REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
SonyFDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder
 
4.4

(based on 40 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (22)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

85%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great picture quality (32)
  • Easy to use (30)
  • Zoom range/performance (25)
  • Large clear LCD (24)
  • Good in low light (23)

Cons

  • Limited zoom (8)

Best Uses

  • Documentaries (26)
  • Travel (24)
  • HD shooting (23)
  • Movies/short films (19)
  • Weddings (18)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro videographer (15), Enthusiast (10), Semi-pro (10)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (36)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Sony 4k -power in a pocket

I am an intermediate image hound aspiring to professional goals. Therefore my observations will not deal with some of the 'dual-overhead-cam' aspects of this camera. Primarily, I shoot music, industrial videos and...Read complete review

I am an intermediate image hound aspiring to professional goals. Therefore my observations will not deal with some of the 'dual-overhead-cam' aspects of this camera. Primarily, I shoot music, industrial videos and DVD projects but love to learn about image tech.

The good; Sony's 4k darling is power in a pocket. With this trim model Sony has provided folks in intermediate to pro with an incredible arsenal. The 1.0 version firmware renders auto-focus, slow-mo and other aspects of the camera barely usable. But after the 2.0 firmware upgrade the auto focus, spot metering, touch focus and white balance all work very snappy.

The images this camera puts out are stunning to say the least, such depth and detail. The wide dynamic range and 'touch exposure' is able to absorb hot spot lighting in harsh environments while illuminating detail in the shadows previously unseen.

The white balance allows very natural control over strange lighting such as neon and LEDs.

The slowmo option is welcome indeed.

This is also the first camera I've owned which posses a VERY usable digital zoom.

The Not so good; There is no place to attach a strap on the other side of the cam which makes handling border on hazardous. I've attached a strap to both sides of the leather grip and brought one side around the front under the camera for security. A little awkward still but much safer for the cam.

The sunken hot shoe is a bit predatory. C'mon Sony, you sell enough parts already. Backwards comparability seems to me a kindness to your customers.

Switching from XAVC to slomo and back again takes so long that many of my potential subjects were away and gone before I could shoot them.

Though the cam is capable of shooting full 20mp stills when AVCHD is selected it automatically defaults to 14mp stills when switching to AVCHD movie mode. It is a major pain to redo settings again and again. Where is my button for that?

I do like the slomo option, but pitting the 720 results up against the new 4k is a painful comparison. A 1080p at least would have a fighting chance.

The cameras rapid wake-up upon opening the viewer or flip-screen is a nice surprise, but for removing the card it's clumpy having to turn the cam off again before removal. I wouldn't mind an 'on/off' button

I dearly miss the focus 'pin' on the focus ring, like on my FX-1... sigh, so controllable, deft. Everyone seems to have dropped this feature leaving me to adapt a cheesy after-market solution... it works #$%^.

Speaking of that FX-1 I also pine for that lense guard/CAP. Great idea.

Dual cards might have been a plus though one 64gig card does provide fairly ample room for the XAVC files. Going to non-moving parts is a nod to the future.

In Vegas 11 Pro the files certainly have more beef to them which slows the workflow a tad but still very doable.

The file system seems a bit convoluted with each media extension in a different sub folder.

To be honest, I understand little why the two form factors, stills vs video, are so polarized but a few more usable modes such as panorama and blending several shots into one better one would be welcome features.

Bottom Line; Though in number there are more things askew on this camera than right, I will easily put up with its defuglties for this quality of results, happily waiting for the model that fixes them all. Thanks Sony. I only hope you listen to your customers before upping to yet another format.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Beware trying to use an external monitor when shooting 4K

Getting ready for my first paid shoot with the AX100, I hooked up my 9" Ikan monitor via HDMI and got a great picture. So I packed up all my gear and...Read complete review

Getting ready for my first paid shoot with the AX100, I hooked up my 9" Ikan monitor via HDMI and got a great picture. So I packed up all my gear and headed for the shoot location which happened to be a live performance. Getting there, I set up the AX100 with my Ikan monitor, again getting a beautiful picture on the monitor, and while in standby mode I dialed everything in for the shoot. As the lights dimmed I hit record and the picture on my monitor disappeared. I didn't know that there was no HDMI output in the record mode when shooting 4K.

