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Old April 3rd, 2014, 10:18 AM   #826
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
The first place I start is with the documentation. It's poor. Do you think it's good?
When evaluating a camera for my own use, that's the last place I start. But no, the documentation is not good. And it's not good with Panasonics, it's not good with Canons and so on. Next?
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
Then I look at control operation. I've owned Sony's from the first Video8 onward. I've never liked their control design and always said so in my reviews which go back to 1993. JVC and Panasonic I feel are much better. But Sony still overall made the best camcorders. So I lived with the controls.
So here we get in to the area of subjectivity and that's where a reviewer can really muck up a review. The control layout is YOUR opinion. An objective review should not say the layout is poor when it's simply the reviewer's opinion. Many find the layout logical and well thought out.
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
PS: there are dozens of GH4 samples on-line:
Yes, and there are hundreds of AX100 videos on line too. Not sure what the point is.

Steve, the fact is the thing you've spoken the least about is picture quality. I find that very odd when conducting a review. I'm funny about cameras, PQ is the number one issue in my book.

P.S. As Mark pointed out, SlashCam just did a review on the AX100 and found it the best 4K camera they've yet reviewed. This wouldn't be surprising to you if you actually watched the AX100 videos instead of reading the instruction manual. I don't mean to be sarcastic, but many of us just don't get your point.

There's also a comparison video on the site between the AX100, GH4 and BMC 4K. Differences are dramatic.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 01:38 PM   #827
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by Adriano Moroni View Post
I have never used any scorpion handle. Can you tell me what scorpion handle you use precisely? I'm thinking to use AX100 with it. But I need a very light scorpion because I will use it for my trips in the rainforest. Do you think it will be useful really for AX100? ..... Or what do you recommend?
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Well they go by many names, but it's basically this:

Amazon.com: Opteka MOON Grip (Black): Camera & Photo

A very cheap handle that you mount the camera to. I like it because it means my hands never touch the camera body so camera handling noise doesn't get picked up by the built in mic. I also like it because I'm all over the place with the camera filming at all sorts of angles, and that curved handle makes it much easier for me to manipulate the camera as my needs require. The AX100 mounts to that perfectly even with a FV100 battery on it, but be aware you can't use the viewfinder when using it, you have to use the pop out lcd screen.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 01:55 PM   #828
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

[quote=Paul Rickford;1839638]
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
Sony loaned me a prototype of a V1. Do you really think I'm going to remember its controls years later.

... you actually wrote a full how to use book on the Sony V1/FX7 and guess what?, they have exactly the same method/logic for manual control for iris/shutter/gain as the AX100!
There seems to be huge confusion between a book and what a review should be.

When I write a book, it only means the camera is selling very well! It does not mean I like the camera. It doesn't mean I would want to buy and own the camera. As I said, I stopped buying Sony prosumer camcorders with the VX1000. But, I'm very happy others love them and buy them -- it's good for my business.

Moreover, the point of my books is to provide shooting workflows that make shooting easy even if -- and especially when -- the documentation and/or control design is poor. I planned to write a book on the AX100. It would, of course, provide a step-by-step on shooting in specific lighting situations. (I already posted a High-contrast technique.) The step-by-step saves folks from reading the docs. and trial and error learning.

The other half of each book is post workflows. And, even though I don't like, for example, Vegas it gets covered in the same step-by-step detail as FCP X. Again, a book is for others -- not me. And, once written, I drop it from memory as I need to focus on another camcorder.

A book needs a theme. I saw the AX100 as a "ergonomic cinema camera." However, after sensing the hostility to 24p here, I have realized that "video" folks seem to not want to become "filmmakers." (In fact, there is outright hostility to even learning about anything other than a camcorder that's just like their HDV camcorder which is just like their DV camcorder.) Likewise, no matter how good the AX100 reviews are, I already know the cinema crowd will never ever buy an AX100.

