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Sony FDR-AX1 4K pro camera, $4500
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    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.

    In order to provide 4K video recording in a consumer model, Sony designed the FDR-AX1 to support the XAVC-S 4K/HD recording format which is usually reserved for professional applications. However, since the XAVC-S codec will save as an MP4 wrapper, you can still create web-friendly videos that can be easily shared on social media sites like YouTube. Another highlight of the XAVC-S recording format is its ability to record images at 150 Mbps in 4K. In fact, it can record images at 50 Mbps even when you're shooting in Full HD 1920 x1080 resolution. The FDR-AX1 has also adopted a more professional-type of recording media thanks to the inclusion of dual next-generation XQD media card slots. Both XQD card slots support fast 4K/HD writing and reading rates. Plus, you can use the relay recording function to switch between XQD slots and lengthen your recording time. You'll also be able to quickly transfer footage via SuperSpeed USB 3.0 from your XQD cards to your PC by using an optional XQD reader/writer with a USB 3.0 connection.

    Another feature that makes the FDR-AX1 a professional-class consumer video camera is its audio recording capability. It records 2-channel Linear PCM audio with a built-in high-performance stereo microphone. However, the camera also features dual integrated professional-class XLR audio inputs for connecting external microphones. You'll even be able to mix audio tracks from the internal microphone with the audio recorded from any connected external mics. There are a variety of shot-enhancing functions and manual control options as well. More experienced videographers will be able to take advantage of the independent zoom, focus and iris rings. Plus, the camera's viewfinder and LCD monitor employ Peaking, Zebra and Center Marker functionality for more advanced shot setup and autofocus options.


    Other image-enhancing features include three ND filters and five unique Paint functions, which will help you achieve a more cinematic aesthetic with your movies. The FDR-AX1 has flexible connectivity options as well. Besides the XLR audio inputs, the camera is equipped with a headphone jack, an HDMI output that will transfer 4K footage to compatible 4K Bravia TVs, a USB 2.0 port for fast data transfers, an analog A/V output, an accessory shoe and more. With the flexible connectivity options, professional-class features, 4K recording capability and ease-of-use, the FDR-AX1 bridges the gap between consumer and professional-class. While experienced videographers will be able to really produce great video and audio with this model, even ambitious beginners will be able to master this camera and capture professional looking, cinematic 4K video with ultra-clear stereo audio.

    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.


    • 1/2.3" back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor
    • 18.900,000 pixels
    • Sony G Lens with Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
    • 4.1 - 82 mm F/1.6 -F/3.4 (31.5 - 630 mm )
    • Filter Diameter - 72 mm
    • Minimum Focus Distance - 0.4" (1 cm), tele - 31.5" (80 cm)
    • 6 aperture blades
    • ND Filters - Off, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64
    • Rings - Focus ring Iris ring Zoom ring
    • Video modes
      • 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)
    • Dimensions - 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

    Available at:

    800 x 503 - 58K
    800 x 589 - 59K
  • 47 Replies sorted by
  • Sounds like the next gen ENG cam.

    I hope Panasonic aim to compete for this market.

    A GH3 style body with simlar codec options and working video IBIS would be great

  • I disagree, ENG work requires deep depth of field to handle fast breaking situations.

  • It's amazing how technology is evolving. Said that, A smile draws in my face when I imagine, people buying this and wowing the image quality and frames per second, image stabilization and then. KABOOM, HUGE DESILUSION.... :-)

    • Not enough hard drives (forget backups) buy some, time in coding transcoding editing multiplying, need new pc, buy one. Ouch can't see my footage at real size, buy a 4k pc monitor and an 4k ULTRAHD tv. This hypothetical guy/company makes a huge effort to change to 4k, every inversion done UUFFF, he/they made it.

    Just for realizing that the difference between "old" fullhd only shows off at screens bigger than 80" or cinema with 4k digital projectors, and wait, its and ENG/DOCU camera. Probably never going to get to cinema room this footage. And the amount of people that has ULTRA HD 80" tv's are so few...

