Sony FDR-AX1 4K Camcorder announced, Price, Specs, Release Date, Where to Buy

Sony FDR AX1 4K Camcorder video camera

Sony has announced the Sony FDR-AX1 4K Camcorder. The Sony FDR-AX1 Digital 4K Video Camera Recorder is the first consumer 4K video camera from Sony. They’ve used the technology developed for their professional video cameras to create a compact, easy-to-operate 4K consumer model that’s designed to make 4K video and professional-quality audio available to the masses. The FDR-AX1’s powerful image processor is identical to the high-performance processors found in Sony’s professional video cameras. By incorporating an image processor that can handle 4K video at 60 fps into a consumer camcorder, everyone will be able to document important family moments, get creative with friends, record sporting events and capture the world around them in lifelike detail. The FDR-AX1’s native 3840 x 2160 4K resolution enables you to create movies with four times as much detail and quadruple the image quality of a Full HD 1080p camcorder. Plus, this model features a back-illuminated 8.3MP Exmor R CMOS image sensor that works in concert with the processor so you can record at the maximum frame rate – even when shooting 4K video. This means that even your high-speed action shots and sports videos will be clear, sharp and detailed.

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Sony FDR-AX1 Price

Sony FDR-AX1 Price – $4,498.00.

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Sony FDR-AX1 Features and Specifications
Capture 4K 3840 x 2160p Video at 60 fps
This model supports 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution. With four times better than Full HD 1080p image quality, you’ll be able to capture the finest details at high resolution and produce vibrant, realistic images. Plus, the fast image processor is the same one employed in professional Sony models, making it possible to record 60p movies at the camera’s full resolution for smooth playback with no loss in realism – even when panning the camera and shooting moving subjects.
Sony G Lens with 20x Zoom
The Sony G Lens is an aspheric lens with special low-dispersion glass. It’s specially tuned to capture subtle qualities of definition and color. In addition, the lens offers a broad 20x optical zooming range with a 31.5 – 630mm (35mm equivalent) focal length that enables an expansive range of video expression.
1/2.3″ Back-Illuminated 8.3MP Exmor R CMOS Image Sensor
Sony’s unique Exmor R CMOS sensor has a back-illuminated structure with wiring layers on the back of a photodiode (light receiving element) that dramatically boosts low-light sensitivity for shooting more lifelike images – even in dim lighting. This Sony technology also makes the camera nimble, so it can read massive 4K data at 60 fps.
Professional Image Processor for Real-Time 4K / 60 fps Recording
The FDR-AX1’s image processor is identical to those in 4K camcorders used by professionals. It rapidly processes signals transmitted from the CMOS sensor and finalizes images. In processing the vast 4K data in real-time at 60p, the processor achieves four times the resolution of the Full HD 1080p format. This processor also features high-performance noise reduction for truer images, while image quality adjustment functions support greater freedom of expression. It is also specially tuned for the FDR-AX1 to deliver accelerated image processing performance.
XAVC-S Consumer-Use 4K/HD Recording Format
The FDR-AX1 records 4K/HD movies in the XAVC-S codec, which was developed for consumer usage based on the professional XAVC 4K/HD codec. XAVC-S uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 long GOP for video and LPCM for audio compression, while saving files in MP4 format. The XAVC-S codec also allows longer recording times within a given media capacity than XAVC, making 4K recording easier and more convenient.
XAVC-S 150 Mbps 4K Video & 50 Mbps HD Video
With the FDR-AX1, high-quality XAVC-S video can be recorded at up to 150 Mbps. Additionally, there is also an option to record high-quality Full HD 1080p video at 50 Mbps.
Dual XQD Media Card Slots for High-Speed 4K Recording & Playback
The FDR-AX1 features two XQD media card slots. XQD media cards provide smooth, high-speed reading and writing of 4K/HD video. Plus, a relay recording feature makes it possible to lengthen recording by automatically switching between two or more media options. You can quickly transfer data to a PC as well, by using an XQD reader/writer with a USB 3.0 connection. The FDR-AX1 is compatible with S-Series, H-Series and N-Series XQD media card types.
