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on 26 February 2015
Flickering effect in high contrast areas.
Effect seen best with a silhouette of a tree. When played back one frame at a time one frame is perfect the next frame is brighter and looks over exposed; tree branches look thinner. Next frame normal again. The flashing effect last for about 1-2 seconds
Also excessive flickering on high detail areas such as foliage, usually when there is slight movement.
Otherwise the picture quality is stunning.
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on 12 August 2015
I have a stable of professional video cameras for my work. This little beauty is nothing short of remarkable.
The large sensor does however give you some roller shutter issues if you pan too quickly, but once you master this the picture results in HD are brilliant in 4K they are out of this world.
The codec is simple and easy to use in most editing programmes. It also has a 20mp still camera built in too. The battery supplied gives you well over 2 hours of filming. You do however need a 95mps + pro SDXC card pro cope with the 4K footage.
A magnesium alloy body gives the camera a professional feel.
I rate this this Sony AX100E as one of the best cameras I had ever used.
You will not be disappointed with this fully equipped camera with full manual controls and HD filters.
...Simply brilliant and pretty good in low light too.
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on 4 August 2016
Exactly as described! Extremely happy with it! An amazing camera!! I love this ! Highly recommend
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on 28 August 2016
I had this camera since it first went to sell. Picture quality is second to none, however, for me it has one major flaw which ruined all its great qualities. Despite it being an outdoor camera it's not even splash proof. A strong rain or making a video on a speed boat is going to ruin it.

I was making a video on a boat and a few (not heavy) splashes destroyed it. Its viewfinder does not work anymore and obviously the warranty didn't cover. Sony even refused to repair it for money.

At this day of age, an outdoor camera of such price and quality must be it least IPX6 proof.
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on 4 August 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Firstly, I must state I use to own a professional videography business, which I have since passed down to my siblings. I've played and used many a cameras and camcorders in my lifetime and I mean many.
As with anything in that line of business you look for the best equipment/tools for the job. In the videography field image is everything, you do not want your customers to look over your work and pick out flaws, one flaw is acceptable two or three and your in trouble. I always pride my self on good editing software and I have many. With this particular package you get a voucher to download Movie Studio 13 Platinum, which has full support for Sony XAVCS. I know some like the budget Power Director 12; which is good for 4K editing (for the home user). However, the bees knees is Sony Vegas Pro 13, the best bit about Sony Vegas Pro 13 is the native editing ability, so you can do things allot more efficiently. If you want the best image preservation then you really need this software. It can do allot and it has a very powerful editing suite. Of course you will need a very powerful computer, but you would have this already, if you do this for a living.
You will need a 4K monitor to truly get the best out of your material, I have a NEC MultiSync EA244UHD 4K monitor which is brilliant and this monitor shows the beauty of all images, A spectacular monitor for viewing 4K footage/material.

Now on to this pro-sumer camcorder. The Sony FDR-AX100 is lovely to behold, it sits well in your hand and it has that professional feel to it without going overboard. It is large, but not overly large, it just feels right. You will need the necessary tools to do yourself justice in all conditions i.e. Tripod and Stereo Microphone. First thing I did was to upgrade the FW to version 2.00. It has improvements to autofocus and adds 1/30 shutter speed. I used this for over two weeks now; in a wedding, reunion party and a football match and after party. I can say that the camera has surpassed all my expectations, even in very low light conditions; this is due to the large sensor in this camcorder, but more on this later.
Now, this camera is suited for the professionals and not your day-to-day shooting. The nice thing about the AX100 is that the manual controls are all at your fingertips, you can do it all by turning a dial or pressing the buttons, what more could a videograher want. It has access to focus, iris, shutter speed, Filters, gain and WB; you can further tune WB and temperature setting modes to the required setting dependant on the effect and surroundings you desire. The best part is the cinema mode, this basically mimics the settings used by filmatography. I must stress the colours are spot on, I've used the GH4 and I feel the Yellows on the GH4 were too strong, but the AX100 are spot on. Skin tone and colour is also spot on.

