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Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder
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- Capture 4k/24p/30p video that far exceeds HD resolution
- ZEISS® lens w/ Balanced Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization
- Direct Pixel Read Out for smooth edges and color gradation
- Manual Control ring (Iris/Shutter/Exposure/White Balance).Manual Iris Control: F1.8-F9.6,Shutter Speed:Manual Iris Control (Photo Mode) 1/30–1/10000
- Versatile shooting w/ XAVC S™3, AVCHD® and MP4 codecs
- 0.27” EVF (201K) and touch screen 3" Xtra Fine LCD™ (921K)
- 5.1ch surround sound mic w/ manual audio controls
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|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Item Dimensions||4.09 x 6.02 x 7.05 inches|
|Item Weight||3 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||2 Watt Hours|
|Lithium Battery Voltage||6.8 Volts|
|Lithium Battery Weight||3.5 grams|
|Media Format Digital Video||HDD|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||20.6 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Shipping Weight||2.5 pounds|
|Supported Battery Types||Sony NP-FV50/FV70/FV100|
|Video Capture Format||4K, HD|
|Video Capture Resolution||other|
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||hausbell||Electronic Express|
|Screen Size||3 in||3 in||3 in||3 in||3 in||3.5 in|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS||CMOS||CMOS||CMOS||CMOS||CMOS|
|Video Capture Resolution||other||other||—||1080p||1920*1080P(FHD)/30FPS,1280*720/60FPS,1280*720/30FPS||1080p|
Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder
From the Manufacturer
4K Camcorder with 1/2.3" sensor
Preserve your memories in 4K and get smooth footage thanks to Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. You can adjust settings with the Manual Control ring, and take advantage of versatile shooting formats in XAVC S, AVCHD and MP4. There’s built-in Wi-Fi so you can easily share your memories too.
Capture 4k/30p video that far exceeds HD resolution
Capture the finest details in 4k (QFHD: 3840 x 2160), 4x Full HD resolution. The XAVC S3codec and incredibly high resolution produces vibrant and extremely realistic images. What’s more, the blazingly fast image processor is the same one employed in professional Sony models, making it possible to record 30p movies in 4K and 60p in Full HD 1080 resolution for incredibly smooth and sharp playback, with no loss in realism, even when panning the camera and shooting moving subjects.
Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization – for 4K
Now for the first time in 4K, get the ultimate in image stabilization with B.O.S.S. On standard Optical SteadyShot camcorders, a single “shift lens” is moved in the optical block to offset camera shake. Balanced Optical SteadyShot moves the entire optical block at once, maintaining the integrity of the optical path and reducing shake and distortion in videos and still photos.
Premium ZEISS optics
Capture incredibly sharp 4K or HD with the newly developed ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens. Not only is this 29mm wide-angle ideal for capturing grand landscapes, you can also zoom to get you closer to the action with 10x optical zoom and 20x Clear Image Zoom.
Direct Pixel Read Out for smooth edges and color gradation
The FDR-AX33 incorporates ‘direct pixel readout’ utilizing the entire width of the image sensor without line skipping or pixel binning. Therefore in both HD and 4K video acquisition it can read and process data from every one of the sensor’s pixels. This results in smooth edges and color gradation giving you the incredible video from a tiny camera.
Manual Control (Iris / Shutter / Exposure / White Balance)
Get the most out of your camcorder with enhanced manual controls. The assignable dial allows for control of focus, exposure, white balance, iris, and shutter speed.
Versatile shooting w/ XAVC S3, AVCHD and MP4 codecs
The FDR-AX33 records 4K and HD movies in the XAVC S3 format, which uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 for video compression and linear PCM for audio compression, while saving files in a MP4 wrapper which allows for extensive record times and easy editing. Additionally, you can chose to record HD in AVCHD (ideal for HDTV and Blu-ray disc burning) or MP4 HD (ideal for sharing over the internet). Having the ability to switch between all three formats or choosing dual record to capture both XAVC S and MP4 at the same time, makes this camcorder an as versatile as they come.
High contrast 0.24" EVF for eye-level framing
The FDR-AX33 employs high contrast a 0.24” Tru-Finder EVF which reproduces rich color and deep black. A new optical design of the EVF, using four dual-surface spherical lenses, allows for a 33-degree wide angle view that is amazing clear through the edge of the view finder.
