REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
SonyFDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder
 
4.5

(based on 53 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (32)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

89%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great picture quality (45)
  • Easy to use (43)
  • Zoom range/performance (40)
  • Good in low light (32)
  • Large clear LCD (28)

Cons

  • Limited zoom (9)

Best Uses

  • Documentaries (35)
  • HD shooting (33)
  • Travel (33)
  • Movies/short films (27)
  • Low light (26)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro videographer (21), Semi-pro (15), Enthusiast (11), Casual user (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (47), Yes (3)

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

 

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 53 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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4.0

Great features in a small package!

By Sun Ridge

from Seattle, WA

About Me Pro Videographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

  • Limited Zoom

Best Uses

  • HD Shooting
  • Indoors/Low Light
  • Weddings/Events

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

Use the Ax100 to compliment my HXR-NX100's.

Love this little baby. It replaced my Canon DSLR and three Rokinon lenses for my hand held shots where I need close in's and "beauty" shots at weddings.

The viewfinder is great for sunny days and the built in ND filter is a blessing.

This camera has it all - love the little dial in front that can change setting - gain is great.

Use the 4K for distant shots where I want to zoom in during editing for that "two" lens look and also for some of the before mentioned "beauty" shots where the 4K adds a little more pop, even when converted to 1080P 2k.

Most of the work is done in the 1080P where is literally shines in low light (much better than in 4K mode).

This is my personal carry around camera next two the bigger units on tripods.

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  • No

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great even for amateurs

By CYZ

from New York,NY

About Me Casual User

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

  • Poor Sound

Best Uses

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

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

Really impressed by the quality of this camera - it was easy to use and fine-tune even for an amateur such as myself.

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  • No

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

GREAT LITTLE CAMCORDER

By Ed

from Buffalo, NY

About Me Pro Videographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • HD Shooting
    • Home Movies
    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Travel

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

    Very impressed with the 4K picture. Low light capture is very good also. I found that closing the flip out viewfinder and pressing the small finder to my eye area provided the most stable hand held recordings. My only complaint is that when you press the record button to end a recording the record light flashes for 2-3 sec. and is STILL recording until it stops. This is the first time I've ever encountered this in a Sony camcorder. Once I got used to this quirk I was really happy with this purchase. I also found the zoom range to be exceptional.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Unexpectedly Good!

    By K. Williams

    from Indiana/California

    About Me Pro Videographer

    Pros

    • Easy to Use
    • Great Picture Quality
    • Pro Features

    Cons

    • No 4k Out To Ext Recorder
    • Touch Screen Small

    Best Uses

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

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

    We are a professional film company and have a need to get quick high quality 4k b-roll. I purchased this as a throw-away camera not expecting anything great. However, I have ben pleasantly surprised. Image quality at 100mbps is exceptional -even with Sony's 4k mp4 compression. Image is sharp, clean and well colored. Tools like focus assist, white balance and zebra's are accurate and usable. The autofocus does very well. Allow a/f to find what's important, tell it where to focus by tapping the screen or simply go manual focus when you need it. We're getting about 3 hours from our 128gb chips. The Zeiss lens is tack sharp across the entire range. Bultin ND filters rock as well. Controls are well layed out and easy to use. We use np100 batteries and get about the same time. It's fast, easy and trustworthy to shoot - which is invaluable at this price point.

    Now, the niggles! They're minor overall, but profound to some. Build quality is very good. It's not sealed, so be careful in wet and dusty environments. You cannout output 4k through the HDMI to an external recorder, but can output HD via HDMI. (Real Bummer!) If it did, we would buy tons of these little jewels! The screen is small - too small! Very hard to see fine details, but the camera's final product sort of makes up for it. Still, the touch screen is a bit too small. Fast action? Maybe not so much - but possibly in some cases.

    Overall, the ax100 rocks. It is simple to run, but also has a few very important pro tools that we need to ensure quality imaging. In short, get it!

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    • Yes

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Amazing 4K camcorder with helpful Pro Features!!!

