CES 2015

Sony cuts price and size on 4K camcorders

Ultra-high def video expands in the company's full-size and action cam models

Published: January 06, 2015 01:00 PM

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Sony FDR-X1000V

At last year’s CES, the head of Sony declared that the company would offer a full-size camcorder that could capture ultra high-definition video for under $2,000, or “4K for 2K.” At CES 2015, the same executive said the company is cutting that in price half: Sony’s latest full-size 4K camcorder, the Sony FDR-AX33, will cost only $1,000.

We should note that the AX33 has a smaller size sensor than last year’s model, which means it probably won’t perform as well in low light. But that’s one of the trade offs in cutting the price in half.

But the AX33 isn’t the only 4K camcorder that Sony unveiled at their press conference: The company also announced an action cam, FDR-X1000V, which will cost $500. This product is a response to GoPro, the leader in the action cam market, which introduced GoPro Hero 4, Black Edition, this past fall, which also can capture ultra high-definition video. The new camera is lighter and more compact than last year’s model, the FDR-AX10.

Before you buy, look at our latest camcorder buying guide and Ratings.

Sony FDR-AX33

Like Panasonic, Sony’s new models make the most of something that is lacking on the GoPro models: Namely, image stabilization.

On the full-size Sony, the AX-33, Sony has included what it calls Balanced Optical Steadyshot image stabilization system.

On its action cam model, the X1000V, Sony has also improved its image stabilization, particularly to counteract low-amplitude vibration, which Sony claims is a common problem in drone aerial shooting.

The FDR-AX33 is due to be available in February, with the FDR-X1000V following in March.

—Terry Sullivan

Click on the image above to find all of Consumer Reports' coverage from CES 2015.

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