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Sony's Prosumer Camera Line Goes 4K at CES

01.8.13 @ 8:51PM Tags : , , , , ,

JVC was first out of the gate with an affordable consumer 4K camera, but it was inevitable that competitors would follow suit. At this year’s CES, Sony is showing off a 4K “handycam” prototype that may or may not be built around the ’60fps at 4K’ sensor that surfaced a few months ago. Engadget has some eyes-on (and these images are courtesy their CES coverage), so check out what we know so far below.

Once again thanks to Engadget for their coverage of this story, which states some basics:

First off was the generically labelled 4K Consumer Camcorder, a prototype device that was hanging out in a glass case at the Sony booth after the event concluded — though there was a Handycam logo on the side of the device. It’s not a bad looking handheld — about a standard size for a prosumer model, with a viewfinder, mic and handle at the top. As for specs? No such luck at this early stage.

We don’t know much about the camera so far, but there is a good chance this isn’t going to be the only 4K camera they release in the consumer/prosumer space. It’s also not clear where this model will fit in price wise, but we may get more details about it at NAB. This will probably not be a large sensor camera based on the style of the body, which more closely matches their PMW-100/200 series.

It’s quite possible that this camera uses the Sony IMX144CQJ Exmor R sensor, especially considering the fact that the smaller sub-professional size of the unit would see it fit perfectly in this form factor / price point — and we haven’t heard anything about that sensor since info about it surfaced initially. Add the fact that this camcorder is, quite apparently, a fixed lens system — where else would Sony place a sensor sized “somewhere between a 1/2″ (8mm) and 2/3″ (11mm) sensor” anyway? At 4K, but with a total and certain lack of belonging in anything beyond the ‘prosumer,’ it’s not unlikely that this is your 60fps at 4K camera.

Who do you guys think this camera will be marketed at? Considering the lack of affordable 4K TVs, how do you see this fitting into a consumer/prosumer workflow?

Link: Sony’s 4K Handycam and HXR-IFR5 4K Interface Unit prototypes eyes-on — Engadget


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Description image 38 COMMENTS

  • The future of action sports video production.

    • Yes, but how many people can even edit 4k? Action Sports is a bunch of teen/20 year old’s, me included, that are more concerned about the fun being had than the quality of the video that results. When VX cassettes are dead, and really good computers are cheap, than 4k will catch on. Buying a new computer to go with your new camera is not very enticing, you know?

      • People may want to capture family memories in 4k now, even if they can’t playback yet. Some people are more interested in preserving family memories in 4k, even if they could care less about hollywood films being shot in 720p or 2k.

        • >even if they can’t playback yet

          Wake the fuck up, man. It’s 2013, almost every gaming machine can playback 4K now or at least in half-res mode.

        • Your average consumer doesn’t even know what 4k is.

          • Actually I was wondering if I live under a rock. I know the average guy on the street is even hard pressed to differentiate SD from HD, they buy HD chiefly b’coz it’s the buzzword. 4K for memories you can’t playback? Kinda like taking pictures you can’t see with the intention of waiting for the tech in future? I think gadget geek really is a state of real delusion.

  • I have to say its Kinda that Gordon..but not really I work in the Action Sports Industry and people really love that Super 35 look that Dslr and REDs are giving.

    • Yeah, I’d figure the FS700 would be better for action sports.

      • It is, great camera. Action Sports are using 4K but really only the big ones. I know plenty of guys shooting 7Ds including Transworld Motocross.

  • Looks like the buzz is 4K this year at CES. That means in two years consumers will have a choice to buy these new toys along side those new 4K displays. NAB should be very interesting this year. Remember. In order for the consumer to enjoy 4K we have to create 4K content.

    • Sure – but we’re reaching the point where added definition really makes no discernible difference, at least on monitors smaller than about 32″ or 40″. Even 4K seems gimmicky for anything except cinema productions.

      • Agreed. Local broadcast is going to be in trouble if they are expected to go 4K. Many still aren’t HD! Can yo imagine what HD will like on a 4K monitor?

        • Right… for broadcast , it took years to go HD. 4K is just too much right now if you want to save all material done everyday… It just makes no sense right now. Too expensive, for the tech we have.

          • Chris Lambert on 01.9.13 @ 4:16AM

            Out of curiosity have you guys seen a 4k on a 4k monitor yet? I’ve seen enough coverage in the last few weeks of journalists being wowed to make me hold off judgement on that kind of opinion until i can get to a trade fair like NAB or BVE and see one for myself

          • I went to the Red party at NAB last year and saw several samples on 4K monitors. Stunning to say the least.

          • I have not seen 4k projected on anything other than a movie screen and I got to say – I saw Django Unchained with a 4k projection and it didn’t look any different to me than a 1080p standard digital projection. It’s all in your mind, guys. Sorry to break it to you. If you read the scientific articles you’ll see this. Retina displays, everything – I don’t really buy it. My 720p projector looks great to me. 4k is a gimmick as a tv device. I don’t know why tv makers are going nuts on this fact. A better dynamic range and better quality image is what I would like.

            Again my 720p projector looks so much better than any 1080p HDTV I’ve ever seen.