That is because what is so appealing to many/most here -- and me -- is the AX100's sharpness. That LOOK is exactly the opposite of what filmmakers want. They want a digital version of film. And, film looks "organic" and has a "24fps motion signature" which is why commercials and movies are shot with Cinema cameras -- that in the past cost a fortune. Today, one can buy a Digital Bolex for $3300. With prime lenses and a mic you spend 2X more than for the AX100. This is no big deal because now one can get jobs that pay many times more money because high-end producers have the need to shoot what looks like film.

So, despite the fact that I like the AX100's look, the folks who might buy my book either hate its sharpness or hate 24p. I see no viable market.


"An objective review should not say the layout is poor when it's simply the reviewer's opinion."

This comment reflects no understanding of why a reviewer is hired and stays hired for decades. The reviewer is hired because they bring both technical knowledge AND the background to write their own opinions. In short, not only is there no such thing as an objective review -- no publication wants anything that dull. I'm hired precisely because I know, for example, how a good (pro-camera) control system works. Thus I can judge how well a prosumer system matches that goal.


I haven't yet commented on picture quality because we ALL already know the picture is crazy sharp. I'm far more interested in its flaws. Sorry, but my job is not to be a fanboy. I know what flaws are present in other 2K and 4K cameras and how they are related to their design. If anyone thinks the AX100 image is perfect -- I'm not interested in buying into your judgement. No camera captures a perfect image. And, I don't need to be told how to do my job.

But, all these negatives comments on my opinions are way OT and so are my replies.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; April 3rd, 2014 at 07:47 PM.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 02:27 PM   #829
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Actually the so called cinema crowd needs to understand that a Hollywood Studio bought at least three for their use in the store I purchase mine in (Sammys Culver City CA) two weeks ago so we shouldn't get too stuffy about a Cinema Tool ..
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 02:51 PM   #830
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by Adriano Moroni View Post
3) How many minutes is it possible to rec by a NP-FV100 battery?
I just plugged in a fully charged FV100 battery into my AX100, the display says 4h 38m of battery life. Both of my FV100's are a few years old and have been heavily used so they may be reading lower than a brand new one would.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 02:53 PM   #831
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Steve Mullen: Your books are valuable, and your comments on ergonomics useful. But you strayed from a how-to and description of menus and controls and tips when you said "On the other hand at 4K there is a lot of aliasing around tree leaves and branches. I've seen this same aliasing on the samples posted several months ago. "

I asked how you viewed the 4K videos, and you chose not to reply. "several months ago" there were no out of camera AX100 videos, so you were looking at what - highly-compressedYoutube videos at 1080? Not very professional.

You are not required to reply, but this statement on 4K video quality is at odds with the findings of professional reviewers, who precisely marvel at the lack of artifacts. I suggest you get a 4K viewing device before you say anything about aliasing or anything about 4K quality for any camera. Sharpness can be seen even downrezzed at 1080; aliasing in the 4K video seen at 1080 is another matter.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 02:59 PM   #832
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

For those curious, I just tried the Zunow WCX-08 wide angle conversion lens on the AX100. Before and after pics are below. Looks like it ads significant distortion, so I'll probably be returning it.
Attached Thumbnails
Sony FDR-AX100-standard.jpg   Sony FDR-AX100-wideangle.jpg  

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Old April 3rd, 2014, 03:00 PM   #833
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
I'm going to put my AX100 up against my EX1r and FS100 this weekend on a "dynamic range" shootout test. should be interesting! CT
Looking forward to seeing the outcome Cliff.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 03:11 PM   #834
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Well remember, this is exactly the kind of event that I wouldn't recommend using a 30p camera. Yet it acquitted itself very well. I know the shooter and he was delighted.

He used rails for the opening shot, not green screened.
That pull out through the track team was a killer sequence - sort of like a "happy" horror movie shot! Should scare the competition! The effect was visually impressive!

I was surprised that if you pause during the sprint/running sequences, you get a pretty sharp "still", so I guess the "stutter" is frame rate - not sure if shutter speed would help that or not, but it still looked good, even if one is not a fan of that "look", I see it plenty of times in current productions - probably a place where shooting in the 1080/60p mode would have been good, if it would intercut OK....



