Sony releases ultra-small and light 4K camcorder

4K Handicam

Sony has used CES to release its smallest 4K camcorder yet, offering one-handed shooting, one-inch CMOS sensor and a new processing engine.

Pegged at around $1999 (about £1,200), the new Handycam AX100E offers a large back-illuminated 1.0-type Exmor R CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor, simultaneous XAVC/AVCHD and MP4 capture, high frame rate recording, a Zeiss T* lens with 12x optical zoom, manual lens ring, control dial and built-in ND filters and Optical SteadyShot. The company said the camera was 75 percent smaller and 66 percent lighter than previous models.

The 1.0-type Exmor R CMOS sensor is capable of Ultra HD images (3840 x 2160 pixels) at up to

60 Mbps and Full HD at 50Mbps. The dual-capture facility means that movies can be recorded in XAVC S or AVCHD formats for the highest resolution, while at the same time, a more compact lower-resolution copy of the footage is recorded in MP4 format. Using a NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet you can then wirelessly transfer MP4 clips from the AX100E for quick online sharing.

The BIONZ X processor offers area-specific noise reduction and detail reproduction technology. The camera also features advanced Cinematone Gamma/Colour functions and progressive 25p recording, which Sony claims gives a sumptuously warm, rich look to footage.

As well as the 7-bladed aperture, a choice of selectable Clear, 1/4 filter, 1/16 filter or 1/64 ND (Neutral Density) filters adjusts light levels entering the lens. In conjunction with the camcorder’s large image sensor, Sony said it allows creation of smooth bokeh background blur effects without increasing shutter speed – even if you’re shooting outdoors in sunny conditions.

A lens ring can be used for fingertip control of focus or zoom and exposure, while the side-mounted control dial can be assigned functions like gain or brightness.

The high-contrast OLED Tru-Finder display offers a wide-angle of view. Touching the camcorder’s display during 4K playback trims the area immediately round the area you’ve touched for playback as a Full HD movie.

The new addition of My Voice Cancelling automatically reduces vocal frequencies from immediately behind the camera, while your subject’s voice remains unaffected.

Wi-Fi also allows wireless playback of content stored on Handycam on a networked TV while touching the camcorder with a NFC-enabled mobile device also activates Smart Remote Control.

The new FDR-AX100E 4K camcorder will be on sale in Europe from May 2014.

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