Reviewed by 40 customers

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(2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Sony 4k-Wow

By Robbi

from U.S.

Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

Just buy it! You won't be sorry

Share this review

(11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Value

By Larry W. West

from Pacific Rim

About Me Video Enthusiast

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Good in Low Light
  • Great Picture Quality
  • Great Sound
  • High Speed Mode

Cons

  • Limited Zoom

Best Uses

  • Documentaries
  • Home Movies
  • Indoors/Low Light
  • Travel
  • Weddings/Events

Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

I purchased this camera in May 2014 and have used it a lot over the past 14 months. I got it primarily for the 120 frames per second high speed mode. I travel about 7 months of each year and this camera has gone everywhere with me. For high-speed video (slow motion playback) it is fantastic. I have the Casio EX-FH20 and EX-FH25 as well as the Panasonic DMC-FZ200 and a JVC GC-P100B for high-speed (120fps or faster). Except for the JVC, once you hit the record button, your exposure level is locked, zoom is locked, and I believe focus may be locked on at least some of these as well. The JVC lets you zoom while in record mode but the image quality was so poor I never used any of it. The FDR-AX100 is great in that while in 120 FPS mode, you can zoom, it will continue to auto-focus (or you can switch to manual focus), and exposure levels are automatically adjusted as in regular video mode. Also, audio is recorded in this mode, which none of the others do. The file is saved as XAVC S, 120fps progressive footage. Meaning that if you want to playback the video in real-time vs 4x slow, you can do that. In most other cameras, the 120fps video is processed and saved to memory card as 30fps, with the slow motion already locked in. Sony markets this as a "consumer" camera due to the type of codec they put in it. But don't be fooled, it has some nice features you wouldn't expect to find on a typical consumer video camera. For example: it has a port for wired remote, it has good manual controls for shutter speed, iris, and gain, it has built-in ND filters(!), it has clean HDMI out (except in 4K record mode), it has an IR mode and high frame rate mode, and it has Wi-Fi remote. It's nice and compact size and feels solidly built. The camera can take three sizes of Sony batteries including the NP-FV100 3700 mAh, which will give over 4 hours. Recently found out that with the proper cable, the camera should be able to connect DIRECTLY to a portable hard drive and transfer video files to it, so no need to use a laptop for that if you're out in the field. The camera will need to be plugged in to AC power though for those types of transfers. Some things to know are that the hot shoe is a Sony proprietary type and you cannot just plug in any standard accessory, just some Sony microphones and other few accessories will fit directly on that shoe. I have found an adapter to allow me to mount my own 3rd party accessories on that mount as a cold shoe. The camera has a "Multi" port jack which is for remote control hook-up and it also outputs a video signal. With some special cables you can possibly get a wired remote hooked up AND have the video signal available, but the only adapter cables from Sony appear to make you choose one function or the other. To use my Canon wired remote, I had to buy two different adapter cables to get the connection with my standard LANC plug. Another thing, is if you want to use a shoulder strap or neck strap to help steady the camera, there are no hard points to connect a strap to. I ended up finding a strap system that I attach to the little ring on the hand grip and the other end has a stud that screws into the tripod mouning hole. with the strap around my neck and the LCD flipped out, I can get fairly steady shots while standing. Another issue with the camera is there is no on/off power switch like on most other cameras. There is a power switch, but you have to open the LCD to access it. Opening the LCD turns on the camera automatically, as does extending the viewfinder. There are no menu options to turn off that auto-on feature. The image stabilizer is not very effective by today's standards. It's there, but it's just okay. Another thing is the zoom rocker doesn't seem to be variable speed. It seems to me to have 3 or 4 speeds and very little switch throw, so it's really impossible for me to get the zoom speed I want when using the rocker switch. If I connect a LANC remote, I can get some very slow zooms and have proper control. I'd say the weakest part of the camera is the lens. It's slow and the zoom range is not great. Image quality is great, especially in 4K. With all the issues I've mentioned you might wonder why give it 5 stars. It's a "consumer" rated camera and the price is making this a very good value, and overall it is a very capable camera. It takes stills too. I've found work-arounds for most everything that bothered me, so I am very happy to recommend this camera and Sony has done a great job on this one. Low light, compared to my Canon XF305 and 7D is good. In my opinion the FDR-AX100 looks better than those two cameras. Have not compared it to my 6D, which is supposed to be much better than the 7D. When you get too much noise in the image, I have found that the noise can be removed to my satisfaction using the program NeatVideo in my Sony Vegas 13 Pro editor. There are some adjustments you can make to the image in-camera but nothing like a full set of custom presets in higher-end gear. Shooting in 4K mode and down scaling to HD or SD looks so much better than if it were shot in HD. Shooting in 4K allows you to shoot wide and then crop the image in post to get the scene you want and yet maintain better than HD image quality.

