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FDR AX1 Review
A major player in the industry of the revolutionary 4K video recording era is Sony with its FDRAX1 4K Camcorder. It’s not exactly a product that fits the “for consumer” category but it’s certainly among the most accessible yet. Is it something that’s worth the $4,500 price tag? Well Lets take look at the intro video from Sony first.
What is the Imaging System Like ?
If there’s any feature to emphasize in this FDRAX1 Camcorder review it would be thie Handycam’s 20x optical zoom lens that has a max aperture of f/1.6-3.4. Indeed, this very feature is what sets the product out from all others of its kind. What’s more is that it has built-in 3-level ND filter which makes it great for any lighting condition. The camera comes with software that can automatically suggest ND intensity levels but of course, users may also go about this manually.
When used to shoot at its maximum resolution, the FDRAX1 Camcorder encodes video images in the format, XAVC S. This is a special video format that utilizes existing Linear PCM compression for the audio and the MP4 or H.264 compression. It is quite an efficient codec as it enables around an hour of 4K footage recording for every 32GB of the XQD flash storage.
This is another interesting feature that just has to be mentioned in this Sony FDRAX1 review.
Because this camcorder has been developed prior to the ratification of the HDMI 2.0 standard, it can only put out 4K/60p video footage to the Sony Bravia 4k television. However, Sony has recently just announced its plans of a firmware update just so their 4K Handycams can soon play smoothly with HDMI 2.0 devices about to be released in the market.
- Buttons for Everything
The FDRAX1 Camcorder comes covered in buttons and switches from its battery to its lens. But one distinct issue on its design is the seemingly out of place “Handycam” label. This is something of minority nonetheless and the overall look of the camcorder still suggests that it is for serious business. With the suite of advanced settings and manual controls, getting the most out of this camcorder will surely require studying.
This camcorder has ports neatly lined up at the back. Inexplicably though, it comes with a component out but with only 1 HDMI. There also are XLR microphone jacks, one headphone jack and several flash storage options.Because 4K recording requires aplenty of bandwidth, it’s only expected that the camcorder has 2 XQD slots, along with one SD card slot that can be used to record 1080p videos only, not 4K. The need for 2 XQD cards indeed is a call for careful consideration but good news for interested buyers, Sony is now offering AX1 with one 32GB card in package.
Usability is another aspect important to tackle in this Sony FDRAX1 4K Camcorder Video review. Using the camcorder with a tripod is rather easy and often comes off without a hitch. The easiest to shoot it without the tripod though is with its handstrap positioned on the right. It can be heavy when held with only one hand so this is perhaps something users should be cautious about.
Whats the Conclusion ?
Although it has been labeled Handycam and although we have used the term throughout this FDRAX1 review, the FDRAX1 can’t ultimately be regarded as a handycam. Well, for one, it is a high-end video camera which uses expensive, high caliber storage standard with a new video recording format. This might just not be the video camera fit for leisure videographers but may be the perfect consideration for those who wish to take videography to a more upscale, serious level. Overall though, this video camera is definitely one to watch out for considering 4K is still in its infancy. Check the best price Sony FDRAX1 4K Camcorder Video Camera with 20x Optical Zoom with 3.5-Inch LCD
FDR AX-1 Specification
|Imaging Sensor||Imaging Sensor||1/2.3 type back-illuminated “Exmor R” CMOS Sensor|
|Pixel Gross||Approx. 18900K pixels|
|Effective Picture Resolution (movie)||Approx. 8300K pixels|
|Colour Filter System||RGB primary colour filters|
|Recording||Microphones. Max input level||120dB SPL|
|Media Type||XQD Memory Card x 2|
|Video Format||XAVC S format
|Video Mode (Resolution)*1||4K:
3840 x 2160 60P (150 Mbps), 3840 x 2160 30P (100 Mbps)
3840 x 2160 30P (60 Mbps), 3840 x 2160 24P (100 Mbps)
3840 x 2160 24P (60 Mbps), 3840 x 2160 50P (150 Mbps)
3840 x 2160 25P (100 Mbps), 3840 x 2160 25P (60 Mbps)
1920 x 1080 60P (50 Mbps), 1920 x 1080 30P (50 Mbps)
1920 x 1080 24P (50 Mbps), 1920 x 1080 50P (50 Mbps)
1920 x 1080 25P (50 Mbps)
|Video Actual (Pixel)||Approx. 8300K pixels|
|Audio Format||Linear PCM 2 ch (48 kHz/16 bit)|
|Microphone / Speaker||Built-in Stereo Microphone
|Mic Level Control||Yes (2steps)|
|Wind Position||Yes (Off/On)|
|Optics/Lens||Lens Type||G™ Lens|
|Lens Stabilisation||Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilisation|
|Aperture||F1.6 – F3.4|
|Focal Length (35 mm equivalent) (Movie Mode)||f=4.1 – 82.0 mm
f=31.5 – 630 mm
|Filter Diameter||72 mm|
|Minimum Focus Distance||Approx. 1 cm (Wide), Approx. 80 cm (Tele)
Approx. 13/32 inch (Wide), Approx. 31 1/2 inch (Tele)
|Aperture Blade||6 blades|
|ND Filter||OFF, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64|
|VF Power Mode||Yes|
|LCD Display||LCD Type||8.8 cm (3.5 type) Xtra Fine LCD™ 3D display (1,229K) Wide (16:9)|
|Angle Adjustment||Opening Angle: max. 180 deg., Turning Angle: max. 270 deg.|
|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
|Exposure System||Metering Modes||Multi-segment|
|Exposure Compensation||AE Level / AE Speed (Menu)|
|White Balance Mode||Auto / One push / Outdoor / Indoor / Colour temp|
|Minimum Illumination*1||60P: 4 lux (1/30 Shutter Speed)
50P: 3 lux (1/25 Shutter Speed)
|Auto Iris Control||F1.6 – F11.0|
|Manual Iris Control||F1.6 – F11.0|
|Push Auto Iris||Yes|
|Manual Exposure Assist||Zebra Pattern Display|
|Interface||Memory Card Slot||XQD x2 (for XAVC S)
Memory Stick PRO Duo™, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™ and SD/SDHC/SDXC compatible x1 (for AVCHD)
SD/SDHC/SDXC x1 (Utility SD slot)
|STD Output||Composite Video Out (AV CABLE (sold separately))|
|HD Output||HDMI Out (supplied)|
|4K Output||HDMI Out (supplied)|
|USB Port(s)||mini-B / USB2.0 Hi-speed / mass storage – Type A / USB2.0 Hi-speed / Host|
|Headphone Jack||Stereo Minijack|
|Line Input (Analogue Audio)||XLR|
|Remote Terminal||Remote terminal|
|Power Consumption (in Viewfinder Operation)*1 *5||4K: 14.2 W (30P, 60 Mbps)
HD: 15.4 W (60P, 50 Mbps)
|Power Consumption (in LCD Operation)*1 *5||4K: 14.5W (30P, 60 Mbps)
HD: 15.7W (60P, 50 Mbps)
|Power Requirements||7.2V (battery pack); 12.4V (AC Adaptor)|
In the Box
|Supplied Accessories||Rechargeable Battery Pack (NP-F970)
AC Adaptor (AC-NB12A)
Battery Charger (AC-VL1)
A/V Connecting Cable
|XAVC S 3840 x 2160 60P (150 Mbps)||XAVC S 1920 x 1080 60P (50 Mbps)|
|32 GB XQD Memory Card||25 min||70 min|
|64 GB XQD Memory Card||50 min||150 min|
FDX AX1 Test Footage
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