Sony FDR-AX33

New Sony 4K Camera: XAVC S; Ports Galore; WiFi and LiveStreaming…

by Hugh BrownstoneLeave a Comment

…in a $1,000 Handycam. Gotcha! OK, you have to look past the oy vey, “So I’m not gonna need a tripod now… Exactly” moment in the video. And the 4K is UHD only. Still, the convergence of smartphone and video camera coupled with feature trickle down accelerates with Sony’s FDR-AX33.

Sony is on a roll – at least with their gear (THE INTERVIEW, anyone?).

Just announced at CES 2015, their new line of Handycams is aimed squarely at families – good call – and boasts pretty heady specs and very aggressive prices, especially their FDR-AX33.

All of which begs the question: what will Sony’s prosumer and pro lines look like by the end of this year as the trickle down continues?

GAWD, I’m actually paying attention to the rumor mill about their a7000 and a9!

Sony’s Newest Handycam Delivers 4K Clarity and Detail in a Compact Package

Via Sony Press Release:

LAS VEGAS, Jan 5, 2015 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging, has today introduced its most compact 4K1 Handycam® camcorder to date, the new FDR-AX33 model.

About 30% smaller and 20% lighter than the current FDR-AX100 4K Camcorder introduced at CES 2014, the new FDR-AX33 features impressive Balanced Optical SteadyShot™ (B.O.SS) image stabilization and 4K 100Mbps high-bitrate recording, bringing new levels of performance to the consumer camcorder market.

“As the popularity of 4K continues to skyrocket, consumers are constantly searching for new and different ways to enjoy the platform,” said Patrick Huang, director of the camcorder business at Sony Electronics. “Our new AX33 Handycam brings the wonders of 4K personal content creation to a wider audience than ever before, delivering crystal clear 4K video from the palm of your hand. It’s the ultimate choice for families looking to capture and preserve all their precious memories in the highest possible quality.”

Sony has also introduced a lineup of new HD camcorders with upgraded specifications including SteadyShot image stabilization, XAVC S high-bitrate recording and more.

FDR-AX33 4K Handycam

The new FDR-AX33 model is Sony’s first 4K camcorder feature the acclaimed Balanced Optical SteadyShot (B.O.SS) image stabilization technology, which ensures that 4K video output is smooth, stable and blur-free at focal lengths ranging from wide-angle to extended telescopic zoom. This is particularly useful during 4K shooting, where stabilization is often a challenge due to the immense amount of data in each frame. 4K video can be recorded by the camera in the advanced XAVC S video format at an extremely high bit rate of 100 Mbps2, allowing each frame to be packed with extraordinary detail and with minimal distortion thanks to high speed sensor readout .

For the more advanced videographers, the new 4K camcorder includes a customizable manual ring and manual button that can be assigned to key functions like zoom, focus and exposure adjustments etc. The camera is equipped with a high-performance electronic viewfinder approximately three times the resolution of previous models, and a beautiful 3.0” Wide Xtra Fine LCD WhiteMagic™ display that performs admirably in all shooting environments including bright sunlight.

Post shooting, 4K video content shot with the FDR-AX33 camcorder can be played back directly on a compatible 4K television through the supplied HDMI cable, or in super-sampled Full HD is connected to an HDTV. The camcorder can also ‘trim’ 4K images from video frames, enlarging a chosen portion of the frame to fill the screen with Full HD quality. In this mode, trimming size can be changed with zoom lever or on-screen icon 3.

Also, with support of 4K still image capture, users can extract and save 8.3 MP still images from 4K movie footage without impacting the impressive 4K video quality.

Sony FDR-AX33

Additional HD Handycams for Capturing Memories

There are also several exciting new introductions for Sony’s Full HD camcorder line-up including the HDR-PJ670, HDR-PJ440, HDR-CX440 and HDR-CX405 models, bringing stunning HD video recording and image stabilization technologies to a variety of Handycam customers.

The entire 2015 Handycam lineup features XAVC S 50Mbps high-bitrate recording4 and either Balanced Optical Steady Shot or Optical SteadyShot with Intelligent Active mode, ensuring video footage is highly detailed and blur-free.

With a widest angle of 26.8mm, the lens lets users capture large groups of subjects with ease. A built-in projector on select models allows for instant video playback of saved video on large surfaces, and an HDMI input allows the projector to play content from smartphones, tablets and other compatible devices.

Innovative New Features to Extend Shooting Enjoyment

Standard on all 2015 Handycam models, Highlight Movie Maker automatically creates great-looking short movie clips accompanied by transition effects and background music with no editing needed. Handycam picks and assembles your best shots like smile and tagged points to create short, social media friendly mp4 format videos to share with friends and family. Through use of PlayMemories Home™ software, shooters can customize the length of their highlight video to match the length of pre-installed or personally selected background music.

