4K now costs less than $1K.
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Kicking off its press conference at CES 2016, Sony took the wraps off three new camcorders and a new flagship action cam. With upgraded sensors and familiar controls, Sony's new lineup ought to be better than ever.
Headlining the trio is the FDR-AX53, a compact 4K camcorder with Sony's proprietary Optical SteadyShot and a 20x zoom lens. Though not quite the AX100, this model is capable of shooting 4K video at 30 frames per second, or 1080p video at up to 120fps with its brand-new "4K spreader" sensor.
The chip has an aspect ratio of 16:9, allowing the FDR-AX53 to get the most out of its pixels. Additionally, Sony was able to boost pixel size by 1.6x compared to preceding models. This gives it greater sensitivity in low light and reduces unwanted noise.
Next up is the HDR-CX675, a mid-range model boasting Sony's Balanced Optical SteadyShot. Offering many of Sony's higher-end features like time lapse, high-bitrate recording, and a 30x zoom, this one sidesteps 4K in favor of 1080p. Its 5-axis image stabilization should be a boon for parents chasing unpredictable kids.
Rounding out the camcorder announcements is the entry-level HDR-CX455. If you're on a budget, this one offers many of the same features as the HDR-CX675, though it cuts a few corners to reduce cost. For example, though it has the same 30x lens, it has a less advanced image stabilization system.
All three of these cameras come loaded with user features like UStream live-streaming, and the ability to control compatible Sony action cams for multiple angles in the same shoot. All models also support 50mbps XAVC-S recording.
Finally, Sony outed its latest flagship action cam, the HDR-AS50. While virtually identical in appearance to the lower-end AS20, it packs major changes on the inside. A new sensor, a 4K timelapse feature, and greatly improved image stabilization make a compelling case to upgrade if you're a Sony action cam fan.
The HDR-CX675 and HDR-CX455 will be available in February 2016 for $549.99 and $399.99, respectively. Fans of 4K will have to wait until March 2016 for the FDR-AX3 to hit shelves at $999.99. Action cam enthusiasts will be able to check out the AS50 in late February or early March 2016, bundled with Sony's live view remote for $349.99.