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Sony FDR-AX1 4K Video Camcorder Review

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Priced below US$5,000, the Sony AX1 is an affordable 4K video camera for pros and amateur film makers. Will this be my next tool for business as a one-man-crew Videographer? I have been reading …

Priced below US$5,000, the Sony AX1 is an affordable 4K video camera for pros and amateur film makers. Will this be my next tool for business as a one-man-crew Videographer? I have been reading product reviews from various sources and here’s the summary of the feedback from real users, both positive and negative.

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  • 1. VIDEOLANE.COM Making Video for Business http://videolane.com Sony FDR-AX1 4K Video Camcorder Review Priced below US$5,000, the Sony AX1 is an affordable 4K video camera for pros and amateur film makers. Will this be my next tool for business as a one-man-crew Videographer? I have been reading product reviews from various sources and here's the summary of the feedback from real users, both positive and negative. 1 / 9
  • 2. VIDEOLANE.COM Making Video for Business http://videolane.com What are the main features? First, let's look at some of the main selling features. 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 Three ND Filters & Five Paint Functions Independent Zoom, Focus & Iris Rings Seven Assignable Buttons & HDMI Output Selling feature are selling features. I have been disappointed before, by equipment that did not do exactly what I thought the feature should do. After reading other people's reviews, I grouped the points into related topics. 2 / 9
  • 3. VIDEOLANE.COM Making Video for Business http://videolane.com What worked? Why? Here is a list of positive points mentioned by reviewers. Video from the AX1 is easily edited on FCP X just like any 1080p video. It is even easier with Adobe Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas Pro, without the extra conversion process to the Apple ProRes format. Stored 4K files will also future proof future projects. The AX1 uses the same Sony batteries used for years. Other than 4K, Hi-Def file is available for current editing projects. The camera also shoots in 24p and 30p, This camera outputs 1080/60i or 60p from the HDMI port while at the same time records 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. With the fixed lens, light weight and simple operation, it can just be grabbed from the bag, turned on, and away you go. A camera that is ready to go 'as is' and very, very simple to use. You can set both audio channels to Input 2, instead of just Input 1. 3 / 9
  • 4. VIDEOLANE.COM Making Video for Business http://videolane.com It is very well balanced. When you load it up with shotgun mic and lav box, it is perfectly balanced. It ts way easier to hold than a shoulder rig with dslr. When there is sufficient light the picture quality this camera produces is very nice. Sounds like a perfect camcorder for a run-and-gun Videographer shooting events and seminars. Now let's get the truth. What are the down sides? What did not work? Why? I like negative reviews, no matter how trivial. They will make or break my buying decision. The 4K format files are large. Requires a lot of data storage. The XQD cards are expensive, comparing to SD cards. Consumes battery power very quickly. Quite Noisy Even in Good Light. Zooming all the way in pointing to a person in a dark area, the FDR-AX1 shows obvious video noise. Tests show that higher gain settings can be somewhat noisy. If you can get away in low light situations with its fast 1.6f lens 4 / 9
  • 5. VIDEOLANE.COM Making Video for Business http://videolane.com (on the wider side) you will quickly find yourself “in the dark” when zooming in. As you can see in the various sample footage, even using the gain control did not help much improving the overall dark images the camera produces. The LCD isn't a touchscreen. The EVF in this camera is average and certainly not good enough to judge crucial 4K focusing. It looks like poor low light performance is the biggest complaint. What could have been better? Some reviewers think the camera is missing a few features. One wished there was an option to use an external zoom control. Another says it needs a bigger sensor to support 4K resolution and get decent low-light performance. Not much wishes. That may mean the camera has everything required for a decent shoot. 5 / 9
  • 6. VIDEOLANE.COM Making Video for Business http://videolane.com What are you using it for? Who are these reviewers? What kind of video are they shooting? Events, broadcast or cinematic movie? "I will use this camera primarily for travel and nature video." "I may have some corporate applications as well." "I hope to sell stock video and UHD videos produced with the AX1." "Currently documenting agricultural practices." "For nature/documentary work." "In my opinion, this is a great Ultra HD starter camera, reality show camera, a film school camera, a documentary camera - anywhere ease of use and set up time is critical, or following quickly unfolding action." "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 don't care about dof." Videos about the 4K Handycam FDR-AX1 6 / 9
  • 7. VIDEOLANE.COM Making Video for Business http://videolane.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ01B5y0Vsk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS2yM9kaqag http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8iT3CdFc7Q What else did I learn? From this research, I picked up nuggets of extra knowledge. Some are not relevant, but worthy of deeper study. The AX1 can't shoot stills. But actually it can. Each video frame shot, whether at 24 frames per second, 30, 50, or 60 frames per second is an 8 Megapixel still image. So in essence you have a very high speed still camera that produces a sequence of 8 Megapixel images. Neat Video does a great job at removing video noise produced when shot with high gain. There is a look-alike higher-end 4K video camcorder called the Sony PXW-Z100, priced about $2,000 more than. Additional specs include, SDI output, faster data rates, and 4:2:2 10 bit colour. What’s the best run-n-gun camcorder out there that would film during night or under low light? The JVC GY HM650. To be verified though. Panasonic just announced the new iteration of its highly popular interchangeable lens camera series, the GH4... and it shoots 4K! Consider the NX5 or PMW160/200 if low-light is important for your work. 7 / 9
  • 8. VIDEOLANE.COM Making Video for Business http://videolane.com Conclusion The FDR-AX1 is categorized under "Consumer Camcorder". I don't think it deserves this category. It should be under the "Professional Camcorder" category. Why? The following points are not typically consumer specs. The lens offers a broad 20x optical zooming range with a 31.5 - 630mm (35mm equivalent) focal length. Two external XLR jacks for connecting external microphones that can also be used to record superior-quality audio. There are three manual control rings on the camera for focus, iris and zoom. Shooting tools such as Zebra, Peaking, Center Marker and Guide Frame are designed to assist you in shot setup. Includes Vegas Pro 12 Video Editing Software featuring support for 60p, 4K and 3D projects. Unlimited video and audio tracks, and native support for nearly any file format. Will I buy this camera for my work? Poor low light performance is the only factor holding me back until I test and see with with my own eyes how it compares with my current Panasonic 8 / 9
  • 9. VIDEOLANE.COM Making Video for Business http://videolane.com HMC151. Are you interested learning how to shoot and edit videos like a pro? In this Videography Course, I will show you how, and it includes a section about using your camcorder like an expert. Join me for an intense, comprehensive, entertaining and informative training. http://videolane.com/courses/basic-videography/ Adrian Lee VIDEOLANE.COM LLP Discover How to Create a Marketing Video for the Web Source: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1002485-REG/sony_fdr_ax1_4k_camcorder.ht ml http://www.luminous- landscape.com/reviews/camcorders/sony_ax1_4k_camcorder.shtml https://www.cinema5d.com/?p=21457 http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52107703 http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/09/04/first-impressions-sony-fdr-ax1-the-first-4k- camcorder-with-a-auto-mode/ http://www.slashgear.com/sony-fdr-ax1-4k-handycam-official-top-quality-video-within- reach-04294795/ Check out the details of Sony FDR-AX1 4K Video Camera at Amazon Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org) 9 / 9

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