I sort of see Steve's thinking - he's trying to meet "his" market for reviews and books... you HAVE to find "something" to not like ... even if it's sort of a rehash of earlier criticisms, or a matter of personal taste... I usually can find things not to like too... (I'll admit to spending an unfortunate amount of time frustrated with Windows 8 and especially 8.1, questioning the intelligence of it's designers! And at the moment I'm trying to figure out Sony's varying implementations of the "MULTI" jack between lines... grr)

BUT the balancing factor is whether I get results that make my eyes happy or not... I'm not looking to "learn" a camera that I'm already used to working with because of prior experience with similar cams, so I'm not "the audience". I expect to have to take some time to learn controls on a "new" device... that's how tech stuff is! I'm also not looking to produce "films" or "filmic footage" in general - I prefer realistic (and if possible, artistic) stills and video. I DO like some shallow DoF, in the right places, and sharp clean images, so I suppose again, I'm not in the contemplated "audience"... which is fine...

Now I just hope Phil and Steve will convince a few people the camera is "junk" so some open box return deals show up! Got my RX10 that way, and ready to add this to the mix, but prices are going up, even though they are available....
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 04:18 PM   #835
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

interesting discussions going on here, but this has turned into more of a Steven Mullen topic instead of an ax100 thread...

anyways, i just got to try it out a bit, and as someone very used to sony pro cameras and probably none of sony's consumer cameras, no i don't like the menu system, but no it's not complicated at all, can be flipped through fairly quickly. some of it has to do with the design, things all kind of mush together whereas other sony camera's ive used have a clearer separation of parent/child directories/icons.

neat camera though, but the very strong rolling shutter is a bit concerning for my uses, and seems stronger than the rx10, i'll have to see if it truely is and if so, wonder how that could be....

also, after shooting vacation shots with the rx10 for the past two weeks, by far my biggest gripe was the poor optical stabilization. It may be an improvement over no stabilization at all, but it's far from great. combine that with the extending lens which tends to jitter around(and stabilization can't do anything about that) i've been even more interested in this ax100. thus far it seems that the OS and the stability of the lens are far better than the rx10. the stabilizer doesn't look to be as blow your mind amazing as some of the OS leaders, but looks to take a good edge off of jitters.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 04:58 PM   #836
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Mine just arrived from BH Photo yesterday. I am anxious to try it out on some upcoming vacations.

I am getting back into video editing and curious what workflow people are using as well as the best options for home 4K display.

Native editing or intermediate?

When I first got my FX1 in 2004 I converted to CineForm files. Anyone using CineForm?
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 05:12 PM   #837
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by David Moody View Post
Mine just arrived from BH Photo yesterday. I am anxious to try it out on some upcoming vacations.

I am getting back into video editing and curious what workflow people are using as well as the best options for home 4K display.

Native editing or intermediate?

When I first got my FX1 in 2004 I converted to CineForm files. Anyone using CineForm?
I edit with Edius Pro 7 on my i7 3770K system, 16G RAM, Win7 , which will edit native files XAVC-S 3840x2160 60P 150Mbps from my AX1 with the occasional falter. Vegas Pro 12 will edit fine with preview reduced. For multicam with 3 tracks of native AVCHD I convert the XAVC-S to Edius HQX intermediate and things run fine for me. With Edius on the PC I can use the HQX files in Vegas or CS6 as well.

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Old April 3rd, 2014, 05:32 PM   #838
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I have been flowing this forum and I would like to make a comment about reading the manual. I got in to shooting in late Dec. 2012. I had only shot before with camera you turn on and point. I put up a Canon VIXIA HG G10 that would let me go manual. When reading around the DVINFO I seen guys asking who to get the best out of there camera. A lot of people said to learn photography so I pick up a Canon t3 1100D and join a camera club, Now I have a good understanding on how aperture, ISO and shutter speed work.

