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Old March 25th, 2016, 02:28 AM   #16
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
I wouldn't buy an AX53 just yet!
If Sony follows is normal tradition, there is a great chance that a "pro" NXCAM or XDCAM model will be announced shortly.
I'd hang tight and wait for Sony's NAB press conference.
Uh, …. Cliff, for some people mid April isn’t very “shortly”! That’s a looong time to wait!

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
We know Sony does this allot and many of us can already imagine what it will look like.
Hopefully the sunshade gets a design re-visit.

Okay, using your crystal ball and past experience, what would be your guess about the Mbps?
For example, the AX53 specs out at AVCHD 1920x1080/60fps and 28Mbps. For many it wouldn’t matter but in my case, for wave action, it would be really nice to have a lot better bit rate.

The B.O.SS stabilization system I’d consider as a must but a higher bit rate would almost be on par or right close behind, and more or better conrols could tip the balance.
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Old March 25th, 2016, 04:29 AM   #17
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

@ron - Thanks!

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Old March 25th, 2016, 08:07 AM   #18
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
In the Sony AX53 manual:

"If you set either one of [Exposure], [IRIS], or [Shutter Speed], the settings of other 2 items
are canceled."

Ahh yes, one of Sony's classic Handycam crippling tricks! You can run a manual shutter speed, or manual ISO/Gain or Manual iris but NEVER all three at the same time. Sony gives you a pick of only ONE at a time, the other two always get forced into auto. Nice!...I hate these games.

More evidence that a new "pro" sister model is on the way.

CT
The exposure control will control iris,gain and shutter and stay fixed unlike AE shift which will change with the conditions. To my knowledge there is no gain control on the consumer models. If you want to manage gain a little set AGC limit, set your shutter or iris and then use AE shift. That is about as close as your going to get to full manual on these consumer models. That is how I run my small Sony's. AGC limit, usually 18db or 21db, shutter at 1/60 ( all my stuff is indoors and all cameras are set at 1/60 ) and AE shift as needed. Usually AE shift at about -0.7EV for these indoor theatre shoots.

If you really want full manual control then you need to pay a lot more and I think that is fair. My NX30U is the same so I wouldn't expect the Pro version to be any better other than having XLR etc just like the difference between the PJ790 and the NX30U although this time the consumer model has already got timecode and user bits.

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Old March 25th, 2016, 10:07 AM   #19
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

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Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
Uh, …. Cliff, for some people mid April isn’t very “shortly”! That’s a looong time to wait!


Hopefully the sunshade gets a design re-visit.

Okay, using your crystal ball and past experience, what would be your guess about the Mbps?
For example, the AX53 specs out at AVCHD 1920x1080/60fps and 28Mbps. For many it wouldn’t matter but in my case, for wave action, it would be really nice to have a lot better bit rate.

The B.O.SS stabilization system I’d consider as a must but a higher bit rate would almost be on par or right close behind, and more or better conrols could tip the balance.
The "pro" model will have the usual:

1.) XLR handle
2.) Standard AVCHD 1080
3.) XAVC 1080 4:2:0 8bit only at 50mbps. (same as AX53)
4.) XAVC UHD 4:2:0 8bit 100Mbp/s 29.97p
5.) Full manual iris, gain and shutter. (hopefully but maybe not)
6.) Possibly "XDCAM" branded with XAVC-L .mxf wrapper. (or "NXCAM" with XAVC-S .mp4?)
7.) Will have NX70's "pro" menu style/layout.

The X70 will hold it's 10bit 1080 advantage and it's SDI and full size HDMI ports. It will have it's more comfortable handle with joystick control and more hard programmable buttons too. The X70's 1inch-type sensor also over samples it's image down to 4K.

The X70 will also have it's advantage with it's extensive picture profile set. I doubt the "pro" AX53 will have any of that.

That's my prediction based decades of watching and buying Sony.

Who really knows?

Last edited by Cliff Totten; March 25th, 2016 at 10:44 AM.
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Old March 25th, 2016, 10:34 AM   #20
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

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Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
The exposure control will control iris,gain and shutter and stay fixed unlike AE shift which will change with the conditions. To my knowledge there is no gain control on the consumer models. If you want to manage gain a little set AGC limit, set your shutter or iris and then use AE shift. That is about as close as your going to get to full manual on these consumer models. That is how I run my small Sony's. AGC limit, usually 18db or 21db, shutter at 1/60 ( all my stuff is indoors and all cameras are set at 1/60 ) and AE shift as needed. Usually AE shift at about -0.7EV for these indoor theatre shoots.

