Shooting 4K usually means making a choice between getting a good price and good image quality, but today Sony is introducing a new camcorder that tries to give consumers both. The new 4K Handycam FDR-AX100 is a relatively compact camcorder capable of shooting 4K video at both 24 and 30P. But more importantly: it has one of Sony's larger sensors for a camcorder, and it'll sell for about $1,999.99 — a comparably low price for high-quality 4K footage.
Sony's serious about bokeh
The FDR-AX100's 1-inch sensor isn't one of the biggest out there, but it's the same size as what Sony puts into its RX100 compact camera, which still manages to take photos that look great. Sony promises that'll follow through to the AX100 too, and the footage we saw from it looked promising. In Sony's press release, it also reiterates several times over that this camera will be capable of capturing "beautiful bokeh" with ease.
The camera is clearly targeted toward enthusiasts, though. It has built-in NFC and Wi-Fi, allowing it to stream video to a TV or be controlled from a smartphone. And as consumer camcorders tend to, the FDR-AX100 has a wide-angle lens — 29mm — with a large optical zoom range of up to 12x.
While this is Sony's second 4K camcorder, it stands out from the first in a big way. The earlier model, Sony's FDR-AX1, has a much larger price: $4,499.99. The AX100 is also 74 percent smaller and 66 percent lighter than the AX1, making it much more appropriate for home shooters than enthusiast filmmakers.
Of course, getting 4K content from the new camera to anywhere other than a local TV is still challenging work. But with cameras like the FDR-AX100 making it just as easy for home filmmakers to shoot 4K as it is for Hollywood studios, streaming services may just have to catch up fast.