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Sony Handycam FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder | Review

April 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Digital Camcorders, Featured Camcorder

Sony Handycam FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder

Sony Handycam FDR-AX100 4K Ultra HD Camcorder

Rated 4 1/2 Stars


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The FDR-AX100 is Sony’s first compact 4K consumer camcorder. SmartReview previewed this model at CES several years back in Las Vegas. This model shoots at 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) which is at 8 megapixels resolution verus only 2 megapixels for Full HD. In addition to shooting at 4 times the resolution of HD, this model has a huge 1-inch back-illuminated Exmor R® CMOS Sensor (20.9M pixels). This is far larger than most camcorder imagers, and will give exceptional low light performance and increased dynamic range. Shooting at this resolution will future proof your videos, as the industry moves toward 4K resolution in TVs. Footage in 4K can also be used for Full HD video production, as you can crop or zoom in on your footage and still maintain Full HD quality. For best image quality, Sony has equipped the FDR-AX100 with a Carl Zeiss 12x Optical Zoom Lens.


Sony 4K Camcorder Awards

Sony's FDR-AX100 sitting with its many CES awards

Sony FDR-AX100 Features: The Sony Handycam FDR-AX100 can record Full 4K footage at 24p, and 30p. It can also record Full HD at 60p, 24p, and 30p. The high quality Carl Zeiss Wide Angle Lens has a 35mm equivalent of 29mm – 348mm. Face Detection. NightShot® Infrared System to shoot at night or complete darkness. Other features: up to 20.1 megapixel still images, Large 3.5 inch Xtra Fine LCD touch-screen (921K pixels), The new powerful Bionz X image processor allows you to record in 4K Ultra HD, as well as improving battery life. WiFi and NFC to control your camcorder remotely.


4K Ultra HD TVsCompression and Recording: The FDR-AX100 uses the new highly efficient XAVC-S 4K compression format (60Mbps bit rate) to record 4K @ 30p, or (50Mbps bit rate) to record 1080p video at 60p. The codec is so efficient, that it can hold 1 hour of 4K video on a standard 32GB Class 10 SDHC/SDXC memory card. Most other 4K camcorders require exotic storage or multiple cards to record to. This camcorder has no internal fan, so audio will not be disturbed. The camcorder does have an internal 5.1 surround sound microphone, and a standard accessory shoe for lights, and external microphones. (An XLR accessory is available). The AX100 also includes an External Microphone Jack and Headphone Jack. Other Features: Tracking Focus follows selected subjects. Hookup to an HDTV or a 4K TV through the built-in HDMI port. Dolby Digital 5.1 capable. USB 2.0 interface. Electronic OLED Viewfinder (EVF) with 2.35 million dots is provided. Includes a lens hood.


Lens Specifications: 29mm – 348mm (12x optical zoom; 18x extended zoom) F2.8-F4.5 (62mm filter)
Manual Features: Assignable dial provides control of the focus, exposure, white balance, iris, and shutter speed. Advanced controls with expanded focus, zebra, and peaking. 31 step Mic level control.
Latest Firmware: Improved autofocus, adds XAVC S 4K at 100Mbps bitrate (up from 60Mbps). Allows you to capture still pictures from your XAVC S video.


Smart-Review Commentary: Sony’s FDR-AX100 is a compact 4K camcorder with amazing image quality thanks to its huge 1-inch imager (largest of any consumer 4K camcorder). In your hand, you essentially hold a camcorder that is capable of producing video with the same resolution as a movie theater. Since most theaters now have Sony 4K Projectors installed. Shooting at 4K Ultra HD resolution will future proof your videos. 4K has 4 times the pixels of Full HD. Just as we had suggested 12 years ago to buy HD camcorders, we are doing the same with 4K. Eventually 4K TVs will be in most homes, and the video you take today will look great on those TVs, now or in 10 years. Another reason to shoot 4K is that it looks great, even if you convert it to 1080p. If you shoot in 1080p on this camcorder, it will also have higher quality because it is using the 4K capture to downsample to the 1080p video. And there are many options you have for cropping and zooming in on the 4K video, while still maintaining Full HD quality.

Sony FDR-AX100 4K Camcorder

SmartReview video coverage of the Sony FDR-AX100 at CES (Click to Start)

The Sony FDR-AX100/B has a large 1-inch imager. This imager is 6 times larger than entry level camcorders have. This will greatly improve low light performance and dynamic range of your video. The Carl Zeiss lens is top quality, so everything on this camcorder is premium quality. It also has an excellent 2.35 million dot OLED EVF Viewfinder. The camcorder has an extemely efficient recording codec XAVC-S 4K which allows you to record to a standard memory card at a bitrate of 60mbps. In fact, you can store 1 hour of video to an inexpensive 32GB memory card. (new firmware just added a 4K 100Mbps bitrate). We have previewed the footage taken by this camcorder on a 4K TV, and its very clean with no artifacts or imperfections that we could see. In fact the sample footage looked better than most of the video being shown on 4K TVs at CES. There is no fan in this camcorder, so audio from the internal 5.1 surround sound mic should be clean. The FDR-AX100 is a Smart-Review top pick.


Sony FDR-AX100
4K Camcorder
FDR-AX100
4K Camcorder
FDR-AX700
4K Camcorder
FDR-AX53
4K Camcorder
    Camcorder Features

  • 4K Ultra HD Recording
  • Optical SteadyShot™
  • 12x Optical Zoom
  • Huge 1-inch Imager
  • Fanless Design
  • BIONZ® X image processor
  • OLED EVF Viewfinder
  • Manual Controls
  • 60p HD Mode
  • 24p,30p in 4K Mode
  • 3.5 inch Touch-Screen
  • WiFi and NFC
  • NightShot® Infrared System
  • HDMI Output
  • Carl Zeiss Lens
  • 29mm Wide Angle Lens

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Older Model
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Newest Model
273-Point Autofocus

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Newest Model
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Camcorder Bundle Deals Sony FDR-AX100
+ Accessory Kit
Sony FDR-AX700
+ Accessory Kit
Sony FDR-AX700
+ Accessory Kit
    Bundle Deals
    Sony FDR-AX100 & FDR-AX700
    + Accessory Kits


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Bundle Deal

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Upgrade to the new Sony FDR-AX700: The FDR-AX700 adds a new 273-Point Phase Detection Autofocus system for much faster and accurate focusing, similar to the fast focusing of Mirrorless Sony Cameras. Adds S-Log2 and S-Log3 and S-Gamut Picture Profiles. New HLG format, for HDR (High Dynamic Range) which can playback on HDR equipped TVs. Added a 120p mode for Full HD video at (100 Mbps bit rate) recording. LCD resolution has increased to 1.55M dots. Also added was a second SD Card Slot, do now you have Dual SD card slots.

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