Sony announced a few new products to the photo and video world at CES 2014 earlier today. There were the expected offerings of new action cams, point and shoots and 4K TVs, and a few unexpected stand-out products: The first being an extremely affordable and lightweight 20 megapixel mirrorless camera and the second being an unexpectedly beautiful 4K prosumer camcorder.
The Sony A5000
It only took a few months for the A7 and A7R to get a little brother. The 8 ounce A5000 shares the same BIONZ® X processor as the A7 and houses a 20.1MP APS-C sized sensor while allowing 3.5 frames per second. The A5000 is the next evolution of Sony's NEX line and is being referring to as “The word’s lightest interchangeable lens camera with Wi-Fi connectivity”.
The A5000’s wi-fi is incredibly useful for linking the camera with a smartphone or tablet and changing settings or snapping pictures remotely. You can also download a handful of in-camera apps that expand the A5000’s software and allow for advanced functions like smart timelapse.
As with most modern day digital cameras, the A5000 allows video recording. Full HD 1080p is available when recording to AVCHD and a maximum of 1440 x 1080p when recording to mp4.
Other notable features are a 180 degree articulating lcd screen and ISO up to 16000. The A5000 ships with a 16-50mm kit lens.
"Packing DSLR imaging power into an incredibly small and light package, our new a5000 is the ultimate 'everyday shooter' that will appeal to a wide range of customers," said Neal Manowitz, director of the alpha interchangeable lens camera division at Sony. "Its sleek, user-friendly design will attract point-and-shoot users looking to upgrade, while its impressive imaging credentials will appeal to photo enthusiasts looking for a compact camera that can deliver the performance, flexibility and results they crave."
Not too shabby for a camera that weights under 8 ounces and costs around $600.
Sony AX100 4k Camcorder
Next up is Sony’s incredibly affordable 4K camcorder. The AX100 internally records to 3840 x 2160 to SD cards. It’s also worth noting that the AX100 can record 60fps at 1080p; something that most DSLRs don’t offer.
By now, you’re probably as skeptical as I was. Before I go further, give this test video a watch:
If you’re anything like me, your jaw is on the floor.The detail and dynamic range of this camera is pretty mind blowing. Priced at $2000, this camera could very well become an event shooter’s new best friend. It's amazing the difference that a couple of years can make. Sony's FS700 (priced over $8000) was originally released as a 4k capable camera (when paired with a hefty external recorder). Now Sony is doing 4K internally in an extremely small camcorder body.
Similar to the a5000, the AX100 has a BIONZ X processor and on board wi-fi connectivity. The camera records in a combination of formats. XAVC S, AVCHD, and MP4. Some shooters will also appreciate the ability to shoot downgraded 4K footage in-camera. This essentially means that they can shoot at a more manageable file size while still capturing an incredibly sharp shot.
A few other notable features are built in ND filters and up to 120fps slow motion.