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Old May 29th, 2014, 06:52 PM   #1321
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Here's a 4K video shot in and around the Baltimore harbor this past weekend. I think it shows off the potential of the AX100.

For those with 4K displays, I recommend downloading the original 4K file as long as you're a Vimeo member and are logged in.

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Old May 31st, 2014, 10:02 AM   #1322
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Ken

This is some really beautiful video -- perfectly exposed, incredibly steady for what must have been mostly hand-held shots, and nicely edited. Very well done, indeed!

My Sony FDR-AX100 is arriving back from the Laredo Repair Facility today. I am holding my breath as I wait for it to arrive that Sony really fixed my manual ND Filter switch. i handled the repair via Sony's Repair site on the web. I received only two updates to the status of my repair. One said "Your camera is in the hands of a technician, but the repair is not yet completed. Repairs take normally 10 working days." About three days later this changed to "We have returned your camera to you." No mention was made of what had been done to the camera or even if it had been repaired at all. For sure, (The problem with the manual ND Filter switch was certainly not intermittent when I returned the camera to Sony for repair. It was thoroughly and royally screwed up jumping from ND1-ND2-ND3 spontaneously with no input form me, and I could not manually select ND3 at all.) I will know soon as it is out for deliver by FedEx today.

Tom
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Old May 31st, 2014, 11:44 AM   #1323
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Yes, very well made video Ken, it's not only about the potential of the camera though but the person behind it :) so not all credit should go to a camera.

I personally blame you for putting me in doubt about my next gh4 purchase :), I need to make an investment before the end of next month so I still have some time to think, originally I wanted to replace my g6 with the gh4 and since I have all lenses and accessories that would fit it seems to be a no-brainer. I only was thinking about selling my rx10, I just can't work with it's slow zoom, it's driving me crazy and I get frustrated more and more with every weddingshoot I use it on.

The ax100 is much like my cx730 but on steroids, the only 2 area's where the ax100 can't match my cx730 is stabilisation and variable zoomspeeds but in all other areas the camera is an improvement, the larger sensor should give me the same dof as my rx10 so it should be easier to push the background out of focus.

You can't compare the ax100 with the gh4 though, they are both 2 different camera's for different purposes, you never can match the image of the gh4 combined with a 25mm f1.4 or a 75mm f1.8, or you can't match the versatility of adding lenses ranging from fisheye to tele. I see people only comparing sharpness between the ax100 and gh4 but those are not the main differences that make each camera unique. The ax100 bridges the gap between regular videocamera's and dslr's, it is not the one or the other but if used under the right conditions it is a very versatile camera.

My plan when I bought the rx10 was to use it for run and gun and to get a image closer to a dslr because of it's larger sensor and shallower dof, it does that for me but the slow zoom kills it and I have missed shots because of it.

So when viewing all the ax100 footage so far I"m sure it would be a camera that will be much better for run and gun, it has all the functionality you"d expect from a videocamera and it's sharpness and resolution would allow me to use crops during a ceremony that should easily match my other 1080p camera's, it should also make my life a bit easier having the possibility to reframe so I don't have to touch the camera anymore.

The only thing that is making me doubt is it's price, my nex-ea50 had a price of 3600 euro for over a year and recently took a 900 euro nosedive in price selling at 2700 euro right now so I sold mine in time (sorry Tom if you are reading this, but at the time you bought mine you got it at a good price :)), my cx730 was 1100 euro when it came out and I got it for a bit over 800 one year later. I"m pretty sure the ax100 will go down in price 300 to 400 euro in about a year time, early adopters always pay the price for cutting edge.

So I have some thinking to do, I know the ax100 will be used through a larger part of the day and that it should cut in fine with my other camera's if used right. It certainly will be used a lot more then my rx10, but then again, that gh4...:) One thing is for sure, the gh4 is not a run and gun camera, you can't adjust exposure without exposure jumps, it doesn't have a nd filter and there seems to be a problem with stabilisation in 4K because I have seen enough jittery images even with stabilised lenses. In controlled conditions it's a wonderful camera and I very much like the look I get from my gh3/g6 but I don't dare to use it in any unpredictable situations or longer continuous shoots like the ceremony.

I have to do some more thinking how to solve my luxury problem. I just don't want to waste too much money and regret later not to have waited.
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Old May 31st, 2014, 02:26 PM   #1324
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Wheeler View Post
Ken

This is some really beautiful video -- perfectly exposed, incredibly steady for what must have been mostly hand-held shots, and nicely edited. Very well done, indeed!

