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Sony Adds 4K Camcorder To Handycam Line-up
by Laura Hicks -  9/4/2013

If you have been anxiously awaiting a 4K video camera for the high-end consumer, it's your lucky day. Today Sony announced its first consumer level 4K Handycam video recorder--the FDR-AX1.

The AX1 camcorder features a 4K image sensor. It has a 1/2.3-type Exmor R CMOS sensor that captures true 4K resolution (3840x2160) images. The Sony AX1 offers users Sony's G Lens optics with a 20x zoom (31.5-630mm 35mm equivalent). It also has built-in Optical SteadyShot for less blur when hand-holding the camera.The AX1 camcorder can record both 4K and HD movies in Sony's proprietary XAVC S format. The XAVC S format uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Long GOP for video and Linear PCM for audio compression, while saving files in an MP4 wrapper. Longer recording times are now a reality with the XAVC S format dur to the compression. Users can record almost two hours of 4K video on a 64GB XQD memory card--now that's pretty amazing! If you would rather, you can record Full HD videos. Full HD will record for almost 3 hours on a 64GB XQD card.  

The Sony AX1 features three ND filters. This helps videographers adjust the amount of light entering the image sensor from the lens. Four filter 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 also be added. 

The AX1 Handycam has two external pro-style XLR connectors. These XLR jacks allow users to add stereo microphones to capture audio. 

Viewing video from the AX1 was amazingly sharp and crisp. It truly felt like you were a part of the image. I was very impressed with the quality. The video camera was much easier to manage than I first anticipated. Although it is not lightweight, it was also not cumbersome either. 

The Handycam FDR-AX1 will be available in October for a suggested retail price of $4,499.99. Vegas Pro 12 Edit software and a 32GB XQD memory card will be included in the box as a free offer. 

As Ferris Bueller would say, "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."