format is planned to be updated by the middle of next year.

The Handycam’s 1/2.3-type Exmor R CMOS sensor captures true 4K resolution (3840x2160) images, containing four times the picture detail of full HD, and has the output speed required by the massive 4K 50 fps data stream. The image processor, identical to those found in professional 4K camcorders, rapidly processes signals transmitted from the CMOS sensor and finalises images in real time at 50p.

It is equipped with a Sony G Lens, which is specially tuned to capture high qualities of definition and colour. In addition, the lens offers a broad zoom range from wide-angle to 20x optical (31.5-630mm 35mm equivalent); while Optical SteadyShot keeps footage crisp and stable, even at telephoto mode.

 Sony unveils the FDR-AX1E Handycam for shooting 4K videos

The Handycam is capable of recording videos at 4k resolution

 

The FDR-AX1E camcorder offers several extras, including three ND filters to adjust the amount of light entering the image sensor from the lens. Four settings — Off (Clear), 1/4 filter, 1/16 filter and 1/64 filter — give users the ability to modify light conditions, while maintaining desired shutter angle and aperture even on bright sunny days. Five paint functions (white balance, gamma, detail, skin detail and matrix) can be combined and altered to create expressive movie styling and cinematic looks.

The camcorder features two external pro-style XLR connectors to complement its high-performance internal microphone for premium sound. These XLR jacks allow the addition of stereo microphones to capture audio synchronised to the video for clearer ambient sounds and dialogue, which can be mixed with recordings made using the internal mic.

For ease of use during shooting, the FDR-AX1E is designed with two strategically placed start/stop buttons and a zoom lever on the handle for convenient access from low angles. Dedicated controls are also provided for auto/manual focus, and seven custom buttons can be reassigned to users’ preferred function. Assigned functions for on-the-fly adjustments include Marker, Zebra, Peaking, Focus Magnifier, Auto Exposure Level, SteadyShot, Colour Bars and Rec Lamp.

4K content captured on the FDR-AX1E can be viewed by connecting the camcorder to a compatible 4K TV with the single HDMI cable. For those without a 4K TV, the FDR-AX1E can output 1920x1080 images to a Full HD TV.


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