Sony FDR-AX1 Digital 4K Video Camera Recorder

Sony FDR-AX1 Digital 4K Video Camera Recorder

Sony FDR-AX1 Digital 4K Video Camera Recorder

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Product Highlights

  • Record 4K 3840 x 2160p Video at 60 fps
  • 1/2.3" Exmor R 8.3MP CMOS Image Sensor
  • Sony G Lens with 20x Optical Zoom
  • Built-In Microphone & Dual Pro XLR Jacks
  • Dual XQD Card Slots for 4K Recording
  • XAVC-S Format for 150 Mbps 4K Recording
  • Three ND Filters & Five Paint Functions
  • Independent Zoom, Focus & Iris Rings
  • Seven Assignable Buttons & HDMI Output
  • Supports TRILUMINOS Color Technology
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Sony FDR-AX1 overview

  • 1Description

The Sony FDR-AX1 Digital 4K Video Camera Recorder is the first consumer 4K video camera from Sony. They've used the technology developed for their professional video cameras to create a compact, easy-to-operate 4K consumer model that's designed to make 4K video and professional-quality audio available to the masses. The FDR-AX1's powerful image processor is identical to the high-performance processors found in Sony's professional video cameras. By incorporating an image processor that can handle 4K video at 60 fps into a consumer camcorder, everyone will be able to document important family moments, get creative with friends, record sporting events and capture the world around them in lifelike detail. The FDR-AX1's native 3840 x 2160 4K resolution enables you to create movies with four times as much detail and quadruple the image quality of a Full HD 1080p camcorder. Plus, this model features a back-illuminated 8.3MP Exmor R CMOS image sensor that works in concert with the processor so you can record at the maximum frame rate - even when shooting 4K video. This means that even your high-speed action shots and sports videos will be clear, sharp and detailed.

In order to provide 4K video recording in a consumer model, Sony designed the FDR-AX1 to support the XAVC-S 4K/HD recording format which is usually reserved for professional applications. However, since the XAVC-S codec will save as an MP4 wrapper, you can still create web-friendly videos that can be easily shared on social media sites like YouTube. Another highlight of the XAVC-S recording format is its ability to record images at 150 Mbps in 4K. In fact, it can record images at 50 Mbps even when you're shooting in Full HD 1920 x1080 resolution. The FDR-AX1 has also adopted a more professional-type of recording media thanks to the inclusion of dual next-generation XQD media card slots. Both XQD card slots support fast 4K/HD writing and reading rates. Plus, you can use the relay recording function to switch between XQD slots and lengthen your recording time. You'll also be able to quickly transfer footage via SuperSpeed USB 3.0 from your XQD cards to your PC by using an optional XQD reader/writer with a USB 3.0 connection.

Another feature that makes the FDR-AX1 a professional-class consumer video camera is its audio recording capability. It records 2-channel Linear PCM audio with a built-in high-performance stereo microphone. However, the camera also features dual integrated professional-class XLR audio inputs for connecting external microphones. You'll even be able to mix audio tracks from the internal microphone with the audio recorded from any connected external mics. There are a variety of shot-enhancing functions and manual control options as well. More experienced videographers will be able to take advantage of the independent zoom, focus and iris rings. Plus, the camera's viewfinder and LCD monitor employ Peaking, Zebra and Center Marker functionality for more advanced shot setup and autofocus options.

Other image-enhancing features include three ND filters and five unique Paint functions, which will help you achieve a more cinematic aesthetic with your movies. The FDR-AX1 has flexible connectivity options as well. Besides the XLR audio inputs, the camera is equipped with a headphone jack, an HDMI output that will transfer 4K footage to compatible 4K Bravia TVs, a USB 2.0 port for fast data transfers, an analog A/V output, an accessory shoe and more. With the flexible connectivity options, professional-class features, 4K recording capability and ease-of-use, the FDR-AX1 bridges the gap between consumer and professional-class. While experienced videographers will be able to really produce great video and audio with this model, even ambitious beginners will be able to master this camera and capture professional looking, cinematic 4K video with ultra-clear stereo audio.

