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Sony 4K Ultra HD Handhelds
Pro and consumer versions including PXW-Z150, PXW-Z100, PXW-X70 / FDR-AX100


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Old June 7th, 2015, 08:11 AM   #1
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A provocative question...

This is for Ron Evans in particular, but everyone's opinion welcome.

Considering price/value, the 60 Mbps (and paid) 4k for the X70, and all the other factors - what is a better value:

- the AX1 (yes I realize due to the cards, this will be more expensive in use - but the purchase price of the camera itself has come down here considerably)
- the X70 plus the miserable 4k upgrade?
- just the AX100?

Still on the fence........ My weakened neck spine would drive me towards the most lightwiegt one (the AX100), but it's also going to be the most difficult to stabilize properly with my trembling right hand :( So - considering this - perhaps

- the AX33 ?!!!

Opinions welcome!
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Old June 7th, 2015, 08:14 AM   #2
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Re: A provocative question...

The X70 will eventually (right?) get a Mbps upgrade to the 4K. The AX100 will NEVER get PP adjustments. If you don't think the PP adjustments are a big deal...........you've never had a camera with them before. :)

Paul
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Old June 7th, 2015, 09:08 AM   #3
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Re: A provocative question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg View Post
If you don't think the PP adjustments are a big deal...........you've never had a camera with them before. :)

Paul
Read my sig, Paul :)

Due to my disability (neck spine), I'm forced to sell the professional stuff - but wouldn't like to stay without a cam at all, hence these questions (of course, in order to be future proof, I need 4k).
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Old June 7th, 2015, 09:20 AM   #4
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Re: A provocative question...

OK, just played with the AX33 at the local Sony Center; apart from great gyro-stabilizer - nothing to even think about. Out of my list.

Same with the AX1: too expensive - out of my list.

But I will add another model to the list: the JVC GY-HM200; so the list looks now like this:

- AX 100 (with a more pro mic solution)
- X70
- JVC GY-HM200;

Thoughts?
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Old June 7th, 2015, 09:37 AM   #5
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Re: A provocative question...

I would not get the AX1 unless you only video in good light. It is still not finished either !! It does however produce nice clean images when the light is good and it does have a paint function sort of a single picture profile. The AX100 for me is fine and creates a better image than I can get from my NX5U whatever I do with the picture profiles in the NX5. Technology marches on. UHD at 30P is too slow for me so the others on your list would not do for me. You may want to look at the announced HXR-NX100 if you do not need 4K as it looks like something the X70 should have had a a form factor. If you are happy with 30P UHD you may want to look at some mirror-less still cameras.

The AX1 and AX100 I have using XAVC-S , show clearly better images than the AVCHD cameras like my NX5U, NX30U. Even at 18db the AX1 has a better image than the NX5U at 3db. The AX1 was an experiment in using 4K for my stuff and it does work but I would like better low light performance and dynamic range of a large sensor camera. Just can't afford a fully equipped FS7 !!!

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Old June 7th, 2015, 09:41 AM   #6
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Re: A provocative question...

I see you specialize in classical music events, will you continue shooting this with your new camera or will it be something completely else and maybe lots of handheld stuff?

I think the jvx and a x70 are comparable in features, except the jvc is already 4K, at least over here a 4K upgrade on the x70 would take it about 400 euro above the jvc price.

The ax100 is the cheapest but lacks several professional addition that the other 2 have, much depends on how important that is for you. If picture presets and better control and xlr are not that important for you the ax100 is hard to beat.
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Old June 7th, 2015, 09:48 AM   #7
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Re: A provocative question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
Just can't afford a fully equipped FS7 !!!
Ron Evans
Same here - besides, due to the disability I'm definitely after something smaller and lighter. Anyways, thanks for the informative answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I see you specialize in classical music events, will you continue shooting this with your new camera or will it be something completely else and maybe lots of handheld stuff?

I think the jvx and a x70 are comparable in features, except the jvc is already 4K, at least over here a 4K upgrade on the x70 would take it about 400 euro above the jvc price.

The ax100 is the cheapest but lacks several professional addition that the other 2 have, much depends on how important that is for you. If picture presets and better control and xlr are not that important for you the ax100 is hard to beat.
Noa, of course not - my classical music recordings require 6-10 high end cameras; so - due to disability - being one of the camera crew members is a history for me :( I Still am going to edit the concerts though.

Now looking for a lightweight but future-proof (hence 4k) camera I could use for myself only, and at my own pace...
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Old June 7th, 2015, 09:59 AM   #8
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Re: A provocative question...

One more important question, as I'm leaning towards the AX100 rather than X70 (if only for the price difference and 100 Mbps 4k):

- is it a real PITA to focus this thing w/o focusing aids the X70 has, like peaking?
- how about exposure without zebra(s)?
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Old June 7th, 2015, 10:12 AM   #9
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Re: A provocative question...

