Latest post Wed, Nov 8 2017 8:01 AM by werick. 8 replies.
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  • Tue, Jun 28 2016 3:53 PM

    • DStone
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    Looking for opinions: Sony AX53 vs AX100

    So I'm looking for a good vacation/personal use/occasional B-roll camera, and I'm considering the consumer AX53 and the prosumer AX100. Much (most) of what I will be using the camera for will require it be hand held. Here are my thoughts

    AX53 Pros:

    o Under $1k US.

    o Balanced Optical Stabilizer System; best stabilizer for any hand held camera (I don't think this one can be argued).

    o OK if not spectacular low light.

    AX53: Cons:

    o No real manual controls except for a single user selectable function ring (zoom, focus, iris, etc.) Selecting one sets the others back to automatic, so if you set the ring for Iris, shutter speed goes to auto and will change to compensate, etc. Pretty much this is a fully auto camera with the ring only useful for zoom or focus.

    o Small sensor (1/2.5").

    o No ND filters.

    o Sony proprietary hot shoe

    AX100 Pros:

    o Relatively inexpensive ($1700 US) for the features.

    o 1" sensor.

    o Manual controls.

    o ND filters.

    o Much better low light.

    AX100 Cons:

    o Active stabilzer is good, but not nearly as good as AX53 BOSS.

    o Active mode stabilizer turns on digital Clear Image Zoom.

    o Sony proprietary hot shoe.

    What I really want is an AX100 with the BOSS stabilzer, but that's not going to happen (the size of the sensor block would end up being huge).

    A lot of what I like to take for personal stuff ends up with me on the move while shooting. I've taken my Canon XHA1S on roller coasters (and let me tell you kids, don't try this at home; a 6 pound camera being held with one hand becomes a beast when you hit 4Gs, and even worse at -4Gs and it wants to fly out of hand). A smaller camera is definitely in order.

    Both cameras shoot 100Mbs XAVC-S.

    So do I sacrifice some picture quality for a much steadier shot?

    DIY quad core I7-4790K, 16Gb, NVidia GTX 970 4GB, Win 10 Pro, MC 8.7, MC 7.x [view my complete system specs]

    Dave S.

  • Wed, Jun 29 2016 1:37 AM In reply to

    • dmfreeman
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    Re: Looking for opinions: Sony AX53 vs AX100

    Hi Dave,

    I have been using the AX100 since shortly after its introduction.  The image quality is awesome.  I can do image stabilization in those rare instances where it is necessary on a 4K image and see some very stable video from that.    My projects are usually 1920 X 1080.  That said, I don't personally see the image stability as a major issue.

    Just my 2 cents worth,

    Denny

    Media Composer 8.5.4, BCC 10.0.0074, AvidDVD 6.4.4, Boris Red 5.5.2.1382, Asus P9X79 Pro Motherboard with Intel 3930K Processor. 32 gigs DDR3 ram, Windows... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Jul 1 2016 2:33 AM In reply to

    • DStone
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    Re: Looking for opinions: Sony AX53 vs AX100

    Just to follow up, I figured that the easiest thing to do was to buy both cameras. Stick out tongue

    And no, I'm not keeping both. I decided to run some head-to-head tests and make a more informed choice. In the end, I decided to keep the AX100. In case anyone else is looking into these cameras, here are my thoughts on the matter,

    First, the AX53 is most definitely a consumer camera. There's only 1 manual control (the lens ring) which is assignable to focus, zoom, iris, exposure, shutter speed, and white balance. Only 1 function can be assigned at a time. You can also use the touch screen to set functions between auto and manual, and change the settings in the touch screen. However, the iris, exposure, and shutter speed are all linked together. Setting one to manual changes the others back to automatic. In practice, I found that using the lens ring for focus was best, and setting the exposure manually using the touch screen. But it pretty much limits the kind of look you can get fron the camera.

    Second, the low light capability of the AX53, while usable, is very noisy. It's not too bad at dusk level lighting, but it's very noticeable after that. Well lit night shots are usable. Turning on the low lux feature produces a reasonably bright but very noisy image. Strangely enough, the infrared mode is worse. It's extremely noisy to the point of being unusable. The low light performance is one of the big reasons I didn't go with this camera.

    Finally, the Balanced Optical Steady Shot (BOSS) stabilization on the camera is wonderful. It's the major reason I considered it in the first place. However, there are a couple of drawbacks. First, the camera is designed to be hand held. Putting it on a tripod can actually lead to shakier shots; it doesn't handle vibration from a tripod well at all (I should have tried it on a monopod, but I forgot). This is in any of the stabilizer modes including off. Second, very fast sharp shakes even when hand held are not well damped. I was hoping to use this to get good B-roll on roller coasters, but I don't think it's going to handle that well.