View 4K/60p Video on Compatible BRAVIA TVs with Supplied HDMI Cable
The FDR-AX1 supports playback of your recorded 4K content on a 4K TV by simply connecting the two devices using the supplied HDMI cable. Thanks to the camera’s original function, you’ll be able to transmit 4K/60p (4:2:0, 8-bit) signals to a Sony BRAVIA 4K TV, which is specially tuned to bring out the full quality of your 4K/60p video recordings. Even fast-moving sports and action footage will be clear and smooth. To enjoy this content on a Full HD monitor, simply change the menu HDMI output settings to 1920 x 1080. If you have a 4K monitor, you can use the supplied HDMI cable to transmit 4K/30p signals from the camera to the monitor.
TRILUMINOS Color Technology
The FDR-AX1 supports Sony’s TRILUMINOS Color technology, which allows you to view photos and movies in rich, natural colors on any TRILUMINOS-equipped television. The expanded color gamut ensures lifelike, vivid colors when you playback your recorded video and still shots.
Save 4K Video Content to Your PC
The FDR-AX1 provides two methods for connecting and transferring footage to a PC. You can use a USB cable or insert your XQD memory card into an XQD reader/writer that is connected to your PC. You can also save data from the camera to other media sources like external HDDs. Once you’ve download data onto your PC, you can use Sony’s PlayMemories Home software to manage and play your videos. You can edit video with the XAVC-S-compatible non-linear editing software as well. After your footage is edited, you’ll be able to upload and share your 4K movies on social media sites like YouTube.
Built-In Microphone & Professional-Class Audio XLR Terminals
In addition to a high-performance internal microphone, the FDR-AX1 features two external XLR jacks for connecting external microphones that can also be used to record superior-quality audio together with your movies. You can also mix audio from recordings made using the internal microphone and externally connected microphones, respectively.
Three ND Filters & Five Paint Functions for Expressive Cinematic Looks
The FDR-AX1 features three ND filters for adjusting the amount of light entering the image sensor from the lens. There are also four filter settings: Clear, 1/4 filter, 1/16 filter and 1/64 filter. These filters and settings give users the ability to match shooting conditions, as well as adjust the shutter speed and aperture even on bright, sunny days. There are also five paint functions (white balance, gamma, detail, skin detail, matrix) that can be combined and adjusted in the paint menu to create expressive movie styling such as cinematic looks.
Seven Assignable Buttons & Three Independent Control Rings
The FDR-AX1 was designed with two start/stop buttons. One is located on the side of the camera grip, while the other is located on the handle. This affords ease-of-use while shooting. The handle also features a zoom button that enables convenient access while shooting from low angles. There are seven assignable buttons as well, which can be programmed with functions that enable users to quickly access them without using menus. Assign functions include: Marker, Zebra, Peaking, Focus Magnifier, Auto Exposure Level, SteadyShot, Color Bars, Rec Lamp [F], Rec Lamp [R] and more. Having seven assignable buttons will allow you to adjust to varying shooting conditions on-the-fly. There are also three manual control rings on the camera for focus, iris and zoom.
Zebra, Peaking, Center Marker & Guide Frame
Shooting tools such as Zebra, Peaking, Center Marker and Guide Frame are designed to assist you in shot setup. They’ll help you get the cinematic expression you are after. Zebra highlights overly bright areas with stripes in the LCD and viewfinder. This feedback helps users adjust brightness and prevent whiteout, especially on the subject. Peaking simplifies focusing by highlighting in the LCD and viewfinder the areas most sharply in focus. Users can finely adjust the peaking level and choose white, red, yellow or blue peaking to clearly contrast with the subject. By making it easier to know where the shot is in focus, this feature helps users achieve the desired manual focus setting. Determine the center of your image at a glance using the Center Marker feature in the LCD or viewfinder, while the Guide Frame works as a guide for aligning horizontal and vertical lines.