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(15 of 31 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Beware trying to use an external monitor when shooting 4K

By Jim

from Santa Rosa, CA.

About Me Pro Videographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Great Picture Quality

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

      Getting ready for my first paid shoot with the AX100, I hooked up my 9" Ikan monitor via HDMI and got a great picture. So I packed up all my gear and headed for the shoot location which happened to be a live performance. Getting there, I set up the AX100 with my Ikan monitor, again getting a beautiful picture on the monitor, and while in standby mode I dialed everything in for the shoot. As the lights dimmed I hit record and the picture on my monitor disappeared. I didn't know that there was no HDMI output in the record mode when shooting 4K.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great Quality

      By mms8

      from spartanburg, sc

      About Me Casual User

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Great Picture Quality

      Cons

      • Large File Size In 4k

      Best Uses

      • Movies/Short Films
      • Travel

      Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

      I was a little worried about buying this camera as I didn't see any reviews or test videos on youtube of sporting events. The reason I wanted this was to tape my son's soccer matches and develop recruiting videos for colleges. I will tell you the 4K videos are EXCELLENT. The coach was as shocked as I was with the video quality. The only real downside is the massive size of the file in 4K. HD video file size is slightly smaller but you can see the quality difference. Overall I'm glad i purchased this camera.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent Camera

      By Ken The Video guy

      from Spartanburg, SC

      About Me Semi-pro Videographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Good in Low Light
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Great Sound
      • Great Zoom
      • Large Clear LCD

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Documentaries
        • HD Shooting
        • Home Movies
        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Movies/Short Films
        • Travel
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

        I use this camera several times each week to shoot videos for a church. It is outstanding. The color and clarity are amazing. It's quick to set up and is very intuitive.
        Even though we own several large HD cameras, this has become my go-to camera!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (15 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Beautiful images

        By dsaffer

        from sarasota

        About Me Pro Videographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Documentaries
            • Travel

            Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

            This camera can shoot stunning 4K as well as 1080., the best I've seen for up to 3X as much money.Since I rarely shoot auto, this review is for those who like control over the camera. I have shot with my Sony AX100 for about a week. Since I do mainly wildlife, most of my work is outdoors. The camera has performed well in low light (dawn and heavy overcast) but needs an exposure offset for bright days, either in the menu or with the ND filters. First the good news:Stunning images. Yes, manually controlled ND filters!Actual buttons for manual exposure, gain and shutter speed.In-camera mic better than average, usable in a pinch.Clear zoom 18x is very usable.Uses affordable SDXC speed class 3 cards.You can edit 4K in FCP7. I transcode the 4K to ProRes 422 3840 x 2160 and edit on a 2012 MacBook Pro with USB3 and a fast external drive. Even down sampled to SD, it looks better than any DV I have seen.Image zoom for focus assist.Now the not so good:Power button inside LCD and powers up when opened.Image stabilization nowhere equal to Canon's XA20/25. Hand hold at your own risk.Pans and tilts are best on tripod and slow.I wish the lens cap was build in like on the old Sony V1u or Canon XA 20.The viewfinder is adequate for focus. It seems coarse compared to my Canon.Now for the "Sony, what were you thinking?" (minus 1 star)Multi Interface Shoe (MIS)So since the Advanced Interface Shoe (AIF) was discarded it has been replaced with an equally dysfunctional port so Sony can sell more proprietary attachments like their XLR adapter for $. However, once you buy this interface, there is no way to attach it directly to the camera. Most camera shoe brackets defeat the purpose of having a compact camera. Fortunately, DM Accessories has a bracket that hugs the camera without interfering with any controls. Also, the little cover for the MIS just loosely hangs there when open, waiting for something to rip it off. Speaking of controls, Sony abandoned the lanc protocol but there are solutions in addition to Sony's remote including WIFI/NFC.For me, the bottom line: it's a keeper.

