REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
SonyFDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder
 
4.4

(based on 30 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

84%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great picture quality (24)
  • Zoom range/performance (24)
  • Easy to use (23)
  • Large clear LCD (20)
  • Good in low light (18)

Cons

  • Limited zoom (6)

Best Uses

  • Documentaries (21)
  • HD shooting (19)
  • Travel (18)
  • Movies/short films (16)
  • Home movies (14)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro videographer (10), Semi-pro (9), Enthusiast (8)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (27)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

The Best Handycam Yet.

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...Read complete review

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.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

RRRATTLING NOISE

I returned 2 of these because they rattle when the lens cap is off (autofocus motor?) & record the noise. It's noticeable in headphones & quiet rooms. A video of...Read complete review

I returned 2 of these because they rattle when the lens cap is off (autofocus motor?) & record the noise. It's noticeable in headphones & quiet rooms. A video of the noise & full review w/ pros & cons on georgegodley com "SONY FDR AX100 4K FAIL audio motor noise rattle tattle review". Still use NX30 despite fan noise on that one, Still loyal Sony customer.

Reviewed by 30 customers

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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.

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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.

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  • No

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(5 of 5 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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    (3 of 3 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

    Share this review

    (1 of 1 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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      (4 of 4 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

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (31 of 32 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.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (4 of 6 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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        (3 of 9 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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          (2 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          RRRATTLING NOISE

          By geogodley

          from n.y, n.y.

          About Me Pro Videographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

            Cons

            • Poor Sound

            Best Uses

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

              I returned 2 of these because they rattle when the lens cap is off (autofocus motor?) & record the noise. It's noticeable in headphones & quiet rooms. A video of the noise & full review w/ pros & cons on georgegodley com "SONY FDR AX100 4K FAIL audio motor noise rattle tattle review". Still use NX30 despite fan noise on that one, Still loyal Sony customer.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Outstanding

              By Jeff H

              from Cincinnati, Ohio - U.S.A.

              About Me Pro Videographer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Limited Zoom

              Best Uses

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

                Excellent camera for the money. 1" Sensor in this form factor is revolutionary, but may not seem so because of the prevalence of DSLR cams with larger sensors.

                Better video than cameras that cost 10K a few years ago. Highly recommended

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (4 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Price is nice but the is not as...

                By R Baker

                from Rockville, MD

                About Me Pro Videographer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Good Features
                • Good Image Stabilization
                • Large Clear LCD
                • Zoom range/performance

                Cons

                • Poor In Low Light

                Best Uses

                • HD Shooting
                • Home Movies
                • Movies/Short Films
                • Travel

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

                I rented this camera for an interview that I shot along with a Canon 60D DSLR and a Canon M301 consumer camcorder. I then took the AX100 to a local outdoor site to do a comparison video. .....The Sony FDR-AX100 works very well, is ergonomically user friendly, and has a lot of recording options from 4K to HD (AVCHD) and MP4 HD in both 1080 and 720p. It includes quite a few shooting "styles" to help a new videographer choose the best setting to record their video. The touchscreen was responsive and I like the fact the most features can be accessed without using the touchscreen at all. Overall the features match the pricing but I was really hoping for more and in the end I would rate the AX-100 a 3.5 stars out of 5 rather than the 4 I have to put here in B&H. I thought the 1" sensor would produce better bokeh and less noise in low light but I was disappointed. The placement of the Manual Focus button caused a problem when trying to setup a focus pull and the 4K really didn't add much more detail when zooming in during editing. The AX-100 is good for outdoor use but lack luster for low light situations.No points were taken off for lack of XLR inputs or other pro features as this is not marketed as a Pro level camera.Also, be prepared for a harder time editing 4K files. I was able to complete the interview editing without proxy files using Sony Vegas 12 and a Sandy Bridge i7 machine but the video preview stuttered constantly. No points taken off for that either.

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                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Happy with the Sony 4K, happy with B&H

                By Casserole

                from Hong Kong

                About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • 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
                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Movies/Short Films
                  • Travel
                  • Weddings/Events

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

                  Love the camera. Going to mainly shoot in 4k. Found it easy to edit in Premiere Pro CC on my iMAC. Converted to 1080P, it looks terrific. Will later be able to use 4K when I get a 4K TV and way to present. So all of the issues about the format for me are not an issue. The format is terrific. Camera has everything I need although would have liked it to have GPS and better stabilization. The stabilization is ok but not amazing. On B&H,I live in Hong Kong. B&H got it to me in acouple of days. Nice job B&H.