    Well at least it's a future proof investment is't it?

    It may very well be, yes. But probability says that this economic/social system will no last for long. This model of industrial growing is about to collapse, and even speculating more ( ;-) ) if we get to the time when every home has an 4K ULTRA HDTV, the visible difference between 4K to a good FULL HD in a 80" or big screen is minimal.

    What industry is trying to make, Its like changing your BMW with a FERRARI to go from home to work bigger and better... But they don't say what implications are behind a Ferrari do they.


  • Rather have 2k 4:2:2 10 bit, than 4K 4:0:0 8 bit. bet it would scale int a better image, even at high res.

  • @leonbeas That made me laugh, especially having just bought the BMCC and now I need to upgrade my mac to run Da Vinci!

  • @leonbeas

    Downsized picture will certainly look better, and it has high bitrates. :-)

    And no, 4K is very easy noticeable even at 32", just sit closer.

  • Sony will include 32GB XQD card and a full copy of Vegas Pro 12. :-)

  • @VK yes, you will see more resolution, but perceived sharpness is also a function of color depth and contrast.

  • yes, you will see more resolution, but perceived sharpness is also a function of color depth and contrast.

    And? What is "color depth"?

  • Curious at 1080 no higher fps than 60. Still, nice camera. I'd pay the same $$ for the same specs but in an interchangeable lens body.

  • Very strong move from Sony.


    Any reason to request interchangeable lens for such camera?

  • @AK ability to discriminate between closely matched colors. Not necessary bit depth, for example Canon EOS sensor is processed at 8 bit but has more color resolution than many 10 bit cameras because the debayering does not destroy or average color information.

  • ability to discriminate between closely matched colors

    Can you make some more strict definition?

    has more color resolution than many 10 bit cameras because the debayering does not destroy or average color information.

    Hmm, do you mean that it's sensor has higher resolution? As debayering is really almost the same across all cameras.

  • @MikeLinn Agreed, very strong move. Having owned an HVX, I didn't really find a single zoom lens suits my style. Great for ENG or as Sony says "everyone will be able to document important family moments, get creative with friends" but for my uses (music video/web series) I would rather use my own lenses on such a body. By dropping the lens and placing a interchangeable lens mount they would save $$ on production. My point was I'd still pay the same money without the lens.

  • @vapourtrail

    You have many good sharp (4K) lenses for 1/2.3" sensors?

  • @AK Debayering to HD is not the same when it comes from a 4K chip with independent RGB channels, than when it comes from a HD chip with loss of resolution due to debayering and color averaging. Listen I suspect we are in an unproductive semantics battle, so white flag. I surrender.

    Also, your point about needed carefully chosen lenses for 4K is very important.

  • Debayering to HD is not the same when it comes from a 4K chip with independent RGB channels, than when it comes from a HD chip with loss of resolution due to debayering and color averaging

    Problem is that debayering algorithms are quite well known. And most of the chips used today have higher resolution than video output. Hence, despite Canon advertisments is not the main thing responsible for color quality and accuracy. Much more important are color filters and all color adjustment magic.

    Even worse is that ALL of your audience will be viewing your product at 420 color, hence all this averaging claims are mostly bullshit.

  • Looks like a very interesting camera and I look forward to trying it, as well as whatever Canon comes up with as an answer. Strong move by Sony. The sensor seems a bit on the small side, but Sony has a pretty good track record with sensors recently. Ideally on this cam at this price point I would like to see a lens that is a little faster and a little wider.

  • The phoblographer site is reporting some different specs then stated above (or at digitalcamerareview's site). They're stating you can output to 4096x2160 and the price is $1000 lower than stated, $3499 in mid October. I'm guessing they rushed the facts but I like their slant better ;-)

  • @killagram

    May be. Price was present on B&H and Amazon :-) So it is correct.

    It was also told at IFA and present on the sites who make coverage.

  • What are the lens specs on this camera?

  • @mpgxsvcd

    Check first post in topic.

    • 4.1 - 82 mm F/1.6 -F/3.4 (31.5 - 630 mm )