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            • No

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            (17 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            You can't go worng!

            By Couch Potato FIlms

            from Steinbach MB

            About Me Pro Videographer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Good in Low Light
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Great Sound
            • Large Clear LCD

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Documentaries
              • HD Shooting
              • Movies/Short Films
              • Travel
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

              I have been using this camera for about a year now and here is what I can tell you.This is probably the best camera I have ever used and I have used a LOT. I've owned the Sony V1U, FX1, HC3, NX70u, and I currently run an EX1 and for the money/size, this is the best of the bunch.PROS: Large glass and large sensor equals decent shallow DOF and great low light. I would not compare the DOF to a DLR prime lens however I would compare DOF to a decent DSLR zoom lens. For this size of camcorder its the best DOF I have seen. It compares very nice to the Sony V1U.For low light performance this camera can see in almost total darkness. At times I have made it see better than my eye and that is without using night vision however, even though the camera can see clearly in the dark the AVCHD makes dark scenes noisy when using high gain. THe XAVC-S codec is also noisy at 60 mbps but im hoping the recent 100 mbps update fixes that a bit. To compensate in low light is pretty ease, turn your gain only half way up, then slow down your shutter speed, and open your iris all the way with the zoom in the widest position and you are good to go. for serious low light shooting I would get an external recorder like an AtomosSomeone here said you can not control all functions manually at the same time but I do it all the time! You can control iris, gain, shutter speed, zoom, and even white balance in manual all at the same time!I do a lot of live studio editing and I have installed this camera along side some of the way more expensive cameras ive mentioned above and it blows them all out of the water! The HDMI out is clean and the full pixel readout provides a super sharp image. This camera does not crop the image from the sensor at any resolution it uses every pixel all the time! This cameras output from the HDMI makes the more expensive NX70u look like a consumer toy even though the NX70u is very good.Battery life is decent but I highly recommend getting spares, I have 4! I wish it came with a rubber eyecup but apparently the one on the pwx-x70 works fine.If you are looking at the pwx-x70 because it has SDI out, XLR audio in and other features but do not want to spend the money then dont. I picked up a cheap HDMI to SDi converter[*]and it works fine and there is an XLR input adapter for this camera but honestly i preffer using my Zoom H4N to record audio instead of going into camera. For scratch audio i just hook my H4n up to this cameras audio inputAnything bad about this camera I have already said, low light compression gets noisy with hi gain but an external recorder fixes that, no eyecup, the hotshoe is stupid you will need to buy an adapter for most accessories, DOF is not the best but then its great for a camcorder.This camcorder is my workhorse and its never let me down.

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              • No

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              (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Excellent companion for the Sony X70

              By homerc67

              from Dallas, TX

              About Me Pro Videographer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Large Clear LCD

              Cons

              • Limited Zoom

              Best Uses

              • Documentaries
              • HD Shooting
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

              Using this as my B cam/backup to my X70. Shooting in 4K with wide framing gives excellent options for re-framing in 1080 in post. Both the AX100 and X70 fit in the same bag with all my other gear, excellent mobile run and gun setup. This combo is saving my back for sure, very lightweight cameras. Low light performance is noisy so having the Neat Video plug-in in your NLE is critical for cleaning up the footage for professional use. Looking forward to the 100 Mb/s 4K firmware update.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              An Awesome Piece of Equipment

              By DennyF

              from SE Michigan

              About Me Video Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • Good in Low Light
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Great Sound
              • Large Clear LCD

              Cons

              • Only One Card Slot
              • Slow Focus

              Best Uses

                Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

                I use this camcorder for family and travel video's. While I am not ready to shoot and edit in 4K at this time, the 1080P hi res video is awesome, much better than my Panasonic TM900. The low light performance is also very much better than the Panasonic, even though it is a 3 chip unit.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Great Video camera

                By Jazu

                from New York NY

                About Me Pro Videographer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Good in Low Light
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Sound

