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Sony 4K Ultra HD Handhelds
Pro and consumer versions including PXW-Z150, PXW-Z100, PXW-X70 / FDR-AX100


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Old January 6th, 2014, 07:05 PM   #1
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CES 2014: Sony FDR-AX100 Consumer Cam $2,000

I had a feeling Sony would release a lower end 4K consumer cam. Didn't expect this one.
1" CMOS sensor and XAVC-S only upto 4K 30P.
12X zoom lens
Built in ND-filters
720p/120fps
$2,000 and etc.
Mod feel free to change the link once needed.

4K Camcorder with 1" sensor - Advanced Camcorders Sony Store - Sony US

Last edited by Monday Isa; January 6th, 2014 at 07:46 PM. Reason: updated Sony link
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Old January 6th, 2014, 07:19 PM   #2
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

It looked interesting. I'm guessing Sony's Pro Broadcast division will probably introduce the pro version of this camcorder at NAB.
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Old January 6th, 2014, 07:44 PM   #3
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

If anybody is at CES tomorrow and looks at this camera, PLEASE see if Sony allows FULL manual control on this camera. INDEPENDENT control of "shutter speed" and "gain". (not tied together)

A common Handycam crippling trick is to allow control of only one at a time. (forcing one into auto mode) Yes, even the NXCAM NX30 has this problem.

Also, ask if the sensor reads every pixel when shooting video. (like the Sony RX10 with possibly the same sensor) Or,..does it line skip to disguard the extra lines down to 4K.

Very very interesting camera. Could very well be my first tippy toe into the 4K swimming pool.

CT
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Old January 6th, 2014, 07:50 PM   #4
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzy Alvarez View Post
It looked interesting. I'm guessing Sony's Pro Broadcast division will probably introduce the pro version of this camcorder at NAB.
You maybe correct Ozzy. Makes you wonder if we'd see a PXW-Z100. A pro version of this cam. I'm waiting on the VG40 4K version :D
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Old January 6th, 2014, 08:04 PM   #5
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Since the pro versions of Sony's Handycams usually have XLRs and other pro features(including usually also being about 800 to 1,000 dollars more expensive), I will be interested what a pro version of the camcorder brings to the table.

I'm also curious how quickly 4K takes off. I'm sure the pros will love it, but, will the standard consumer really want to transition from HD to 4K or Ultra HD or whatever else they call it.
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Old January 6th, 2014, 08:36 PM   #6
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I wonder what bitrates this camera supports in 4K. It uses SDXC cards with is nice but I'm concerned about maximum writing speed with XAVC-S

Here are the XAVC-S specs from the Handycam AX1 released last year:

4K: 3840 x 2160p at 30 fps (100 Mbps)
4K: 3840 x 2160p at 30 fps (60 Mbps)
4K: 3840 x 2160p at 24 fps (100 Mbps)
4K: 3840 x 2160p at 24 fps (60 Mbps)
4K: 3840 x 2160p at 50 fps (150 Mbps)
4K: 3840 x 2160p at 25 fps (100 Mbps)
4K: 3840 x 2160p at 25 fps (60 Mbps)

Which ones will this new Handycam support?

4K 24 frame at 100Mbp/s = 12.5 megaBYTES per second to the card
4K 24 frame at 60Mbp/s = 7.5 megaBYTES per second to the card

100Mbp/s should produce great quality in 4K (compared to HD, thats 25 Mbp/s per image quadrent equaling current AVCHD level motion handling)

60Mbp/s will be too low. That's only 15Mbp/s per quadrent. This will likely produce some image breakdown with complex motion stuff. (much like 1080 HD does at 15 Mbps)

If this camera "only" supports the 60 Mbp/s codec that would be a deal breaker for me. It's gotta have the 100 codec available.

Also, looking at the screen captures, it DOES display "gain" level on the screen. (unlike the NX30) However, audio levels are displayed on those horrible "triangle" meters. Same as the Handycam CX760 and others.

CT
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Old January 6th, 2014, 09:14 PM   #7
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

If it had 60P it would be a nice complement to my FDR-AX1. Clearly a camcorder version of the RX10 with 4K at 30p great camcorder for the people who will buy the 4K Sony TV's. Maybe the VGxx or EAxx will have a big enough body for the fan cooling for higher data rates. I was hoping for a more elaborate camcorder version with the RX10 sensor and lens.

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Old January 6th, 2014, 09:30 PM   #8
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

You can be 101% certain that Sony Pro will have "their" version of this at NAB this spring.

