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CES 2015 4k camera announcements

This will be updated as new cameras are announced, check back for updates!

First, Camp Sony has released some little new 4K cameras, one being a handycam style, the other being an action cam.

Sony FDR-AX33 4K Ultra HD Handycam Camcorder

  • 1/2.3" sensor
  • 4K UHD 24p/25p/30p & 20.6mp photos
  • 100mbit 4k codec
  • 10x Optical & 20x Clear Image Zoom
  • 1080p Up to 60fps
  • Exmor R CMOS Sensor
  • Bionz X Image Processor
  • B.O.S.S Balanced Optical SteadyShot
  • 3.0" LCD Touchscreen / 0.24" EVF
  • Multi Interface Shoe
  • Wi-Fi / NFC with live streaming via Ustream

This camera is interesting because it has a higher bitrate codec than the higher price AX100, could a firmware update be in order for the AX100? Main difference being the sensor, the initial reports were back and forth over whether this is a 1" or a 1/2.3" sensor, but it looks solidified that it's the smaller variety. What will be interesting to see is how it's performance stacks up against the bigger AX100.

The other big feature is the BOSS stablization, which has the optical block floating around with apparently exceptional results in image stabilization. A big question mark for me is how bad or OK the rolling shutter is, since it has a lot of lines to scan with that 20mp resolution which it's sampling (though it may only be scanning 14mp in 4k mode, not perfectly clear just yet)

Sony FDR-X1000V 4K Action Cam

  • 4K, 1080p, 720p, and 480p 
  • 120 fps @ 1080p / 240 fps @ 720p
  • XAVC S and MP4 Codecs
  • Ultra Wide 170° FOV Lens
  • Wi-Fi for Remote Monitoring and Control
  • 8.8mp photos with Burst & Interval Modes
  • Stereo Audio Recording
  • Loop Recording - Pre record on steroids

It seems Sony really, really wants to get in on GoPro's action (pun intended) Sony's prior actioncams have been pretty nice overall units, but have not made much of a dent as compared to the long time market leader: GoPro.

This new camera boasts pretty comparable specs to the hero4, and tops it with image stabilization and a Pre-record feature called Loop Recording. Loop recording makes it so that the camera is basically always recording, but you can choose when to commit the footage to memory.

Panasonic HC-VX870 4K Ultra HD Camcorder

  • 1/2.3" Back-Illuminated MOS Sensor
  • 4K UHD Video @ 30p
  • 72mbit Codec at 4k
  • 1080p @ up to 240fps
  • 8MP Still Photos
  • 20x Optical / 50x Intelligent Zoom
  • HYBRID OIS 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • HDR Video Recording
  • Wi-Fi for Remote Control and Live View
  • IR Night Mode

What's most interesting to me about the VX870 is actually the 1080 @ 240fps. Until now, the FS700 was the only pro camera to hit that mark. Now, of course you shouldn't compare this consumer camera to the FS700, BUT, if it puts out a quality enough image, it may be a far cheaper alternative for those FPS junkies on a budget.(Hint: action shots/sports) However, it is noted in the literature that this isn't a true 240fps, but rather it's taking the in camera 120fps and software bumping it to 240. Not awesome sounding, but these days it's best to wait and see.

Other than that, it looks like a direct competitor to the above mentioned sony unit, A notable exception being the 20x optical zoom range, twice that of sony. The sony does have a leg up on the codec, as the panasonic's tops out at 72mbit. It also currently only lists 4k as available in 30fps, which is just silly, since 24fps is so darn common these days. There's a chance that will change, the FZ1000 shipped with 30fps only, and later got a firmware update for 24fps, but it's something you shouldn't bet on happening for certain.

Added on 2015-01-06 by
Darren Levine

Darren Levine

Stimulus Video

DP/Videographer, Video/Film Editor
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