My Sony FDR-AX100 is arriving back from the Laredo Repair Facility today. I am holding my breath as I wait for it to arrive that Sony really fixed my manual ND Filter switch. i handled the repair via Sony's Repair site on the web. I received only two updates to the status of my repair. One said "Your camera is in the hands of a technician, but the repair is not yet completed. Repairs take normally 10 working days." About three days later this changed to "We have returned your camera to you." No mention was made of what had been done to the camera or even if it had been repaired at all. For sure, (The problem with the manual ND Filter switch was certainly not intermittent when I returned the camera to Sony for repair. It was thoroughly and royally screwed up jumping from ND1-ND2-ND3 spontaneously with no input form me, and I could not manually select ND3 at all.) I will know soon as it is out for deliver by FedEx today.

Tom
Thanks much Tom. Yes, all but about 3 shots were hand held and those 3 were on a monopod I was testing. As I mentioned, I used manual exposure. As I'm sure you know, the zebras are invaluable for nailing exposure.

It looks they've turned your AX100 around fairly quickly. Let's hope they fixed it. Certainly the fact that it wasn't an intermittent problem will help.
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Old May 31st, 2014, 02:49 PM   #1325
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Yes, very well made video Ken, it's not only about the potential of the camera though but the person behind it :) so not all credit should go to a camera.
Thanks Noa, but the camera certainly does help. :)

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I personally blame you for putting me in doubt about my next gh4 purchase :),
That was my only intent in posting that video Noa! ;) ;) ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
The ax100 is much like my cx730 but on steroids, the only 2 area's where the ax100 can't match my cx730 is stabilisation and variable zoomspeeds but in all other areas the camera is an improvement, the larger sensor should give me the same dof as my rx10 so it should be easier to push the background out of focus.
Yes, having had the RX10, I'd say the DOF control is roughly the same and I have little trouble in getting some relatively shallow, nice DOF shots with the AX100.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
You can't compare the ax100 with the gh4 though, they are both 2 different camera's for different purposes, you never can match the image of the gh4 combined with a 25mm f1.4 or a 75mm f1.8, or you can't match the versatility of adding lenses ranging from fisheye to tele. I see people only comparing sharpness between the ax100 and gh4 but those are not the main differences that make each camera unique. The ax100 bridges the gap between regular videocamera's and dslr's, it is not the one or the other but if used under the right conditions it is a very versatile camera.
So Noa, my honest assessment of the GH4 between having owned it for a period and viewing some videos from guys I respect for their ability to shoot quality video is this...and I know some will disagree:

* Overall, I really believe the AX100, in general, produces superior video quality. This goes beyond the better resolution of the AX100.

* I find the color on the AX100 to be more accurate. My experience with the GH4 and videos I've watched from others is that the colors can be over-the-top. Despite the better in-camera flexibility of the GH4 and I dialing back the colors to -2 on my unit, I still felt there was too much saturation. Flesh tones would often have an orangey cast to them, particularly in the sun and greens were simply 'too green'. I saw this on my unit and I've seen it repeatedly in other videos from other shooters.

* I feel the AX100 produces better low light video than the GH4. Yes, I know you can use faster lenses than what's incorporated with the AX100, but there's still the built-in low light capability of the camera itself. The sensor & electronics play a role regardless of the lens. So lately I've seen a disturbing (for me) amount of both chroma and luma noise in some videos where the ambient lighting conditions shouldn't result in that much noise. In fact, in some GH4 videos I'm seeing the kind of noise I haven't seen in cameras I've owned for years.

* Yes, the flexibility of lens changing is something that the AX100 doesn't offer, but to duplicate the ONE lens that the AX100 uses, required me to have several lenses on the GH4. I'm paranoid about changing lenses in the field since I have had a bad track record with sensor dust. In my very first lens change during the time I had my GH4, I got a dust spot on the upper left portion of the frame. Had I been on vacation when this happened, my footage would have been tainted from that point forward. The spot was clearly and easily visible with any amount of sky in the frame. I would have been miserable.

So the ability to changes lenses can be both good and bad IMO.

* As you've mentioned, the AX100 is the better run n gun camera and that's what I like to do. So for me, that was certainly a factor. With that said, if I had been more impressed with the actual video quality of the GH4 (and I'm certainly not saying it was bad!!), I might have dealt with these issues. However I would probably have tried to keep something like the 14-140 lens on the camera almost all the time to minimize lens changes.