    The AX100 is a good prosumer level camera. All of the functions (iris, exposure, etc.) can be set manually and they stay at that setting (there are 2 manual controls on the camera; the lens ring which is switch selectable between focus and zoom, and a spin wheel which controls the others, but only 1 at a time). Low light is much better and noise is acceptable up to 18db gain. After that it becomes noticeable, and like the AX53 low lux mode is noisy (though not as noisy). The infrared is really quite good. Autofocus speed on both cameras leaves something to be desired; like a fast autofocus. No

    The active mode stabilizer on the AX100 is decent; it's certainly better then the stabilzer in my Canon XHA1S. But admitedly it's notwhere as good as the AX53 when hand held. At wide to medium zooms it works well enough. For long zooms, it's better than the standard stabilizer but still shaky. Fortunately for me, I seldom need to use a long zoom.

    I'm not going to knock the AX53; for what it does well it does extremely well. This is great camera for daylight sports events, or anything where you need to walk or run and film at the same time. It's also really good for people way up in the stands, or for anyone who needs a long zoom and can't use a tripod. But for my purpose, where the camera has to double for both personal and professional use, it just doesn't quite cut it.

    DIY quad core I7-4790K, 16Gb, NVidia GTX 970 4GB, Win 10 Pro, MC 8.7, MC 7.x [view my complete system specs]

    Dave S.

  • Fri, Jul 1 2016 2:59 AM In reply to

    • dmfreeman
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    Re: Looking for opinions: Sony AX53 vs AX100

    Hi Dave,

    There have been a couple of firmware updates on the AX100 that have improved the autofocus speed.  Take a look and let me know what you think.  The latest firmware is v3.

    Denny

    Media Composer 8.5.4, BCC 10.0.0074, AvidDVD 6.4.4, Boris Red 5.5.2.1382, Asus P9X79 Pro Motherboard with Intel 3930K Processor. 32 gigs DDR3 ram, Windows... [view my complete system specs]
  • Wed, Jul 6 2016 12:23 AM In reply to

    Re: Looking for opinions: Sony AX53 vs AX100

    Thanks for sharing your experience with these two cameras, Dave. Very interesting. I was wondering if you had checked out the low-priced 4K Panasonic HC-WXF991, or why you may have ruled it out.

     

     

    Win 7 Pro; HP 820z, 16GB ram; Composer Nitris DX, Squeeze v8.5 Pro _____ Also:___ Windows 7 Pro x64 Dell T3400 workstation E8400 3.0 Ghz 4GB Ram,... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Jul 7 2016 8:12 PM In reply to

    • DStone
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    Re: Looking for opinions: Sony AX53 vs AX100

    I did check out the Panasonic. But I was looking for a larger sensor than the Panny has.

    DIY quad core I7-4790K, 16Gb, NVidia GTX 970 4GB, Win 10 Pro, MC 8.7, MC 7.x [view my complete system specs]

    Dave S.

  • Mon, Nov 6 2017 6:16 PM In reply to

    • Harpo
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    Re: Looking for opinions: Sony AX53 vs AX100

    I am now entering the market for a 4k capable camcorder and my research has led me to these two cameras.  It appears the ax53 is newer and for many the BOSS system tips the scales.  I am torn as I am looking for a recreational camera that will provide portability and stability in what will primarily be on-water filming and indoor filming.  My challenge is indoor filming as I am specifically looking to film ice hockey games.  At times, I film right at ice-level while at others I am shooting from much higher/distant positions where it is relatively dark trying to capture gameplay on the bright white ice...  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated (for these cameras or others in this price range).  Thanks in advance.

  • Tue, Nov 7 2017 10:11 PM In reply to

    • DStone
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    • Joined on Fri, Nov 4 2005
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    Re: Looking for opinions: Sony AX53 vs AX100

    The AX53 has a smaller sensor (1/3") vs the AX100 (1"). However, where you're planning on filming either outddors on a boat, or indoors in a brightly lit arena, that probably won't make that much of a difference. I own the AX100, and I've used the AX53. The AX53 might be the better choice for you. Bear in mind that the manual controls are pretty limited, so expect to run in completely on automatic. The BOSS really does work as described. It's extremely stable, even when shooting full zoom. Just don't try and use it on a tripod. You will get poor results. If I were doing what you're doing, I'd probably get the AX53.

    I do a lot of indoor event shooting on a tripod, usually in poor lightling, which is why I chose the AX100.

    Of course, given that Sony has just released a bunch of new HLG cameras, there may be a replacement for the AX53 coming along as well. One never know.

    DIY quad core I7-4790K, 16Gb, NVidia GTX 970 4GB, Win 10 Pro, MC 8.7, MC 7.x [view my complete system specs]

    Dave S.

  • Wed, Nov 8 2017 8:01 AM In reply to

    • werick
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    Re: Looking for opinions: Sony AX53 vs AX100

    I have an AX53. It is great for outdoor shots.

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