04 August 2014
We already love the Sony AX100 as really there is nothing to touch it for great value 4K Point and Shootability. Whenever Sony announce a consumer camcorder, you can bet your bottom dollar that there's a pro version on the way. Well this time that pro version is actually quite different and not just with slightly different specs and a bolt on XLR adaptor. But let's get one thing out of the way first - this is not YET a 4K camcorder. It is initially being launched as 4K ready so this will be available early next year.
Sony have really thought about the ergonomics of this camera. A large hand grip makes handling the camera a breeze and Sony has seen fit to place buttons within reach of your fingers for a change to make it incredibly easy to handle. The handle is detachable with the XLR audio working through Sony's MI shoe.
The sensor is 1.0 type Exmor R CMOS (sound familiar?). Combined with Sony's wonderful Bionz X processor, it's capable of fine things.
The lens is a 12x optical zoom ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens with image stabilisation (the camera has Sony's Active Steadyshot). You've also a four stage Variable ND option. In HD you can also increase that zoom to 24x by the camera using the extra pixels on the sensor, something Sony call 'Clear Image Zoom' - we've seen this before on Sony camcorders and it works very well indeed.
Recording formats are AVCHD, XAVC and DV. You've got two SD card slots so you can either hotswap between them or record simultaneously.
To look at what you're shooting, you have a 3.5" LCD or an OLED viewfinder. The LCD is now a touch screen which allows touch-to-focus and touch-to-expose (something we've been wanting for a while). You have obviously got all the aids (peaking, histogram, zebras..).
As you would expect for a new camera, connectivity is provided with Wifi and NFC capability. This means you can control the camera wirelessly from a phone or tablet and video files can be transferred in MP4 format.
Finally connections wise you've not only got HDMI but Sony have also included 3G HD-SDI.
All in all it's a little powerhouse. Ours are on order already and we're expecting them at launch which we assume will be around October.