Capture professional-quality video with this Sony XDCAM camcorder. The Exmor RS CMOS sensor with a BIONZ X processor delivers cinematic imagery, high resolution and excellent performance in low lighting conditions. Hybrid auto-focus keeps videos crisp and sharp even when recording action shots, while wireless FTP file transfer capabilities make it easy to upload raw footage for editing. A multi-interface shoe lets you add optional accessories to this Sony XDCAM camcorder for custom camera setups.
Amazing camera. I upgraded from the AX53.
If you owned the AX53 and noticed the isues of not being able to get clear focused subjects .
Then the XDCAM is it. Excellent clairty and features. Keep it up on this one.
One thing the Zoom does not go as far as I would like it. Without losing clarity.
There's always room for improvement.
Very happy with this product. .Nov 12, 2019 02:38
Excellent..we use it for church streaming. Love to purchaae another one.Aug 17, 2021 01:48
I researched this purchase for awhile before diving in. I was committed to buying a camera that could take video and handle sound in a more professional way than my SLR camera might and certainly better than a Smart Phone.
All those work fine for vacation videos and family moments, but I wanted something I could use for more detailed work - like adding music, cut and pasting photos over the video, dubbing sounds, and even a clearer style picture, of a professional quality.
I recently taped a theatrical play I directed and made a 4 minute training video as well - adding all sorts of things. Overall the system was EASY to use and learn.
This is NOT the least expensive, but it by far is not the most expensive either.
What is it is a great value for all that it does. I added a Rodes boom mike and a spot light., and also purchased an extra battery, but have not needed it.
Look bottom line -- if you want a camcorder you can do some editing work with later and make the video more than just a serious of moving pictures... but don't want to buy a professional priced gear, this is th eunit for you,Jun 29, 2019 00:34
A tiny camera with tons of pro features though the camera lacks depth. Very flat image. And under low light conditions it performs very poorly unless the gain is increased, which adds grain. Very expensive for what you get…May 05, 2021 07:58
Still reading manual. Step by step . Thinking it records 2 channel audio maybe figured out how to go wireless. Just purchased and learning.Apr 17, 2020 16:13
Great camera for the price, broadcast quality video!Jul 02, 2021 15:53
The Z90 gives broadcast quality 4K with advanced features such as high-speed auto focus, Instant HDR workflow up to 960fps is a beast along with super-slow motion. Streaming via Wi-Fi is little tricky to set up but once done you are all set. Expecting a fix in 2019 update (Simple Live free upgrade)
You might definitely need the battery kit ACC-V1BPA which comes along with NP-FV100A high capacity battery if you are going to record for more than 60-70mins on a 70A batteryAug 13, 2019 14:22
Very happy with this camera - simple to use yet has picture quality and many features of much more expensive professional camerasFeb 23, 2019 12:37
Transfer real life to video without losing any of its vibrancy with this Sony Handycam FDR-AX700 4K Premium camcorder. Fast Hybrid AF delivers quick response, and 4K UHD replays your recordings in brilliant clarity via television or monitor. The ergonomic, lightweight design of this Sony Handycam camcorder is easy to grip and manage no matter where the action happens.
First, I am not an expert videographer, but I have had good advanced amateur video cameras as an amateur for the past 25 years.
Bottom line, I like this camera very much and would buy it again in a heartbeat.
I chose this camera because it has a one inch sensor, much larger than the sensors in most consumer video cameras. So the physical size of each pixel is larger and it will be better in low light. This camera is at the very top of the prosumer range and takes images of terrific quality. It is a little bigger, feels very well built, and a little heavier than the cameras I am used to. One thing I really like is that it is a second generation design. That means Sony had a couple of years of experience with the design before they made this one, so the design of this one benefits from that experience. Even with good image stabilization, for longer clips, like a grandchild performance for three minutes, it's also really helpful to get a good tripod.
IMHO the video cameras today from Sony, Canon, and Panasonic are all excellent...a lot better than me... They all have more features than I would ever use. Whatever the camera you choose, learning how to get the most out of that camera is much more important than the selection you make.