    By Sunflute

    from Boston, MA

    About Me Video Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy to Use
    • Great Picture Quality
    • Great Sound

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Documentaries
      • HD Shooting
      • Indoors/Low Light

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

      I am so pleased to have gotten this camcorder. I use it to record classes, lectures and live concerts and it provides very clear picture with awesome manual exposure physical buttons as well as great manual/autofocus features. The 4K video is stunning and the fact that it records audio in uncompressed PCM wave broadcast format is incredibly time saving, if you are a musician wanting to get really good audio from your videos without having to do that in post. I've owned several camcorders from Canon, Panasonic and Sony and this is the best so far. I can't wait to see what SONY is going to do next in the 4K segment.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Puts the "Pro" in "Prosumer"

      By Spitzfire

      from Pittsburgh, PA

      About Me Semi-pro Videographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Good in Low Light
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Neutral Density Filters

      Cons

      • Slow Lens
      • Weak Audio Input Controls

      Best Uses

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

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

      I was an early adopter of this Handycam model, purchasing it when it was first released in March 2014. I'd never owned a Sony camcorder before – all of my professional shooting had been done with a Panasonic DVX100A and then a Panasonic AG-HMC150 – but I was in the market for a new camera that could serve a pretty unique use case: a camcorder that had enough manual controls that I could use it as part of my freelance videography business and for shooting short films, and also simple enough that I could hand it to my wife to document our new baby. Oh, and do it all with fantastic picture quality at a future-proofed resolution, and for less than $. Talk about a tall order. After a year-plus of shooting with this little camera, I'm happy to report that the Sony FDR-AX100 strikes an astounding balance between manual and automatic control. This little camera puts the "pro" in "prosumer," and I've been thrilled with my purchase. It's paid for itself three times over with freelance work (including broadcast work... seriously!), and I'm able to hand it off to a family member to effortlessly document my son's birthday party. Some of the highlights for me:• Built-in Neutral Density filter (this was honestly the feature that made me buy this camera because I used it ALL the time on the Panasonics)• Fantastic picture quality and low-light performance from the 1" sensor – it's hard to understate the amount of flexibility you get from shooting 4K and downsampling to HD. I can shoot a take one time and have two usable shots, one medium and one medium close up. Huge advantage for shooting non-professional talent. • The 3.00 Firmware Update addressed my complaints about slow autofocusing and added a higher bitrate (100mbps vs. 60mbps)• Lightweight, feels good in the hand, good battery life, shoots to cheap media (SDXC)• Full auto mode, and the right combination of manual controls• Almost no gain noise up until about +15dBThings I don't love:• The built-in mic is fine for home videos, but the Line In for external mics has an always-on limiter and doesn't show dB levels even in manual mode. Good for backup recording and syncing in post, but I don't trust it to get final audio in a professional environment. Use a handheld recorder.• I wish the lens was faster. It's f2.8-f4.5, which is okay, but the 1" sensor with a F1.8 would make it easier to get that in-vogue DSLR look. And you only get f2.8 if you're completely zoomed out, so for indoor shooting especially you'll need to stay zoomed out and strike a balance between gain and shutter speed.• I'm not a fan of the clip playback mode, either from a UI perspective or a usability perspective. This is one area where the camera feels particularly consumer-ish to me.• Stupid shameless money grab from Sony with the proprietary hotshoe... yuck. I'll never use it for any reason just out of principle. All in all, I can't believe this camera does so many things so well, and for well under $. If you want a tool that can give you gorgeous 4K video and some of the imaging power of a DSLR while still being straightforward enough to hand to a family member, this is the camera to choose! Well done, Sony. This really is a handy cam.

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      • No

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      (15 of 19 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Best Consumer 4K Camcorder Yet