Capture 4K 3840 x 2160p Video at 60 fps
This model supports 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution. With four times better than Full HD 1080p image quality, you'll be able to capture the finest details at high resolution and produce vibrant, realistic images. Plus, the fast image processor is the same one employed in professional Sony models, making it possible to record 60p movies at the camera's full resolution for smooth playback with no loss in realism - even when panning the camera and shooting moving subjects.
Sony G Lens with 20x Zoom
The Sony G Lens is an aspheric lens with special low-dispersion glass. It's specially tuned to capture subtle qualities of definition and color. In addition, the lens offers a broad 20x optical zooming range with a 31.5 - 630mm (35mm equivalent) focal length that enables an expansive range of video expression.
1/2.3" Back-Illuminated 8.3MP Exmor R CMOS Image Sensor
Sony's unique Exmor R CMOS sensor has a back-illuminated structure with wiring layers on the back of a photodiode (light receiving element) that dramatically boosts low-light sensitivity for shooting more lifelike images - even in dim lighting. This Sony technology also makes the camera nimble, so it can read massive 4K data at 60 fps.
Professional Image Processor for Real-Time 4K / 60 fps Recording
The FDR-AX1's image processor is identical to those in 4K camcorders used by professionals. It rapidly processes signals transmitted from the CMOS sensor and finalizes images. In processing the vast 4K data in real-time at 60p, the processor achieves four times the resolution of the Full HD 1080p format. This processor also features high-performance noise reduction for truer images, while image quality adjustment functions support greater freedom of expression. It is also specially tuned for the FDR-AX1 to deliver accelerated image processing performance.
XAVC-S Consumer-Use 4K/HD Recording Format
The FDR-AX1 records 4K/HD movies in the XAVC-S codec, which was developed for consumer usage based on the professional XAVC 4K/HD codec. XAVC-S uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 long GOP for video and LPCM for audio compression, while saving files in MP4 format. The XAVC-S codec also allows longer recording times within a given media capacity than XAVC, making 4K recording easier and more convenient.
XAVC-S 150 Mbps 4K Video & 50 Mbps HD Video
With the FDR-AX1, high-quality XAVC-S video can be recorded at up to 150 Mbps. Additionally, there is also an option to record high-quality Full HD 1080p video at 50 Mbps.
Dual XQD Media Card Slots for High-Speed 4K Recording & Playback
The FDR-AX1 features two XQD media card slots. XQD media cards provide smooth, high-speed reading and writing of 4K/HD video. Plus, a relay recording feature makes it possible to lengthen recording by automatically switching between two or more media options. You can quickly transfer data to a PC as well, by using an XQD reader/writer with a USB 3.0 connection. The FDR-AX1 is compatible with S-Series, H-Series and N-Series XQD media card types.
View 4K/60p Video on Compatible BRAVIA TVs with Supplied HDMI Cable
The FDR-AX1 supports playback of your recorded 4K content on a 4K TV by simply connecting the two devices using the supplied HDMI cable. Thanks to the camera's original function, you'll be able to transmit 4K/60p (4:2:0, 8-bit) signals to a Sony BRAVIA 4K TV, which is specially tuned to bring out the full quality of your 4K/60p video recordings. Even fast-moving sports and action footage will be clear and smooth. To enjoy this content on a Full HD monitor, simply change the menu HDMI output settings to 1920 x 1080. If you have a 4K monitor, you can use the supplied HDMI cable to transmit 4K/30p signals from the camera to the monitor.
TRILUMINOS Color Technology
The FDR-AX1 supports Sony's TRILUMINOS Color technology, which allows you to view photos and movies in rich, natural colors on any TRILUMINOS-equipped television. The expanded color gamut ensures lifelike, vivid colors when you playback your recorded video and still shots.
Save 4K Video Content to Your PC
