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article imageSony 4K Handycam tackles usability for video rookies Special

By Ryann Rasmussen     Jan 13, 2015 in Technology
With the ability to shoot 4K, and boasting perhaps the best optical image stabilization available on a consumer camcorder, Sony's new FDR-AX33 handycam is blurring the line between professional and consumer video recording.
Sony's latest objective seems to be offering general users high-quality video recording while offering an easy interface that doesn’t require an engineering degree to master.
“This is tailored, essentially, to your everyday user," Sony representative Chad Petty said last week during CES in Las Vegas. "Not the professional, but a person who wants to just pick it up and shoot.”
Image stabilization is another hurdle most users have difficulty overcoming when shooting everyday video. Petty says the new 4K Handycam specs have addressed this challenge and he's confident this device is the most competitive option on the market.
"The reason it is so incredible and the reason why it is the best in the industry, is that we’re not just stabilizing one lens element or just the sensor or something like that," Petty said. "We are literally stabilizing the entire lens module and sensor all together. It’s basically like having a gimbal built right inside.”
Sony's CES demonstration seemed to prove his point. With the Handycam positioned next to a standard camera on a bouncing metal plate, the subsequent feeds from the other cameras we're very different. While the standard camera’s feed bounced with the motion of the camera itself, the Handycam’s feed was still, as if it was sitting completely motionless.
Petty went on to talk about the ease of use. "We give you simple editing software called PlayMemories. You can take the SD card out, stick it in your computer, and it will automatically pull your videos into that software. You can also flip through each frame of a video after you’ve recorded it, and save individual frames as .JPEG files. No more going into editing and then pulling out of frame.”
The Handycam also offers the ability to control multiple cameras from the single device. “Almost any of the cameras in our lineup are compatible," Petty said. "You can set up a few cameras around the room, and you can flip through them on the screen of this camcorder, being able to start and stop recording, settings, and more from right there.”
Of course, none of this would matter if the image quality of the Handycam wasn't aligned with market competition, Petty said. “With our 4K, you can record up to 100 megabits per second. This is phenomenal because it gives you a much better image quality than what you’d experience from a camera that records at a lower bitrate. A lot of 4K recorders out there record at a much lower bitrate, and therefore their video is much more compressed and you don’t get as good of a finished video out of it. We also use a beautiful Zeiss lens, so you just get amazing image quality in general.”
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