Sony FDR-AX100 4K Handycam

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Sony has announced two new Handycam camcorders, each with 1” image sensors at CES 2014. A veritable show stopper, the FDR-AX100 is capable of recording 4K Ultra HD video at 30 frames per second and Full HD 1080p at up to 60 fps. The second camera, the HDR-CX900 has a practically identical design and feature set, sans the 4K recording mode. Both cameras represent a significant step forward for Sony’s consumer level camcorders.

Before you read any further, I urge you to check out this sample video. It speaks volumes.

The FDR-AX100 and HDR-CX900’s Exmor R CMOS sensors are among the largest in any consumer level video camera. At 1” diagonally, they are slightly larger than Super 16mm film and should enable comparable depth of field. This is the same sensor size as Sony’s popular stills camera, the DSC-RX100, which was also well known for his video quality. These sensors are currently unique among camcorders in this category, and only prosumer-level, interchangeable lens cameras offer a larger sensor.

Paired with the built-in 12x Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens, these cameras will render a 35mm equivalent of 29-348mm. The lens also features a 7 blade iris, a maximum aperture of f/2.8-4.5 and a minimum focus distance of 0.4” (1 cm). Truly courting the prosumer market, both cameras also offer built-in ND filters in four increments (1/4, 1/16, 1/64 and 0 ND).

These cameras are among the first to utilize Sony’s XAVC S recording format, which supports resolutions of up to 3840 x 2160 4K Ultra HD at 24p and 30p frames per second. While only the FDR-AX100 has a 4K recording mode, both cameras are capable of recording 1920 x 1080 resolution video at 24p and 60p frames per second. When shooting in the XAVC S 4K mode, the FDR-AX100 records 2 channels of 48kHz, 16bit MPEG-4 Linear PCM audio. Other recording modes use either the Dolby Digital 2 or 5.1 channel audio formats. In addition to audio and video, these cameras are also capable of capturing up to 20MP JPEG photographs. Compatible recording media includes Sony’s Memory Stick Pro Duo (Mark 2), Memory Stick XC-HG Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards.

Both cameras feature an adjustable 3.5” Xtra Fine LCD touch screen display with 921K dot resolution and a high contrast OLED Tru-Finder EVF. Other key features include the BIONZ X image processor, Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization, built-in WiFi with NFC connectivity, and Sony’s proprietary Multi Interface Shoe for connecting a wide range of accessories. The camera also includes an NP-FV70 rechargeable battery pack, the RMT-835 remote commander, a removeable lens hood and various other accessories.  The Dual Recording mode is another nice feature, which allows you to record and stream low-res footage over Wi-Fi and simultaneously capture high-quality, 4K footage.

The FDR-AX100 might be an ideal casual, travel camera. One interesting possibility to consider is the option of shooting photos and video at the same time. When shooting in the 4K recording mode each frame of video is the equivalent of an 8.3MP photograph. That’s more resolution than the sensors in most cell phone cameras. In fact, you can think of it as up to 30 8.3MP photographs per second. It may take a bit more work to select your shots in post, but you will save yourself some worry over missing the decisive moment.

It is also important to note that 4K is about more than just a boost in resolution. Footage that is shot in 4K can be supersampled in post and down-scaled to Full HD 1920 x 1080, preserving more color and luminance information than the in-camera 1080p settings. “Color resolution” - more commonly known as color depth - is an often underestimated factor in overall image quality and it is one of the major benefits of shooting video in 4K.

You should also be aware that when you take that next step up to 4K recording there is a sort of ripple effect that needs to be accounted for. That is, you need to make sure that they rest of your equipment is 4K ready. For instance, you might may need a newer computer in order to edit 4K footage and, before you can even record in 4K, you will need fast enough recording media. In fact, SD-HC memory cards won’t cut it, and you may need to upgrade to SD-XC.

These new cameras come on the heels of the FDR-AX1, Sony’s entry-level, professional camcorder. The FDR-AX1 boasts 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) recording at an astonishing 60p frames per second. Sony markets the FDR-AX1 as a “4K for everyone” camera, but the FDR-AX1 has some decidedly professional features. For instance, the 20x Sony G lens features a 35mm equivalent focal length of 31.5-630mm, a maximum aperture of f/1.6-3.5, and dedicated manual adjustment rings for focus, zoom and iris control.

