4K Handycam FDR-AX1E Announced

Along with a whole host of other tech Sony unveiled its first ‘consumer’ model 4K Handycam at this years IFA, the FDR-AX1E.

The FDR-AX1E’s 1/2.3-type Exmor R CMOS image sensor captures true 4K res images (3840×2160) and records video in the XAVC S format, using MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Long GOP for video and Linear PCM for audio compression, saving files in an MP4 wrap. This means what exactly? It means two glorious hours of 4K video footage on the newly announced 64GB XQD memory cards – extending to 3 hours if you’re capturing full 1080p HD rather than 4K. There’s even two such card slots on the camera, which, assuming you have spares to hand, means you’ll be able to ‘hot-swap’ a full card mid-recording, without interrupting your shoot. Pretty swish.

The camera also features a high quality G Lens – tuned, say Sony to “capture qualities of definition and colour” – and offers a zoom range from wide-angle to 20x optical (31.5-630mm 35mm equivalent) with SteadyShot features to ensure your home movie footage stays focused and shake-free.

On par its rather impressive picture quality, the FDR-AX1E also features two external XLR mic-jacks for premium stereo sound recording; These external microphone captures can then be mixed with the recording from the internal mic, to provide a far richer audio experience.

Viewing your newly captured content is simple; Use the device’s 3.5″ LCD screen, or connect the FDR-AX1E to your TV/Montor via HDMI (2.0), and violà. 4K sets will, of course, output 4K, and those of us who can’t quite afford such delights yet get the 1920×1080 visuals instead.

As for editing, Sony’s Vegas Pro 12 software will be included with all purchases, putting (almost) all the tools a budding Ron Jeremy needs at his disposal.

The full FDR-AX1E 4K camcorder spec sheet provided by Sony can be found below:

Image Sensor 1/2.3-type back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS Sensor
Effective Picture Resolution (movie) Approx. 8.3M pixels
Video recording format XAVC S format: MPEG4-AVC/H264AVCHD format; MPEG4-AVC/H264 AVCHD 2.0*.
Video resolution (4K recording) 3840×2160 60P (150Mbps) / 3840×2160 30P (100 Mbps) / 3840×2160 30P (60 Mbps) / 3840×2160 24P (100 Mbps) / 3840×2160 24P (60 Mbps) / 3840×2160 50P (150 Mbps) / 3840×2160 25P (100 Mbps) / 3840×2160 25P (60 Mbps)
Video resolution (HD recording) 1920×1080 60P (50 Mbps) / 1920×1080 30P (50 Mbps) / 1920×1080 24P (50 Mbps) / 1920×1080 50P (50 Mbps) / 1920×1080 25P (50 Mbps)
Lens type Sony G™ Lens (aperture range F1.6 – F3.4)
Optical zoom range 20x
Focal Length (35mm equivalent)(Movie Mode) F = 31.5-630mm
Focusing system Contrast AF
White Balance Mode Auto/One-push/Outdoor/Indoor/Colour temp
Image stabilisation Optical SteadyShot™
Viewfinder 0.45 type
LCD display 3.5-type Xtra Fine LCD™ display (1229K) Wide (16:9)
Audio record format Linear PCM 2ch (48kHz/16bit)
Microphone/speaker Built-in Stereo Microphone / Monaural speaker
Media card slots XQD Memory Card x2 (for XAVC S)Memory Stick Pro Duo™ and SD/SDHC/SDXC compatible x1 (for AVCHD)*. SD/SDHC/SDXC x1 (utility SD slot)
Interfaces Headphone (stereo minijack); Analogue Line Input (XLR); Mic Input (XLR); DC In; Remote Terminal; HDMI; USB; Composite video out; Accessory shoe
Dimensions (WxHxD) Approx. 189 x 193 x 362 mm (inc. projecting parts)
Weight (main unit only) Approx. 2440 g
Weight (with supplied NP-F970 battery) Approx. 2770 g
Supplied accessories Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-F970; AC Adaptor; Battery Charger; HDMI cable; USB cable; Large eyecup; Lens hood; A/V connecting cable; XQD card; license CD-ROM; AC Cable; Operating Guide

Whilst costing $4,500 in the US, there’s been no official word of a UK release date or pricing. One thing we know for certain of though: the quality of footage on ‘You’ve Been Framed’ in 2025 is going to be awesome. 4K _dog_on_slide.mp4? Case closed.

4K Handycam FDR-AX1E Announced

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