3 Xtra Fine LCD (921K) touch screen"
The 3” (921k dot) Xtra Fine LCD screen displays sharp, bright, vivid images, letting you compose a shot more easily - even outdoors, while enabling you to change settings to best represent the scene. Touch screen functionality allows for easy operation of menus and advanced features like touch focus and metering.
5.1ch surround sound mic w/ new audio record controls
Dolby Digital 5.1 channel recording captures active sounds coming from all directions, so you can experience your home movies the way you experienced them while recording. Advanced sound features such as Auto Wind Noise Reduction and Premium Closer Voice make it even easier to attain ideal sound quality in various situations. Records high quality linear PCM (XAVC S) and AAC-LC 2ch (MP4).
Connect, control, backup and share wirelessly with NFC2/Wi-Fi
Easily connect to an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet with Wi-Fi and the PlayMemories Mobile app to control the camcorder (Rec, photo, zoom) or instantly transfer, share movies and photos via your mobile device. NFC (Near Filed Communication) makes it even easier to connect to NFC compatible mobile devices with one touch.
Broadcast LIVE from your camcorder using Ustream live-streaming4
Share the adventure as it happens via Ustream live streaming4. Now your circle of friends and family can share the excitement in real time by simply logging in to UStream from anywhere. You can also link your favorite social accounts with the streaming to notify your friends when you start streaming video.
Add a different point of view by including other camera angles to your movies. The camcorder connects up to five compatible cameras5 - like an Action Cam - via Wi-Fi and uses the camcorder’s LCD to preview what the other cameras are seeing and simultaneously start recording on all synced cameras. Use PlayMemories Home6 to easily edit a muli-view movie for a great video experience.
Automatically creates highlight7 video in MP4 from multiple clips
Highlight Movie Maker7produces a short highlight movie clip to share and enjoy instantly. Using an advanced algorithm, based on the motion gyro, Highlight Movie Maker, selects the best scenes from your videos and automatically creates a MP4 highlight video from multiple clips.
2014 Sony Electronics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Sony is not responsible for typographical and photographic errors. Features and specifications are subject to change without notice.
Sony, Optical Steady Shot, PlayMemories Home , PlayMemories Mobile, Xtra Fine LCD and the Sony logo are trademarks of Sony Corporation. AVCHD is a registered trademark of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation. Wi-Fi and the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Wi-Fi Alliance. Ustream is a trademark of Ustream Inc. Zeiss is a registered trademark of Carl Zeiss, Inc. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.
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I've thrown out (or given away) dozens of televisions over my lifetime, each time trading up to something better... but I've never thrown away a video of a cherished family memory. Have you?
Our home videos tend to far outlast whatever technology was used to record them, consequently, capturing precious moments in great quality is something we will never regret later.
Besides, external hard disks are cheap and reliable now… there really is no real downside to capturing your memories in 4K now, enjoying them in HD for the short term, and then enjoying them anew in 4K when it becomes commonplace.
Okay, about the Sony FDR-AX33 specifically.
I have to tell you that I *agonized• before buying this camera, and way over researched the matter. I read every review Google could find me, saw every YouTube I could find — some of them I watched over and over again. I even went to brick and mortar stores to check out my short listed cameras hands on before buying on Amazon (the power of having an Amazon gift card balance).
On the one side, there are the 4K DSLRs -- particularly those made by Panasonic -- which are very well reviewed and forward thinking.
On another side, there is the Sony AX100, the AX33’s big brother, which reviewers rave about as well.
In the end, three factors tipped me toward the Sony AX33.
It doesn’t matter how great your camera is if you don’t have it with you.
The Sony AX100 video camera takes great video, but it is just heavier and bulkier enough to worry me that I might be less inclined to pack it around with me as often for common use.
As for the portability of DSLRs vs. the AX33, the form factor of the Sony AX33 is much better than the form factor of DSL cameras for video. With the AX33, you can shoot video with one hand — which really matters when the shot is long and your body parts start to tire. For example, my daughter’s high school graduation went longer than 2 hours. I was able to use my left hand and arm to prop up my right, and thus fought fatigue. If I would have tried it with a DSLR, I’d have had to give up.
(2) VIDEO QUALITY.
Don’t undervalue the impact image stabilization has on 4K and HD video.
The crisper the video, the more affected it is by any shakiness of hand. The very high end image stabilization system of the AX33 (Sony calls it "BOSS”) is head and shoulders above anything on any DSLR camera right now, and better than the AX100’s as well.