There is no way in the universe that the Sony Pro people would ever let this camera only exist in a consumer "Handycam" without having a "pro" version of this on their side. The first "4K NXCAM"???

It seems to me that this Handycam has a large "space" in the body for it's SD card. I'm betting that the Pro version will have a similar body but will replace the socket with an XQD card and allow 100mbp/s recording. There seems to be allot of "blank space" in that well. (one web site says this Handycam codec is only 60mb/ps...ouch!)

I can visualize this imaginary NXCAM 4k version having an NX70 / NX30 style handle with XLR and new active shoe connector.

Sony has a long tradition of sharing body styles between Pro and Handycam models. This 4K Handycam will certainly have a new big brother soon. (I'm betting on it)

I'm waiting until NAB!

CT

Edit: I think I would prefer the constant f2.8 lens that the Sony RX10 has over this one. The RX10 is only and 8x zoom and this one is 12x. I think the constant aperture and faster speed on the long end is more valuable then the extra zoom on this camera.
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Old January 6th, 2014, 09:31 PM   #9
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Reading the specs it only has SDXC card slot which may have limited the data rates so that 60P was not viable. It will do 60P at 1920x1080 just not 4K. The HDR-CX900/B is the same camera without 4K by the looks of it so a nice HD camera.

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Old January 6th, 2014, 10:00 PM   #10
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

So it looks like they designed it to use SDXC/Memory Stick cards, but I sure hope they support UHS-II. You'll probably require a Sandisk Extreme Pro to capture 4K. This also begs the question: WHY DIDN'T THE FS700R HAVE THESE RECORDING FEATURES?

Also, this harkens back to the HDR-HC1 in so many ways. XAVC-S HD also sounds promising with proper bitrates for 1080p60, and it better be 10bit 4:2:2. (8bit 4:2:0 won't cut it for XAVC-S HD)

Considering crop factors, this may as well use the same imaging area as the higher-end AX1 and Z100, since it probably is the same sensor. This one however can take photos using nearly the full sensor, whereas the higher end models can't do that.

Edit: And apparently, they're selling for $500 less the non 4K model CX900 that still has HD XAVC-S. Between that and a XA20, I'd definitely pick 1080p60 at 4:2:2 50mbps Long-GOP.
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Old January 6th, 2014, 10:13 PM   #11
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Flashbacks to the HC1!!! Brings back fond memories of that camera busting down the doors on HD...

I poked around looking for other "new toys", and interestingly, there is a "CX900", looks to be IDENTICAL, but without the 4K... and $500 less.

Just scrolled down, and I see the "usual suspects" beat me to the above comments!

This likely uses a variant of the EXMOR R from the RX10/RX100M2 - I noticed that the 20Mpixel was stated for 16:9 vs. 3:2 (RX series), so it would be a slightly different chip, but still should be similar in performance. Then again it is entirely possible that it IS the same sensor, and the specs are a misprint - that's been known to happen!

Looks like Sony is milking the new 1" sensor and BIONZ X for video now! Now I'm wondering if they'll announce the "RX11" with 4K, since it does seem like they managed it with this camera!
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Old January 6th, 2014, 10:20 PM   #12
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

@ Cliff -
I think we need to wait to see what the specs actually are - this has a very large lens, and they state the iris as f2.8-11 in one spot, and f2.8-4.5 in another in the specs... it "might" be possible that this lens is 2.8 over more of the range than most Handycams...

The one thing this cam vindicates was my speculations that the sensor and processor in the RX10 were more than capable of 4K video - apparently with "fast enough" memory cards they are managing 30p.... hmmm.
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Old January 6th, 2014, 10:44 PM   #13
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Cinema5d.com basically states that the prototype they saw did not have a constant aperture. It's fast at the wide but slows down at the long end.

I guess that was the price that needed to be paid by increasing the zoom range to 12x from the RX10's lens.

Maybe the NXCAM version will have the faster RX10 lens with only 8x zoom? (I'll take an 8x constant f2.8 lens any day)

Alister,...If you are watching, I know you don't do "Handycams" but can you get your hands on this one?

CT
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Old January 7th, 2014, 12:45 AM   #14
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

4K for 2 grand. I'm luvin' this camera so far.
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Old January 7th, 2014, 06:39 AM   #15
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I'm still curious why they didn't implement higher SDXC card speeds for 4k60p. Are they that afraid UHS-II will trump XQD?
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