* The autofocus was clearly better on the AX100 than the GH4. I found the autofocus, with its many micro misses, to be almost unusable. So I looked at the GH4 as a camera that I'd essentially have to use with MF almost all the time. There goes another element of run n gun.

For me the decision was not at all difficult after about a week with the GH4. But that's me. Depending on your needs, you may conclude the GH4 offers things you really need and can't get on the AX100.

I'm glad I'm not in your shoes! :)
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Old May 31st, 2014, 02:50 PM   #1326
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

@Noa -

Keep an eye on the "slightly used" market - the AX100 will frustrate some users into a return or a sale after their return window closes <wink>. That's how mine came to me, with enough of a discount to at least offset future price drops (price drops happen, sometimes aggressively...). If you can score one at the right price, I don't think you'll regret it, and in my case, I've sold off a couple PJ710's to offset the purchase, which might be an option for you as well?


Took the AX out for the elementary school art show my 4th grade artist was exhibiting in... just to experiment, though I may fiddle with some editing, as that's the next "hurdle"! A couple observations - I very much like the way this camera handles and "feels" - I know, who cares, right? Well, I mostly used the VF to shoot, both for the third stabilization point, and for staying compact in busy areas, and it is quite nice to shoot with. Still learning controls, but it'll come. Camera is not "too" heavy for handheld, well balanced, and big and "serious looking" enough to stop people from darting across in front of it (OK, maybe better than a typical consumer size cam in that respect!).

Slow, careful pans and moves worked pretty well, and when I'd stop on individual artworks, the camera would lock in, tack sharp. I noticed colors were VERY accurate (this was an art show, so color is an important part of "being there"). Reason for mentioning this is that typically "consumer" cameras push saturation and colors may vary... with the AX100, I'd look in the VF, switch eyes, switch back... didn't see any significant color shifts, it was very much a "you are there" capture. Nice! 4K playback via HDMI also was also "you are there",

Just a silly thing, but since I'd handed the wife the RX10, for a moment I was thinking "but I want to shoot stills"... DUH... oh yeah, "photo button"... switch the default mode from 14Mpix to the high 20Mpix mode... yep that works nicely! Seemed to be slow to write, much slower than the RX, but it would certainly "do" as a still camera! NOT going to give up the RX10 (unless a 4K capable version shows up! Update the firmware Sony??), but nice to have another "dual mode" camera that does both at an acceptable level without undue compromise.

There will be more opportunity to shoot with the end of the school year, looking forward to using this beast a bit more, but it's feeling like a very GOOD videocam that will fill that purpose nicely...
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Old May 31st, 2014, 04:09 PM   #1327
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I prefer buying new, since I buy as a company I can deduct taxes (which is 21%) anyway so second hand would only be worthwhile if it's around 30% or more cheaper then the original price, second is warranty as I want to have the full 2 years so that I am covered for at least 2 wedding seasons.

I still find 2k for the ax100 quite a lot for a handycam, even if it performs well, Sony is known for knocking down prizes at a certain point, especially when a new model is introduced which can be hundreds of euro's that you can save if you can wait. Mm, maybe I"ll get that expensive pana 35-100mm f2.8 that I wanted for a longer time after all and just wait for 4k camera prizes to drop. :) A other advantage of waiting is that eventually you know exactly what the good and bad points are of a camera so you can make a better camera choice, if I knew about that super slow zoom on the rx10 I probably would never have bought it.
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Old May 31st, 2014, 04:23 PM   #1328
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Thanks much Tom. Yes, all but about 3 shots were hand held and those 3 were on a monopod I was testing. As I mentioned, I used manual exposure. As I'm sure you know, the zebras are invaluable for nailing exposure.

It looks they've turned your AX100 around fairly quickly. Let's hope they fixed it. Certainly the fact that it wasn't an intermittent problem will help.
Ken, I received my AX100 back from Sony's Laredo Repair Center today, and I am very pleased to say that Sony did a professional and competent repair on the ND filter switch. According to the work report that Sony sent back to me with the camera, the ND filter switch underwent "mechanical adjustment, mechanical alignment, and cleaning lubrication". The switch was apparently not replaced.

I went out for a two hour video shoot with the camera today, and the manual ND Filter Switch (and everything else) worked perfectly. Sony could not have been any more prompt in repairing and turning the camera around in as much as they received it on the Thursday before the Memorial Day weekend, and I had it back by the Saturday following this holiday weekend.

The manual ND Filter Switch is used by me a lot since my preferred mode of using the AX100 is to manually fix gain at 0 dB, shutter speed at 1/60th, and use the iris in conjunction with the manual ND filter switch to adjust exposure and control depth of field using 90% zebras to gauge the proper exposure on important highlights in the scene. Like you, I have observed that shadow detail can be recovered in post processing but blown out highlights are gone forever.