The very remarkable image stabilization system of the AX33 really saved the footage of my daughter’s graduation, as I was able to zoom to get details of her sitting on the stand, and zoom to get expressions of speakers and the kids as they walked to get their diplomas.
One interesting side effect of shooting in 4K when discs and televisions aren’t 4K is you have the ability to zoom in quite a bit in your software on your Mac or PC, and still have crisp, HD quality video as an end product.
(3) VIDEO LENGTH
My mind was pretty much made up to get a mirrorless Panasonic DSLR camera that reviewers say shoots gorgeous 4K video… but I had to concede I frequently need clips that are 30 minutes or longer — something no DSLR camera can do shooting video.
Apparently, in Europe there is a different tax rate for video cameras as opposed to still image cameras. Consequently, manufacturers limit DSLR cameras so that the longest single clip they can shoot is 29 minutes and 59 seconds, thus keeping the DSLR below the threshold which would make it be taxed at the higher rate of video cameras.
Sure, more often than not the 30 minute limit would not be an issue, but sometimes it really is.
If recording a basketball game, you can stop the camera at each quarter and be okay, but if recording a live musical or theatrical performance, that 30 minute shut off is going to force you to make choices — and ones I won’t always be happy about.
Consequently, I chose the Sony FDR-AX33 over the very nice DSLR options that are out there.
I realize others would choose differently, but given that my kids like to perform, the AX33, with its amazing image stabilization, long battery and video clip length and its portability made it the best fit for me.
I didn’t expect much from the Sony FDR-AX33’s camera, which is probably why I’m so pleased. To get to know the camera better before something important needed to be recorded, I took it hiking and fiddled with manual settings. The results were very nice, and would probably be even nicer if I knew what I was doing.
I was pleased, though, that I could easily get that neat photo effect where the primary object is in perfect focus while the background is not. Fun stuff. The video camera has a mode to do this as well by the way.
Audio quality is another really good reason to get the Sony AX33 instead of a high end DSLR to shoot video.
It is surprising (and disappointing) how the operation of many high end DSLR cameras can be heard in their own mics. Not so with the Sony. Built first for video, you cannot hear your camera in your footage, and that’s a plus.
To help make my audio even more amazing in some situations, I bought Sony’s bluetooth lavalier mic (Sony ECMA4W4 Wireless Microphone). It was wonderful, but then when I went to use it again a month later, it was dead. Very frustrating. Couldn’t return it.
This brings me to the AX33’s touch screen. It is a pain — annoying even — but eventually I got used to how hard you have to press on it and it stopped annoying me so much.
The AX33 has some dumb limitations — like not being able to show 4K footage through the ports while shooting. Some of these limitations almost feel deliberate, as if Sony was trying to create space between the AX33 and the AX100.
This is a little thing, but I have large hands, and so I have to keep reminding myself not to lay my fingers over the mic.
Filter - Some of the reviewers were concerned that the BOSS stabilization system could degrade over time if dust got to the system, so I purchased a 52 mm filter — the B+W 52mm Clear with Multi-Resistant Coating (007M) here on Amazon to be exact — to protect the camera. This gives me the peace of mind that my expensive camera’s lens and stabilization system are protected, but my shots are not degraded in the process.
Storage - I also purchased on Amazon a Transcend 128 GB SDXC USH-3 95/60 MB/s storage card for recording video at 60 MB per second, and I bought a SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I/U3 SCXC card with 95 MB/s transfer speeds for capturing video at the camera’s 100 MB/s setting. So far both are recommended, but they haven’t really been put through their paces yet.
Card reader - To read these cards I bought a Saicoo USB 3.0 4 in 1 digital memory card reader. It has a short pigtail like cord which is super useful. It makes the reader easy to use where ever it is plugged in.
Batteries and charger - I got two Sony NP-FV70 spare batteries as well. There are off brand alternatives I researched, but in the end opted for Sony because I don’t want something dumb causing me to miss a treasured moment. I bought the Sony ACQV10 AC charger as well for them. With a battery on the camera, and two in the charger, I can charge everything overnight and have ample power in my camera bag as I go about catching memories.
This camera was a great purchase, and I’m already very glad I’ve had it to capture some important family memories.
1. Low light performance is very good (I compare it with my Nikon D800 Video performance).
2. Auto White balance is giving me a very nice skin tone under low light 2700K
3. 4K + MP4 dual recording mode is very handy, like having RAW+JPG in my D800.