In daylight this camcorder produces pin sharp image quality at various settings, be it HD and 4K. When I was outdoors in the late hours of the night, in the West End, with poor light the images were still brilliant as good as looking with the naked eye. In cinema mode at 24P this camcorder packs a whopping punch, it was taking in all the light from the surroundings, I mean every spec of light; even the flame from a lighter in the distance. We had a full moon and the night was clear so, I left the camcorder to capture the event in time lapse at 22:30-00:00 (with Low lux setting on). I then edited the speed. It came out brilliant, the reflection of the moon on the river and the candle lights were all clear. The captured footage of the evening and night all turned out as planned, the video images were clear, pristine and not washed out. I set the lens to around F2.8/3.1 and 24dB and the video in the West End and Soho was impeccable. I was surprised, I mean truly surprised as this camera was giving me image quality on par with the FDR-AX1 and that is a £4k pro Cam and allot larger and heavier. So, this is basically giving images on par with the AX1 in low light conditions, awesome or what. The Carl Zeiss Lens is responsive and fast, it has exceptional tracking of all objects in view, there is little to no chromatic aberration in my shoots. I can soften the background and focus on the parts I need and produce stunning bokeh results, defocusing background noise and still obtaining great footage. The shallow depth of field is brilliant. Bokeh effects on the ax100 are stunning, the detail of in-focus material and the out-of-focus points of light are very pleasing. The best part of this camcorder is the level of detail the sensor is capturing, the colours are accurate, better than my GH4. The exposure time of material is lovely. The amount of detail and effects is outstanding. One thing I did notice is that out of the box the IS is set to default, in order to get the best out of this you will need to change the settings to Hybrid IS. This actually enhances the IS and stabilizes the image when shooting while walking (be it briskly). All, the videos I captured over the week I put through Sony Pro 13 and the end result with a bit of time and effort was marvellous. This camcorder is the 4K model of choice in my personal opinion. Panning with this camera is very sharp, I was tracking the football game and panning across the crowd and game to and fro and the results were great, even when I took some shots when taking footage of the bride in the wedding car, in the back of my van the quality was good.

Out of the box, the AX100 is good. But, to truly do it justice you will have to tweak the settings. The settings are numerous, you will need to adjust and re-adjust until you find that sweet spot for your material. The built-in Mic is powerful, but you will need the external stereo mic to really get the best as the external Mic has the ability to direct on subjects further away. The battery life is good, but you will need an extra one or two spare if out shooting for a long day. The good thing is that this camcorder can be powered/charged through USB, so, if you have those portable/external power charger, I used my Anker Astro3, you can run this through the USB charger or you could just charge it up. I used the Anker to keep me running for 9 hours via a 1 metre USB extension cable with the Anker in my photography vest.

The things I would have liked is dual SDXC ports. So, I could put two SDXC cards. I used a single 128GB SDXC card, it worked well on this camera in 4K shooting; you roughly get 5.3 hours of recording time. I brought three more SDXC 128gb UHS-I Class 3 SD cards just for this camcorder ( I can't justify paying over the odds for a 256GB SDXC card). I noticed no distortion in capturing any footage or image. Now, I haven't really used this camcorder for still images as I have a Canon EOS 1DX for that purpose. But, the stills I took were very clear, rich and packed with detail, the stills do have plenty of detail, so you could in theory just carry this around, not recommended, but a possibility. But, from past experience I always carry both. However, as I mentioned I haven't utilised this camcorder solely for still images.

Sony could have added 4K 60P, but I guess they may need a more powerful processor for this ( I have asked Sony support to consider adding this option in the menmu system ). The Optical zoom could be better, especially for Safari shoots, although I can't complain too much. You can't have everything in this price range. If you want the extra features you have to pay the extra money. At this price point nothing can truly touch it right now. You have a future proof camcorder that is just amazing at recording 4K footage. Have a look online on Youtube for material in 4K, yes you should view 4K material on a 4K monitor. I know not many will have a 4K monitor/TV. But, the professional videographer who is serious will have or should purchase one.

The AX100 has WiFi and NFC built in, but I only used the NFC to copy some images to my tablet. It all seemed to work well. Would I use this function much, not really. I cannot see myself copying or streaming over WiFi; when I can just take the SDXC card and copy over USB3 which is much faster. I guess others maybe like me, who are not so keen to stream over WiFi.