The FDR-AX1 provides two methods for connecting and transferring footage to a PC. You can use a USB cable or insert your XQD memory card into an XQD reader/writer that is connected to your PC. You can also save data from the camera to other media sources like external HDDs. Once you've download data onto your PC, you can use Sony's PlayMemories Home software to manage and play your videos. You can edit video with the XAVC-S-compatible non-linear editing software as well. After your footage is edited, you'll be able to upload and share your 4K movies on social media sites like YouTube.
Built-In Microphone & Professional-Class Audio XLR Terminals
In addition to a high-performance internal microphone, the FDR-AX1 features two external XLR jacks for connecting external microphones that can also be used to record superior-quality audio together with your movies. You can also mix audio from recordings made using the internal microphone and externally connected microphones, respectively.
Three ND Filters & Five Paint Functions for Expressive Cinematic Looks
The FDR-AX1 features three ND filters for adjusting the amount of light entering the image sensor from the lens. There are also four filter settings: Clear, 1/4 filter, 1/16 filter and 1/64 filter. These filters and settings give users the ability to match shooting conditions, as well as adjust the shutter speed and aperture even on bright, sunny days. There are also five paint functions (white balance, gamma, detail, skin detail, matrix) that can be combined and adjusted in the paint menu to create expressive movie styling such as cinematic looks.
Seven Assignable Buttons & Three Independent Control Rings
The FDR-AX1 was designed with two start/stop buttons. One is located on the side of the camera grip, while the other is located on the handle. This affords ease-of-use while shooting. The handle also features a zoom button that enables convenient access while shooting from low angles. There are seven assignable buttons as well, which can be programmed with functions that enable users to quickly access them without using menus. Assign functions include: Marker, Zebra, Peaking, Focus Magnifier, Auto Exposure Level, SteadyShot, Color Bars, Rec Lamp [F], Rec Lamp [R] and more. Having seven assignable buttons will allow you to adjust to varying shooting conditions on-the-fly. There are also three manual control rings on the camera for focus, iris and zoom.
Zebra, Peaking, Center Marker & Guide Frame
Shooting tools such as Zebra, Peaking, Center Marker and Guide Frame are designed to assist you in shot setup. They'll help you get the cinematic expression you are after. Zebra highlights overly bright areas with stripes in the LCD and viewfinder. This feedback helps users adjust brightness and prevent whiteout, especially on the subject. Peaking simplifies focusing by highlighting in the LCD and viewfinder the areas most sharply in focus. Users can finely adjust the peaking level and choose white, red, yellow or blue peaking to clearly contrast with the subject. By making it easier to know where the shot is in focus, this feature helps users achieve the desired manual focus setting. Determine the center of your image at a glance using the Center Marker feature in the LCD or viewfinder, while the Guide Frame works as a guide for aligning horizontal and vertical lines.
Includes Vegas Pro 12 Video Editing Software
The Sony Vegas Pro 12 video editing software features support for 60p, 4K and 3D projects. Unlimited video and audio tracks, an intuitive 64-bit environment and native support for nearly any file format makes Vegas Pro 12 a powerful and professional post production suite.
In the Box
Sony FDR-AX1 Digital 4K Video Camera Recorder
  • NP-F970 L-Series Info-Lithium Battery Pack (6300mAh)
  • AC-NB12A AC Adapter
  • AC-VL1 Battery Charger
  • HDMI Cable
  • USB Cable
  • Large Eyecup
  • Lens Hood
  • A/V Connecting Cable
  • 32GB QDN32/T XQD N Series Memory Card wayffqtetruvwrtxfudaqcsardttasdxsfx
  • Vegas Pro 12
  • License CD-ROM
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Sony FDR-AX1 specs