If you really want full manual control then you need to pay a lot more and I think that is fair. My NX30U is the same so I wouldn't expect the Pro version to be any better other than having XLR etc just like the difference between the PJ790 and the NX30U although this time the consumer model has already got timecode and user bits.

Ron Evans
True, the AX53 is targeted to low end consumers and "soccer moms" alike. It's true that allot of those people dont understand "shutter", "gain" and "iris"...so why have that manual control anyway?

Now, I asked my grandmother, who is interested in the AX53, if she knew what "shutter" , "gain" and "iris" was. She said she had NO idea what those things meant. She says: "huh?...that's all Greek to me" She just wants to "film" her many house cats in all their 4k glory.

However, she WAS very interested in the AX53's contrast focus peaking and wanted to know if it was adjustable. When she is running manual focus, she really wants to tweak those whiskers really tight. She also is VERY excited with the AX53's zebra tool. She told me she is concerned about blowing her highlights and she really hopes it's adjustable in +/- 5 IRE increments and goes below 70 IRE. Timecode is another feature she likes in the AX53 too.

So yeah, the AX53 fits her marketing demographic PERFECTLY! How IRONIC! ;-)

Look,...for me, I think that EVERY camera, including cell phones, should have the three basic camera principles, "shutter speed", "gain/iso" and "iris".

It's so incredibility simple to do but manufacturers just wont do it for "marketing reasons".

CT

Last edited by Cliff Totten; March 25th, 2016 at 03:32 PM.
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Old March 25th, 2016, 12:01 PM   #21
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

Cliff, I think your mothers needs are much like I set up the AX100 for my wife to use. She needs to frame and focus ( she watches the peaking as well as her eyes uses touch focus to indicate what shes wants the camera to focus on ) watches the zebras and just moves the AE shift wheel to make it brighter or darker. No need for her to worry about gain or shutter speed or iris. Frame, focus and how bright is it. I set the shutter speed to make sure it matches the other cameras and set gain limit so when the stage gets dark the camera will get dark and not try and see in the dark !!! If it get too bright she can see the zebra and move the AE shift down. Not very often as the camera is pretty quick to respond. I have no problem most of the time with this control approach and the latest Sony cameras do not over shoot like they used to in the past.

I too like timecode as one can see the realtime used rather than some simple counter. For me I can use the timecode to sync in multicam too as the Sony's can all be started with a remote control. If I get the AX53 the AX100 will be the odd one out with not having timecode. I still think the timecode is only in AVCHD unless someone can confirm it works for XAVC-S which would be great.

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Old April 13th, 2016, 10:30 AM   #22
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

Hi Ron,

Just to say initial testing here says yes to time-code on XAVC-S recording - which is great.

I'm just undertaking some battery duration tests - using Sony big NP FV1000 packs.

As you know, I shoot long form so am keen to get long life as well as remote control, first test using an ipod are encouraging, apparently you can stop and start as well as zoom with up to 5 cameras, for me this is great.

I'm impressed with the XAVC-S HD quality - the internal camera sampling looks to be excellent.

More later - any questions?

Paul :-)
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Old April 13th, 2016, 12:40 PM   #23
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

I have just got an AX53 and am pleased with it so far in testing. Love the fact that both timecode and data code are available in XAVC-S. Will wait for the firmware update to make that available on the AX1 and AX100 !! Also the multi/USB connect will not work with older Sony remotes only the latest. So converter cable for A/V or LANC will not work as detailed in the user manual. I have one of th latest Sony tripods with remote and it works just fine though. Not tried multi camera control but expect it will work with my SOny Action camera.

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Old April 13th, 2016, 01:29 PM   #24
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

Hey Ron,

I too was a little peaked to find my nice old Lanc Bebob would not work with the cables as advertised, the wifi works really well.

I love the 100mbs high speed recording, produces great smooth results- only irksome thing for me is the awkward ergonomics - just doesn't balance or grip well - guess I'll get used to it.

In Edius, I find the HD XAVC-S sharper on an HD timeline than the down sampled 4K ( by Edius I mean) I must be missing something!

Paul :-)
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Old April 13th, 2016, 01:40 PM   #25
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

Just had a box show up... so hopefully I'll add a bit more to the discussion.

Reviewing the videos that were coming up on YouTube, it seems the poor image quality of the AX33 is not repeated in the AX53. This might be the first "small sensor" cam that actually holds up for 4K... fingers crossed... I don't expect quite the same "look" as the larger sensor cams (AX100/RX10II/RX100IV), but having a small stabilized video cam again will be handy if it works out!
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Old April 13th, 2016, 03:53 PM   #26
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

I have not tried UHD yet as I am not a fan of slow frame rates so it is not something I will use. I just wanted a better sensor than my NX30U. Comparing it with the NX30U it is about 1/2 stop slower but a much cleaner image than the NX30U even at 30db !! It is really intended to replace the NX30U and it looks like it will do that very well.