            I’m getting really frusterated with the ways things are going in the industry on this matter. First they are replacing film projection which looked so beautiful with “TV IN PUBLIC” 1080p projections and now they think 4k projection will solve that – as if resolution is the big difference. But it’s not. There is so much more than resolution that makes film look better than digital.

            I see why Quentin Tarantino wants to retire.

  • My personal interest is to shoot 4K and edit in 1920 with ability to extract 4K still shots (motion image photography) and pan/scan video for greater flexibility.

  • It looks like a HDR AX2000. It’s obviously geared towards documentary videos, live shoots and news coverage where you need a wide depth of field and a servo zoom. It seems like there is a huge push to get 4k to the general public ASAP. Everyone wanted HD, now that it’s common, businesses are giving the consumer something else to get excited about.

  • I suppose if I ever need to shoot some fixed lens run and gun 4K material, it is nice to know there will be another option than the JVC. Those JVC products are just strange. I’m not sure who they are making cameras for and don’t know anyone who uses them.

    • marsupial_4k on 01.9.13 @ 5:23AM

      JVC 4k, indeed strange. Shoots 4 x 1080 to four SDXC cards, combines them in a special app, then exports a file editable in an NLE. I recall one commenter saying it’s a ‘proof of concept,’ meaning JVC made the camera to showcase 4k in a very weird way. Probably won’t be in production long. It doesn’t seem to garner much buzz.

  • That looks exactly like the HXR-NX5. Sony NX line AVCHD.
    It will be interesting to see which type of codec for 4k, will it still be AVCHD or something else for this type of camera.

  • it does not look like the HXR-NX5, it is a HXR-NX5.
    They just slap a 4k logo on it, put it under a glass box and make the buzz.
    No specs, no price
    If it happens that interest is so great that they have to really build it, they already have
    the technology (sony has the FS700 ready for 4k), and they can just announce a release
    date (like dec 2013) and a price like 10k$.
    Pure marketing bullshit.

  • and anyvay there are not the first one to realese a consumer 4k camera.
    last year already there was a camera recoding 4k on 4 separate SD card
    the JVC GY-HMQ10 for less than 5k$

  • might be great to couple this with my old SGBlade and see how it works…hahaahaha

    • Chris Lambert on 01.10.13 @ 5:00AM

      good shout! the step rings are massively reduced I spotted on the site yesterday and lens mounts are next to nothing too!

  • Gimmick

  • on 01.9.13 @ 11:40AM

    This camera is not for me, but it’s good to see another option besides JVC. I have never liked their cameras’ operational quirks. This goes back as far as high school video production.

    I suppose Sony could market this at young filmmakers; people who are interested in making a film but may not have the funds or desire to attend school. I think, though, that might give way to this YouTube/internet filmmaker thing where just because someone has a camera doesn’t mean they know how to make it work to their advantage.

    • This will likely be a slightly more expensive consumer toy with important limitations for anyone who wants/needs to do more. Like Black Magic Design’s clumsy foray into the DSLR camera industry at last year’s NAB , it will be waste for time for anyone who needs basic features that matter (truly high dynamic range, variable lens mounts, ISO setting support, variable frame rates, etc) Further, there are no mature post workflows that fully implement full frame RAW 4k without significant hardware cost with the important exception of RED. RED understands the future of film and filmmaking and their prices have dropped considerably but they will likely never be a prosumer camera manufacturer. All that said, producing 4K that you can’t even distribute yet is a bit naive and pre-mature. Why not shoot 4k RAW to exploit the power of being able to color correct your images without loosing color data because you will have amazing color depth to work with and deliver to 1080P HDTV and film? Ultra HD is a ways off from a content distribution perspective and affordable 4K monitors will be too. Money well spent won’t be on these prosumer knock offs that are fundamentally lame attempts to exploit consumers with technology that can’t even be used in the average household. 4K is not yet a consumer marketing term.

  • JVC just announced a high speed 1080P camera (small sensor and you cant change lenses). But from what im reading, up to 600FPS for around 1000 dollars….awesome!

  • As an amateur film-maker I don’t particularly care about 4k. What I’m most in need of is more color latitude in what I shoot. For me this camera will be make or break in the codec that’s used. 4k sucks if you have to deal with 8-bit color. I feel like we’re fast approaching the law of diminishing returns when it comes to resolution, yet we have miles to go when discussing color and ISO.


  • Back in the old Standard Definition days of TV, we shot all our national TV commercials on 35mm film, which arguably is about the same or better in quality than 4k digital. Of course, we edited in lower resolution in Avid and also released a low rez SD digibetacam dub from the “Master” to theTV stations. Many of the benefits of shooting the original material on 35mm film or 4K digital will carry through to the lower rez release medium, whether it’s the internet, HDTV, cable TV or 2K digital movie projector. Obviously not all 4K will be the same so we will see.

    I wish every movie frame I shoot is the same quality as a frame from my DSLR stills camera. Sort of how it is when shooting timelapse,( that then gets converted to Pro Res movies). It seems it will happen in the next few years. Exciting!

  • I agree that 8 bit, 4:2:0 video must go… YESTERDAY!!!! 4k will still look like crap if the camera is locked into current consumer-grade video standards.

  • Could you design a kind of “permanent specs comparison table” accessible via menu where to be able to see at first glance the different features every new camera brings to the market?

    It would be great ;)