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • HD Shooting
                  • Home Movies
                  • Travel

                  Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

                  Best 4K camera For the price range. My B camera. Excellent HD video quality, large sensor is great for that DSLR look. Easy manual controls. Easy menu set up. Excellent still image. Minor issue need a hot shoe adapter for lights or shotgun mic. No saturation or contrast control. No XLR inputs. Major issue right now is 4k XAVC file type not recognize by FCP.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (17 of 19 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  REMOTE ZOOM CONTROL

                  By Jake

                  from New Jersey

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

                  If you need a zoom control for this camera, this is what I did: I got the Acebil RMC-1AVR with the adapter cable (Sony VMCAVM1) and it works perfectly on my new Sony FDR-AX100 4K camcorder, should work well with any new Sony that has the multi function remote port (basically a mini usb).This remote will do fairly slow zooms as well as fast zooms. Does not jump from one speed to another as far as I can tell so far. I already had a remote tripod from Sony with a Lanc connector that had broken off. I attached this unit over top of the handle and it works fine, it also fits my manfrotto tripod and monopod at well as my glidecam 2000.

                  Share this review

                  (13 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Sony 4k -power in a pocket

                  By JT

                  from Port Orchard Washington

                  About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Good Image Stabilization
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Great Sound
                  • Great Zoom
                  • Large Clear LCD
                  • Zoom range/performance

                  Cons

                  • Complicated To Operate
                  • No Strap Fastener Points
                  • No Zoom Ring Button
                  • Prioritized Hot Shoe
                  • Slow Mode Switching

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • HD Shooting
                  • Home Movies
                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Movies/Short Films
                  • Music Videos
                  • Travel
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

                  I am an intermediate image hound aspiring to professional goals. Therefore my observations will not deal with some of the 'dual-overhead-cam' aspects of this camera. Primarily, I shoot music, industrial videos and DVD projects but love to learn about image tech.

                  The good; Sony's 4k darling is power in a pocket. With this trim model Sony has provided folks in intermediate to pro with an incredible arsenal. The 1.0 version firmware renders auto-focus, slow-mo and other aspects of the camera barely usable. But after the 2.0 firmware upgrade the auto focus, spot metering, touch focus and white balance all work very snappy.

                  The images this camera puts out are stunning to say the least, such depth and detail. The wide dynamic range and 'touch exposure' is able to absorb hot spot lighting in harsh environments while illuminating detail in the shadows previously unseen.

                  The white balance allows very natural control over strange lighting such as neon and LEDs.

                  The slowmo option is welcome indeed.

                  This is also the first camera I've owned which posses a VERY usable digital zoom.

                  The Not so good; There is no place to attach a strap on the other side of the cam which makes handling border on hazardous. I've attached a strap to both sides of the leather grip and brought one side around the front under the camera for security. A little awkward still but much safer for the cam.

                  The sunken hot shoe is a bit predatory. C'mon Sony, you sell enough parts already. Backwards comparability seems to me a kindness to your customers.

                  Switching from XAVC to slomo and back again takes so long that many of my potential subjects were away and gone before I could shoot them.

                  Though the cam is capable of shooting full 20mp stills when AVCHD is selected it automatically defaults to 14mp stills when switching to AVCHD movie mode. It is a major pain to redo settings again and again. Where is my button for that?

                  I do like the slomo option, but pitting the 720 results up against the new 4k is a painful comparison. A 1080p at least would have a fighting chance.

                  The cameras rapid wake-up upon opening the viewer or flip-screen is a nice surprise, but for removing the card it's clumpy having to turn the cam off again before removal. I wouldn't mind an 'on/off' button

                  I dearly miss the focus 'pin' on the focus ring, like on my FX-1... sigh, so controllable, deft. Everyone seems to have dropped this feature leaving me to adapt a cheesy after-market solution... it works #$%^.

                  Speaking of that FX-1 I also pine for that lense guard/CAP. Great idea.

                  Dual cards might have been a plus though one 64gig card does provide fairly ample room for the XAVC files. Going to non-moving parts is a nod to the future.

                  In Vegas 11 Pro the files certainly have more beef to them which slows the workflow a tad but still very doable.

