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CES 2016: Whats New in HD & 4K Camcorders | 2016 Models

July 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Camcorder Articles, Digital Camcorders

Consumer Electronics Show 2016 attended the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas (CES 2016) to report on the latest camcorders for 2016. Here is a short overview of what caught our attention at the show in regards to the latest HD & 4K Camcorders. The biggest news was the introduction 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 Camcorders 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 2016:

Sony FDR-AX33 compact 4K Camcorder

Sony’s 4K Compact Camcorders 2015-2016: Sony has two compact 4K camcorders available for 2016. Their lowest cost model, introduced last year will continue in 2016, the Sony Handycam FDR-AX33. This year’s 2016 model is the Sony Handycam FDR-AX53. The AX53 has a sensor with larger pixels for better low light performance, and a longer 20x zoom. 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. These are Sony’s only 4K camcorders with their best Balanced Optical SteadyShot™ Image Stabilization Technology.

Sony’s FDR-AX100 and HDR-CX100 will continue on as Sony’s best consumer camcorders for 2016 with 1-inch imagers. 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 2015-2016 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. The Handycam FDR-AX53 4k Camcorder is the 2016 camcorder with B.O.S.S. image stabilization. This technology was available on only two 2015 models. The Handycam FDR-AX33 4k Camcorder, and the Sony Handycam HDR-PJ670.

Sony FDR-X1000V 4K Action Cam

Sony FDR-X1000V 4K Action Cam: In 2015 Sony introduced their first 4K Ultra HD Action Cam. The FDR-X1000V 4K action cam. 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.

Almost all of Sony’s 2016 models now have Built-in wireless WiFi, so no extra accessories to buy.

Related Article: Sony Handycam 2018 Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

Sony’s FDR-AX53 4K Ultra HD Camcorder at CES 2016

Panasonic HD Camcorders for 2016:

Panasonic 4K Ultra HD Camcorders

Panasonic HD & 4K Camcorders 2016: Panasonic’s big news in 2016 is the introduction of their second generation 4K consumer camcorders. Two models are being introduced, the Panasonic HC-WXF991K and Panasonic HC-VX981K. They are basically the same camcorder except that the Panasonic HC-WXF991K has a twin camera built into the LCD to get a second view (picture in a picture), and it also has an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF). 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 2016 camcorders is the Panasonic HC-WXF991K and the Panasonic HC-VX981K 4K Models. These models are almost identical except that the HC-WXF991K has a Second Twin Camera, for picture in a picture effect. This second stream is recorded separately from the main video. The other difference is that the WXF991K has an EVF viewfinder. Both camcorders are equipped with a wireless twin camera feature, allowing you to use your smartphone as a twin camera. Both have the latest 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+ image stabilization. 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 802.11 (b/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 2015-2016 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 2015-2016 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 2018 Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

Panasonic 2016 4K Consumer Camcorders

Canon HD Camcorders for 2016:

Canon's HF G40 Prosumer Camcorder

Canon HF G40 Prosumer Camcorder: Canon for 2016 has refreshed its G Series prosumer line with the Canon Vixia HF G40 camcorder. This model has received our BEST OF 2016 award. The G40 is Canon’s flagship consumer camcorder. There are substantial changes made to this model, including, a new HD CMOS PRO Image Sensor (improved low-light performance), High dynamic range, 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.

New 2016 Camcorders: Canon has introduced 3 new HF R-Series models for 2015. This includes the Canon Vixia HF-R72 (32GB), the HF-R70 (8GB), and the HF-R700 (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 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. The High end line was refreshed in 2016 with the Canon Pro XA30 which has a larger imager, Advanced image sensor with better low light performance, High Dynamic Range, double the zoom (now 20x optical), and built-in Dual band WiFi.

Related Article: Canon 2018 Camcorder Lineup and Comparison

Canon’s new G-Series G40 Prosumer camcorder at CES 2016

Canon’s new R-Series consumer camcorders at CES 2016

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