The evolution of 4K video (also known as UHD) is unfolding right before our very eyes. Like HD before it, 4K has stumbled and taken its sweet time, but it’s nearly ready to take to center stage. While getting content can be like finding hen’s teeth (and 4K televisions are still squarely the domain of the one-percenters), we’re starting to see ways of recording your own 4K video with cameras and camcorders that regular people can afford.
Sony has been chipping away at 4K for some time, mainly with professional camcorders, but with its new Handycam AX100 ($1,999 MSRP) Sony brings 4K tech into a user-friendly package with some impressive specs. While it’s the best camcorder on the market today, it has some very capable competition nipping at its heels.
The Sony AX100 is the sharpest camcorder Reviewed.com has ever tested. All those extra pixels go a long way. It’s sharper both in native 4K and if you choose to downsample to HD in your final project.
The magic behind the camcorder’s performance is a huge 1-inch sensor and Zeiss lens. In both bright light and low light, the AX100 yielded great results. It can’t exactly see in the dark, but a sensor that big gives it a leg up on the competition.
Even though Sony doesn’t have any one signature style, the AX100 is part of an established design ethos within the company. It might not look like a classic Walkman or share the PS4′s rhomboid form, but its simple black form and high-quality construction make it feel cutting-edge and Sony-ish all at the same time.
Unlike its professional-grade 4K cousins, the AX100 is a true consumer camcorder. It offers just enough control for advanced users, with approachable, easy-to-use features for those who just want to press the button and start rolling. A big, rotating touchscreen offers good viewing angles. The only issue we had with the screen is that default brightness isn’t very bright. Add in a layer of finger grease, and the AX100′s screen picks up glare like crazy.
The biggest fault of this camcorder is undoubtedly its heft. Weighing in at about a pound and a half, the AX100 will quickly start to fatigue your arm if you’re recording a long performance without a tripod. Thankfully, should your arm start to buckle, the camera’s SteadyCam optical image stabilization should help reduce the appearance of shaking.
The AX100 may feel the heat from competitors like the Panasonic GH4 and FZ1000, both of which are photo cameras that also happen to shoot 4K video. In fact, the latter costs less than half of what Sony is asking for the AX100.
However, among camcorders, you can’t do much better for the money than the Sony AX100, as long as you have an eye toward the future. While we wouldn’t wholeheartedly recommend the AX100 to professionals, if you’re in the market for a prosumer-grade 4K camcorder, the AX100 is a true champion.
Article source: http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/38501/canon-eos/
Sony brings 4K camcorder to the masses