                  The file system seems a bit convoluted with each media extension in a different sub folder.

                  To be honest, I understand little why the two form factors, stills vs video, are so polarized but a few more usable modes such as panorama and blending several shots into one better one would be welcome features.

                  Bottom Line; Though in number there are more things askew on this camera than right, I will easily put up with its defuglties for this quality of results, happily waiting for the model that fixes them all. Thanks Sony. I only hope you listen to your customers before upping to yet another format.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (16 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  small camera, big picture

                  By johnmont250

                  from Petaluma ,CA

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Good Image Stabilization
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Great Zoom
                  • Large Clear LCD
                  • Zoom range/performance

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Documentaries
                    • HD Shooting
                    • Home Movies
                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Movies/Short Films
                    • Travel

                    Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

                    I have had the ax100 for a few weeks now, I am a freelance pro. I have carried it to shoots a few times, and finally used it as a b cam on a crowd funding video. Long story short, my b cam (ax100)looked way better than my master shots(nx3). The images captured when set up full manual by a pro are simply stunning. I let a client hold it and get some shots, but the results were not as good in auto mode.
                    You can read other reviews here by other pros, and they are spot on. Hard to describe the picture, but I love it, like you are there in person. Cant wait to put it on my little hd-1000 glidecam.
                    The image can be previewed via hdmi but image stops when recording, but its made for consumers, so no points deducted.
                    The wifi control/preview is really good, but it puts the camera into auto mode, unless I am wrong/missing something. The cinema mode has good dynamic range.
                    I bought another one, and I want to shoot anything worthwhile in 4k from now on. The picture is just so much better looking than 1080p of any kind.
                    The size is perfect, I bought a wide angle adapter also for tight spaces. With the big battery and wide angle add on, its pretty hefty for its size.
                    I dont even have any 4k monitors or tvs, and I can see the difference. I could go on and on about this camera, its the future for sure, sony is breaking new ground, and I have no brand loyalties, I just got to have that picture...

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    terrific camcorder and camera

                    By Boris

                    from Chicago

                    Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

                    I'm hugely impressed by fdr-ax100. This device is a marvel of technology and design. I love it so much that we will buy two more devices for our production studio. I tried Panasonic gh4 and was so disappointed by its poor image quality I had to return it. This Sony represents terrific value and for videography and doubles as very competent photography camera. I really like its controls layout and even more the final image quality. Camera had great image stabilization, if you understand how to use it properly. I can easily shoot with it without a tripod B-rolls, battery life is impressive, it takes remotely controlled Sony tripods, it has awesome lens and can take inexpensive auxiliary lenses too. In short this is the device I've been waiting for.

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                    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great picture quality

                    By none

                    from Southern Indiana.

                    About Me Video Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy to Use
                    • Good in Low Light
                    • Great Picture Quality
                    • Great Sound

                    Cons

                    • Cable Connecters To Small
                    • Little expensive

                    Best Uses

                    • 4k Shooting
                    • Documentaries
                    • Home Movies
                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Movies/Short Films
                    • Travel
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

                    Great camera but when hooking a HDMI Mini cable be careful and and don't try to connect to Muli connecter. Both are very similar in size and looks. The connecter door ports are hard to read.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great Camera

                    By Victor

                    from New York

                    About Me Video Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy to Use
                    • Good Image Stabilization
                    • Good in Low Light
                    • Great Picture Quality
                    • Great Sound
                    • Great Zoom
                    • Large Clear LCD
                    • Zoom range/performance

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Documentaries
                      • HD Shooting
                      • Home Movies
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

                      This camera has a nice feel and wonderful performance. very happy I made the purchase

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Produces great video

                      By Geneo157

                      from Indio CA

                      About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Good in Low Light
                      • Great Picture Quality
                      • Large Clear LCD

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • HD Shooting
                        • Travel

                        Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

                        I have owned the camera since March and have produced some stunning videos. However I have a problem with the OLED EVF, its brightness is so low that it is unusable in bright sunshine. Two other EVF cameras I own have at least double the brightness. I also found the complaint on websites dedicated to this camera.
                        The video certainly rates 5 stars but for the EVF

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                        • No

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                        (57 of 59 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        The Best Handycam Yet.

