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Preview: Sony’s New FDRAX1 4K Camcorder Video Camera with 20x Optical Zoom


Sonys New FDRAX1 4K Camcorder Video Camera with 20x Optical Zoom

Now we are big fans of everything tech, and even bigger fans of ground breaking tech. Before I get to far ahead of myself though, I should mention that Sony’s FDRAX1 isn’t out yet so it’s hard to get too excited calling it ground breaking just yet…but if it lives up to some of the cameras Sony has released in the past, this is going to turn a lot of heads. Kind of like when the Sony SR-12 first came out, it took the consumer market for a spin offering such a high quality and once professional only (feature-wise) camera at an affordable price ($1499).

The FDRAX1 isn’t launching in November (1st) at the same affordable price since it’s weighing in around $4500, but it also comes packed with a lot more power than something like the SR-12 could ever offer and still falls far below the typical price for other cameras in it’s league. 

What will this lead to when it comes out? You should get ready to see a lot of 4K material on YouTube this Christmas and going into next year (hopefully YouTube will allow 4K streaming by then). This will help push the adaptation of 4K into the world of both professional and amateur film. No better way to do so than making the means of doing so easy to obtain.

If you plan on snagging one of these when they become available or pre-ordering it, we would love to hear from you once you start using it. If you’re local, we will even meet up with you to discuss and demo it together. Unless of course Sony wants to send us one which would work so much better. You would see a lot more video content coming from us, that’s for sure (with some glorious Sony logo placement snuck in here and there).

For now we just have a preview but we look forward to hopefully giving this camera a full review when it comes out. Until then, here are the specs and intel:


Tell your story in four times the resolution of Full HD with the 4K camcorder that’s made for everyone. Shoot with the breathtaking quality of XAVC-S 4K/60p and capture professional audio with XLR mic inputs. Even take direct, manual control with zoom, focus and iris rings, plus 7 assignable buttons. The groundbreaking power of 4K is ready to capture your imagination—experience it with Sony. Let the revolution begin.

Capture 4K/60p video that far exceeds HD resolution

Playback 4K content captured on the Sony AX1 4K camcorder on a compatible1 4K TV by simply connecting the two devices with supplied HDMI cable. Thanks to original Sony technology, Sony BRAVIA TVs especially bring out the full quality of 4K/60p recordings. Full HD monitors can also be used to enjoy this content by simply changing the menu HDMI output settings to 1920 x 1080.

XAVC-S codec allows extended 4K/HD video recording

The Sony AX1 4K camcorder records 4K/HD movies in the XAVC-S format, which was developed for consumer usage based on the professional XAVC 4K/HD format. XAVC-S uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Long GOP for video and linear PCM for audio compression, while saving files in an MP4 wrapper. The XAVC-S codec allows longer recording times within a given media capacity than XAVC, making 4K recording easier and more convenient.

1/2.3” 8.3MP Exmor R® CMOS image sensor

Sony’s unique Exmor R® CMOS sensor is essential to the stunning image quality that the AX1 achieves. Its back-illuminated structure featuring wiring layers on the back of a photo-diode (light receiving element) dramatically boosts low-light sensitivity for shooting better, more lifelike images even in dim lighting. Sony’s cutting-edge technology also makes the camera nimble at reading massive 4K data at 60 fps.

Built-in mic w/2x additional Pro XLR jacks for external inputs

In addition to a high-performance internal microphone, the AX1 features two external XLR jacks for connecting external microphones that can also be used to record superior-quality balanced audio synchronized to the video. You can also mix audio from recordings made using the internal microphone and externally connected microphones, respectively.

Sony G-lens with 20X (31.5-630mm eq.) smooth servo zoom

The “G Lens” advances the Sony heritage of image processing innovation by redefining what an aspheric lens and special low-dispersion glass together can faithfully reproduce. Accordingly, the “G Lens” is specially tuned to capture qualities of definition and color that put these groundbreaking Handycam®camcorders in a class of their own. In addition, the high-quality lens offers a broad zooming range from wide-angle to 20x optical zoom (31.5-630mm 35mm equivalent), enabling an amazing range of video expression.

3 ND filters and 5 paint functions for expressive cinematic looks

The AX1 features three ND filters for adjusting the amount of light entering the image sensor from the lens. There are four filter settings: Off (Clear), 1/4 filter, 1/16 filter and 1/64 filter. These filter settings give users the ability to adjust to light conditions, while maintaining desired shutter angle and aperture even on bright and sunny days.

Six paint functions (white, offset white, gamma, detail, skin detail and matrix) can be combined and adjusted in the paint menu to create expressive movie styling and cinematic looks.

7x assignable buttons and 3x control rings (focus/iris/zoom)

The AX1 was designed with two start/stop buttons (one on the side of the camera grip and another on the handle) for ease of use while shooting. The handle also features a zoom button that enables convenient access while shooting from low angles.

Seven assignable buttons can be programmed with functions that enable users to quickly access them without using menus. Assign functions such as Marker, Zebra, Peaking, Focus Magnifier, Auto Exposure Level, Steadyshot, Color Bars, Rec Lamp [F], Rec Lamp [R]

Two XQD card slots for high-speed 4K recording and playback

The AX1 uses XQD media cards for smooth, high-speed reading and writing of 4K video and features two XQD media slots.

A relay recording feature makes it possible to lengthen recording by automatically switching between two or more media.

The AX1 is compatible with following types of XQD media cards:

XQD media card S-series
XQD media card H-series
XQD media card N-series

View 4K 60P video on compatible BRAVIA TVs w/supplied HDMI cable

Playback 4K content captured on the AX1 on a 4K TV by simply connecting the two devices with supplied HDMI cable. Thanks to original Sony technology, Sony BRAVIA TVs especially bring out the full quality of 4K/60p recordings. Full HD monitors can also be used to enjoy this content by simply changing the menu HDMI output settings to 1920 x 1080.

High-quality XAVC-S up to 150Mbps 4K / 50Mbps HD recording

High quality XAVC-S can be recorded to 150Mbps. Additionally, there is also an option to record very high quality Full HD at 50Mbps with the AX1.

Zebra, Peaking, Center marker and guide frame

Have confidence in getting the setting right and not missing he shot. Tools such as Zebra, Peaking, Center Marker and Guide Frame are professional features to enable precise manual control.

Zebra: While recording, this function highlights over exposed bright areas with stripes in the LCD and viewfinder. This feedback helps users adjust brightness and prevent whiteout.

Peaking: Highlights the area’s most sharply in focus, in the LCD and viewfinder for accurate manual focusing. Users can choose white, red, yellow or blue peaking to clearly contrast with the subject and adjust the peaking level to low, medium or high.

Determine the center of your image at a glance using the Center Marker feature in the LCD or viewfinder and use the guide frame for aligning horizontal and vertical lines to ensure your captured image is within screen boundaries.
Link: Pre-Order information for the Sony FDRAX1 4K Camcorder Video Camera


Are you a manufacturer or vendor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.


About Author

Designer, Editor and Product Reviewer
Poc Network

Ryan is an avid gamer that spends most of his time either commanding teams on the Xbox One or out on the grass kicking the soccer ball around when others are willing to take the challenge. He comes with a bachelors in electrical engineering and a hobby in the installation of advanced audio-video environments.

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