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Old February 19th, 2014, 08:41 PM   #301
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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I agree, and if I was on the design team for the camera, I'd be hitting my head against the wall.

I'd feel like I'd designed a superb small, budget car, which everybody agreed was far better than anything in it's class or price range had ever been before - and I started to read comments along the lines of "it doesn't have the performance of a sports car though?" and "you can't even put a sports car engine in it!?"

All design - be it cars, cameras, washing machines or whatever - has to be a series of compromises. Do you (in the case of a car) design for off road ability? Capital cost? Fuel economy? Comfort or performance? Two seater and sporty, or can take the family - or big load carrying?

There's no right or wrong (from a designers point of view) but different products will appeal to different buyers. FWIW, I think this seems well designed *for the market it's aimed for*. Worrying about lack of features you may expect on a far more pro camera (10 bit, 4:2:2 etc) seem a bit like a farmer buying a 2 seater sports car, and complaining about it's lack of load carrying ability and off road performance......... :-)
I think of feature crippling this way instead. It's like these companies design a superb small budget car with a standard 5 speed transmission...but at the last minute they remove the 3rd gear from the transmission. This is done because somebody in the company saw the performance numbers in testing and decided that this budget car was a bit "too good" and could negatively affect the sales of their next highest model.

HDMI output crippling was an old trick that Canon, Nikon, Sony and Panny have used that I think peaked about 4 years ago. Lately, many manufacturers have left that trick behind. I hope Sony does not bring that old one back. I think most buyers find it to be an ugly wart on their camera.

If Sony feels they must do it, I hope it's not the old "80% crop/zoom" trick. I hope it's not the "force all data on the screen" trick. If they "must" do it to protect the "PRO-NXCAM" sister to be announced next month, let's hope it's just the "leave run time on the corner" or the "Force the red record icon on the screen" trick.

Something that won't interfere with my Atomos HDMI waveform monitor or RGB parade too badly.

Better yet, lets hope this is all a big fat lie. Sony successfully fought the urge and temptation to cripple it's wonderful little $1300 RX10.

I don't know about 60Mbp/s for 4K (or UHD) It's a bit low and concerns me in quality. (we'll see though...I'll give it a chance.)

I'm wondering if Atomos will have a 4K recorder/scopes in the works?

Last edited by Cliff Totten; February 19th, 2014 at 09:26 PM.
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Old February 19th, 2014, 11:04 PM   #302
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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I agree, and if I was on the design team for the camera, I'd be hitting my head against the wall.
Dave, after reading some of the comments here it's clear that no matter what Sony does with the design of the AX100, no matter how good the picture quality, no matter how clear the target audience is, it will never be good enough.

If it turns out to have a clean HDMI out, you'll hear some then say 'what, no XLR inputs?'. If it had XLR, the comments would be 'what, no interchangeable lenses?', and then if it had interchangeable lenses the comments would be 'what, no racing stripes??'.

One thing that never changes with any new camera, no matter how good it is, no matter how well designed, there will always be those who will never be satisfied. In this case, given how much the AX100 offers, with an unprecedented amount of manual control at an unprecedented price, I applaud Sony for what appears at this point, a great effort.

And to the naysayers, I would say you really need to be cognizant of the reality of marketing, audience targeting and the dangers of cannibilizing your much higher priced products. If you were in charge of the decision making at Sony, honestly, would you really do things so differently? In fact the biggest danger Sony may face with this camera is not what they omitted, but rather what they included.
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Old February 20th, 2014, 12:42 AM   #303
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I have owned 14 Sony cameras in the past 17 years. Sony is the only brand I buy. And yes, the AX100 will be my next camera. (If I don't pick the "pro" model instead.)

XLR or not, I understand. Codec differences I understand. All the stuff that divides cameras from one another for market protection....I get.

However, I only beg the industry to do one simple thing: If your camera costs $1,500 or more, please make sure it has 4 of the most basic functions:

1. Independent IRIS control
2. Independent GAIN control
3. Independent SHUTTER SPEED control
4. Clean HDMI out.

All the other features can be sliced and diced all day long. Size, sensor, image quality, lens, hard buttons, soft buttons, touch screen, XLR, battery,....all that stuff can be played with to their hearts content.

Just give me these 4 basic things on every camera out there and I will be happy with all the rest of the feature differences. Those things are what makes cameras so interesting anyway.

