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CES 2014: Whats New in HD & 4K Camcorders

June 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Digital Camcorders

Consumer Electronics Show 2014

SmartReview.com attended the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas (CES 2014) to report on the latest camcorders for 2014. Here is a short overview of what caught our attention at the show in regards to the latest HD Camcorders. The biggest news was the introduction of the first compact consumer 4K Camcorder. Just as we moved from standard definition to HD, we are now moving from HD to Ultra HD 4K camcorders. These camcorders have almost movie theater type of resolution with 4x more pixels than HD. More camcorders have built-in WiFi, with the ability to control your camcorder remotely, even as a baby/pet monitor.

* Our CES 2015 Camcorders coverage will be out shortly…


Sony HD & 4K Handycam Camcorders for 2014:

Sony FDR-AX100 4K Camcorder

Sony’s 4K Camcorder: The biggest news for Sony is the introduction of a compact, 4K camcorder, called the Sony Handycam FDR-AX100. 4K is the next evolution of HD, which is 4 times sharper, with the same resolution as movie theaters. With the advent of 4K TVs hitting the shelves this year, this is great timing by Sony. Sony has also introduced an HD only version, called the HDR-CX100. The camcorders are almost identical except that the FDR-AX100 can shoot in 4K, while the HDR-CX100 can only shoot in HD. They both share a huge 1-inch imaging sensor. This sensor is 6 to 8 times larger than typical camcorders. This will give you greater low light ability, dynamic range, and more creative possibilites with depth of field and blurred backgrounds. Both have a Carl Zeiss lens, and loads of manual features, buttons, and dials, which you can change without going through the LCD menu. An XLR kit is available for professional sound. Both of these camcorders are the best compact consumer camcorders Sony has ever made, and the Sony FDR-AX100 is our 2014 camcorder of the year.

The Sony HDR-PJ340 Projector HD Camcorder

Sony’s Low priced 2014 camcorders: Sony’s HDR-CX330 and the Sony HDR-PJ340 camcorders are Sony’s ultra compact Full HD camcorders. They are virtually identical except that the HDR-PJ340 has a built-in projector. As with the Sony line for 2014 these camcorders also have built-in WiFi and NFC so you can use your smartphone or tablet to remotely control the camcorder or transfer video/pictures wirelessly.

Sony Balanced Optical Image Stabilization and other features (click for video)

Sony Balanced Optical SteadyShot™: Sony for its higher and mid end camcorders has an advanced image stabilization called Balanced Optical SteadyShot™, that goes from the lens to the imager, giving a much stabler picture, up to 13 times better than regular image stabilization (see video below). The lens system floats inside the camcorder. The results are stunning, and look like you are using a Steadycam. This technology is available on two 2014 models. The Handycam HDR-PJ810, and the Handycam HDR-PJ540.

Balanced Optical Steadyshot is also available on these 2013 models: the top of the line Sony HDR-PJ790V (projector), the Sony HDR-PJ650V (projector), the Sony HDR-PJ430V (projector), and the Sony HDR-CX430V (lowest priced with this technology). The Sony HDR-PJ790V is the only Sony model with a surround sound microphone elevated above the body of the camcorder, for better sound, and for windscreen options (includes a windscreen that slips over the microphone).

Sony HDR-AS100V Action Cam

Sony HDR-AS100V Action Cam: Sony’s new HDR-AS100V action cam is the newest entry with great improvements from the previous model. Steadyshot image stabilization has been upgraded (very important for an action cam), upgraded Carl Zeiss Lens, the recording codec XAVC-S (with 50mbps high bitrate) and Bionz-X processor are the same used in Sony’s high end HD camcorders. You can control up to 5 cams with your smartphone or tablet, or the optional wrist controller using the Built-in wireless WiFi feature. This should give GoPro some competition in this area.


Most of Sony’s 2014 models now have Built-in wireless WiFi, so no extra accessories to buy.

Related Article: Sony Handycam 2014-2015 Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

Sony 2014 Camcorder Lineup Video


Panasonic HD Camcorders for 2014:

Panasonic HC-X920 Camcorder

Panasonic HD Camcorders for 2014: Panasonic for 2014 has introduced a series of new Full HD camcorders with Built-in WiFi. The top rated Flagship HC-X920 model returns as a 2014 model.

