While Sony’s new 4K camcorder and action cam were the company’s digital imaging highlights for us at CES, Sony introduced in January several other consumer Handycam camcorders that range from budget to high-end.
The prosumer HDR-CX900 is Sony’s flagship Full HD Handycam. It looks identical to the FDR-AX100 4K camera – minus the 4K of course – and shares the same components: a 1-inch 14.2-megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, that’s larger than what you normally find in a consumer camcorder (good for better low-light capture); Bionz X image processor; 12x, 29mm Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens with a wide aperture and seven-blade diaphragm to create defocused background effect; Wi-Fi/NFC for image transfer, uploads, and remote control and viewing; and OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) with wide-angle view. It also records up to 50Mbps high bit rate in the XAVC S codec, a consumer version of XAVC designed for professional 4K/HD use. For still, the camcorder captures photos 20-megapixel. The CX900 will cost $1,500 when it goes on sale in late February. It’s $500 less than the AX100, but if you have no use for 4K recording right now, you can save half-a-grand.
Moving down the line, the HDR-PJ810 is a new high-end model in Sony’s lineup of camcorders with built-in projectors. The PJ810’s features include a wide-angle 26.8mm Sony G Lens; advanced controls with expanded focus, zebra, and peaking; 3-inch touchscreen LCD (921k); EVF; Wi-Fi/NFC; and projector with 50 lumens and support for external devices and keystone adjustment. The PJ810 has a price of $1,100.
Two additional projector models make up the “mid high-definition” category of the new lineup. The HDR-PJ540 ($700) has new sound features and a 5.1 channel mic; 32GB of internal flash memory; 3-inch LCD (460k); projector with 25 lumens; Sony’s Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization; and Wi-Fi/NFC. The HDR-PJ340 ($480) has a 13-lumen projector, 16GB of internal flash memory, 60x Clear Image Zoom, 26.8mm wide-angle Sony G Lens, Optical SteadyShot, and Wi-Fi/NFC.
Rounding up the bottom are the HDR-PJ275, HDR-CX330, and HDR-CX240. The PJ275 ($400) is the least expensive Handycam with a projector (13 lumens). It uses a 29.8mm wide-angle Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens, and has 8GB of internal flash memory and Wi-Fi/NFC. The 9.2-megapixel CX330 has a 26.8mm Sony G Lens and Wi-Fi/NFC, and will cost $330. The most affordable new model, the 9.2-megapixel CX240 ($230), has a 29.8mm wide-angle Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens with SteadyShot image stabilization, AVCHD and MP4 recording, and a 2.7-inch LCD.
New accessories include a Gun Zoom Microphone ($100), 300-foot wireless Bluetooth microphone with two-way conversation ($230), 150-foot wireless microphone ($230), and a lens protector ($30).