Yeah,...It's true that even if the AX100 had no HDMI at all, I wouldn't be happy about it but I'm still buying it anyway....no doubt.

At least it has the other big three basics!! ;-)
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Old February 20th, 2014, 07:25 AM   #304
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Cliff, what surprises me with your list, is that image quality is almost an afterthought ('all that stuff can be played with to their hearts content'). For me if the image quality isn't there, it's irrelevant how many features are included or not included.

I'm sure that's not what you meant, but your post does make it sound that way.

FWIW, I can't remember a 'handicam' with this level of manual control, so I'm happy about that. Personally, at this level of equipment, I'd much rather have the first 3 on your list than the clean HDMI.
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Old February 20th, 2014, 09:07 AM   #305
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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way.

FWIW, I can't remember a 'handicam' with this level of manual control, so I'm happy about that. Personally, at this level of equipment, I'd much rather have the first 3 on your list than the clean HDMI.
Hi8 days had full manual which then disappeared with DV. I had VX3 3chip same range as the current AX2000 etc and V801's, top of the Handycam line at the time, that had full control.

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Old February 20th, 2014, 10:18 AM   #306
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Cliff, what surprises me with your list, is that image quality is almost an afterthought ('all that stuff can be played with to their hearts content'). For me if the image quality isn't there, it's irrelevant how many features are included or not included.

I'm sure that's not what you meant, but your post does make it sound that way.

FWIW, I can't remember a 'handicam' with this level of manual control, so I'm happy about that. Personally, at this level of equipment, I'd much rather have the first 3 on your list than the clean HDMI.
There are several "Handycams" with full control. VG20/30 and 900. FX1 and all the "Top Handycams" after it.

As far a "image quality" goes. That is what it is. If a camera looks bad, I'm obviously not going to buy it no matter how much manual control it has.

I'm only trying to say this. If you are a camera company and you sell a $1,500+ camera, crippling BASIC manual control of shutter, gain and iris is not a very "respectable" attribute.

Example: You would think that an "NXCAM" NX30 would allow simple manual control of these BASIC exposure functions. It's an OK camera otherwise, but if you set the shutter at 1/30 you are thrown into auto on the other two. You can then only control exposure using EV +/- I tried to use that and I thought it would be a fun little "C" camera. However, over time that silly limitation drove me nuts. lol

There are 1000 different camera features ans functions to think about everyday. IQ is certainly a giant one. But of all things to worry about, please don't play games with basic shutter speed, gain and Iris. And yes,..just give me clean HDMI too.

I'll have plenty to be concerned about the with the 996 other features. For $1,500+ I shouldn't need to think about the first BASIC 4.


CT

Last edited by Cliff Totten; February 20th, 2014 at 11:33 AM.
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Old February 20th, 2014, 02:54 PM   #307
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
However, I only beg the industry to do one simple thing: If your camera costs $1,500 or more, please make sure it has 4 of the most basic functions:

1. Independent IRIS control
2. Independent GAIN control
3. Independent SHUTTER SPEED control
4. Clean HDMI out.

All the other features can be sliced and diced all day long. Size, sensor, image quality, lens, hard buttons, soft buttons, touch screen, XLR, battery,....all that stuff can be played with to their hearts content.

Just give me these 4 basic things on every camera out there and I will be happy with all the rest of the feature differences. Those things are what makes cameras so interesting anyway.
The tricky part here is to determine what "basic" features users want most. I've pre-ordered the AX100 and I have to say I have no need for any of the 4 "basic" features you mention. Short of locking white balance, I'll be leaving the camera in full auto, that's what works for my particular business need for this camera. In fact my top 4 "basic" requirements would be:

1) 4K resolution as many of my customers view my content on retina type displays, so I'm currently lagging behind by sticking with 1080p.
2) Small manageable codec because I archive all my own footage so it all has to be manageable, going with Raw or Prores would kill me.
3) Camera must be very small because I need to he able to hold the camera with one hand in odd positions and sometimes the subjects will be filming themselves, hence large cameras are of no use to me.
4) Not too large of a sensor because I don't want extremely shallow depth of field. I tried using my vg900 for this but while that camera is excellent for one of my websites, the large sensor is actually a hindrance for the others.