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                  (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  The AX100 so far is an amazing camera

                  By tomneweyes

                  from Philadelphia

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

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

                  Cons

                  • Limited Zoom

                  Best Uses

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

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

                  The camcorder LCD is the best I have every seen. The picture quality is fantastic. I have had other Sony camera's but the controls on this one are superior. The still picture are great. And the ability to make 4K in the camera endoded down to fit 1 to 2 hours 4k video on XAVCcard which is $[*] works well. It also can be 4k resed down to 1080 with pro res and 50 bit rate. And it can shot regular AVCHD. The video looks better to me on all format options. Thought the high compression rate would be a problembut the video is stunning. Let's not forget this is a 2k dollar camera. It compromises in being manual with buttons but each controlled by one wheel. And it looks like it doesn't have time code???. The ND internal filters are great. All the controls can do subtle adjustments. The lens is great. They way it looks now you can plug in (rode mic) for audio. If you want XLR their unit which goes on proprietary mount is $[*]!! So far what I have seen isvery impressive. If not ground breaking quality and compromise very littlefor this price point which is shocking. The camera has some good shallow depth of field with this lens and the 1" sensor. The overall feel and quality are very good.

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                  (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Amazing Images

                  By Vooc Mui Hech

                  from Pennsylvania

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Large Clear LCD

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Documentaries
                    • Travel

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

                    Images are jaw-dropping. Ergonomics much better than past Sony cameras with many pro features available without being buried in the menus. I will be using this as my personal camera and mostly for nature and travel. Great to have his quality in a compact and relatively lightweight package.
                    Not crazy about the new adapter shoe. It's recessed and so can't be used with "dumb" devices like third party microphones and lights. Even older Sony Smart Shoe devices aren't compatible. Sony could have integrated the lens cap into the hood as it does with other products.

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                    (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Pretty Good

                    By desvideo

                    from Ct

                    About Me Casual User

                    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
                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Movies/Short Films
                      • Weddings/Events

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

                      I was happy with this product. When i got it, i was a little nervous because i've had bad experiences with cameras, but this camera lived up to the reviews. Its pretty decent in low light situations, its well put together.

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                      (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Image Quality Very Good

                      By Donna

                      from Fort Lee, NJ

                      About Me Pro Videographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy to Use
                      • Large Clear LCD

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

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

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

                        Image quality is amazingly good. For the novice shooter there is little effort involved to start shooting quality video right away. White balance is decent. Audio on its own is echoey, but, most cams built in audio systems are this way.

                        The reason I'm giving it 4 stars as opposed to 5 is because the "multi shoe" is incompatible with anything but Sony products resulting in my not being able to use my lavs, shot gun mic, or, a light right out of the box with this camcorder. B&H, suggested when I called them about this issue, to purchase Vello CB-510 Shoe Bracket (SKU# VECB510) as a remedy.

                        Using the recommended "shoe bracket" then, connecting my Sennheiser lavs to FDR-AX100 by way of Beachtek DXA-2T was cumbersome at best. When the Beachtek was connected to the FDR-AX100'S microphone jack there was lots of noise. Being no stranger in setting up lavs and other audio devices to cams, I still have to give Sony a plug. They manufacture some of the best cams in the industry. This new camcorder's iffy audio may be my doing something wrong. In the meantime, I'll fiddle more with external audio devices, but, for the moment, I'm not pleased with the background noise once "plugged in". Again, maybe, it's something I'm doing wrong.

                        In my opinion, Sony has once again created a "game changer". The FD- AX100 is an excellent "foot in the door" to do 4K shooting and archiving that is affordable. For this reason, I highly recommend this camcorder.

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                        (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Mostly happy - a few caveats

                        By Mizamook

                        from Haines, Alaska

                        About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Use
                        • Good Image Stabilization
                        • Strange Button Layout

                        Cons

                        • No 60p
                        • No Smoothslow Record
                        • Strange Button Layout

                        Best Uses

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

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

                        I shoot stock video - mostly nature. I've always wanted to have "DSLR quality/detail" and am waiting to upgrade my FS700. This camera comes pretty close, at least at first glance, to "what my eye sees". Also, I needed an interim camera - I have an FS700, heavy, large, cumbersome, and an RX100m2, small, quick, but limited, for shooting whatever happens to fly, swim, crawl, or drive by, and this AX100 is giving me very nice images, but does not slow me down (or attract curious folks as it looks like a consumer Handycam, which is basically what it is, albeit a very nice one).