I pick up a Canon 70D a few months after it came out. I look flip though the manual for about a half hour put in down a stated shooting. I would shy if I pick up a FDR-AX100 I would look it over turn it on and start playing and see where the setting are at. I have to say I like the video I have seen out of it. My two cents.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 08:51 PM   #839
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

[QUOTE=Mark Rosenzweig;1839753But you strayed from a how-to and description of menus and controls and tips when you said "On the other hand at 4K there is a lot of aliasing around tree leaves and branches. I've seen this same aliasing on the samples posted several months ago."[/QUOTE]

I didn't stray -- I told you what I see. It's you who made several invalid assumptions and have got yourself in a self-induced tizzy. Calm down. :)

1) The resolution of a TV has nothing to do with seeing aliasing. An mp4 file consists of a series of UHD images. Each image can be examined just as a can a photo. Actually each is a photo -- and a not very high resolution photo. How do you think one looks at 20MB photos? The key, of course, is that the photo must be opened so all pixels are AVAILABLE. Then one moves a window around the image. Every photographer knows how to do this.

2) To see aliasing in motion video -- open it in QT so ALL pixels are available. Now you can see a good sized portion of the moving image.

3) All cameras are routinely compared using the internet -- ones far more expensive than the AX100. We know which effects come from compression and which don't.

4) You also seem to think folks will plug a camcorder into a 4K TV and if one watches video from the internet one is doing something wrong. The vast majority of 4K will be watched as streaming video since it will come from companies like Netflix. But, you'll have to watch you own video the same way! Are you really planning to show unedited movies on your 4K TV?

And, once you edit 4K, how will you get it to your 4K TV. Does your computer have a 4k compatible HDMI connector? How will you show your movie to someone else? Carry your computer to them?

No, you'll upload a high data-rate export. (In which I can see aliasing before it is compressed by YouTube!) I use ProRes 422 and 270Mbps h.264 UHD. Now, just like watching 4K Netflix, you watch a stream. Right now you have to watch on a computer because AppleTV and other boxes don't select YouTube's UHD stream and can't output UHD. Hopefully, the coming new AppleTV will solve this, So those samples I watched were UHD samples -- several uploaded by Sony.And, they had serious aliasing.

5) But what if your computer or TV isn't 4K? How can you see aliasing? Because aliasing has very visible low resolution component. (In fact, aliasing by definition is low frequency information. Frequencies higher than the the Nyquist frequency fold-over and become low frequency information.) Pan across tree leaves. The leaf AREA will lighten and darken -- vibrate. You can also see horizontal lines vibrate.

6) You need to grasp that for years to come the majority of what YOU post will be watched on displays smaller than 4K.

7) What's really strange is that shooting 4K and watching at HD is claimed to look better. Why? Because the HD image has been super-sampled.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 09:27 PM   #840
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Steve must be seeing things most of the rest of us aren't. I don't, nor will I ever, 'pixel peep' either frame grabs or moving video in an attempt to find artifacts. The artifacts that bother me are the ones I can see at anything approaching a normal viewing distance. Pixel peeping or putting my nose up against a 65" screen does not constitute normal viewing distance. I'm sorry, that's just obsessive. Seeing moire and aliasing with video from most DSLRs is easy at normal viewing distances. Been there done that. Such is not the case with the AX100. It simply is not.

I find it interesting that the Slascam review unequivocally stated that the AX100 had nearly perfect 4K resolution with virtually no artifacts. They went on to state that it was the best 4K camera they've tested thus far, bettering 4K cameras costing far more. Steve seems to peg cost to performance. This is obviously not the case when these cameras were tested objectively. The key word here is 'objectively'.

They didn't let button placement or poorly written manuals get in their way of assessing picture quality.

I don't see the artifacts Steve speaks of. I don't begin to make this statement based on YouTube viewings, but rather viewing footage either direct from camera to TV or memory card files to computer monitor.

I plan on buying a 2014 UHD TV that will have the capability of reading 4K files from a memory card. This was missing from 2013 UHD displays. So that addresses Steve's rhetorical question as to how will you view edited 4K projects on your UHD TV. Sorry Steve, that will be quite feasible with the upcoming displays. No computer required. :)

Oh and viewing down sampled 4K on an HDTV isn't 'claimed to be better' Steve, it IS markedly better. I'm sorry, you still sound so cynical about all of this. Very perplexing.
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