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CES 2015: Whats New in HD & 4K Camcorders | 2015 Models

January 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Camcorder Articles, Digital Camcorders

Consumer Electronics Show 2015 attended the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas (CES 2015) to report on the latest camcorders for 2015. 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 3 truly compact consumer 4K Camcorders from Sony and Panasonic. Just as we moved from standard definition to HD, we are now moving from HD to Ultra HD Camcorder which shoot at 4 times the resolution of Full HD. 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.

Sony HD & 4K Handycam Camcorders for 2015:

Sony FDR-AX33 compact 4K Camcorder

Sony’s 4K Compact Camcorder 2015: The biggest news for Sony is the introduction of a compact, 4K camcorder, called the Sony Handycam FDR-AX33. 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. This is Sony’s only 4K camcorder with their best Balanced Optical SteadyShot™ Image Stabilization Technology.

Sony’s FDR-AX100 and HDR-CX100 will continue as Sony’s best consumer camcorders for 2015. These 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. The Sony FDR-AX100 is our 2015 camcorder of the year.

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 entire lens system to the imager floats inside the camcorder. The results are truly stunning, and look like you are using a Steadycam. This technology is available on only two 2015 models. The Handycam FDR-AX33 4k Camcorder, and the Sony Handycam HDR-PJ670. Balanced Optical Steadyshot is also available on these 2014 models: Handycam HDR-PJ810, and the Handycam HDR-PJ540.

Sony FDR-X1000V 4K Action Cam

Sony FDR-X1000V 4K Action Cam: The other big news at Sony is their first 4K Ultra HD Action Cam. The new FDR-X1000V action cam is the newest entry with great improvements from the previous model. The biggest improvement is the ability to shoot 4K Ultra HD. This is about the same resoluton as 4K projectors used at your local movie theater, 4x higher resolution than Full HD. Steadyshot image stabilization has been upgraded (very important for an action cam), upgraded Carl Zeiss Lens, the recording codec XAVC-S (with 100mbps high bitrate) and Bionz-X processor are the same used in Sony’s high end HD camcorders. Stereo mic with wind noise reduction. 100fps Full HD Slow motion. 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.

All of Sony’s 2015 models now have Built-in wireless WiFi, so no extra accessories to buy.

Related Article: Sony Handycam 2015-2016 Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

Sony’s FDR-AX33 4K Ultra HD Camcorder at CES 2015

Panasonic HD Camcorders for 2015:

Panasonic 4K Ultra HD Camcorders

Panasonic HD & 4K Camcorders 2015: Panasonic’s big news in 2015 is the introduction of their first 4K consumer camcorders. Two models are being introduced, the Panasonic HC-WX970 and Panasonic HC-VX870. They are basically the same camcorder except that the HC-WX970 has a twin camera built into the LCD to get a second view (picture in a picture). These models sell for about the same as the higher end HD camcorder from last year.

The top of the line camcorders for Panasonic consumer 2015 camcorders is the Panasonic HC-WX970 and the Panasonic HC-VX870 4K Models. These models are identical except that the HC-WX970 has a Second Twin Camera, for picture in a picture effect. This second stream is recorded separately from the main video. Both camcorders are equipped with a wireless twin camera feature, allowing you to use your smartphone as a twin camera. These camcorders shoot at 4 times the resolution of Full HD which is movie theater resolution. The Multi Manual Dial allows you to change many functions manually. The 5.1 Channel Surround Sound Microphone is shield from wind noise. Recording of 4K video is at a high 72Mbps bit rate. Built-in Built-in WIFI (802.11b/g/n) and NFC for wireless connectivity. New HDR (high dynamic range) feature.

Panasonic HC-V770 Flash Memory HD WiFi Camcorder

Panasonic HC-V770 Flash Memory Full HD WiFi Camcorder

New 2015 Panasonic Mid-range WiFi Camcorders: Panasonic has introduced several new models with advanced WiFi features. The new Panasonic HC-V770 and the Panasonic HC-V550 models. The V770 has a larger imager and many of the features of the 4K models, including the Multi Manual Dial and wind resistant microphone.

Panasonic VW-CTR1 Remote Pan Tilt Cradle: Panasonic has an accessory that greatly enhances the new 2015 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.

Related Article: Panasonic 2015-2016 Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

Panasonic 2015 4K Consumer Camcorders

Canon HD Camcorders for 2015:

Canon's Mini-X HD Camcorder

Canon Vixia Mini-X: Canon introduced a new Mini camcorder last year, 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 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. This model will continue into 2015.

New 2015 Camcorders: Canon has introduced 3 new HF R-Series models for 2015. This includes the Canon Vixia HF-R62 (32GB), the HF-R60 (8GB), and the HF-R600 (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 last year’s models.

Canon’s 2014 models are still available: 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.

High End Canon Consumer Camcorders: The Canon Vixia G30 flagship top of the line consumer model remains Canon’s top model for 2015. There were substantial changes made to this model when it was introduced, 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 2015 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 2015-2016 Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

Canon’s new consumer camcorders at CES 2015

JVC HD Camcorders for 2014-2015:

JVC Quad Proof Camcorders

JVC Everio Quad Proof Camcorders: For 2014-2015 JVC has gone in a new direction with its Everio camcorder line. They have introduced models which are dubbed Quad Proof (Waterproof, Shockproof, Dust Proof, and Freeze Proof). We got a demonstration at CES 2014 (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: 2015 JVC Quad-Proof HD Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

JVC 2014 Camcorder Lineup Video

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Related Article: 2015-2016 HD &4K Camcorder Buying Guide

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