                        It's nice and sharp - video is reminiscent of printed glossy magazine images, has lots of detail, almost too much, actually, and colors are very nice. Controls are pretty good, and handling is quick. I like the weight and size, and except for the caveats I specify below, I do like this camera (for what it is) very much.

                        Problems: Control layout is weird. The screen gets in the way at some angles, but I'm getting used to it. TO get the card out to use in a reader one has to open the LCD, which turns on the camera. The pull-out viewfinder eyepiece could use more articulation, be bigger/higher rez, and benefit from an eyecup, which is not included. Battery life seems pretty nice - I ordered spares, and charging through the USB dangly thing is horridly slow, but I haven't run out yet - stands up to hours of shooting (on/off, various). Haven't figured out how to program some of the extra buttons yet, as certain functions are annoying to have to drill into menus to change (like stabilization, zebras/peaking on/off, etc)

                        Don't expect to crop into these images down to HD. There is compression noise and such, also the extreme sharpening can be too much when cropping in too far. I've found cropping in about to 2200x1237.5 for export to HD is about as far as I'd push it, at least in most cases so far.

                        Speaking of sharpening, sadly, there is no way to turn the sharpen and detail circuit down, and this can make for some unsightly artifacting in certain shots.

                        Very sensitive to handling - while it is true that the rolling shutter skew/wobble is worse, amazingly, when panning fast (like when tracking a bird) or making proper smooth(even handheld) pans, I have not had a problem in actual shots. However, if using on a slider make sure it's really smooth! I made one test shot holding the camera out the car window while driving, and it actually looked pretty good.

                        Wish it had 60P UHD.

                        Wish it had more control over picture profiles. Even a little bit (sharpening/contrast/saturation).

                        The XAVC-S UHD actually does color grade a lot better than I thought it should. That's cool.

                        No timelapse mode.

                        If you expected compression artifacts and know what to look for, you will see them, and don't say I didn't warn you. However, if you don't know what to look for, or that you should, you will probably not see any problems. For all that it's not perfect, I sure wish I had this camera a long time ago!

                        Using NEAT for video helps a lot, and I for one am not adverse to using it. But then I like post processing my clips, as it's part of my artistic expression.

                        The digital zoom is almost usable. I say almost because it is dangerous - at first I turned it off, but I thought to experiment a bit, and found used VERY LITTLE it can, in the right light, with the right subject, be great. However, the viewfinder and LCD, especially when shooting outside, can lie to you in that it looks better than what you will find on your monitor at home if you are not careful. At full (160x) it's so bad/funny it's almost a cool sci-fi/horror effect.

                        Low light sensitivity is awesome. Again, if you use Neat or some other noise reduction, you can go a long way, and still get very acceptable imaged in dark conditions.

                        The auto-focus is pretty smooth, and doesn't hunt (so far).

                        I use the dedicated exposure buttons to quickly get in the ball park for exposure, then dial it in to my taste. In general, the auto-exposure biases are pretty good, albeit close to overexposure on highlights like snowy peaks and clouds, especially if the foreground or majority of scene is darker. Still very useful.

                        Sound is OK for on-camera, albeit a bit noisy in quiet situation. Suitable for ambient. Haven't tried 5.1 yet.

                        Hard to see the LCD in bright light. Using a spare hand to shade it uses up a hand that would otherwise be more useful for operating the camera. Fingerprints on touch screen really make it worse. I hate touch screens.

                        Would have been nice to have an on-screen level indicator like the RX100 has.

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                        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Great 4K camera for the Price

                        By MrYorkieLover Fitness

                        from Los Angeles, CA

                        About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                        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

                          • HD Shooting
                          • Home Movies
                          • Movies/Short Films

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

                          I have 8 other cameras but I wanted to get into the 4k resolution for my you tube channels. The 4k quality is awesome and looks beautiful on my 28 inch Samsung 4k monitor. I think the Sony camcorders are some of the best on the market. A lot of features and a longer zoom than their other camcorders. The autofocus on the zoom is not perfect but works really well. But that goes for all products with autofocus. To see some examples of the quality from this camera, you can search for MrYorkieLover Fitness and see several videos filmed in 4K.

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