The FDR-AX1 also features two professional, XLR microphone inputs, built-in ND filters, and two media slots for Sony’s new XQD S Series and N Series memory cards. XQD memory cards offer read and write speeds of up to 180MB/s and are available with capacities of 32 or 64GBs. The camera includes a 32GB N Series XQD memory card, a Sony NP-F970 L-Series Info-Lithium rechargeable battery pack and - among other things - a free license for Vegas Pro 12, Sony’s professional NLE video editing software.

Sony is making a strong push into the 4K future with these offerings. With a handful of entry-level, 4K capable cameras making their debut this year, you might say that future is now. Sony is certainly leading the charge. For more information on these cameras, please visit the B&H SuperStore in NYC, call 1-800-606-6969 or contact our experts online via Live Chat.

  FDR-AX100 HDR-CX900 FDR-AX1
Camera
Sensor 1 x 1" Back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS Sensor 1 x 1" Back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS Sensor 1/2.3" back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor
Processor BIONZ X BIONZ X N/A
Color Filter System RGB RGB RGB
Pixel Gross Approx. 20.9 million pixels Approx. 20.9 million pixels Approx. 18,900,000 pixels
Optics
Lens Type Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* Sony G Lens
35mm Equivalent Focal Length 29 to 348mm 29 to 348mm 31.5 - 630mm
Maximum Aperture 2.8 - 4.5 2.8 - 4.5 f/1.6 - f/3.4
Aperture Blade 7 blades 7 blades 6 blades
Minimum Focus Distance Wide: 0.4" (1.0 cm)
Telephoto: 39.4" (100.0cm)
Wide: 0.4" (1.0 cm)
Telephoto: 39.4" (100.0cm)
Wide: Approx. 0.4" (1 cm)
Tele: Approx. 31.5" (80cm)
Zoom Optical: 12x
Clear Zoom: 18x (4K), 24x (HD)
Digital: 160x
Optical: 12x
Clear Zoom: 18x (4K), 24x (HD)
Digital: 160x
Optical: 20x
Filter Size 62mm 62mm 72mm
ND Filters OFF, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64 OFF, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64 OFF, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64
Recording
System UHDTV
NTSC
NTSC UHDTV
NTSC
Recording Media Memory Stick Pro Duo (Mark 2)
Memory Stick XC-HG Duo
SD/SDHC/SDXC
Memory Stick Pro Duo (Mark 2)
Memory Stick XC-HG Duo
SD/SDHC/SDXC
XQD memory card x 2
Video Format UHD 4K
XAVC S
3840 x 2160p / 30 fps
3840 x 2160p / 24 fps
High Definition
XAVC S
1920 x 1080 / 60 fps
1920 x 1080 / 30 fps
1920 x 1080 / 24 fps
AVCHD
1920 x 1080p / 60 fps
1920 x 1080p / 24 fps
1920 x 1080i / 60 fps
1440 x 1080i / 60 fps
MP4
1280 x 720p / 30 fps
High Definition
XAVC S
1920 x 1080 / 60 fps
1920 x 1080 / 30 fps
1920 x 1080 / 24 fps
AVCHD
1920 x 1080p / 60 fps
1920 x 1080p / 24 fps
1920 x 1080i / 60 fps
1440 x 1080i / 60 fps
MP4
1280 x 720p / 30 fps
XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 150 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/60p)
XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 150 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/50p)
XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 60 or 100 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/30p)
XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 60 or 100 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/25p)
XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 60 or 100 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/24p)
XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 50 Mbps, HD 1920 x 1080)