Am I happy with this camcorder? Yes! after two weeks of shooting in various modes and in various situations I am more than happy. I feel this camcorder is the 4K game changer it has a host of functions and features and the video quality at 2K and 4K is brilliant. I've probably shot over 63 hours in these last 10 days. I have been busy and the large part is to sit over the material and edit it. So, you need good editing software.
I can't speak of others, but I have not had any issue with the IS on this camcorder. I believe you will get FW updates to iron out issues and enhancements, but I guess you have to use this camcorder in the right context, it's horses for courses.
I would thoroughly recommend this camcorder. It really is brilliant and I believe Sony has pulled a trump card here, to produce a cracking camcorder at this price range with all these features really does trump all others.
Without question... worth the five stars I have given.
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on 14 May 2014
Context
I had been using my cousin's Panasonic HDC-HS100 HD camcorder for a few years now and had out grown it. It was time to buy my own and get something a lot better. I bought the camcorder because of the rapidly falling prices of 4K TVs and 4K computer displays. Also, with an awareness of the way TV technology is going it made buying a regular HD camcorder a rather pointless exercise. I don't own a TV and don't have a full HD screen on my laptop. I have owned the camcorder since 29th of April 2014.

The picture quality on the camcorders lowest setting (AVCHD at 17 mega bits per second) is ok viewed on a 32inch TV. It's the setting I use for disposable video clips where the video content matters more than the quality. Filming the speaker at the recent Dorset Adult Aspergers Support meeting is an example of this. Or if you were to film yourself getting to sleep in bed and then speed it up 30 times. The picture quality on AVCHD at 24 mega bits per second is much better and is the setting I now use all the time. I haven't filmed anything using the XAVCS codec in HD or in 4K so I don't know what it's really like. I will be buying the next version of Adobe Premiere Elements when it comes out in September.

Things I like about the camcorder.
1. I like the flaps that cover the sockets on the camera. They keep the dust out.
2. I like the sharpness of the photographs it takes.
3. I love the viewfinder and the pull out screen, they have great colours.
4. The Full HD video quality is excellent when viewed on a 32 inch TV - very little dot grain and the picture is sharp.

I can't comment on the low light video quality as I have not tested that yet.

Things I don't like about the camcorder.
1. It only records in stereo when recording 4K video. When set at other resolutions sound is recorded as 5.1 audio.
2. There is no means to add owner name or address into the camcorder's menu, I'll have to make and use one of my "I'm lost please contact my owner" type stickers.
3. The multi interface shoe is where you would normally attach Sony video microphones or video lights. Sony has recessed this shoe into the body of the camcorder meaning that only Sony accessories fit. I can't attach the external mic I had from the old camcorder (an Audio Technica PRO 24-CM) without buying an Accessory Bracket (Sony VCT-55LH) because it won't fit.
4. The lens cap has no attachment for a bit of string so could easily be lost.

The Instruction / Operation Manual is available here:
[...]

The help guide is available here:
[...]

I have an Acer Aspire 5750 laptop (bought in the summer of 2011) that has an Intel Sandybridge core i7 processor and 6gb of memory. I can play the 4K XAVCS video files back using the Sony "Play Memories Software". I can't use VLC media player. It doesn't work for me. My laptop is too slow to realistically edit 4k video. It will do it but there is an excessively long wait for your project to render. It took around 15 min to render a 1.5 min video.

What to do in what order

1. Register ownership

2. Download Sony "Play Memories Software". This software inspects your existing photos and videos and displays them in date, month or year format. You are meant to use this software to copy video files from the camcorder to your pc. In my circumstances it is also the only way to play the 4k video files back. In the medium term the Sony Play Memories Software is essential to me.

3. Some early consumers get a free download of Sony Movie Studio 13 Platinum 64bit. Download and install this. This video editing software makes lower resolution proxy files of your 4k video to make editing easier. Watch the training video here [...]

4. Some early consumers also get a free download of Sony DVD architect studio 5. Download and install this.

Accessories

Microphones

Sony make 2 versions (old and new) of a Bluetooth microphone system that both use the "Multi Interface Shoe". The one to buy is the SONY ECM-W1M. This has an external microphone socket on the transmitter. The version that's available on Amazon (SONY ECM-HW2) does not. You will have to buy the ECM-W1M on eBay as for some strange reason it's not available in the UK or on the Sony UK website. The Sony Bluetooth microphone ECM-W1M that I bought on eBay works brilliantly with this camcorder.

Size for bag
The internal size for a camcorder bag is 23cm long, 11cm wide and 8.5cm high. Using these measurements would allow you to buy a bag with a good fit. If you were to buy the external microphone (Sony ECM-XYST1M or ECM-GZ1M) then you would need a taller bag.

