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Sony Handycam FDR-AX53 Camcorder Becomes Official at CES 2016

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Sony unveiled the Handycam FDR-AX53 camcorder with 4K video recording capabilities at CES 2016 event.

The Sony Handycam FDR-AX53 is a new digital camcorder featuring a 4K Exmor R sensor and a newly developed, 26.8-536mm equivalent Zeiss lens.

The FDR-AX53 is the first Handycam with an enhanced version of Sony’s own Balance Optical SteadyShot; a 5-axis image stabilisation system that brings you blur-free footage when shooting handheld and thanks to its new Intelligent Active mode, also ensures crisp footage whilst running.

The FDR-AX53 records at a bit-rate of 4K 100Mbps, using the high-performing XAVC S recording format, and comes with the same Fast Intelligent AF algorithm as the A7S II compact system camera, which optimises communication between the lens and processor to achieve speeds up to approximately 40% faster than previous models.

Sony Unveils Handycam FDR-AX53 Camcorder


The Sony FDR-AX53 is expected to be available in March for $999.

Preserve life’s most precious moments in 4K with Sony’s new Handycam® line up

Today’s special moments are tomorrow’s greatest memories with new Handycam range featuring new 4K[1] and two new HD models

  • FDR-AX53 4K Handycam with new Exmor R™ CMOS sensor with approx. 1.6x bigger pixel size[2] for unrivalled sensitivity, particularly in low light conditions
  • New ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* lens for astounding resolution up to a wide angle of 26.8mm[3] and 20x optical zoom and 30x Clear Image Zoom[4]
  • Featuring 5-axis image stabilisation enabled by Sony’s Balanced Optical SteadyShot™ enhanced with NEW Intelligent Active mode[5], compensating for camera shake even whilst running
  • New microphone structure which collects sound from five directions for advanced sound quality
  • Full HD 100fps high speed recording for post-production editing of incredible slow-mo movies[6]
  • Pro-style features including manual ring, EVF, Time Code recording and User Bit for increased shooting flexibility
  • HDR-CX625 and HDR-CX450 HD camcorders with enhanced camera functions including 5-axis image stabilisation (only on CX625), Fast Intelligent AF, and Time-lapse Capture

Life’s defining moments can happen so fast, we often fail to fully appreciate the essence of the experience. Whether it’s a child’s first steps, a school play, graduation or a wedding day – having a video to re-live your happiest times with friends and family can become one of your greatest treasures. Sony’s newest Handycam camcorders allow you to perpetuate those moments in vibrant 4K detail.

FDR-AX53 – Breath-taking picture quality with 4K Handycam

The patriarch of this year’s camcorder family takes form in Sony’s newest 4K Handycam, the FDR-AX53,combining enhanced image quality and incredible sound performance.

The FDR-AX53 features a new Exmor R CMOS sensor, providing exceptionally detailed 4K movies. Due to the new sensor’s approximately 1.6x larger pixel size[2], the FDR-AX53 enjoys a much greater sensitivity level than its predecessor and allows for fantastically clear content with outstanding resolution even when shooting in low light conditions.

The FDR-AX53 features a newly developed ZEISS lens that extends to a wide angle of 26.8mm[3], accurately capturing the scene from wide angle through to telephoto. The lens empowers the camcorder with a remarkable range of 20x optical and 30x (4K)/ 40x (FHD) Clear Image Zoom, for beautiful close-up footage you don’t want to miss.

Due to its Advanced Aspherical (AA) and Extra-low Dispersion(ED) lens elements, colour fringing is highly reduced allowing the lens to produce incredibly accurate colours for beautifully precise footage. The multi-layer film ZEISS T* coating reduces unwanted reflections like ghosting and flare which delivers a crisper, clearer image even when shooting on bright days outside.

The FDR-AX53 is the first Handycam with an enhanced version of Sony’s own Balance Optical SteadyShot; a 5-axis image stabilisation system that brings you blur-free footage when shooting handheld and thanks to its new Intelligent Active mode[4], also ensures crisp footage whilst running. This incredibly powerful image stabilisation system allows for exceptionally smooth and clear video footage from all angles, even when on the move or whilst using the telephoto end of the 20x optical zoom when aiming for close-ups shots. The new Intelligent Active mode takes it a step further and even allows for incredibly clear HD footage when running.

The FDR-AX53 records at an incredible high bit-rate of 4K 100Mbps, using the high-performing XAVC S™ recording format[6], allowing each frame to be filled with astonishing 4K detail so you can relive everything from splashing waves to colourful confetti.