4. BOSS Image stabilization is amazing, beyond standard optical image stabilization.
5. Audio quality (built-in mic) is superb.
6. Digital zoom is very long range and usable. Especially with BOSS image stabilizer.
7. WIFI remote control with android is very good (fast image update), disadvantage is, the HDMI output cannot be use in this mode.
The not so good:
1. LANC is no longer supported (Multi connector does not support A/V accessories). Didn't try yet, but it is said so in the manual
2. Touch screen LCD is not sensitve, difficult to access the menu. Hope to be like Iphone or Galaxy S5. But not quite.
3. As mentioned above, on remote WIFI operation, no output from HDMI. Meaning cannot use Smartphone remote control for LIVE HDMI output application (which I use a lot)
4. The EVF is a nice addition, but too tiny for my eyes. Probably because I get used to my D800 viewfinder....
Will update later when I get chance to use it!
In summary, very happy with this purchase, and highly recommend it...
After using it indoor and outdoor, this is my impression:
1. 4K is really amazing. I can see the different between Full HD highest, and 4K 100Mbps. It is crystal clear, crisp and noticably better in video performance. I think I will never use the dual rec mode, as the MP4 is near to useless. The only downside is, rendering 4K (with Premiere CC 2014) is taking so long (with my core I7 Haswell, 512GB SSD, 16MB ram).
2. The Sony Zeiss optic is really good. The combination of 1/2.3 inc CMOS, 4K 100 MBps and the good optics is really delivers....
3. The built-in Microphone is respectable and useful. It has good frequency response, good clarity and sensitive enough to be usable in normal environment.
4. For $1K 4K, it is absolutely worth it. Having shoot Video with DSLR (Nikon D800 with good glass), I think I will only use the Nikon on long static performance using Tripod (like Piano recital, etc). For active movement, I will use this Video, especially in a well lit environment. The low light is good, but for serious recording, the noise is still noticable, and using Neat Video in Premiere CC take forever (long rendering time).
5. The downside. The remote Android app is not usable. After taking 3 minutes clip, the video in Smartphone getting out of sync (lag) and becoming erratic, and end up crashing. For short shot it is ok, but really it is no practical use for me.
I think this need SONY attention, to be updated in new Firmware:
As I use (almost always) the 4K 100Mbps format, it consume SD space so fast.
I use new Transcend 128GB UHS-1 (which can record without any problem) BUT, when it saving approx. 50GB (out of 128GB capacity), there is message pop-up saying no more space for XAVC-S.
I cannot record 4K 100Mbps anymore, but when I switch to other format, it still keep going.
So I suspect that, there is 'bug' in VTOC that assumes max SD capacity is 64GB (as said in the manual, the max SD capacity is 64GB).
I am about to buy the 256GB card, so SONY.... please fix this with firmware upgrade!!! And there is already 512 GB SDXC card available, do not restrict the max size....
2 months later:
* I still like this camcoder. In fact, I like it more and more as I get use to it.
* After so many recording cycle (Record and Re-format), I can use the whole 128GB Transcend without any problem (I am now only use 4K 100Mbps exclusively)
* Try the 64GB KomputerBay, amazingly it works for 4K 100Mbps without problem. BUT the 128 GB KomputerBay, does NOT work. It simply refused to Initialized the SD Card (for 4K).
* I take a lot of low-light video with amazing result. As long as it is in the wide angle side, and not to dark (extremely dark is not recomended), My definition of low light is recording inside Church with standard lighting. On the telephoto side, it is still acceptable.
* White Balance is AMAZING. I like it even better than my Nikon D800 (auto white balance). Skin tone is almost perfect.
it less grainy in low light
more sharper than Panasonic under 4k
B.O.S.S. On standard Optical SteadyShot
it have a headphone and mic
you could use old sony battery, plus other off brand battery will work with sony 4k camcorder. To bad some of the off brand doesn't last like the original battery.
Alot of people compliant about color so plain compare to panasonic but if you think about it. All of 4k tv already vivid so why add more color to it?? Sony do think ahead.
To bad it only 10x optical zoom the 20x optical doesn't have headphone.
have to buy Class 10 UHS-1/U3 SDXC to work for 4k under 100mbps, if not just a Class10 UHS-1 will work for 4k under 60mbps.
the B.O.S.S. On standard Optical SteadyShot is good but I guess I have to get the Zhiyun Crane M to have it more steady.
The video not wide enough have to buy 52MM Vivitar 0.43X Wide Angle High Definition Lens.
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I'm from Argentina, sorry for my grammar...
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