Feeds

Sony brings 4K shooting to the masses in weeks

But you'll have to save up for a telly to watch it on

Reducing security risks from open source software

Hands on Las Vegas is about 5,200 miles (c. 8,400km) from Blighty’s capital, which makes CES a bit of schlep for all but the terminally keen. Knowing this, Sony UK showcased its finest for 2014 to the UK press this week, from 4K camcorders to er, 4K tellies... with some laptop goodness in between.

Most of the laptops we'd all seen before: apart from the Vaio Flip 11 – yes, it's the same as the Flip 13 but smaller.

Sony FDR-AX100E 4K camcorder

If there's no Ultra HD content on your eye-wateringly expensive 4K telly, why not make your own?

As 3D failed to excite in recent years, naturally we’re all going to buy 4K tellies instead. It's an optimistic notion at the current prices but creating content for the inevitable resolution hike has certainly got a whole lot cheaper.

Sony’s FDR-AX100E camcorder isn’t some in-the-distance concept that will be available in a couple of years’ time: you’ll be able to pick one up in April for £1,829 – a month earlier than previously stated.

At less than half the price and a good deal smaller than last September’s semi-pro 4K/£4K offering, the FDR-AX1, this is just the sort of product to help popularise the 4K format. Budding film makers and enthusiasts are the obvious targets, with the forward-thinking family user latching on over time as the prices inevitably fall.

Sony KD-65X9005A 4K TV

Originally £6,000 six months ago, Sony's UK store has its 65-inch X9 4K telly going for £4,300 – er, sounds like a bargain

Well, that appears to be the plan and it’s much easier to envisage than folk buying into stereoscopic kit that was being touted as must-have in recent years, although at 915g with battery, this is still quite a chunky beast and reminded me of grappling with my Dad’s old Sony CCD-F500 Video8 Handycam from the mid-1980s. If your memory stretches back that far, only a monochrome EVF was available, rather than the additional pleasure of the 921K touch panel display featured on the FDR-AX100E, which has neatly configured metering for its 5.1 surround audio recording.

Sony relies on Carl Zeiss glass to deliver a 12x optical zoom with a 35mm equivalent range of 29-348mm captured on its own 20.9Mp Exmor R CMOS sensor that notches up a 14.2MP (effective) resolution for 16:9 video. As seems to be the norm with TV standards, there's more than one meaning to 4K and in this instance we're talking about 3840 x 2160 rather than 4096 x 2160. Confused? You wouldn't be the first, and we covered this 4K-ing palaver very recently here on El Reg.

Sony FDR-AX100E 4K camcorder

At last, a 4K video camera that you can clasp in one hand

The recording format is XAVC S MPEG4-AVC/H.264 [PDF] and it seems the frame rates are either 30p/24p or 25p/24p depending on the localisation with 50/60p speeds available for HD video capture. With the 4K 60Mbps data rate, a 32GB card would manage just over an hour and you’d need at least a Class 10 SDXC card or a suitable Sony Memory stick variant to store these Ultra HD video recordings.

Increasing its appeal is the broad range of card support enabling slower formats to be used for HD or lower resolution recording. There’s even a dual shooting mode that captures both 4K and HD footage, the latter in the AVCHD format, which could save you time transcoding or enable edit decisions on lower-spec video-editing platforms, especially if you’re not equipped to handle XAVC S.

Sony FDR-AX100E 4K camcorder

XAVC S, anyone? It's still early days for Sony's 4K consumer format

Indeed, it may be the format that trips things up for early adopters, with the Windows-only Sony’s Vegas Pro 12 offering the desired codec compatibility, but there are mumblings on forums regarding how XAVC S – a long GOP interframe codec – is going to play out on alternative editors such as Apple Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere. Currently, relying on third-party utilities appears to be the only way forward. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.