The camcorder comes with a newly adapted AF algorithm, Fast Intelligent AF, also featuring in Sony’s α7S II, which optimises communication between the lens and processor to achieve speeds up to approximately 40% faster[2] than previous models and more precise subject capture.

Advanced sound quality

The FDR-AX53’s new microphone structure collects sound from five directions, thereby capturing real-life sounds and delivering a more realistic sense of ambience. Due to the enhanced microphone structure, noise levels have been reduced by approximately 40%[2], and stereo performance is approximately twice as high as previous models[2], allowing for clear recordings in a greater range of environments. Its 5.1ch microphone records high stereo sound in 2ch in XAVC S 4K/HD and high surround sound in 5.1ch in AVCHD. In addition, the My Voice Canceling function reduces the user’s own voice whilst recording.

Full HD 100fps recording for slow-mo movies[7]

As a first for the Handycam series, the FDR-AX53 can record at 100fps in Full HD meaning that footage can be edited into breath-taking slow motion footage with the free PC software, PlayMemories Home™, to add a whole new dimension to home movies.

It boasts many pro-style refinements for greater shooting flexibility, including a manual ring and button that can be allocated to functions like zoom, focus and exposure and electronic viewfinder (EVF), allowing the user to easily compose scenes even when recording on sun-filled holidays. For greater control of the edit, advanced users can benefit from Time Code and User Bit options.

To enjoy recorded footage at home, 4K content can be played back on a compatible 4K TV through a supplied HDMI cable or by automatic down conversion of 4K frames in Full HD playback on an HD TV. For beautiful framing, this Handycam also allows you to playback trimmed 4K images from selected video frames, enlarging or cropping[8] selected parts of the frame in Full HD quality.

More new ways to capture and share the memories

Sony’s Full HD camcorder range welcomes two new members, HDR-CX625 and HDR-CX450. As with their elder siblings, they extend to a generous wide angle of 26.8mm[3], meaning beautiful family moments can be captured in any situation. Both new models benefit from image stabilisation technologies including advanced 5-axis Balanced Optical SteadyShot with Intelligent Active mode on the HDR-CX625, and Optical SteadyShot with Intelligent Active mode on the HDR-CX450–ensuring highly detailed, blur-free footage.

The Handycam camcorders allow for XAVC S 50Mbps high-bitrate recordingv and also feature Fast Intelligent AF. With 5.1ch surround microphone performance[9] and My Voice Canceling, superb sound quality is also guaranteed.

Using Sony’s free PlayMemories Home™PC software, you can organise and edit your footage and also create your personal high-quality time-lapse moviesvi with Time-lapse Capture for powerful, impactful scenes in 4K using the FDR-AX53 and HD with the HDR-CX625 and HDR-CX450.

Live Broadcasts

To get others involved in the action, all new Handycam models allowLive Streamingvia USTREAMTM[10], enabling you to stream HD video footage and sound from Handycam camcorders through a wireless access point. You can now ensure that no one, no matter how far away, will miss out on those defining moments, no matter where in the world they may be.

Like all of Sony’s Handycam line up, the new models feature the automatic in-cam movie editing function, Highlight Movie Maker[11], which picks key moments in your footage like laughter or zoomed in moments and assembles them into short-clips without any need for post-production editing. You can customise with transition effects and soundtrack music and once completed, easily share your MP4 movie on social media sites.

Sony’s new 4K Handycam will be available in Europe from March 2016; the Full HD camcorders will be available from mid-February, 2016.

Full specifications on the new FDR-AX53can be seen here; for the HDR-CX625 please refer here and for the HDR-CX450 here.

[1]3840 x 2160 pixels

[2]Compared to FDR-AXP33/FDR-AX33

[3]35mm equivalent

[4]20x optical, 30x (4K)/ 40x (FHD) Clear Image Zoom

[5]Available in HD recording only

[6]Requires SDXC/SDHC memory card UHS-I U3 or Higher for XAVC S 4K 100Mbps recording and SDXC/SDHC memory card Class 10 or higher for XAVCS 4K 60Mbps and XAVCS HD 50Mbps recording

[7] Available with PlayMemories Home. To create time-lapse movie, ver. 5.1(Windows)/3.1(Mac), scheduled for release in January 2016, or later is required.

[8]Minimum trimming size is 1920 x 1080

[9]Recording in 5.1ch is in AVCHD only

[10] Requires a Wi-Fi router or smartphone capable of tethering.

[11] Available in AVCHD only