I am delighted to have this fine camera back in use.

Tom
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Old May 31st, 2014, 09:26 PM   #1329
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Great to hear Tom! Very happy for you.
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Old June 1st, 2014, 12:45 AM   #1330
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I just did my 3rd shoot with the AX100 having previously used an NX30 for a few years. Overall it's a large improvement over my old NX30. Focussing seems to be better, I thought the large sensor may cause some issues but auto focus has worked very well so far. Low light sensitivity is improved as well, I use two Socanland Nova LED panels in a large home with dark colored walls and the camera will typically run at 9db to 15db which is pretty good. Picture quality is fantastic, even when viewing the footage on my 65" 1080p plasma tv the quality is just incredible. Auto white balance is ok but still not totally accurate, so I've since switched to manual white balance which I had to do on the NX30 as well. Stabilization of course is not as good as the NX30 but it's ok overall. The lens isn't as wide as I would like but then again neither was the NX30's, I do wish I could get around 24mm from the AX100 but I can manage what it currently offers which with best stabilization turned on seems to be somewhere near 30mm. The video footage is totally manageable in Vegas Pro 13, I get full 30fps framerate on the timeline on my Macbook Pro with Windows 8.1 bootcamp along with its 750m gpu. Render times have increased as expected, with my NX30 I could start a render before going to bed and it would be done in the morning but now a render of a typical shoot will take about 18 hours but that's just the price of going to 4k. Rolling shutter has been a non issue for me. I've had no issues with overheating, camera shutdowns, or other such things that smaller picture cameras sometimes suffer from when used for video. I use Sony FV100 batteries and a single battery can last an entire 5 hour shoot without issue.

Overall I love this camera and simply can't go back to 1080p. I'm hooked on 4k, it looks so damn good that I'm now reconsidering getting a Sony A7s. I need to have a second video camera as a backup just in case hence was considering the A7s, but I don't think I can go back to 1080p anymore. I may just get another AX100 used as a backup instead. My wishlist for a revised AX100 would be first to have a wider lens, and second to have 60fps. Aside from that this camera is a winner for me.
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Old June 1st, 2014, 03:38 AM   #1331
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Whats the length of the footage that takes 18 hours to render? That seems really long, I currently can render an hour of 1080p 50p avchd 28mbs footage to any 1080p h264 format in about 20-25 minutes, what would the render times be ratiowise on a ax100, would it take twice as long?

Also the a7s is 1080p and you need a additional recorder to record in 4k which does make it a expensive combination, not having 50/60p in 4k is something I have thought about as well, 25p would work for most shots but I would prefer 50p for all I shoot, 25p doesn't slow down well at all. I guess next year we will start to see the first 50p 4k camera's appear?
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Old June 1st, 2014, 08:17 AM   #1332
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Pete, when I'm looking for the widest coverage possible, I always switch to Standard OIS. It's sometimes easy to forget you've got Active engaged and that does reduce your maximum wide angle coverage.

Noa, in terms of rendering, much depends on the NLE and computer you use. Using Edius Professional, I find renders are a bit longer than the length of the project. So a 10 minute project takes about 13 minutes to render. I don't find that too bad considering the fact this is 4K. I don't sit and watch while the rendering takes place, there's always something else to do.
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Old June 1st, 2014, 09:02 AM   #1333
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

that's a bit longer then realtime which I would consider "normal", not sure where the 18 hours where coming from because that seems abnormally long, unless you are rendering 15 hours of footage? As I understood the ax100 starts from 29mm wide (35mm equivalent) which is the same as the sony fx1000 I have here which is a decent wideangle, my cx730 starts from 26,5mm which I would find hard to miss.
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Old June 1st, 2014, 09:11 AM   #1334
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

That speed would be using Quicksync render from Edius. A software only render from Vegas would take a lot longer. A test I did was 5 to 6 times realtime on my system using Vegas 12 downscaling to 1920x1080 HQX or AVC for Bluray DVDArchitect preset file. My system is an i7 3770K running at 4Mhz most of the time with 16G RAM and lots of hard drives. A slower system would take a lot longer. Vegas can use Quicksync and graphic cards but has to be set up in a particular way ( not the way I have mine set up for Edius !!! ).

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Old June 1st, 2014, 09:18 AM   #1335
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

That's right, using quicksync in edius as well, something you get used to very quickly :)
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