Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Thanks to our friends over at this is the first picture of Sony’s new prototype 4K camcorder possibly to be shown at IBC this September.

This would be a direct hit at BlackMagic Design both price and specification. What you can’t see is the LCD or viewfinder but don’t hold your breath, for a £3,200 4K camcorder we are not expecting miracle’s.

XQD memory card
4K G-lens
XLR input
Switchable between 4K and 2k
Records in XAVC
20x Optical zoom (fixed lens)
3x ND filter
Price….less than $5,000!


At £2,675 the BlackMagic 4K camera is still £500 cheaper but the lack of professional XLR inputs and remember you don’t get a lens at this price, the Sony FDR-AX1 is looking a very hot contender to pip BlackMagic off their perch.



Some people are less than impressed with the Sony 4K concept…”Fixed lens” and “One third inch chipset”. Firstly the fixed 4K lens will be a bonus for those of us who can’t be bothered with “lens swapping” and “sensor dirt”.

It makes sense to have a “video” 4K camcorder that acts like a camcorder rather than the “DSLR” lens type that can leave certain jobs “lifeless” without a servo zoom.

As for the 1/3″ sensor, no one has let that cat out of the bag yet but logic tells you that you won’t be able to produce a 4K image from a 1/3″ sensor so I am banking on a minimum APS-C or a Super 35mm sensor.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

12 thoughts on “Possible IBC Show stopper from Sony (FDR-AX1) Prototype 4K camcorder £3,200

  1. That certainly looks interesting. The same form factor as the Z5U, and the NX5U. XLR inputs, Phantom Audio, Picture Profiles, ND filters, White Balance button, etc.

    I don’t imagine we’ll see 50mb/s recording capability, so as to not cannibalize their XDCAM series – like the PMW-200.

  2. Interesting!

    What is perhaps more interesting is that looking at the camera name, it is reminiscent of HDR-AX2000 on which the body is clearly based. Thus, this is likely the consumer market targeted model, albeit prosumer. It will be interesting to see what NXCAM version (if any) will come out based upon the HXR-NX5J camera.

  3. Kinda cool, but does anyone really want to shoot 4k and all the grief that involves with a fixed lens?? Can’t see it shifting unless TV channels start demanding 4k acquisition for self-shooting progs.

  4. I agree with Sean.

    Also, it’s nice having 4K cameras, but I feel we are putting the cart before the horse. At the same time as having cameras ready to record, we need memory cards with much larger capacities not to mention machines in the editing suite that can actually deal with it. Without development in these areas then 4K is not possible simply because of the high costs involved.

    NHK, the Japanese national broadcaster has announced that they will commence 8K broadcasts in 2020. With that in mind, I’d rather hold off 5 years! In the 6th year, we will likely be able to buy 8K cameras.

  5. Sony AX1 and Blackmagic 4K are different cameras for very different tasks, so I don’t see a lot of competition between the two, if any. It’s JVC who have to worry, because their 4K model HMQ10 now comes under attack from a more mature and maybe even cheaper camera.

  6. The BMCC 4K has a super35mm sensor.
    The Sony has most likely a 1/3 inch sensor.
    Just because the prices are similar, I can’t see these cameras competing in the same market.

  7. Nothing to do with the BMCC, it plays in high class. 4K without a large sensor is nothing. Who would buy such thing?

  8. “…logic tells you that you won’t be able to produce a 4K image from a 1/3″ sensor so I am banking on a minimum APS-C or a Super 35mm sensor.”
    Well, there are 4K cameras already available with a 1/2.3″ sensor, so the AX1 might get a similar size somewhere between 1/2″ and 1/3″, but I guess we can rule out larger sensors like APS-C/S35: The 20x zoom lens would have to be much bigger.

  9. My interest in 4K is much the same as when I first got my FX1. Shoot in 4K so thaat I can scan and pan around the 4K image and extract a normal 2K image just like I did with HDV on the FX1 and got a SD image. I ran my FX1 with HDV for more than 2 years like that before I started using the little Sony AVCHD cams with it. Then of course moved to my NX5U as much better than the FX1 for true HD production. I will get one and do the same.

    Ron Evans

  10. The biggest exmor R sensor Sony produces is the 1″ found in RX100 II. So it can’t get any bigger than that. Probably it will be smaller.

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