                        By Rick Bennette

                        from Jupiter, Florida

                        About Me Pro Videographer

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Use
                        • Good in Low Light
                        • Great Manual Control
                        • Great Picture Quality
                        • Great Sound
                        • Zoom range/performance

                        Cons

                        • Micro Sdmi Connector
                        • Only One Card Slot

                        Best Uses

                        • Documentaries
                        • HD Shooting
                        • Home Movies
                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Movies/Short Films
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

                        The Sony FDR-AX100/B is bigger than any other Handycam yet. It's big enough to look professional next to any consumer camcorder, but not so big that it draws unwanted attention when you want to shoot without drawing undue attention. Chances are, if you're reading this review, you are an advanced videographer or perhaps considering this model for a low budget film or video production. If so, this camcorder is up to either task. This model is loaded with almost every dedicated button for manual control a professional could want. The only pro features lacking seem to be the full size HDMI, the XLR and SGI connectors along with double card slots. Otherwise, this camera will produce rock solid professional looking image quality in almost any situation.

                        Straight out of the box the camera is set to shoot in the 4K mode. In the hands of the average user, this camcorder is going to provide excellent video under most lighting conditions. The biggest problem shooting 4K will not be with this camcorder, but with the computer and software used for editing later on. Those who do not have a gaming quality computer power or 4K capable editing software are simply not going to be able to do much with the 4K capabilities of this camcorder until they upgrade their editing capabilities. For those who have the editing capability, this camcorder will knock your socks off, even when viewed on a 2K monitor. 4K video played on a 2K monitor looks much sharper than 2K shot on a 2K camcorder.

                        The six major functions are independently selectable between manual and automatic modes using a dedicated button for each function. These include focus, iris, gain, shutter speed, ND filter and white balance. There are also dedicated buttons for pre-programmed video modes, night shot, playback and power. Delving into the menu brings finely tuned control of each white balance mode from yellow to blue and magenta to green. You can also dial in the color temperature in 100K increments, then fine tune that to your exact liking. A cinema mode provides a programmed gamma and saturation that closely mimics film and removes the flatness associated with video. Those users familiar with the manual functions in the menu like video peaking and zebra stripes will be able to obtain even greater image control and quality than simply leaving everything up to the camera. It should be noted that once selected, the manual controls do not interfere with each other, and will stay as you set them even when you power down and power up the camera later.

                        Outdoors, this camcorder produces IMAX quality video in the 4K mode. The Zeiss lens is tack sharp corner to corner with no visible traces of chromatic aberration or falling off of sharpness in the corners. The one inch size image sensor is a beautiful compromise between the flat look of typical 1/3 inch video chips and the overly sensitive, sometimes unusable shallow depth of field of a DSLR. Compose your shots carefully and choose your settings manually, and you can easily obtain that soft focused film-like background. Dynamic range is quite a bit more than most camcorders produce, allowing dark parts of the scene to retain detail while the light parts don't get blown out.

                        Obviously, most pros shoot with good lighting. But some venues don't allow the use of lights, yet the ambient light is low. The real proof of a camera's value for many users is how well it performs in low light. This one produces clean imaging in extreme low lighting. Even at 24 dB gain, the video is still clean and nearly grain free. With the lens set at F2.8, the shutter at 60 and the gain at 24, the camera produces exceptionally clean images that are practically the same intensity as how your eye sees the subject. At 33 dB gain, the grain isn't objectionable for most users, and the image looks brighter than the eye sees it. Change the shutter to 30 or 24 frames per second, and this thing practically sees in the dark all while producing a usable image without softening the edges or washing out the color. Set at 24P, there is even more light gathering power.

                        The image stabilizer is set at the standard mode from the factory. In standard mode, some users may find it isn't enough to provide steady shots at full zoom. The menu can access the hybrid mode which adds quite a bit more stabilizing effect, but trims a bit off the wide angle capability. There is no noticeable loss of image quality. The optical zoom is 12x, and digital zoom goes up to 160x. Naturally, as with all digital zooms, the maximum setting is useless. It works well up to about 24x before the penalization becomes noticeable.