AVCHD: m2ts (4:2:0, up to 28 Mbps, HD 1920 x 1080)
Aspect Ratio 16:9
4:3
16:9
4:3
16:9
4:3
Slow Motion 120 fps N/A Not Specified by the Manufacturer
Still Image Resolution Max. Effective Resolution: 20MP
JPEG: 14.1 Megapixel, 5024 x 2824 (16:9)
JPEG: 15 Megapixel, 4464 x 3352 (4:3)
Max. Effective Resolution: 20MP
JPEG: 14.1 Megapixel, 5024 x 2824 (16:9)
JPEG: 15 Megapixel, 4464 x 3352 (4:3)
N/A
Microphone Built-in Zoom Microphone (stereo) Built-in Zoom Microphone (stereo) Built-in Zoom Microphone (stereo)
Audio Format MPEG-4 Linear PCM 2ch 48kHz/16bit (XAVC S 4K only)
Dolby Digital 2ch
Dolby Digital 5.1ch
Dolby Digital 5.1 Creator (AVCHD only)
Dolby Stereo Creator (AVCHD only)
Dolby Digital 2ch
Dolby Digital 5.1ch
Dolby Digital 5.1 Creator (AVCHD only)
Dolby Stereo Creator (AVCHD only)
Linear PCM (48kHz / 16-bit)
Microphone Level Control 31 steps 31 steps 2 steps
Display
Display Type LCD LCD LCD
Touchscreen Yes Yes No
Screen Size (Diagonal) 3.5" 3.5" 3.5"
Pixel Count 921,000 921,000 1,229,000
Aspect Ratio 16:9 16:9 16:9
Rotation Opening Angle: 90°
Turning Angle: 270°
Opening Angle: 90°
Turning Angle: 270°
Opening Angle: 180°
Turning Angle: 270°
EVF Screen Size (Diagonal) 0.39" (0.99 cm) 0.39" (0.99 cm) 0.45" (1.14 cm)
Features
Image Stabilization Optical SteadyShot with Active mode (Wide to Tele) Optical SteadyShot with Active mode (Wide to Tele) N/A
White Balance Modes Auto
Indoor
Kelvin temperature
Onepush
Outdoors
Auto
Indoor
Kelvin temperature
Onepush
Outdoors
N/A
Creative Effects Yes Yes N/A
Built-in Mic Yes Yes N/A
Built-in Speaker Yes, monaural Yes, monaural N/A
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n N/A
NFC Yes Yes N/A
Accessory Shoe 1x Multi Interface Shoe 1x Multi Interface Shoe N/A
Tripod Mount 1/4" 1/4" 1/4"
Input/Output Connectors
Inputs 1x 1/8" (3.5mm) Stereo Input (Jack) 1x 1/8" (3.5mm) Stereo Input (Jack) N/A
Outputs 1x HDMI D (Micro)
1x Composite Video (out)
1x USB 2.0
1x Bravia Sync
1x 1/8" (3.5mm) Stereo Output (Jack)
1x HDMI D (Micro)
1x Composite Video (out)
1x USB 2.0
1x Bravia Sync
1x 1/8" (3.5mm) Stereo Output (Jack)
Composite video (RCA) output x 1 (SD)
Analog audio L/R (RCA) output x 1 (SD)
HDMI output x 1 (HD/4K)
Microphone Input Yes Yes XLR jacks x 2 (line/mic)
Headphone Jack Yes Yes Yes
General
Battery NP-FV70
6.8-7.2 VDC
1960 mAh
NP-FV70
6.8-7.2 VDC
1960 mAh
NP-F970
7.2 V
Charging Method AC adapter
USB
AC adapter
USB
N/A
Power Adapter 5.0 VDC 5.0 VDC N/A
Dimensions Not specified by manufacturer Not specified by manufacturer 7.44 x 7.6 x 14.25" (189 x 193 x 362mm)
Weight Not specified by manufacturer Not specified by manufacturer 5.38 lb (2.44 kg) camera only
6.1 lb (2.77 kg) camera and NP-F970 battery

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I feel that is one of the most vital info for me. And i'm glad studying your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really excellent : D. Good activity, cheers

It is a UHD TV NTSC for USA but when will come non USA model PAL system for INDIA ? please inform me.

shashi

Hi Shashi -

We do not have any dates regarding the PAL version of this new camera.  When and if it becomes available at B&H we will be sure to post the details on our website.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

thankx for info,

I will be waiting for Sony FDR-X100 PAL system C E S 2015

Does the FDR-AX100 allow for manual focusing? If so, is that via touchscreen or with a ring on the lens?

