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Pro and consumer versions including PXW-Z150, PXW-Z100, PXW-X70 / FDR-AX100


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Old June 2nd, 2015, 02:14 AM   #1
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Another one of those 'what should I purchase' questions...

I 'need' a new bit of kit. Right now my go-to cam for shooting video (and photographs) is the Sony RX10 (I really should sell my EX1). While I'm more than delighted with the footage this thing delivers in these windy climes the sticking-out lens at full zoom gets caught by the wind and the result often shows in the end product. I would also like a little more reach than the 200mm (35mm equiv.) the RX10 delivers.

I'm thinking the AX100. However, that model is getting a bit long in the tooth. Still, if it does the trick...

What do you think? A new improved model just over the horizon perhaps?

How does the AX100 HD 60p compare to the RX10? How does the 4k 30p compare to the RX10 HD 60p? Should I wait around for 4k 60p? I am advancing in years such that I don't purchase green bananas anymore - I can't wait forever!

The FS7 is compelling but it is too much cam and too much money.

Lots of questions...and I should point out I am soo non-professional - just in it for the fun.

Feedback most welcome.
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 03:26 PM   #2
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Re: Another one of those 'what should I purchase' questions...

John, the AX100 is the best video camera I have ever had. The lens is a cracker - pin sharp with no chromatic aberration to speak of.

Some complain about the size but in my view it is perfect, not too large to be tiring but you can hold it still for hand held shots. I have a much smaller Panasonic SD60 which is very difficult to hold still and minimise rotation.

Most amateurs criticise the stabilization but as we all know for serious shooting you need a tripod or mono pod so in my view this is not a big issue.

My only point is that you cannot set in camera colour/saturation and I find that I like to use a levels filter to lower the lower end by about 4% in post.

So far I have been unable to see any difference between 60Mbps and 100Mbps

In a few cases Sony produce a ground breaking model launch, VX1000 (I have one), HDR-HC1E where successive models never quite match the brilliance or build quality of the first model.

The AX100 is in this category I believe.
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 04:43 PM   #3
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Re: Another one of those 'what should I purchase' questions...

Don't ignore the x70. In spite of the -L debacle and the lack of reasonable 4k options it is a great camera. I'm very happy with the camera (except as noted).

Andy, I also had a vx1000. When they first came out Sony had ONE hidden behind all the real cameras at NAB. I asked one of the Sony guys why they would make a 4 thousand dollar camera that would easily compete with industrial beta-cam stuff. His reply was that it would never be as good or as widely used as beta. Beta was king. Four years later you couldn't hardly find a beta-cam.

Anyway, unless I really needed 4k, I would look strongly at the x70.


j
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 04:57 PM   #4
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Re: Another one of those 'what should I purchase' questions...

I had an AX100 and now have an X70. Despite the patheitc support for XAVC-L (which should eventually not be an issue) and the cost for the 4k upgrade I much prefer the X70. There are so many nice additions over the AX100 that I prefer it by far for field work.
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 06:05 PM   #5
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Re: Another one of those 'what should I purchase' questions...

For "fun" use, pick up a used AX100, you won't regret it - no waiting on firmware for 100Mbps 30p 4K/ 60p HD (if you pick up one that hasn't been FW upgraded, it's easy to do, and the FW IS AVAILABLE!). It's pretty well thought out for practical shooting, it is definitely one of those "benchmark" cameras. Keep in mind that you may be looking for a computer upgrade for high bitrate XAVCS... and you SHOULD budget for a decently sized 4K TV/monitor - when you see what your RX10 stills look like on one, you will be blown away! Even my cheap-o off brand 39" was like a new set of eyeballs once I got color correction dialed in!

The X70 has more pro features, but unless there's something in the feature list you "must" have, you won't be going wrong with the "consumer" sibling.

Since the basic guts are shared with the RX10, you get similar sharpness and noise performance, and so you can easily get a small camera bag, take both with you, with accessories, and still have a very easy to carry "system". Filters are the same size, so you might reduce your load a bit there, batteries of course are different, pick up a BC-QM1 if you want to have "one charger to rule them all" (except the small cybershot batteries - those of course take a different "universal charger"!). I toss an RX100M3 in the mix for "pocketable" short range shootin'... though the rumor is a 4K version of that cam "may" be right around the corner.

As for the IS, the AX100 is definitely better than the RX10, not as good as the BOSS/gimbal of the small chippers, but plenty good for a reasonably stable shooter, perhaps with a footed monopod when the situation demands.

I like "new toys", but I haven't seen anything that I would replace the RX10 and AX100 with for my needs, and I'm still slowly parting with other cameras/gear that just doesn't get used since these two cameras "invaded" my gear collection!


Will there be "newer" cameras? That's the way things go... but if Sony follows their unfortunately typical form, these two will not be surpassed for quite some time. Your results will be plenty "pro", even if the cams look innocent and tourist-y enough! And both rate very highly in the "fun" to shoot with category! You've got the RX10, don't sweat adding an AX100 to the mix, I think you'll be a happy camper!

Oh, and don't forget to pick up some big U3 rated SDXC cards for both cameras so you can set the higher bitrates!
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 07:54 PM   #6
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Re: Another one of those 'what should I purchase' questions...

Many thanks, folks, for the most helpful information. I took a look at the differences between the AX100 and the x70, lots of information out there comparing the two, and the AX100 feature list is more appropriate for my needs.

Dave, your feedback, as usual, was what did it (the straw that broke the camel's back - that is the bank balance) in as much as you have the RX10 too. You and I not infrequently look for the 'fun factor' and indeed that again is what I'm after.

I shall go with the AX100.

Cheers...
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 09:46 PM   #7
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Re: Another one of those 'what should I purchase' questions...

A 12X optical isn't much good unless you are doing only close up video.
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Old June 4th, 2015, 02:32 PM   #8
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Re: Another one of those 'what should I purchase' questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McCully View Post
Many thanks, folks, for the most helpful information. I took a look at the differences between the AX100 and the x70, lots of information out there comparing the two, and the AX100 feature list is more appropriate for my needs.
I'm assuming you're OK with just having a single media slot. Depending upon what you're shooting, having a second slot may be crucial.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 02:42 AM   #9
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Re: Another one of those 'what should I purchase' questions...

Footnote: the AX100 (NTSC version) arrived. After two days shooting and getting the hang of the thing I can echo the words of Andy Smith above 'the AX100 is the best video camera I have ever had'.

And while I haven't conducted exhaustive test (and I probably won't) I also totally concur with Andy when he commented that 'I have been unable to see any difference between 60Mbps and 100Mbps', and that's including comparative shots of the ocean in a wild and turbulent mood. But then I'm not pushing and pulling the footage in post; there is no need to do that thus far and I seriously doubt that I will do so, at least in the foreseeable future.

Obviously I scoured the posts here looking for pointers, tips and helpful comments on using this cam, and there were plenty, many thanks folks (one of the benefits of being late to the party). I particularly agree with a comment Noa Put made that working with a real video camera again versus a DSLR type camera, including the RX10, is a joy and a delight. While I enjoyed and appreciated the RX10 I have a feeling it might not see the light of day for a while as my new piece of kit sits front and center.

Great value for money, I reckon!
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