    Sensor 1/2.3" back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor
    Pixel Gross Approx. 18,900,000 pixels
    Effective Pixels Approx. 8,300,000 pixels
    Color Filter System RGB primary color filters
    Lens Sony G Lens
    Image Stabilization Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
    Aperture f/1.6 - f/3.4
    Focal Length 4.1 - 82 mm
    35mm Equivalent Focal Length 31.5 - 630 mm
    Optical Zoom 20x
    Filter Diameter 72 mm
    Minimum Focus Distance Wide: Approx. 0.4" (1 cm)
    Tele: Approx. 31.5" (80 cm)
    Aperture Blade 6 blades
    ND Filter Off
    Control Rings Focus ring
    Iris ring
    Zoom ring
    Video System NTSC / PAL switchable
    Video Format XAVC-S format
    MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
    Compatible Formats XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 150 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/60p)
    XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 150 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/50p)
    XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 60 or 100 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/30p)
    XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 60 or 100 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/25p)
    XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 60 or 100 Mbps, 4K 3840 x 2160/24p)
    XAVC-S: MP4 (4:2:0, 50 Mbps, HD 1920 x 1080)
    AVCHD: m2ts (4:2:0, up to 28 Mbps, HD 1920 x 1080)
    Media Type XQD memory card x 2
    Video Resolution NTSC Area Setting:
    3840 x 2160p at 60 fps (150 Mbps)
    3840 x 2160p at 30 fps (100 Mbps)
    3840 x 2160p at 30 fps (60 Mbps)
    3840 x 2160p at 24 fps (100 Mbps)
    3840 x 2160p at 24 fps (60 Mbps)
    1920 x 1080p at 60 fps (50 Mbps)
    1920 x 1080p at 30 fps (50 Mbps)
    1920 x 1080p at 24 fps (50 Mbps)
    PAL Area Setting:
    3840 x 2160p at 50 fps (150 Mbps)
    3840 x 2160p at 25 fps (100 Mbps)
    3840 x 2160p at 25 fps (60 Mbps)
    1920 x 1080p at 50 fps (50 Mbps)
    1920 x 1080p at 25 fps (50 Mbps)
    Recording Time 50 min with 64GB XQD card (XAVC-S 3840 x 2160/60p, 150 Mbps)
    150 min with 64GB XQD card (XAVC-S 1920 x 1080p/60p, 50 Mbps)
    Video Actual (Pixels) Approx. 8,300,000 pixels
    Audio Format Linear PCM (48 kHz / 16-bit)
    Audio Channels 2-channels
    Microphone Max Input Level 120 dB SPL
    Built-In Microphone Yes (2-channel stereo microphone)
    Built-In Speakers Yes (monaural speaker)
    Microphone Level Control Yes (2 steps)
    Wind Position Yes (On/Off)
    Type 0.45" (1.14 cm)
    Backlight Yes
    Power Mode Yes
    LCD Type 3.5" (8.8 cm) Xtra Fine LCD 3D display
    Pixels 1,229,000 pixels
    Aspect Ratio 16:9 (wide)
    Angle Adjustment Opening Angle: 180° (max)
    Turning Angle: 270° (max)
    Backlight Yes (menu)
    Coverage 100%
    Marker Yes
    Focus Control
    Focus System Contrast AF
    AF Modes Auto
    Manual (ring)
    Focus Area Full range focus
    Push Auto Focus Yes
    Manual Focus Assist Magnified display for precise manual focus
    Peaking display
    Exposure Control
    Metering Modes Multi-segment
    Exposure Compensation AE level
    AE speed (menu)
    Noise Reduction Yes
    White Balance Modes Auto
    One Push
    Color Temp
    WB Shift Yes
    Minimum Illumination 60p: 4 lux (1/30 shutter speed)
    50p: 3 lux (1/25 shutter speed)
    Auto Iris Control f/1.6 - f/11
    Manual Iris Control f/1.6 - f/11
    Push Auto Iris Yes
    Manual Exposure Assist Zebra pattern display
    Memory Card Slot XQD x 2 (for XAVC-S)
    Memory Stick PRO Duo
    Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo
    SD/SDHC/SDXC compatible x 1 (for AVCHD)
    SD/SDHC/SDXC x 1 (utility SD slot)
    A/V Outputs Composite video (RCA) output x 1 (SD)
    Analog audio L/R (RCA) output x 1 (SD)
    HDMI output x 1 (HD/4K)
    USB Ports USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mini-B) x 1
    USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Host (mass-storage type-A) x 1
    Headphone Jack Stereo mini-jack x 1
    Microphone Input XLR jacks x 2 (line/mic)
    DC Input Yes
    Remote Terminal LANC
    Accessory Shoe 1 x Standard shoe
    Battery Type NP-F970
    Power Requirements 7.2 V (battery pack)
    12.4 V (AC adapter)
    Power Consumption Viewfinder (4K): 14.2 W (30p / 60 Mbps)
    Viewfinder (HD): 15.4 W (60p / 50 Mbps)
    LCD (4K): 14.5 W (30p / 60 Mbps)
    LCD (HD): 15.7 W (60p / 50 Mbps)
    Dimensions (WxHxD) 7.44 x 7.6 x 14.25" (189 x 193 x 362 mm) including NP-F970 battery
    Weight 5.38 lb (2.44 kg) camera only
    6.1 lb (2.77 kg) camera and NP-F970 battery
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 12.1 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 17.7 x 13.0 x 11.2"