Hi Kyle -

Manual focus is available via a mode switch at the front of the camera located just below and to the side of the lens.  The electronic manual multi-purpose lens ring allows direct, tactile, manual focusing.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Based on many videos purported to have been done by the FDR-AX100, it is supposed to have time lapse or interval shot capability.

However, all the literature I have seen on this camera does not mention this capability.  Like the Panasonic HC-X920, this camera does not have any on board memory or a second card slot.  That fact has kept me from buying the Panasonic.  I have seen them offering both 32gb & 64gb in their PAL X920's which doesn't make a lot of sense to me, to offer in on NTSC cameras. Without it I can't convert 60P video to 60i video in the camera. Panasonic does not provide a conversion editing program for Mac's & iMovie will not accept 60P.  I do not use any Microsoft programs.  I don't know if Final Cut X will import 60p or the XAVC-S?  Perhaps a plug-in is available for Final Cut X.  These types of questions need to be answered before I purchase (for me) a pricy camera, new computer and more expensive editing system and memory cards.  Will Final Cut X be able to burn DVD's in 4k on I assume normal Blu-Ray discs?  Are there more new & expensive DVD's, Burners or other equipment that will have to be purchased?

Another capability that is missing, is 60p in 4K.  Apparently the 30P movies are viewed as sub par by many reviewers.  I would not want a 60p capability if the bit rate goes beyond the ability of UHDSD cards, because that just keeps driving the cost of cards, card readers, computers and all associated equipment and software sky high and out of my and probably many other would be buyers' price range.  I commend Sony for finally building a Consumer Camcorder with a barrel size larger than 37mm.  Now is the time for them to work with Apple if they want the other half of the market out there.

Thank you for allowing me to ask these questions. 

Hi James -

According to Apple, FCPX does not support this camera (as of 4/4/2014).  For now,  footage can be converted:

http://bit.ly/1hwxcKy

That said,  some owners claim that the camera is fully supported in the latest version of FCP X (10.1).

4K/UHD Blu-Ray Recordable discs are not yet available.  Please follow this link to an interesting article:

Blue-ray Disc Association (BDA) recently approved the addition of 4K/UHD to the Blu-ray Disc specification.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

FCPX works on this like a champ.

But you have to find the video in the directory structure yourself to import, FCPX does not see this as a camera, yet.

However once in it works great and edits smoothly.  (depending on the machine more than FCPX)

I'm also wanting the PAL (AX100E) version of this camera.

It has been delivered in UK and Europe but Sony Australia have no currently plans to import it straight away.

Please inform me if you are able to supply it as we are hitting a brick wall here in Australia.

Thanks,

Vaughan

Hi Vaughn -

We may be supplying it in the future - but there is no current ETA.  If it becomes available at B&H we will have it posted on our website.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hi Everyone

This video is simply marvellous and so is the video for the more expensive and larger FDR AX1 !!!  

Unfortunately I am torn between the two !

The FDR-AX100  is a good deal cheaper, and the lighter in weight of the two:  It also has a larger sensor.  

The Zeiss lens looks staggeringly good :

I would be grateful for any opinions as to which of the two cameras has the better image quality :

The FDR AX100 or the FDR AX1 :  this is all important to me.  

I will be filming birds, insects and landscapes in England 

Thank You

Will

Hi William -

I think you would be very happy with either camera.  The SONY FDR- AX1 offers a longer zoom lens, 4K resolution at 60 fps, and independent Zoom, Focus & Iris rings..  But you may not feel the extra cost is justified for these and other pro features.  And that's OK because the FDR-AX100 will deliver breathtaking 4K video just the same at an amazing value.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hey Will, stick with the AX-100, everyone especially the Pro's druel when they see me shoot alongside of them. The camera is awesome and great to handle. Quality, it's there baby....  Who ***** to slep around the monster cameras anymore, when the News media has no problem showing their exclusive coverage on the 6:00pm NEWS that was sent to them and shot off and Iphone, what more is there to say. .

HI

Although very much interested on the above mentioned camera, I have heard some complaints about the SteadyShot system built in.

I think everyone welcomed the very effective Balanced Optical Steady Shot system on recent equivalent Sony cameras.