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Old April 13th, 2016, 05:51 PM   #27
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

For those looking to upgrade or update their older CX/PJ 7xx series cameras, this should do the trick nicely. I've just done a little preliminary testing - plugging into the HDMI on a 40"+ 4K screen to see how the camera output might look... In Low Lux mode it's a tad noisy, but can handle low light reasonably well, not really worse than the AX100, so that's a plus (AX33 fell apart in low light).

Image quality is a little less than the AX100 (with the first gen 1" sensor), so not too bad. Very slightly less detail, but impressively close all things considered. The new generation (RX10II/RX100IV) 1" sensor is significantly cleaner. AX53 seems very good for a small sensor camera, though I find myself thinking that the RX's still are a lot of "bang for the buck", for not much more on a lightly used one....

I had an initial glitch where the gyro stabilization was twitching, but that cleared up once I put a charged battery on, so maybe just a low battery thing.... and once working, it is a little bit more stable than the AX100, I suspect it would be more obvious when moving around more - I was mainly looking at the typical tiny wobbles that go with trying to handhold a frame when zoomed in.

Focus is a little disappointing in lower light/lower contrast - seems to "hunt" a bit, and I had it just sit there on a blurry image when zoomed in, almost like it "shrugged" and gave up - a crash zoom out and in snapped it back into working.... not unusual in Handycams, but the RX's are faster and don't "give up", so it seems a bit weak to see that in a video camera....

The cam is a bit "chubby" (height and width comparable to the AX100), but shorter than the AX100, hand strap is about as cheap as it can be, in line with other manufacturers, but not the typical nicely padded Sony strap, it'll do.... Tripod mount is centered and looks to be well positioned. Port covers seem to be solid, build quality is pretty good overall.

Still have to fiddle with controls and "my button" (allows 3 custom "buttons" on the touchscreen). I've gotten very used to having physical buttons and shutter/AE shift control, not much room on this little guy for any of that! Ring is nice, but there's yet another thread/filter diameter meaning new CP/UV/NDs... grrr. Would 62mm have REALLY been that hard to do?!?!

One interesting note, factory package doesn't include the small wireless remote, BUT the IR receiver is there and the Sony RMT835 WORKS! I did enable a "remote" setting in the menus, not sure if that turns it on and off or not...? In case one doesn't want to use a phone/tablet with their app...



Again, just off the bat,this is probably a very safe bet for those with an older 7xx series Handycam (or older) looking to upgrade. IMO the AX100 is still as good or better (handling especially), and is available used for not a huge amount more, used... If one needs or wants stills, the RX10II is probably a "better" choice, or even a "pocketable" RX100IV if you don't mind short clips and limited lens range! As far as "compact video cameras" go, this should be a decent entry into a 4K capable camera.

That's some "first impressions" that might help if someone is thinking about this camera, I'll have to do more fiddling with it (I'm guessing it'll be pretty good in GOOD lighting, but I like to start in average to low room light where most of the time a camera falls apart...). I'll update if anything interesting develops!
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Old April 13th, 2016, 09:43 PM   #28
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

A comparison , auto but with shutter at 1/60, in my living room average light, toward the end of the day.

NX30U F2.8 3 db,
AX53 F3.4 9db
AX100 F3.7 3db
NX5U F4.0 -3db

So about 1/2 stop slower than the NX30U, 1 stop slower than the AX100 and about 2 stops slower than the NX5U. Not accurate but gives an idea of performance against some known cameras. Picture is very clean , much like the AX100. Unlike Dave I didn't think the focus was that bad though a little slower to get in focus than the NX30U with touch focus which is what I use most of the time and not too different from the AX100 which is just a little faster to lock in to focus.
Big benefit to me is the wide angle and data code/ timecode .Really wish the AX100 and my AX1 had both these functions. Now Sony have implemented for XAVC-S in the AX53 I see no reason why they should not have a firmware update for the AX1 and Ax100. We shall see !!!

Can confirm that the wireless remote that came with the NX30U will operate the AX53 too. Not tried yet the remotes from others including the Action cam !!

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Old April 13th, 2016, 11:58 PM   #29
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

I like the fact that I can change the AGC limit setting whilst in Record.

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Old April 14th, 2016, 12:07 AM   #30
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

I'm planning on getting this camera.Rons testing of cameras is very thorough and informative.
I'll b replacing my cx550 to use as my b cam
When I'm not lugging my ex1r,I'll have no problem using this for shoots,especially for docs and run and gun.
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