The AX100 has zebras and I would use the touch spot focus. This is the way my wife uses the AX100. I have the three " My Buttons " set for 1) Manual focus so that she can get to the spot focus screen, touch what you want in focus and focusing is very quick, 2 ) Image stabilizer 3) Peaking, choice of colours so she can confirm what is in focus, I have the wheel set to AE shift and she uses this to set exposure using the zebras set at 85 for the stuff I do. I set the shutter speed in the menus as well as limits etc. It is better to under expose a little as it is easy to bring up the shadows in editing and this avoids any highlight issues that continue to be reported about the AX100 and the X70. Most of the time for the theatre shoots we do AE shift is at -1.2 or -1.5.

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Old June 7th, 2015, 10:18 AM   #10
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Re: A provocative question...

Oh, so the AX100 does have all this basic aids - great (never found a mention of them in the owners manual, so I thought they are reserved to the X-70 only). Thanks, Ron!
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Old June 7th, 2015, 03:57 PM   #11
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Re: A provocative question...

The AX100 is actually a fairly well featured camera all things considered - although the X70 features ARE tempting and seem to make current users/owners happy enough (aside from the 4K FW that's still not there, that would drive me crazy...).

The AX100 is a "consumer" camera, but has enough "pro" features to be useful - think of it like the venerable TRV900 and the HC1 that were at the top end of the consumer lines, yet found a place for many serious people who wanted something discrete and small/light to knock around with... and got good resulting video.

The image quality ultimately is what counts, and I see you've tried the AX33, so you probably already know it doesn't match the "looking through a window" quality that you'll get with one of the 1" class sensor models. Since you've already ruled it out, I'll leave it at that... I posted a more extensive "review" under one of the posts in the wedding/event section here.



Don't know if you've considered any still cameras with 4K, but there's been a fair amount of quite nice looking footage with the Panasonic LX100, and the Samsung NX1 or NX500. You have clip length limits with those, but small and light might make them worth at least having a look at? Not to overly confuse the choices, but they might tick enough boxes to at least think about before you decide?

I know a 4K version of the Sony RX10 would catch my eye, if there were one - as it is the AX100 is teamed with an RX10 and a little RX100M3 (there may be a "M4" 4K version of this camera shortly...) for a small backpack multicam "kit" that checks all the boxes for me (but may be completely "wrong" for someone else, YMMV!).

IF sticking to a video camera format is preferred, picking up a used AX100 (seen them under $1400) really isn't a terrible option. You'll need a bracket or shoe adapter to mount an external mic if desired, but nothing insurmountable, pair it with a good lightweight (footed) monopod and you've got a pretty decent setup that shouldn't cause you too much pain either financially of physically, and the resulting footage should make you reasonably happy. Remember to buy high speed "U3" SDXC cards to be able to use the highest bitrate the camera can shoot, just had to upgrade my shiny new "U1" cards myself...
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Old June 8th, 2015, 03:06 AM   #12
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Re: A provocative question...

Thanks Dave. I'm leaning towards the AX-100, considering how complete and compact it is and easy to handle with my weakened arms :)

Could you please give the link to your review you mentioned?

Piotr
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Old June 8th, 2015, 03:12 AM   #13
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Re: A provocative question...

Greetings Piotr,

Have you considered the Panasonic DMC-GH4?

It records true Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) directly in the camera at 100mbps and offers, I think, more picture profile / cinema gamma options than the X70.

Right now it's going about $2,200 (on Amazon) with the YAGH adaptor that includes several SDI outputs and 2 XLR inputs.

Does anyone know how the GH4 stacks against the X70 in low light?

It wouldn't be nearly as good as the Sony A7S, which is absolutely stunning in low light but requires an external recorder to capture UHD 4K, which would probably take the A7S out of your running.

EDIT: The Samyang/Rokinon T1.5 Cine lenses are a great value (though fully manual - maybe not what you want) and would greatly help the GH4 in lower light situations.
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Old June 8th, 2015, 05:25 AM   #14
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Re: A provocative question...

Hi Piotr -
Took me a bit to find it, forgot which thread it was on!

Getting Back into the game...need advice

I was expecting more from the AX33, but it's not happening with that small sensor, IMO, I've been spoilt by the image quality I get from the RX10 and AX100 displayed on a 4K display.... IF I didn't have the AX100, the AX33 would probably be a good step up from the older CX/PJ series cams, but the AX100 just looks a lot better on a big screen. I actually liked the overall design and handling of the AX33, but in the end, image quality is more important in my book. The little 4K Actioncam is actually sort of fun and produces a decent image considering the size and application, but with the fixed fisheye lens is of limited usefulness except for what it was designed for!

FWIW, I've had issues with my arm/neck with heavier or less well balanced cameras, the AX100 is right on the edge, but not uncomfortable or overly tiring to shoot with (at least for me)... I think aging is not for wimps, but fortunately there is smaller lighter gear that still can produce great images!
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