The question is:

Is this camera built with the Balanced Optical Steady Shot system or with the already “old fashioned” simple Optical Steady Shot with Active mode?

This is for me a major issue for buying/not buying this camera.

Thank you

Jose Antonio Pinto

It is not the Balanced Optical Steady Shot. It is using the Optical Steady Shot with Active mode instead.

Thank you DanaG for your answer.

Unable to understand the Sony back step on the image stabilization...

Not ***** this camera.

I read somewhere that the CX900 sports the Balanced Optical Steady Shot. If thats the case it will be my alternative.

Thank you

I just bought the camera and a San Disk Extreme Pro SD card that writes at 280mbs. I'm still getting an error that says "camera can not record in xavcs mode for 4k" Please confirm what SD cards will work in 4k mode with this camera!!!

The SanDisk Extreme pro SD cards should be more than fast enough.  If you are having troubles with your card, make sure you have formatted the card within the camera while XAVC S format is turned on.

You have to have the camera card formatted correctly.  This was a huge problem for me after I bought this.  It was infuriating until I figured out what was going on.  Sony cards default to the correct formatting, Sandisk have to be formatted to the right format IN A COMPUTER.  If you are shooting (in the field somewhere and you wipe the card...you're out of luck...no more 4k for you).  I was able to format the Sandisk cards in the camera, but never such that I could record 4k unless I used Disk Utility on my Mac at home.  This proved problematic.  My solution... just plan on sticking with Sony cards with this camera.  Sorry.

For the xavc files, which are not well compatible with some editors, you can use UFUSoft XAVC Converter for Mac to do all xavc files conversion.

dorissam wrote:

For the xavc files, which are not well compatible with some editors, you can use UFUSoft XAVC Converter for Mac to do all xavc files conversion.

It is useful for me. http://bit.ly/1oWg8Pf

Just to clarify, the XAVC S codec (in 1080p) will shoot at 50Mbps, correct? And do you know if it offers clean HDMI output (i.e. 4:2:2 color sampling)?

The AX100 does record 50mbps for HD and offers a clean HDMI output for recording externally.

where can i get Sony FDR-AXI 4K CAMERA in Lagos ,Nigeria?

B&H does ship internationally, and can ship the Sony FDR-AXI 4K CAMERA to Nigeria.  Shipping times would depend on the shipping method that you chose.  If you add the item to your cart, on the right hand side of the page there is a shipping calculator.  Once you chose the country of destination from the drop down menu, the various shipping options, along with their respective costs and shipping times, will be revealed.  Otherwise, if you are hoping to purchase the camera locally, I would suggest contacting Sony for information about local retailers.

Hola.
Hace poco compre la camara SONY FDR-AX100. 
Estoy usando una tarjeta SD/XC, de 64GB, Clase 10, a 80MB/s. Y hago mis grabaciones usando el formato 4K. 
Tengo un problema.
Cuando reproduzco mis videos directamente desde la camara con el cable HDMI original, los videos se ven barridos. No definidos. 
Sobretodo, cuando muevo la camara ( ejemplo, como siguiendo el vuelo de un ave )
Todos los colores del fondo como las montañas o arboles no se ven bien. 
Lo mismo sucede cuando reproduzco el video insertando la tarjeta SD al reproductor. 
Agradecere alguien me pueda alludar a ajustar mi camara a la mejor resolucion.
Saludos !

Hola Conde -

I posible, por favor envienos un corto video clip de los problemas listados en YouTube.  Por favor incluya la direccion URL en un email enviado a Spanish@bandh.com

Por favor mandenos un e-mail a spanish@bhphotovideo.com si tiene mas preguntas.

 price list

If you click on the image of any of the camcorders above, it will take you to the camcorder’s page on our site.  Current pricing can be found there.  *Christina*

I need to buy the SONY FDR-AX 100K DIGITAL CAMCORDER AND SONY HXR-NX3/1 NXCAM -PAL PROFFESSIONAL VIDEO CAMERA

I need to buy the SONY FDR-AX 100K DIGITAL CAMCORDER AND SONY HXR-NX3/1 NXCAM -PAL PROFFESSIONAL VIDEO CAMERA