Memory Cards
You are going to need at least 64GB SDXC card that supports the new ultra high speed (UHS 1) standard. Even then at 4K resolution you will only be able to record 2 hours and 17 minutes of video. To make the camcorder more usable consider buying a 128GB SDXC card that supports the new ultra high speed (UHS 3) standard would be a lot better. Consumers will reluctantly have to wait for 256GB SDXC UHS3 memory cards to become affordable. The benefits of such large memory cards are when you record time lapses or shoot 4K video. Sony hasn't currently verified that 128GB or 256 GB cards will work with this camcorder. However the SDXC standard does allow for memory cards up to 2TB.

Storage
If you were to film everything in 4K you WILL need some industrial strength storage. Storing the resulting video files on your laptops 1TB HDD is not going to cut it. Fortunately 4TB HDD's are now affordable.

If there were a mark 2 version my wish list would be:
Make the camcorder a USB 3.0 device. Copying a 64gb SDXC card takes ages on USB 2.0. As the read speeds of memory cards increase this will become more of an issue.
Adding GPS would allow geo tagging of photos and videos.
Include the VMC-UAM2 accessory cable in the box. This would allow you to copy the contents of the memory card on to a 2.5 inch portable hard drive and then carry on filming.

Does this camcorder render my Canon D550 DSLR redundant? Yes, much easier to use and the photos are SHARP. The video quality (even on regular 24 mega bits per second) is a significant step up from what I'm used to.

New or updated content 16th September 2014
You may need to spend additional money on:
A new Intel Core i7 computer. Wait for Intel's Broadwell CPUs to come out at February 2015. Windows 10 out by the end of September.
New XAVCS compatible video editing software.
Hard disc drives, (6 TB hard drives are now available so this should push prices of other drives down).
Memory cards,
External Microphone with "dead kitten" wind jammer e.g. Sony ECM-XYST1M. I have just bought mine recently on eBay. I will update the review when it comes on the post.
Quality tripod. I have just ordered a Velbon Videomate-638 Video Tripod (Height 171 cm) the maximum height of the tripod is important as you don't want to film peoples chins.
Sony make a tripod with a remote control on the handle (VTC-VPR1) I bought one and while its very light the legs are too thin and wasn't stiff enough so I sent it back.
You are going to need a USB 3.0 memory card reader. The memory card reader in my laptop is way too slow.
You would also benefit from some form of neck strap.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
♦ Brief ♦

Sony have taken huge strides within their expert range of camcorders; going from the bulky & pretty weighty 'FDR-AX1' 4K cam, the 'FDR-AX100' is well over half the cost, more compact and very lightweight. Granted the AX1 has some more advanced features such as in-built XLR mic inputs & can record 4K at 60p, however if you're on a budget (in the professional range), this may be just you're looking for.

♦ Box Contents & Recommended Extras ♦

- Box Contents: AX100 Camcorder | Lens Hood | Wireless Remote | Rechargeable Battery (NP-FV70) | AC Adaptor | Power Cord | HDMI Cable | USB Extention Cable | Movie Studio 13 Platinum (Download Code) | Instruction Manual.

- Recommended Extras: Memory Card: SDXC Class 10 UHS-I |Memory Card: SDXC Extreme PRO SDHC UHS-II |62mm UV Protective Filter |62mm Polarizer Filter |Spare Battery (Ex-Pro).

♦ Camcorders Main Features ♦

- 4K/25p recording & HD/25p & HD/50p recording.
- 3.5" LCD Touch-screen.
- Manual Control.
- 1.0-type back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS Sensor.
- Bionz X Processor.
- Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 29mm wide angle lens.
- 12x optical zoom.
- Digital zoom: 18x(4K) & 24x(HD).
- Near-Field Communication (NFC).
- Dual-Recording Feature.
- Lightweight: 915g in weight (with battery pack & lens hood attached).

- Other Features: Viewfinder | Multi-Interface Shoe | Infra-red light | Control Ring | HDMI Out | Headphone Port | Microphone Port | Micro-USB port | Fixed USB Cable (tucks in hand-strap).

Though I am baffled to why a camcorder at this level doesn't have dual memory card slots, one of my older budget camcorders had dual slots, but not this one? Hmm, shame.

♦ Build Quality & Ease of Use ♦

There's definitely a sense of high quality with this camcorder, it feels solidly made and is extremely easy to hold (if you're not mounting it of course).

