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Old November 27th, 2015, 04:52 PM   #1
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Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

I have spent the last couple of days researching the AX100 but cannot find certain information. I downloaded the manual but it is rather limited.

If I wanted to change shutter speed, will this camera function like shutter priority mode on a DSLR and maintain proper exposure or does it become full manual after one setting change?

Would this camera be suitable for shooting soccer even though it is not 60p in 4k mode? I want to shoot soccer in 4k.

Thank you.

Alan
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Old November 27th, 2015, 05:31 PM   #2
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

You can control each setting, or let the camera adjust the ones you aren't...full manual, or "semi auto".

You're 30p in 4K, so high action is going to be problematic (there was one fellow who tried sports shooting, didn't like the AX100, but as always, your results might be different).

I've found that you have to set shutter speed and keep it fairly low to avoid a stutter effect - at high shutters you get a series of sharp stills, and it doesn't look good.... with experimenting, things seemed "OK" up to around 125, over that shimmer and stutter started to be noticeable to my eye.

You have to spend some time and be prepared to shoot at least partly in manual to get the best results from the camera (I think this probably applies to any 4K camera at this stage), but you do get very nice results, especially if you have a 4k display.
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Old November 27th, 2015, 06:57 PM   #3
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

Dave,

Thank you for your reply. I've shot my daughter's last three soccer games with a TM700 at 1/120 and that is quite an improvement over 1/60. Looking for a camcorder that will give me a better final product. My TM700 just does not seem to the have the image quality it once had. The colors used to really pop but now seem washed out.

With a cmos sensor and/or shooting at 30p, the issue is fast panning, zooming and not necessarily fast movement within the frame. Is that correct?

Alan

Last edited by Alan Henderson; November 27th, 2015 at 08:59 PM.
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Old November 27th, 2015, 09:40 PM   #4
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

Alan - Here’s a couple links that might help.

The first one, if you’ve been searching for information, you may have already come across but if not, it has a lot more information than the 52 page US “Operating Guide.” It’s the European English version and it’s 190 pages:

“Help Guide” - Sony Europe
http://download.sony-europe.com/pub/...X900_HG_EN.pdf

The other link that may be of interest is a vimeo AX100 User Group:
https://vimeo.com/groups/226931

Haven’t been there myself but there are a lot of videos posted that were taken with this cam and checking out those that are along the lines you want to do may also be useful. Realize that the firmware is up to v 3.0 as of on or about March 19, 2015 and I’d suspect many of the videos were taken with earlier firmware version. Since there are those, myself included, that don’t necessarily upgrade right away because either we don’t get the information right away, or would prefer to wait and see if there are any “issues” others have, there may be videos made using older firmware versions.
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Old November 28th, 2015, 05:53 AM   #5
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

Thank you.
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Old November 28th, 2015, 07:57 AM   #6
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

Alister Chapman has a good tutorial on the AX-100 here
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Old November 29th, 2015, 05:43 AM   #7
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

Thank you. Watched it. Great information.
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Old November 29th, 2015, 03:53 PM   #8
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Henderson View Post
Dave,

Thank you for your reply. I've shot my daughter's last three soccer games with a TM700 at 1/120 and that is quite an improvement over 1/60. Looking for a camcorder that will give me a better final product. My TM700 just does not seem to the have the image quality it once had. The colors used to really pop but now seem washed out.

With a cmos sensor and/or shooting at 30p, the issue is fast panning, zooming and not necessarily fast movement within the frame. Is that correct?

Alan

There were a lot of early tests by "reviewers" that resulted in complaints about "shimmer" in areas of high detail, and I myself ran into a stuttery look in clips with movement... It took me a while to figure out that what was happening was the camera at high shutter speeds (auto, because I hadn't learned the controls yet <wink>) was effectively taking a series of very highly detailed "snapshots" at 30 fps, so when you played them back, the temporal motion would look odd, and display as a stuttering or shimmering in some areas of most frames - obviously not what one wants if you're used to say 1080/60p with smoother motion rendition.

The solution I found was to use the shutter speed to introduce a degree of "natural" motion blur - a longer "exposure" for each frame by having the shutter stay open for a longer time (i.e. around 1/125- 1/30 sec.), the very high sharpness that you'd get at the "auto" shutter speeds (I saw 1/350 at times) would be slightly softened and motion would then start to look natural again. Once I figured out how the camera had to be used to get good results, I've been very happy with it.

In short, manual control is your friend when shooting 4K, and the AX100 is a very usable camera once you memorize the control locations, at least I feel it's one of the better laid out cameras I've owned.

FWIW, if you got the AX100 and were not able to get the results you were after, you could always switch it down to the 1080/60p XAVCS high bitrate mode, I think you'd find that VERY sharp and usable. I've compared 1080p shot with my RX10 (similar guts to the AX100) to 4K, and while it's a "smidge" softer, it's pretty impressive on a 4K monitor, nothing to be embarrased by!
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Old November 29th, 2015, 05:25 PM   #9
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

Dave. Thank you for your response. I read one post on an AX100 thread on another forum where a user said the rolling shutter was so bad that to do a 180 degree pan he would try and take 45-60 seconds. I do not believe everything I read of course, but that is quite a statement. Would certainly rule out sports if it was true.