Extending my list a bit I would add:
5) Good auto focus and face recognition. Because my stuff is mostly run and gun and very unpredictable, I need very good auto focus. I would argue that a small handheld camera like the AX100 would be better at this than larger cameras because it has to. It will be purchased by people filming their families, kids and what have you so it's auto focus must work very well otherwise everyone will be returning the camera. When you go to larger cameras it's often expected that people will forgo auto focus and go full manual or use follow focus setups so people there tend to tolerate poor auto focus more.
6) Good low light performance. Because I'm an army of one I don't have a lighting crew, so even when I do setup my lighting the fluid nature of what I film can still sometimes lead to unpredictable lighting situations.

Personally I'm so glad Sony and others ignore what some people demand on various forums and websites here and there. For example many call for the death of avchd and demand to always have prores. Goodness if that happened I don't know what I'd do, my archiving would become a nightmare! Same with those demanding xlr on everything, I'd never have the small camera I need if Sony listened to those cries. Everyone's needs are different, so to make a definitive "basic" list isn't really possible as my list will quite likely be orthogonal to yours.
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Old February 20th, 2014, 03:52 PM   #308
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

If most of what you do is handheld then 30P may not be as good as a wish for 60P. Which is what I would like from such a camera.

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Old February 20th, 2014, 04:23 PM   #309
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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If most of what you do is handheld then 30P may not be as good as a wish for 60P. Which is what I would like from such a camera.

Ron Evans
Yeah I would have liked 60fps for sure as that's what I film now with my NX30. But I see this camera more as a transition camera that I'll use for a year, and that hopefully they will have future 60fps cameras using h265 instead of h264 so that I can get my 4k 60fps and still have manageable file sizes in a small camera that doesn't need a noisy fan. Right now I'm not really willing to go to 4k 60fps if it means I have to deal with a 150mbps h264 based codec, or if it means using a large camera.
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Old February 20th, 2014, 05:29 PM   #310
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I'd much prefer H.264 for now. HEVC throws away a lot of data during it's compression and it would certainly not pass generational testing. (re-encoding over and over again) It doesn't even have a High Profile yet.

HEVC will be for final delivery while acquisition will remain in the RAW domain or H.264 one for quite some time. Consumers may see HEVC camcorders, but I guarantee it will not hold up as good as H.264 if you're planning to do lots of post-production on the footage (Grading, VFX, etc.)
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I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.
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Old February 20th, 2014, 05:33 PM   #311
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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For example many call for the death of avchd and demand to always have prores.
Personally I'd call for the death of AVC-HD - but in this market to go with XDCAM 35Mbs

The file sizes aren't that much bigger, the quality is somewhat better (how much depends on the individual AVC-HD coder) - but XDCAM is far more easily managed processing wise.

I'd argue that was a better compromise. AVC-HD came about as a way of getting decent quality video onto cheap (read SDHC) cards. But the latter could easily manage XDCAM datarates almost before AVC-HD product became available, which rather destroyed the whole point of AVC-HD.
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Old February 20th, 2014, 05:44 PM   #312
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

XDCAM is more of a pro level version while regular AVC-HD is still more tailored to the consumers.
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Old February 20th, 2014, 05:44 PM   #313
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I think Sony will now push XAVC-S for most all their camcorders even the POV AS100. I have the AX1 and Edius will edit just fine by itself. I backup to LTO3 data tape anyway which may make me move to LTO5 a little sooner which I was considering anyway. Nothing comes free if you suddenly increase the data by 4 times. If you want 4K it is going to cost.

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Old February 20th, 2014, 06:16 PM   #314
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Your score: 11
0 ( Perfect Color Acuity ) 99 ( Low Color Acuity )
Color Test - Online Color Challenge | X-Rite

My first post here on DVINfo... I got a 4 :)
I am a photo retoucher, so experienced with color.

I joined this thread, because I am very interested in getting a new 4K cam, and the FDR-AX100 seems like the right choice.

I am looking specifically how this camera handles skin tones in studio lighting.

I am looking to see how much color grading will be required for a high-end fashion/beauty type shoot, compared to how the color looks straight out of the camera. Of course I know it depends on the studio lighting, but less assume pro set-up with correct CRI and color balance. I have not seen any studio sample footage with critical skin tones, just outdoor footage with natural light.
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Old February 20th, 2014, 08:05 PM   #315
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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There are several "Handycams" with full control. VG20/30 and 900. FX1 and all the "Top Handycams" after it.

CT
Cliff, what I should have said is one of the typically small handicams. IOW, the form factor of the AX100. I owned both the NEX VG20 & 30 and neither was particularly small. I still feel the pain of that moire that would so often rear its ugly head. ;)
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