Also offered across most models in the range, Multi Camera Control utilizes Wi-Fi to allow a ‘master’ Handycam to control a variety of Sony’s Wi-Fi connected cameras including key functions like Start/Stop recording, zoom and other standard settings. When the ‘master’ Handycam is paired with Sony Action Cam or QX ‘Lens Style’ cameras5, it can control up to 5 devices simultaneously. Footage from all of the connected cameras can be easily combined post-shooting through use of PlayMemories Home.

Many of the new camcorders also feature Live Streaming6 capability through use of Wi-Fi and the USTREAM platform, which is particularly convenient for sharing key moments with distant friends, family and other relatives as they occur.

Sony Press Continued

A summary of Sony’s five new camcorders is included below:

Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX33

Available in February for about $999

True 4K video recording in the palm of your hand

4K (QFHD 3860×2180 @ 30p) video recording capability at high bitrate 100Mbps2 utilizing XAVC S format
Innovative Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization ensures that video is smooth and blur-free
Custom manual ring for advanced videographers
Compatible with “Highlight Movie Maker”7 to create quick highlight videos for social media sharing
Multi Camera Control utilized Wi-Fi to control up to 5 devices simultaneously5
USTREAM live streaming functionality6

Sony HD Handycam HDR-PJ670

Available in January for about $700

All-in-one Camcorder for all your HD needs

Full HD (1080 @60p) video recording capability at high bitrate 50Mbps4 utilizing XAVC S format
Innovative Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization ensures that video is smooth and blur-free
Built-in projector (25 lm) for on-the-spot HD video playback
Compatible with “Highlight Movie Maker”7 to create quick highlight videos for social media sharing
Multi Camera Control utilized Wi-Fi to control up to 5 devices simultaneously5
USTREAM live streaming functionality6

Sony HD Handycam HDR-PJ440

Available in January for about $400

Entry level HD camcorder with Optical SteadyShot, built-in projector

Full HD (1080 @60p) video recording capability at high bitrate 50Mbps4 utilizing XAVC S format
Optical SteadyShot Intelligent Active model keeps video footage crisp
Built-in projector (13 lm) for on-the-spot HD video playback
Compatible with “Highlight Movie Maker”7 to create quick highlight videos for social media sharing
Multi Camera Control utilized Wi-Fi to control up to 5 devices simultaneously5
USTREAM live streaming functionality6

Sony HD Handycam HDR-CX440

Available in January for about $300

Entry level HD camcorder with Optical SteadyShot

Full HD (1080 @60p) video recording capability at high bitrate 50Mbps4 utilizing XAVC S format
Optical Steady-Shot Intelligent Active model keeps video footage crisp
Compatible with “Highlight Movie Maker”7 to create quick highlight videos for social media sharing
Multi Camera Control utilized Wi-Fi to control up to 5 devices simultaneously5
USTREAM live streaming functionality6

Sony HD Handycam HDR-CX405

Available in January for about $230

Entry level HD camcorder for casual family use

Full HD (1080 @60p) video recording capability at high bitrate 50Mbps4 utilizing XAVC S format
Optical SteadyShot Intelligent Active model keeps video footage crisp
Compatible with “Highlight Movie Maker”7 to create quick highlight videos for social media sharing
30x optical ZEISS lens
The new lineup of Sony Camcorders will be sold at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.

###
Notes to editors:

1 4K: QFHD 3860×2180
2 SDXC UHS-I U3 or higher is required for 4K 100Mbps recording
3 Minimum trimming size is 1920×1080
4 SDXC Class 10 or higher is required for HD 50Mbps recording.
5 Compatible with FDR-X1000V, HDR-AS200V/AZ1/AS100/AS20/AS30 and ILCE-QX1/DSC-QX30
6 Requires a Wi-Fi router or smartphone capable of tether
7 Compatible with AVCHD

CES 2015: New 4K Handycam FDR-AX33 (FIRST LOOK)

(cover photo credit: snap from Sony)

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh is the founder of Three Blind Men and An Elephant Productions. He and the team write, direct, shoot, score, and edit web-centric films; conduct photo shoots; and write copy, white papers and blog posts. Hugh also writes screenplays (he recently optioned a TV pilot) and just published his first eBook (Apple's iPhone: The Next Video Revolution). If it's about telling stories, it's in their wheelhouse.

And always with the ambition of authenticity, humanity and wit.
Hugh Brownstone

Leave a Comment