The top of the line for Panasonic consumer 2014 camcorders is the Panasonic HC-X920 This model has features not on the other models. This includes a 3MOS sensor (3 imagers), which improves image quality. The 1/2.3″ 3MOS Sensors are now backside illuminated for better low light sensitivity. This model has WiFi features, including the ability to stream live video over the internet.

Panasonic HC-W850 Twin Camera Camcorder

New 2014 Panasonic WiFi Camcorders: Panasonic has introduced several new models with advanced WiFi features. The new Panasonic HC-W850 and the Panasonic HC-V750 share the same body, large 1/2.3″ imager, and internals, except that the HC-W850 has Infrared Night Vision and a second Twin Camera that can give you a picture in a picture. With the second camera you can video a soccer game, zooming in on a player, but have a smaller window showing the whole wide angle view of the field. Both of these models are great in low light, and have a new 50mbps recording mode. For Manual functions, a Multi Manual Dial is provided (for focus, white balance, iris, shutter speed, etc. These two models also have a new Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound Microphone that is shielded from wind noise which is a common problem when outdoors. The other new model is the V550 which shares the WiFi features of the other two models, but is lower in price, without some of the features of the other models.

Panasonic VW-CTR1 Remote Pan Tilt Cradle: Panasonic has introduced a new accessory that greatly enhances the new 2014 camcorders. This will allow you to remotely control your camcorder over WiFi, or over the internet, and move your camcorder left, right, up or down at your command. It also has a party mode that detects motion and will point the camcorder where the action is. This would be a great pet or baby monitor. You an also watch your house remotely. The accessory is battery operated, or can be plugged in. (See video below).

Related Article: Panasonic 2014-2015 Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

Panasonic 2014 Camcorder Lineup Video


Canon HD Camcorders for 2014:

Canon's New Mini-X HD Camcorder

Canon Vixia Mini-X: Canon has introduced a new Mini camcorder, called the Mini-X. The Mini-X has excellent improved stereo microphones are is ideal for recording music and bands, podcasts, and interviews. Linear PCM recording for CD quality sound. The new improved battery provides 2 1/2 times more power than the Mini did. Built-in WiFi to stream video to your tablet or phone, or control the camera. Full manual audio gain control.

Canon has also introduced 3 new HF R-Series models for 2014. This includes the Canon Vixia HF-R52 (32GB), the HF-R50 (8GB), and the HF-R500 (Flash memory). These all feature a 1/4.85-inch CMOS sensor. Improved WiFi and WiFi app. A new Camera Pan Table accessory will allow you to move your camcorder remotely over WiFi. Only small changes were made from the 2013 models.

High End Canon Consumer Camcorders: The Canon Vixia G30 flagship top of the line consumer model remains Canon’s top model for 2014. There were substantial changes made to this model including, a new larger HD CMOS sensor (improved low-light performance), larger eyecup, better lens hood, built-in WiFi, added 60p recording, MP4 recording, PCM audio, and super high resolution OLED touchscreen. The viewfinder now has 5x the resolution of most EVF viewfinders. Canon also has available the high end Canon Vixia G20 which is cheaper than the G30, but with less features.

Canon Pro Camcorders: The Canon Pro XA10 remains as the lowest priced Canon Pro camcorder and includes two built-in XLR audio input terminals and nightvision. Higher end Pro models that continue on into 2014 are the updated Pro model Canon Pro XA20 which has a larger imager, double the zoom (now 20x optical), and built-in WiFi.

Related Article: Canon 2014-2015 Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

The new Canon Mini-X Camcorder Video


JVC HD Camcorders for 2014:

JVC Quad Proof Camcorders

JVC Everio Quad Proof Camcorders: For 2014 JVC has gone in a new direction with its Everio camcorder line. They have introduced two models which are dubbed Quad Proof (Waterproof, Shockproof, Dust Proof, and Freeze Proof). We got a demonstration (see video below) where the camcorder was dunked into a fish tank with the LCD on. These camcorders will appeal to anyone who needs to use a camcorder in outdoor conditions. A long 4 1/2 hour battery pack allows you to use this without having to change batteries often.

Related Article: 2014 JVC Quad-Proof HD Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

JVC 2014 Camcorder Lineup Video


Related Article: Best Rated HD Camcorders

Related Article: Best Rated 4K Ultra HD Camcorders 2014-2015 * Comparison & Reviews

Related Article: 2014-2015 HD Camcorder Buying Guide


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