Sony 4k camcorder with 1" sensor

Sony's "4K Camcorder with 1" sensor"— that is its actual name!—shoots up to 4K video, at up to 120 fps, in the new XAVC-S codec. It has a Zeiss lens with 12x optical zoom, active image stabilization and WiFi.

Aside from the 4K resolution, Sony's 1" sensor (as in its hailed RX series of point-and-shoots) is an interesting upgrade: significantly larger than most fixed-lens camcorders and roughly the size of 16mm film. If they got the details right, this could be an interesting addition to the low end indie-film arsenal as well as a nice toy for spendy consumers. It's $2,000.

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  1. You'll have to enlighten me, Rob.

    From the specs: Imaging Sensor : 1" (13.2mm x 8.8mm) back-illuminated Exmor R® CMOS Sensor

    How do they get 1" from 13.2mm x 8.8mm? Do they add the two numbers? It's still not quite 1".
    It's not a 3MOS sensor (from what I've gleaned) so it's not 13.2 x 8.8 x 3 = 348.48 ≠ 645.16 = 25.4 x 25.4.

  2. It's a 1" type, not actually 1": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_sensor_format#Table_of_sensor_formats_and_sizes as well as http://www.dpreview.com/news/2002/10/7/sensorsizes

    Still, I think the dirty secret among consumer-grade video devices is that regardless of the actual resolution, it says nothing for the quality of the actual video. I remember being excited when I got a Nikon D90, which could take 720p video. I did some test shots and yeah, I can shoot 720p video. But for it to look at all decent and not grainy and low-contrast, I need to have such an overwhelming amount of light that it only works outside on a sunny day or in an overwhelmingly-bright room (bright enough to shoot a movie in).

  3. jerwin says:

    All I know is that 1" is smaller than APS-C, which is smaller than full frame, which is smaller than medium format, which is smaller than large format.
    PS: 1inch is still smaller than [micro]-four thirds.

  4. The image sensor size nomenclature for video cameras dates WAY back to the days of Vidicon tubes. The 1" refers to the diameter of the glass envelope that held the imager, not the size of the imager itself.

    That's why it seems like such a ripoff. It is.

  5. jerwin says:

    Some of the major motion picture film formats.... (very roughly)

    8mm: 4.5 mm x 3.3 mm
    Super8: 5.79mm x 4.01 mm

    16 mm: 10.26mm x 7.49 mm
    Super16: 12.52mm x 7.41 mm

    35mm: 21.95mm x 18.66 mm
    Super35: 24.89mm x 18.66 mm

    Imax: (runs horizontally through the camera) 70mm*48.5mm

    So technically, 35mm motion picture film is closer to APS than it is to "full frame", and 1 inch is sort of close to 16mm.

    Imax is more "medium format" territory.

    I suppose it doesn't much matter-- though the shallower depths of field associated with larger sensors can be annoying.

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