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Sony's CES 2015 Handycams include smaller, cheaper 4K

The Handycam FDR-AX33 brings Sony's prosumer 4K/UHD price below $1,000.

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Lori Grunin
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Lori Grunin
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1 of 12 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Five new camcorders

In addition to its new prosumer 4K model, Sony consolidates its entry- and midlevel Handycam line with four new models. All the lower-end models upport the 50Mbps XAVC S codec, which is a big boon.

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Handycam FDR-AX33

Sony introduces a more compact full-service 4K model than last year's (but still current) FDR-AX100.

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Incorporates BOSS

Sony's most sophisticated image stabilization (Balanced Optical SteadyShot) uses a floating lens module.

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Narrower

One of the ways Sony shrinks the camcorder is by dropping the more high-end zoom rocker that's on the AX100 in favor of a more consumer-type zoom switch.

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Accessory shoe

The AX33 includes Sony's Multi-Interface shoe.

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Mic, headphone and USB

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SD cards

For maximum-quality video you need a UHS-I U3 SD card or better.

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Zoom lens

The camcorder has a 10x optical zoom.

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Viewfinder

Like most models in its price range, the AX33 has an eye-level viewfinder. It also includes NFC support for initiating Wi-Fi connections with mobile devices.

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Captive cable

A USB cable for charging tucks into the hand grip.

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Fewer projectors

Sony has shrunk the number of projector-equipped camcorders it announced this year, down to two from three. The PJ670 replaces the PJ540 at the same $700 price.

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Entry-level models

Sony consolidates four entry-level models into three, the $400 PJ440, the $300 CX440 and the $230 CX405.

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