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Sony alters point of view with new-concept video cameras

Jackie Dove | Sept. 5, 2013
Sony unveils special editions of its compact cameras with the new RX100 II and the RX1R.

Going after adventurous enthusiasts, early adopters, people with more money than they know what to do with, and maybe even wedding photographers, this high-end hardware anticipates that in the near future, 4K TVs will be brisk sellers. The output from this camcorder, which is in the new XAVC S format, is tailor-made for 4K TV: XAVC S can support 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) up to 60 fps. The format allows longer recording times, storing almost two hours of 4K video on a 64GB QXD memory card.

This 4K camera takes the 1920 x 1080 resolution of HD and multiplies it by 4, rendering image quality that's dramatically more engaging as a result of smaller pixels. Like the new music camcorder, it uses Linear PCM audio, but also features image stabilization, and 20x optical zoom with an f/1.6-f/3.4 aperture on the Sony G Lens. Aside from 4K/60p, it also records in 2K and Full HD with its 1/2.3 CMOS sensor.

Despite the friendly, consumer orientation of this 6-pound little beast, there are still challenges, Sony warns, including the limited number of 4K displays currently available, and the CPU horsepower required to handle the large data stream. It's not surprising that release of this model is imminent. Sony previewed a version of it at CES earlier this year.

The Sony Handycam FDR-AX1 will be available in November for $4500.

POV camcorder
Sony's HDR-AS30V Action Cam, a 16-megapixel "point-of-view" video camera with a 1/2.3-inch back-illuminated CMOS sensor for fast motion, is actually this line's third iteration. It shoots full HD, 1080/60p video with a 170-degree viewing angle, offers image stabilization (for a 120-degree viewing angle), and a new capability for 12-megapixel still images. The design promotes increased wearability and weather resistance, not to mention a wealth of mounting accessories.

The Action Cam is is not about capturing family-oriented precious moments—it's about you capturing you doing cool stuff. Because this camcorder will likely be mounted on a helmet, motorcycle, car, or bike, it's weatherproof and waterproof up to 16.4 feet (5 meters). It weighs about 3.2 ounces, sporting a slim, streamlined design with audio pickup. You can control the camera with an external controller without removing it from the case. It leverages Wi-Fi capability for the new Live View remote control at a distance—though Wi-Fi doesn't work underwater. The Action Cam offers one-touch NFC sharing (in still image mode), which works seamlessly with Android, or peer-to-peer Wi-Fi sharing for iOS.

New mounting attachments include a Chest Mount Harness, Roll Bar Mount, and Universal Head Mount Kit.

GPS is part of the whole extreme sports narrative—athletes want to document where, when, and how fast they accomplished their acrobatic feats. Thus, speed and other GPS data is included in the video playback.

 

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