      By Shinji-P

      from Hanford, 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

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

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

        I have written an extensive review of the Sony HDR-CX900, and this camcorder basically adds 4K functionality to that camcorder while producing very much the same image tonality. All the buttons and functions are the same, so I will not repeat what I already said about that camera. Instead I will focus on what makes this camcorder unique in the 4K realm. Please refer to my CX900 review for more details on what makes this line of 1"-chip camcorders from Sony so amazing.First, in order to understand why you should get this camcorder over the cheaper (or expensive professional) models with 1/2.3" chips, you need to understand what camcorders do: they take analog information (brightness and color information projected onto the sensor surface) and convert that to electrical signals which are digitally quantized and processed, then compressed and recorded onto a memory card using a codec (H.264 in this case). As with any device, whether audio or visual, being able to capture more information results in a better reproduction of the original analog signal, in this case, the picture being recorded. This is where imaging area comes into play, and why I would NEVER want to shoot 4K with a sensor any smaller than 1" in diameter. 4K refers to the horizontal pixel count being approximately 4,000 pixels. However, it is easier to think of 4K video as 4 HD video rasters combined in a 2x2 grid, where each quadrant of the 4K image is exactly 1920x1080 in resolution. In order to achieve this high resolution on a small chip like a 1/2.3" type, the pixels must be made excessively small to accommodate the resolution. Most HD camcorders are able to record a decent image with this size of chip, but putting 4K resolution onto the same size chip means making the pixels 4x smaller than HD pixels. What does this mean? It means that each pixel has LESS light collecting area than pixels in a 1" chip which is about twice the diameter or 4x the light-collecting area. This description is best aided by diagrams, but geometrically, in order to record the same image quality as a HD camcorder with a 1/2" chip, the 4K camcorder requires a 1" chip to achieve comparable light-collecting area (because doubling the chip diameter quadruples the area). What all this technical detail means is this: camcorders with the same image-sensor technology of smaller sensor size will greatly suffer from image noise compared to those with larger sensors. This is because smaller sensors cannot produce as strong a signal per pixel due to the small size of each pixel. Increasing pixel size increases the signal level per pixel, and thus INCREASES the signal-to-noise ratio. Using basic terminology, this 1" chip camcorder sees much better in lower or indoor light with less grain compared to a 1/2.3" chip type. This alone makes this camcorder the best all-in-one 4K camcorder on the market today, especially considering the price point.When the camcorder was first released, it only recorded at 60Mbps. Again, using the concept of 4K being 4 HD videos recorded in one large picture, it makes sense that the bitrate should be quadrupled from HD. Considering this, a good AVCHD 30p image can be obtained running it at 24Mbps. This camcorder also utilizes a codec similar to AVCHD, and thus should record at approximately 4x that bitrate to achieve similar quality. Thankfully, Sony realized this and added a firmware update that gives it the ability to record at 100Mbps. Upon seeing the image quality at this bitrate, I have no complaints about compression artifacts.Does this camcorder produce a 4K image with the same low noise level as the HD CX900 model? No. That is physically impossible because the beauty of the CX900 is that it uses the entire 1" chip to crank out a full HD picture with no pixel binning (or line skipping). This means the light collecting area is much larger in HD mode than 4K mode. You should expect the 4K image to have about as much noise as you would expect a 1/2" chip HD camcorder to have, given the same f-stop.Since this is a a CX900 with 4K recording abilities, which is the better deal? In my opinion, it really depends on what you want out of your camcorder. The CX900 produces extremely sharp HD video thanks to full-pixel readout with incredibly low noise levels. However, given that this camcorder does everything the CX900 does plus 4K, I think that makes it more worthwhile. It gives you 4K for those times you'd like to use it. This becomes especially helpful if you need to record a wide shot and want to be able to zoom in on portions of the picture in post to recompose the shot without actually moving the camcorder. If you have absolutely no use for 4K at this time, then the CX900 suits your needs better as it records the best HD picture I've seen in that class and price point.4K is the way of the future, right? So in buying this camcorder I am "future proofing" my recordings for the next decade? NO! 4K is an intermediate format due to be replaced by 8K in 2020. What is 8K? Well it's what 4K does to HD, but it is 4 4K pictures in a 2x2 grid, or 16 HD pictures in a 4x4 grid. However, it's better to think in terms of mega pixels. HD=2MP, 4K=8MP, 8K=32MP. 8K is the way of the future and is the format that will be used to broadcast the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Personally, I want to know what kind of image sensors will be used for those cameras, because they should technically be 2" in diameter according to the HD to 4K transition. However, optics for 2" sensors will be extremely bulky, expensive, and lack long telephoto abilities. I think a sensor breakthrough is needed in the next 4 years...The bottom line is this: if you want to start recording in 4K without buying a mirrorless camera and the excessive expense of lenses, then this is the best option. Also, the only recording time limit you have to worry about is the size of the memory card, not the 29min. 59sec. imposed on mirrorless cameras. My 256GB SD card gives me about 5.5 hours at 100Mbps. Be sure to buy a SDXC Class 10 UHS-I U3 spec card. Anything less will not allow you to record at this bitrate.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • Yes

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        4.0

        Satisfied!

        By g

        from san antonio

        About Me Semi-pro Videographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Great Picture Quality
        • Great Zoom

        Cons

          Best Uses

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

            I use this camera for shooting sports highlights. I previously had the Sony AX33. This camera is a significant upgrade from the 33. My only wish is that it did 4k in 60fps, this camera only gets as high as 30fps.

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            • No

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great camera, small price.

            By Logan VII

            from Panama

            About Me Semi-pro Videographer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Great Zoom
            • Large Clear LCD
            • Zoom range/performance

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

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

              I use this camera to record interviews, so most of the time it sits on a tripod. The Full HD quality is excellent, so are the multiple controls and functions.
              The auto focus is very good, but I use the manual all of the time, just not to have that change when the subject moves.
              It's easy to use, light and the screen contrast let me work in daylight conditions.
              Can't talk about the audio since I record with an H4n and use the in camera mic just to sync it.
              Still haven't tested the 4k res, but as soon as I do, will update this review.

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              • No

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              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Amazing Camera

              By jcommstudios

              from Stockton, Ca.