    Sony FDR-AX1 reviews

    FDR-AX1 Digital 4K Video Camera Recorder is rated 3.8 out of 5 by 18.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from 4K is the Future I will use this camera primarily for travel and nature video. I may have some corporate applications as well. The AX1 captures stunning images. Video from the AX1 is easily edited on FCP X just like any 1080p video. I hope to sell stock video and UHD videos produced with the AX1. Stored 4K files will also future proof me for future projects. As a deliverable, the 4K video, when downconverter to a Blu-ray disc looks great especially when upscaled on a UHD monitor. Obviously, the 4K format requires a lot of data storage and consumes battery power beyond what we are all used too. I am glad the AX1 uses the same Sony batteries I have used for years.
    Date published: 2014-01-23
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing quality but beware the lens I am amazed by the quality of this camera and I have shot some simply stunning stuff with it but BEWARE this camera does NOT have a par focal lens. What I mean by this is the following: if you zoom in on a subject, then manually focus to get it nice and sharp, it will go soft as you zoom out. This means that you cannot use the tried-and-true method of focusing where you zoom tight, focus, then re-compose. At 4K, the slightest softness is not sharp. So you can't get away with what you can get away with in HD. With this camera, yo get it sharp you either have to trust the autofocus (either momentary or continuous) or you have to turn on the peaking and use that to focus. I cannot stress this enough: if you are in manual focus mode, EVERY time you change the zoom setting you must refocus. PERIOD! The lens is NOT par focal. If you don't know what that means, google it. I hope this helps you. I had to send two different cameras back to Sony to be fixed before I came to this realization.
    Date published: 2014-10-19
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not happy with the SONY FDR-AX1 I purchased the SONY AX1 in January mostly for nature and scenery. I was a TV photojournalist for 23 years for ABC and FOX NEWS and shot for high-end independent films. I have always used SONY's broadcast line of equipment and been very pleased.To say I am disappointed with this camera would be an understatement. First of all; it's very noisy, especially in the greys. The right side of the frame is soft; anything shot below F/5.6 causes the right side of the frame to go out of focus. I have tried to contact SONY since March 2014, but their customer service people transfer me in circles or give me excuses why they are unable to help me at this time. The hold times are absolutely unacceptable.I get intermittent data errors when writing files to the XQD card. This appears as typical macro-block squares or tearing in the video. It happens at any data rate and with S or N series cards.The camera is almost useless in low-light.The gain settings cause so much noise, the image is almost unusable.This is the second defective or poor quality SONY product I have purchased in the last 9 months, both were 4K or UHDTV products. SONY's customer service is virtually unusable.I love SONY, but I would not recommend this product to anyone.
    Date published: 2014-08-27
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from 4K files I was most concerned about being able to save the 4K files for future use, while still being able to use a 2K or Hi-Def file for current editing projects. It turns out that it's as simple as dragging the camera files from the XQD card on to any hard drive for archiving. Once there you can use Borosoft's Video Converter to transcode the files into ProRes 422 for editing, which works in several NLE programs. (I use FCP, where ProRes is almost a necessity.) Once that's done the original 4K files remain as captured. Files are large, so takes a lot of storage. I wish I there was an option to use an external zoom only serious negative at this point. (Currently documenting agricultural practices on the High Plains of Texas.)
    Date published: 2014-01-02
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Low light not good. I saw this Sony FDR-AX1 4K camcorder as a demo unit side-by-side with Sony HXR-NX5U in a local Sony store, so that I could play both models and compare. Here are what I found: - FDR-AX1 has a bigger lens hood and lens barrel than HXR-NX5U, about the same weight, with similar controls and buttons. - FDR-AX1 belongs to HandyCam series, marked as Consumer Camcorder, while HXR-NX5U belongs to NXCAM series, marked as Professional Camcorder. - FDR-AX1 has 1/2.3 single CMOS sensor with smaller pixels to support 4K resolution, while HXR-NX5U has three 1/3 CMOS sensors, that may be one of the reasons that FDR-AX1 has worse low-light performance. Zooming all the way in (smallest iris/aperture), pointing to a person in a dark area, FDR-AX1 shows obvious video noise on his/her face, while HXR-NX5U doesn't. To support 4K resolution and get decent low-light performance, a bigger sensor is needed. - FDR-AX1 has wider and better LCD design. - FDR-AX1 has two XQD card slots and one SD card slot at back, HXR-NX5U has two SD card slots and a Flash Memory Unit bay. 32GB XQD card is more expensive comparing to SD card, even comparing to HXR-FMU128 Flash Memory Unit, when thinking of their sizes. - FDR-AX1 and HXR-NX5U can use the same NP-F970 or NP-F770 battery. - They have about the same listing price in the store, actually HXR-NX5U has cheaper online price. Since I'm looking at a camcorder with decent low-light performance, I'll skip FDR-AX1. But if you don't care low-light that much and would like 4K resolution for landscape or other similar subjects, FDR-AX1 is not bad.