Obviously like any new product, it does take some playing around to understand where everything is, and if you're new to advanced camcorders, it may take some time to set-up the appropriate settings.

One thing I really like about this camcorder is the fact they haven't gone overkill with the buttons, the important settings such as white balance, aperture, ISO, shutter speed & manual focus are all available for quick access. The rest of the settings can all be accessed by touch-screen and navigating through a well organised interface.

♦ Picture Quality ♦

- 4K: There's only one thing I have which allows me to view 4K footage, that is the editing software which came with the camcorder, unfortunately Windows Media Player can't support the 4K footage. I don't own a 4K TV or monitor, so unfortunately I can't appreciate the 4K for what it is, thought to what I could see, the quality was very sharp.

The manual recommends you to record in 4K as this will keep your footage future proof. Even if you can't view 4K, you can edit the 4K into a format that you can use.

#NOTE: Recording in 4K is very resource heavy. A one minute video file will take up roughly 440MB in file space and it will require a good spec'd PC.

- 1080p: Exceptional, the picture is extremely clear and sharp and you can get some real nice background defocus which really brings out the subject in focus. Be the situation bright or low-light, this camcorder seems to handle very well.

When moving around the video is very smooth. You can also enable 'SteadyShot' which helps the footage being more sturdy when moving, however depending on your filming situation, a tripod would definitely give the optimum stabilization.

I really like using the 'Cinematone' option, which adjusts the brightness & colour suitable for cinematic filming.

- Dual-Recording: Whilst this feature is enabled, during filming in, lets say a 4K video, the camcorder will also record an MP4 version at 720p. The quality is good, but you can notice a difference from the 720p to 1080p.

To give a perspective in video size, the 18 second clip was 6MB whilst the 4K was 130MB.

If you have this mode disabled, you'll be able to take photos whilst filming.

- NightShot Light Mode: The AX100 has a pretty decent infra-red light output for recording in the dark. Depending on your surroundings, you could possibly get around 5 metres range.

Most of the time this camcorder is able to focus without any issues, however sometimes it can struggle to keep focus.

- Zoom: The zoom is very fluid and goes at a decent speed. The zoom button doesn't change speed depending on how much pressure you place on the zoom button, it would be nice to have an option to customise the speed within the options.

As for zoom noise, I wouldn't say it's silent, but it's very, very quiet.

♦ Sound Quality ♦

The in-built mic seems very clear but can pick up some static noise depending on where you are. There are several options to tweak the sound, though I prefer using my own sound equipment than the in-built mic.

♦ Final Opinion ♦

Undoubtedly this is a fantastic camcorder. The built quality is fantastic, the picture quality is amazing, it's lightweight and easy to navigate around the interface.

I was actually saving up for one of these, though it was going to take me a long time to do so. To my delight I managed to get one through the Vine programme, however after using it, would I have still purchased one in the long-run? I sure would have.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
IMPORTANT INFO
-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

As of the 17th June, there is a firmware update 'Ver.2.00' for the AX100, this can be found on Sony's official site through the support section.

Here are the extras added within the update:

- Support Direct Copy for XAVC S format.
- Auto focus performance improvement.
- Focusing accuracy for main subject.
- Focus tracking performance on a person.
- Add 1/30 shutter speed.
- Change zoom speed during movie recording to same speed during standby.
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on 18 May 2015
great little camcorder but serious camera blur on picture when panning even slowly in 4k mode this is not apparent in avchd mode it can even be seen when viewing direct or off card in camera display screen don't know if this is standard or a fault not good though
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on 27 August 2016
Amazing small camera, first time I have camcorder with full manual control and built in ND filters. Low light performance is amazing too!
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on 21 November 2014
This camcorder has many various faults including very poor image stabalization,very very slow auto focus, severe rolling shutter,and to cap it all, the camcorder stopped recording video footage after only a few minutes of use and has been returned for a replacement.I have other sony camcorders sony sr1 sony sr11 and sr12 and these have been trouble free.I purchased the camcorder from Wex photographic and their after sales service has been faultless.Sony aftersales service has been abysmal.Their aftersales person i spoke too was in Cairo and when i gave her the Sony model number she said that sony did not make that model. When i tried to explain the fault with the camcorder she did not have a clue of what i was talking about.Come on Sony get your act together and treat your customers with the respect they deserve.
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