                        If only to keep the data rate low, or to maintain compatibility with your editing suite, this camcorder also produces excellent video when used in the 2K mode (HD video). Stacked up against the footage from almost any DSLR camera, the AX100 is far superior. There is none of the moire effect, and in any of the 2K modes, there is no rolling shutter effect. The rolling shutter effect some users are noticing is visible only in the 4K mode. At 2K, there is no noticeable rolling shutter effect.
                        There are three video modes to choose, and a fourth mode that can be added. 4K can be shot in 30 or 24 frames progressive at a fixed data rate of 60 meg a second. Normal AVCHD can be shot in 60i, 60P or 24P at rates from 5, 9, 17, 24 or 28 meg a second. The third selection shoots 2K video in XAVC at a fixed rate of 50 meg a second. This mode provides broadcast quality 2K video.

                        Audio, even without the XLR input, is quire clean. There is a 1/8 inch stereo mike input, and a 1/8 inch stereo headphone jack. A slight digital delay in the headphones might be difficult to get used to for some users. The input levels are manually selectable to the point where conversations are recorded without the AGC pumping in background noise, yet, the audio limiter prevents loud music from causing distortion or AGC pumping. It's one of the best sound systems I've seen on any consumer camcorder. Adding even one XLR connector to this camera would have made this a nice compact pro camcorder.

                        Auto focus is rather slow, but it doesn't tend to overshoot the subject. It's almost like a slow rack focus. There is a firmware upgrade on the Sony web site to speed up and smooth out the auto focus feature. Of course, many users will select manual focus. Doing so is drive-by-wire, but the dedicated focus ring remains set for that function all the time once selected, and it is very smooth, linear and well damped so you won't change it accidentally with a quick accidental swipe across the focus ring.
                        With an optional battery, you can shoot over seven hours at 2K, or nearly six hours in 4K. The included battery shoots about three hours in 2K.

                        It should be noted that Sony Vegas, even the older version 11, will work with the 4K MP4 file structure of this camera in its native form. A quad core off the shelf PC is capable of editing 4K, albeit with a sluggish preview screen. Version 11 will only render the video out in 2K, however, but shooting 4K allows a great deal of cropping in post with no loss of quality in the 2K render.

                        Sony has a tendency to put their heart and soul into the first version of a new format, then trim features from it's successive models in years to come. So if you like all the manual controls this camcorder offers at this price point, I'd suggest getting one of these before the newer model is released in a year or so.

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                        (6 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Great Camcorder Except for One Thing

                        By cj

                        from Nothern VA

                        About Me Video Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Use
                        • Good Image Stabilization
                        • Great Picture Quality
                        • Large Clear LCD

                        Cons

                        • Limited Zoom

                        Best Uses

                        • Documentaries
                        • Home Movies
                        • Movies/Short Films

                        Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

                        This 4K camcorder is everything I had expected and maybe more. I have used the camera for several sports events and it is rugged and performs well. The video quality is beyond my expectations. Audio is better than expected but is still not on par with a good mike.

                        My problem is that the zoom is so slow that I cannot use it during action shots. I will contact B&H to find out if the zoom can be improved someway. I hope Sony can address this issue.

                        For now, I use the 4K capture in post to focus on distant action or player close-ups. I have also used it in post for close up photos and it is fantastic!

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (9 of 19 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Great Camera but has issues

                        By Oldsmoke

                        from Katy, TX

                        About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Use
                        • Great Picture Quality
                        • Great Zoom

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Documentaries
                          • HD Shooting
                          • Travel

                          Comments about Sony FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder:

                          While this is a great camera it is missing a few very simple things.
                          A) No timecode? Seriously Sony?
                          B) You cant remove the Memory Card without the camera powering on. Even my old Sony CX110 has a setting that will disable the camera from switching on when you open the screen. I have spent 2 hrs. on the phone with Sony support only to be told that this is "normal operation".
                          C)When you record video in a mode other then 4K, the image quality in the photo mode will always revert to the video image quality. In other words, if you record in XAVC-S 1080 60p, use the Movie/Photo button to switch the photo mode, the image quality will be 14.2MP. You can set it manually to 20MP for Photo but when you switch back to Movie and back to Photo again, the image quality has reset to 14.2MP. Sony again calls it "normal operation".
                          These are the reasons I deducted a star; although no timecode would deserve another deduction.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • Yes

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