Electronics held its Press Conference at the International CES show in Las Vegas. Among its announcements were new TVs, camcorders, and cameras. Also paramount in Sony’s presentation was a new wave of 4k content from Youtube, Netflix, and Sony’s own studios.
4k TVs and Content
While some of Sony’s Press Conference may have been very similar to some others at the CES show, there was a clear theme: 4k is coming and its coming a LOT faster than we thought it would have at CES 2013. Sony announced it had a total of nine 4K UltraHD TVs coming to market in Spring 2014 in sizes between 49 and 85 inches. This is rather remarkable considering that 4k was in the prototype stage in 2012. The TVs come with Sony’s new extended dynamic range technology which Sony contends will also customers to see color differentiation through even the lightest whites and darkest blacks int he spectrum. All these TVs support HDMI2.0 for connecting 4k capable devices.
However, the real big story was in the content. Sony is using its vast end to end empire to push 4k. Sony is company that makes the cameras to shoot content on, the TVs to watch the content, and has movie and television arms to create content. What this amounts to is 140 titles available to Sony’s 4K streaming service. This includes Hollywood blockbusters like Elysium and The Amazing Spider-Man and popular TV shows like breaking bad. Sony is also supporting Netflix and YouTube in their 4k quest through use of Google’s VP9 decoder codec which allows 4k video is be streamed at 60fps. We’re also seeing the beginning of 4k sports content with the 2014 World Cup for you Soccer (Association Football) lovers out there.
While 4K video is going to get easier to watch, its getting much more economical to shoot as well. Sony announced its Handycam AX100 “consumer” camcorder. The Ax100 gives you an ability to shoot 4k video at 24 or 30 frames per second in a package about the size of the Canon Vixias we use at Geek Beat. The AX100 comes with a 14.2mp sensor, Zeiss Glass, and a 29mm wide angle lens. It has the accessory mount you’d expect in a higher end consumer camcorder and though its onboard NFC and Wifi can be controlled by Smartphone via the Sony Play Memories app for iOS and Android.
The AX100 4K Handycam will be available for $2000 in March.
There was some question whether Sony’s consumer-oriented would continue under the NEX branding or be absorbed into the Alpha line. That has been put to rest with the Sony A5000, the replacement for the NEX-5 line. Its Alpha for all Sony interchangable lens cameras from here on out The A5000, as Sony claims, is the world’s lightest interchangeable lens camera at a hair under 8oz. Its features a 20.1mp sensor and like its full frame big brother the A7, its features a Boinz X processor. Its good up to an ISO rating of 16000 for low light shooting. It has on-board Wifi for both sharing and remote shutter control via that same Play Memories app as other Sony cameras.
The A5000 will be available in a kit with a 15-50mm motorized zoom lens for $600. It will come in the same Silver, white, and black finishes as the camera it replaces. Also new for 2014 is a black finish version of Sony’s SEL55210 55-210mm zoom lens. The camera will also work with the ever growing array of Sony and Third Party E-Mount lenses.
For more of Geek Beat’s CES coverage, check out GeekBeat.tv/CESlive.