Sensor 1/2.3″ back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor
Pixel Gross Approx. 18,900,000 pixels
Effective Pixels Approx. 8,300,000 pixels
Color Filter System RGB primary color filters
Lens Sony G Lens
Image Stabilization Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
Aperture f/1.6 – f/3.4
Focal Length 4.1 – 82 mm
35mm Equivalent Focal Length 31.5 – 630 mm
Optical Zoom 20x
Filter Diameter 72 mm
Minimum Focus Distance Wide: Approx. 0.4″ (1 cm)
Tele: Approx. 31.5″ (80 cm)
Aperture Blade 6 blades
ND Filter Off
Control Rings Focus ring
Iris ring
Zoom ring
Video Signal UHDTV
Video Format XAVC-S format
MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Compatible Formats XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 150 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/60p)
XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 150 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/50p)
XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 60 or 100 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/30p)
XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 60 or 100 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/25p)
XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 60 or 100 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/24p)
XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 50 Mbps, HD 1920 x 1080)
AVCHD: m2ts (4:2:0, up to 28 Mbps, HD 1920 x 1080)
Media Type XQD memory card x 2
Video Resolution 4K: 3840 x 2160p at 60 fps (150 Mbps)
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)
HD: 1920 x 1080p at 60 fps (50 Mbps)
HD: 1920 x 1080p at 30 fps (50 Mbps)
HD: 1920 x 1080p at 24 fps (50 Mbps)
HD: 1920 x 1080p at 50 fps (50 Mbps)
HD: 1920 x 1080p at 25 fps (50 Mbps)
Recording Time 50 min with 64GB XQD card (XAVC-S 3840 x 2160/60p, 150 Mbps)
150 min with 64GB XQD card (XAVC-S 1920 x 1080p/60p, 50 Mbps)
Video Actual (Pixels) Approx. 8,300,000 pixels
Audio Format Linear PCM (48 kHz / 16-bit)
Audio Channels 2-channels
Microphone Max Input Level 120 dB SPL
Built-In Microphone Yes (2-channel stereo microphone)
Built-In Speakers Yes (monaural speaker)
Microphone Level Control Yes (2 steps)
Wind Position Yes (On/Off)
Type 0.45″ (1.14 cm)
Backlight Yes
Power Mode Yes
LCD Type 3.5″ (8.8 cm) Xtra Fine LCD 3D display
Pixels 1,229,000 pixels
Aspect Ratio 16:9 (wide)
Angle Adjustment Opening Angle: 180° (max)
Turning Angle: 270° (max)
Backlight Yes (menu)
Coverage 100%
Marker Yes
Focus Control
Focus System Contrast AF
AF Modes Auto
Manual (ring)
Focus Area Full range focus
Push Auto Focus Yes
Manual Focus Assist Magnified display for precise manual focus
Peaking display
Exposure Control
Metering Modes Multi-segment
Exposure Compensation AE level
AE speed (menu)
Noise Reduction Yes
White Balance Modes Auto
One Push
Color Temp
WB Shift Yes
Minimum Illumination 60p: 4 lux (1/30 shutter speed)
50p: 3 lux (1/25 shutter speed)
Auto Iris Control f/1.6 – f/11
Manual Iris Control f/1.6 – f/11
Push Auto Iris Yes
Manual Exposure Assist Zebra pattern display
Memory Card Slot XQD x 2 (for XAVC-S)
Memory Stick PRO Duo
Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo
SD/SDHC/SDXC compatible x 1 (for AVCHD)
SD/SDHC/SDXC x 1 (utility SD slot)
A/V Outputs Composite video (RCA) output x 1 (SD)
Analog audio L/R (RCA) output x 1 (SD)
HDMI output x 1 (HD/4K)
USB Ports USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mini-B) x 1
USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Host (mass-storage type-A) x 1
Headphone Jack Stereo mini-jack x 1
Microphone Input XLR jacks x 2 (line/mic)
DC Input Yes
Remote Terminal Yes
Accessory Shoe Yes
Battery Type NP-F970
Power Requirements 7.2 V (battery pack)
12.4 V (AC adapter)
Power Consumption Viewfinder (4K): 14.2 W (30p / 60 Mbps)
Viewfinder (HD): 15.4 W (60p / 50 Mbps)
LCD (4K): 14.5 W (30p / 60 Mbps)
LCD (HD): 15.7 W (60p / 50 Mbps)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 7.44 x 7.6 x 14.25″ (189 x 193 x 362 mm) including NP-F970 battery
Weight 5.38 lb (2.44 kg) camera only
6.1 lb (2.77 kg) camera and NP-F970 battery

Sony FDR-AX1 Release Date

The Sony FDR-AX1 starts shipping on October 14, 2013.

Product images

Sony FDR AX1 4K Camcorder video camera 1 Sony FDR AX1 4K Camcorder video camera 3 Sony FDR AX1 4K Camcorder video camera 2 Sony FDR AX1 4K Camcorder video camera 4 Sony FDR AX1 4K Camcorder video camera 5