    Date published: 2013-11-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from awesome camera I am a one man band freelancer. I have been wanting a real video camera for a few months now, I have a c100 and 5dmk3, but wanted something to grab and go, for jobs where i cant spend time setting up gear, and clients dont care about dof. I was having a hard time spending money on 3yr old technology that seemed available. the files dropped right into pprocs6, win7pro without a hicup. the files worked right away, and i could see amazing detail. It is very well balanced, when you load it up with shotgun mic and lav box, it is perfectly balanced. its way easier to hold than a shoulder rig with dslr. my small hd monitor worked right away, with no overlays. i dont use an outboard recorder, so i dont know about the output compression. Great lcd, nice sound, and everything you would expect from a sony camcorder. I was not expecting great leaps in low light performance, and I think its about like most other sony cams like it. decent, but not stellar in low light. lots of recording formats, like 60p in all of them. i love it all, the picture looks awesome even downscaled to 1080. Im keeping mine.
    Date published: 2013-10-29
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sony Does It Again! This camera is astonishing for the price! 4K/60p is the most realistic image you will ever get on a looking through a window into the world. For nature/documentary work, wow. The 150 Mbps bit rate is more than enough for a beautiful clean image even on challenging subject matter (consider that this is equivalent to a 37.5 Mbps 1080/60p AVC codec, which doesn't exist. They all top out at 28 Mbps). I know a lot of people are thinking of holding out for the Z100 with the 600 Mbps data rate, but consider that a 64 Gig card is only going to hold 12 minutes on that camera. However it runs 48 minutes on this one, with PLENTY of image quality.The lens is sharp. The cards are still a tad expensive, but coming down, and way cheaper than SxS. The camera uses a standard Sony battery type that you might already own and are half as expensive as the batteries in the EX1/PMW.The only thing I don't like is the spin forever focus ring with no hard stops. I'll miss that from my PMW-200.Another cool feature...this camera will output 1080/60i or 60p from the HDMI port while at the same time recording 4K/60p to the card slots. You can hook a Ninja or some other HDMI recorder to the output to get uncompressed files in HD for immediate editing, and stash the 4K files for later. Of course the camera also shoots in 24p and 30p, plus very high bit rates in HD for projects that don't require 4K.My tests show it about the same in low light as the HVR-V1 from a few years back. You definitely will have worse low light performance in a 4K camera because it needs 8 megapixels to get the job done, whereas an HD camera only need 2 Mp.It's a great camera with an amazing picture at an astonishing price! I love mine!
    Date published: 2013-12-09
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Successor to NX5/AX2000 We just got one of these in a few days ago as a replacement for a Sony NX5. If you're familiar with the NX5/AX2000, this camera is a natural upgrade to 4K. While we aren't shooting in 4K yet, we went with the AX1 as a more future-proof option than purchasing another NX5. Physically, it is a bit larger, around 15-25%, than the NX5. The weight seems about the same, but the camera is wider throughout and the lens hood is significantly bigger. I'm not sure why Sony made the lens hood so much larger - the lens hood from the NX5 fit perfectly on the AX1 and didn't vignette or cause any noticeable differences. The buttons are better laid out than on the NX5/AX2000 - Sony moved some of the buttons up to a new row, so there are less buttons per row, which makes it easier to remember where things are. One nice addition - you can now set both audio channels to Input 2. Before, you could only set both channels to Input 1 or one to Input 1 and one to Input 2. The biggest change is the LCD - it is larger, and sharper than that of the NX5. This is a nice improvement. This one isn't a touchscreen - but we never used the touchscreen on the NX5 as it was easier to control through the buttons. The on-screen stats have been nicely re-arranged to the corners of the LCD, so they are no longer in the way of seeing the shot. The new LCD does seem to be a bit more reflective than the older models, though this may not be an issue as the older models weren't great with that either. The low-light on this camera is the sacrifice of a 4K chip - it is about the same sensitivity as the older Sony V1u, while the NX5 has better low-light capabilities. For our purposes, this wasn't an issue, but it may be for your scenario. Consider the NX5 or PMW160/200 if low-light is important for your work. A few other changes are the addition of a fan - it is exceptionally quiet and should not pick up even with an on-board mic. Also, the new XQD cards are very nice to use - they are the best cards I've used that aren't SXS/P2 cost level. Much nicer than SD and even Compact Flash, though for the time being, they are more expensive. I hope to see these cards make their way into more cameras in the future. Overall, I think this is a very nice camera that accomplishes what it intends to be. There are some sacrifices going to a 4K sensor, but if those don't interfere with your work, this is a good future-proof option to consider.
    Date published: 2013-10-31
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