Sony FDR-AX1 4K Camcorder Hands-On

Sony FDR-AX1

The Sony FDR-AX1 is a 4K camcorder that comes in at a low $4498 price tag and is really the first of its kind in bringing affordable 4K to the masses with its lightweight XAVC-S codec.

Sony FDR-AX1 Key Features

  • 1/2.3″ Exmor R 8.3MP CMOS Image Sensor
  • Sony G Lens with 20x Optical Zoom
  • Built-In Microphone & Dual Pro XLR Jacks
  • Dual XQD Card Slots for 4K Recording
  • XAVC-S Format for 150 Mbps 4K Recording
  • Three ND Filters & Five Paint Functions
  • Independent Zoom, Focus & Iris Rings
  • Seven Assignable Buttons & HDMI Output
  • Supports TRILUMINOS Color Technology

While I saw the prototype version of of the FDR-AX1 back at CES 2013, this is the first time that I’ve gotten to check out a production model up close. It comes in a little smaller and lighter than the popular Sony EX3 XDCAM.

Sony FDR-AX1-3

The FDR-AX1 has a 20x zoom lens for a 31.5-630mm equivalent zoom and aperture range of f/1.6-3.4. It also has a built-in 3-stop ND filter. In addition to 4K capture at 24/25/30/50/60p frame rates, the FDR-AX1 also captures 1080p video in XAVC-S or AVCHD at 50Mbps and 28Mbps, respectively.

Sony FDR-AX1-4

The camera has dual XQD card slots on the back, as well as card slots for Memory Stick and SD card formats.

Sony FDR-AX1-7

By flipping out the LCD on top of the camera, you get access to menu and play back controls. As you can see, there is also the convenient record button and zoom rocker on the top carry handle.

Sony FDR-AX1-5

The FDR-AX1 has a fan in the back-right portion of the camera that blows heat out. You can definitely feel the fan working to move heat away from the processor; however, it seems to be very quiet.

Sony FDR-AX1-2

With the FDR-AX1, it seems that Sony really has an early corner on the market for affordable 4K video production.

The Sony FDR-AX1 is available from Photography Bay’s trusted retail partner, B&H Photo, at the following link:

Sony FDR-AX1 at B&H Photo

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  1. Oberoth says

    That is a huge amount of camera for the money, it would be so much more attractive if it did high speed 1080p though, IMO.

    1080p at 240fps is the same processing power as 4k at 60p, but tbh i would be happy with 120p.

    Sadly this is the difference between me thinking that is an ingesting camcorder to seriously contemplating buying one.