If I am going to spend a lot of time shooting, processing and uploading soccer video, I was the best quality I can get for a reasonable amount of money. The price of the AX100 is certainly reasonable. The quality of the video I have seen is outstanding. What I haven't seen is video that would closely parallel shooting sports.
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Old November 29th, 2015, 11:55 PM   #10
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

Rolling shutter is always a factor with CMOS - whip pans will never yield useful fractional seconds of footage... but may be necessary in fast action. It's more like shooting with a 24fps film camera than a video camera in that respect. Just part of the "tool" at this stage of development, at this price point.

One thing which may be of some help to you is that you can "frame wide" and crop/pan in POST and still have VERY usable 1080. I've found you can "get a little lazy" with 4K while shooting, and "fix it" in post, sloppy shooting, to be sure, but effective and a useful approach. Effectively your frame can be double what you'd frame for with 1080p, which should reduce your need to pan while shooting live.


Given the architectural similarities between the RX10/RX100 series and the AX100, it would not surprise me to see a "AX100Mk2" with the newer generation of the 1" class sensor (ala the RX10M2 and RX100M4). that greatly reduces RS due to on sensor memory. While it would be a "first" (I think?) in the Handycam series, logically the "re-engineering" would be minimal, and it would extend the life of what is already a nice little camera at (very) minimal cost to Sony - it could also apply to a X70M2 for that matter. If (ever?) a "Mark2" version appears, it'd probably be an interesting upgrade option.


You could also consider setting up a multicam setup with your existing 1080 camera on "wide" to cover those times when you're tracking the action with your primary... it'd be "soft" and you'd have the additional challenge of color matching and more editing... but it's one way to pull off a shoot where you can't always be on the right spot at the right time (this is why professional sports have lots of cameras and angles, a switcher, and a live "director/producer" calling the shots.... always hard to come up to that level as a "one man band"!
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Old November 30th, 2015, 05:41 AM   #11
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

Great information. Thank you. I have found quite a bit of 4K footage for the AX100 but no HD footage.

Would the quality be the same for these two camcorders when shot at 1080 60p?

Sony FDR-AX100 and Sony PXW-X70

The HD footage I have seen for the X70 looks fantastic.

Alan

Last edited by Alan Henderson; November 30th, 2015 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Added content
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Old November 30th, 2015, 05:30 PM   #12
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

Should be pretty similar, also look for stuff shot with the CX900 (HD only version of the AX100). Keep in mind that with firmware updates the cameras shoot higher bitrates than when first released, and not everyone installs the latest firmware version. As I understand it, the AX100 actually shoots a higher bitrate than the X70 with the current firmware update (looks like the X70 will be "catching up" shortly with new firmware).

Don't forget to spec a 4K capable system for edit/display, even if you are only going to output HD. You'll want to see what the actual output looks like! Even if you don't deliver in 4K, it's pretty nice on the eyes!
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Old November 30th, 2015, 05:42 PM   #13
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

I'm not set up for 4K as far as a TV is concerned, but have a decent workstation and 24" display. Not large by any means but what I see on some of the videos I watch is quite stunning.

I'm editing in Edius 7.5 and also have Sony Vegas 12. Sony Vegas, from what I have read, has trouble with some X70 files. Not sure about Edius. Have not read of any issues.
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Old November 30th, 2015, 10:06 PM   #14
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

Edius will edit X70 files just fine. I only use my AX100 for HD 60P video as I am not a fan of slower frame rates and the image is lovely. Puts my NX5U to shame a lot of the time. However the AX100 is not as good as either the NX5U or the NX30U in low light they have a slight edge there. The NX5U has grain quite quickly but when it is at 9 DB the others are already over 24db and can be usable even higher too whereas the NX5U is not really usable above 12db without using Neat video filter afterwards. I had a X70 for demo and compared to the cameras I had at the time. NX5U F1.7 9db, X70 F2.8 24db, NX30U F2.0 18db, FDR-AX1 F1.7 24db. Not a real scientific test but as close as I could see with my eyes and using zebras etc on the cameras. As you can see the NX30U and X70 were close considering the lens speed differences and the AX1 the least sensitive as expected with the NX5U clearly the most sensitive. I have since got a AX100 that performs as close as I can remember to the X70 as one would expect.

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Old December 1st, 2015, 08:43 AM   #15
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Re: Two 'noobie' questions on the FDR-AX100

Ron, thank you for your comments. After ruling out 4k and soccer, I'm back to 1080p. With the larger sensor, autofocus may be a little slower on the AX100 than a smaller sensor camcorder like my TM700. Do you think, in any way, this camcorder would not be suitable for shooting soccer in 1080p? I imagine the answer would be it is highly suitable. I have viewed all of the YouTube longer reviews and they are all positive on this camcorder. For most of them, the primary focus is on 4k and very little is discussed relating to 1080p.

Here is a link to a baseball video shot in 4k that someone pointed me to. I am at a loss to explain why it looks so good. I see none of the judder/stutter that should be appearing in this type video.


Alan

Last edited by Alan Henderson; December 1st, 2015 at 09:16 AM. Reason: Added content.
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