              About Me 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

                • Documentaries
                • Movies/Short Films

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

                I picked up a job shooting the Olive Oil Industry in Spain and the client wants it to be a stealth project. In other words no large lenses,tripods, boom mics, etc. I need to apear to be just one of the fellows touring the groves and mills.
                I purchase 2 FDR-AX100s, a charger, 12-64 gig cards, large batteries, a mono pod and a backpack. I had researched the AX100 and was very impressed with the pro features as well as the ease of use. I just shot some sample footage at an olive mill here in California at 4K and converted to 1080p and the it is spectacular! The Camera allows individual adjustment of iris, gain and shutter speed. In full auto it is exellent as well! The Zeiss lens and Exmor CMOS sensor combination on the FDR-AX100 produce a picture that is sharp and full of vibrant color. The only draw back is the access to the zoom rocker in the hand held mode. I imagine I will become used to it after a week of shooting. Great camera even for professional use. I will probably outfit it with a DLC M3 Matte Box once I return and use it as much as possible for other projects.

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                • No

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                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Best Prosumer Camera Available - I have Purchased Two

                By Lincoln video

                from Lincoln Nebraska

                About Me Pro Videographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                • Sony Proprietary Hot Shoe

                Best Uses

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

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

                The best thing about this camera is 4K, if you do more than shoot videos of the kids and stuff like that why would you shoot with anything except 4K. It really is almost as easy to shoot and edit in 4K as 1080 P. Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere have no problem with it. I've watched dozens of YouTube videos about the camera and almost everyone speaks very highly of it. The few complaints that I heard were minor and it almost look like they were searching for something to complain about. Everything about the camera is fantastic. Sony really went all out on this one. And as I write this you can purchase this camera from B&H for just $, WOW. I am purchased cameras that cost two and three times as much that don't compare to this one. It's large enough to still look very professional, (after all you don't get a second chance for first impression), but still small enough to be comfortable when you're on a long run and gun and shoot. My only minor complaint would be that the hot shoe is proprietary to Sony's accessories and they don't have a lot of them. There is an adapter that will change it to a standard Cold shoe mount. Be careful when you order even B&H seemed confused, I had to order three times before I got the correct adapter.

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                • No

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                (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                One of Sony's Best

                By William

                from Reno, NV

                About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                  Best Uses

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

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

                  I use this for independent film production. It is highly portable and easy to use, and has instant auto settings but features manual controls for shutter, iris, white balance, gain and focus that stay constant once set and are right on the body so you don't have to search through menus to find them.

                  I needed a slow constant zoom that was slower and more controllable than the rocker zoom control, so I purchased the Sony Remote Control tripod which comes with a remote that either attaches to the tripod or can be used freely and connects through the multi-port to give a very slow constant zoom.

                  The picture quality on this camera is beautiful - it comes not just from 4K but also from the large sensor which gives a much better, clearer, less grainy image than a similar resolution with a smaller sensor. I know this because I A/B'd footage taken with this camera and the AX33 which is very similar specs except for the tiny sensor. It is definitely not the same quality as the AX100 image. I recently shot footage with the AX100 of the Oregon seacoast and it is the best video image I have ever seen, bar none, and looks like the detail and clarity level of a 65mm Vistavision print in a movie theater. It is astounding to have this level of image in a tiny camera you can carry in one hand. Also, the low light capability is very good - obviously due again to the large sensor. I recently upgraded the firmware which now allows 100 mbps at 4K. Optical Steadyshot is not as much stabilization as the small-sensor cameras, because the extreme stabilization of those like the Sony Action cam can currently be used only with their tiny sensors. One accessory that works very well is the Sony stereo mic which has a very effective windscreen. I must add that the stills are super high resolution as well. By switching to photo mode you get a DSLR-like shutter at selectable resolutions.

                  Overall this camera is the kind of equipment one keeps returning to - even with other equipment available - because it is so useable, portable, practical and has such an ultra high quality image.

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                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  FDR-AX100E Great camera for price

                  By Rockey

                  from Sydney Australia

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

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

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Documentaries
                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Travel

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

                    Sony FDR-AX100 is a top-value camera for the price, overall performance was beyond expectations. Great 4K entry camera. Able to be used professionally with minor limitations noted below.

                    Problems I found with the Sony FDR-AX100 camera
                    - Roller shutter problems on pan
                    - No speed control on zoom

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                    • No

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                    (3 of 12 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

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                    (22 of 22 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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                    (40 of 76 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.

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                        • No

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                        (14 of 14 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.

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                        • No

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                        (8 of 8 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!

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                          • No

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                          (18 of 18 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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