Keep in mind that each of the features has been put there by videographers more experienced than me who thought they added important versatility to the camera. So whatever camera you choose, if you want to get better as a videographer, a good way to start is to take your camera out and try each feature and learn to use it (on non important video). As you learn to use the features you also learn the creative opportunities that each feature opens to you.
Don't buy a video camera to take fine quality still pictures. The still cameras have much more nuanced color processing and better pictures. Also video cameras generally have a narrower field of vision than the widest vision available on still cameras, and for stills, that's very important.Jan 24, 2020 23:49
A few years ago I purchased a Sony FDR-AX100 and I've been very happy with it. Now I've purchased a Sony FDR-AX700, which has many upgrades not present in my early-model AX-100.
Pros - my top favorites
- The autofocus seems faster and more accurate.
- Time lapse ability.
- Slow motion ability.
- Improvements to the hot shoe make mounting some non-Sony devices (like microphones) possible or easier.
- Slots for two SD cards, with a variety of options.
- Shares the same model batteries as the AX-100.
- Most buttons and controls in the same place as on the AX-100, so moving from the AX-100 to the AX-700 is pretty smooth.
- Nice eye cup makes using the EVF outdoors in the sun a great option.
The AX-100 had a button you could press to put the internal microphones in a mode where camera operator speech or sounds were greatly reduced - I used that feature a lot. It does not appear to be present in the AX-700.
The AX-700 has some controls moved to new locations, and some informational displays changed a bit, so when switching between the two camcorders there are some things to get used to.
The ability to re-purpose some of the buttons is handy, depending upon how you are using the camcorder. Some may find this a killer feature, while others may never use it. Personally, I like and use it.
There are some differences in the size and shape when going from the AX-100 to the AX-700. The AX-700 is a little larger, and in particular, a little wider. If you have a camcorder bag that your AX-100 fits nicely, you may find that the AX-700 does not fit it. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as in my case it meant that I have two different size camcorder bags so a quick look at the bag tells me which camcorder is in the bag.
The AX-100 and AX-700 share the same batteries, so the batteries you have for the AX-100 will work great with the AX-700.
Similarly, both camcorders use SD cards, and depending upon the codec you are using for recording, your existing SD cards will probably work well with the AX-700, but in some cases you may need to go to a higher-speed SD card to use some bitrates supported by the AX-700. The second slot is also very handy!
Instruction Manual Pet Peeve
One change to make note of if you are a user of the AX-100 is that to get to the menu on the AX-700 you MUST press the "MENU" button which on the AX-100 is the "MANUAL" exposure button. Similarly, on the AX-700 if you want to go to manual exposure you need to move a slide switch on the back of the camcorder below and to the left of the eyepiece. The location of the "MENU" button IS in the manual, but you don't run across it until page 46 of the manual I have, or page 59 in the "Parts and controls" section at the end of the manual, UNLESS you are interested in taking photos, in which case you will find a reference on page 25.
Personally, I think pages 57 through 63 should be near the FRONT of the manual so if you are reading the manual front-to-back you will see the diagrams before you need to use the buttons, not at the end, right before the "Index".
Also, there are index entries for a lot of switches and buttons, but there is NO ENTRY FOR THE MENU BUTTON, one of the most important buttons.
Just as with the AX-100, with the AX-700 you will probably want a battery with a larger capacity, and there is one - the Sony NP-FV100A. I'm not sure how long the NP-FV100A lasts with the AX-700, but with the AX-100 I have typically gotten from about 4 hours 10 minutes to 4 hours 35 minutes of continuous 4K recording with the flip out LCD display in use.
I'm very happy with my AX-700, and it makes great 4K recordings.Sep 03, 2021 18:11
Well worth every penny. Got it to video my 8 month old daughter growing up. Also, for vacation trips. I'm a paranormal investigator and using this AX700 paired with the Sony HVL-LEIR1 battery video IR light you will make some crazy good night videos and pics! Don't forget the LCS-U30 case!Jul 10, 2020 19:07
Zero complaints. Purchased as an upgrade to the camera I was using for Youtube videos. Very happy with my purchase. Love the dual SD card slots. Only complaint is that I wish I could pull video off without connecting directly to my computer or having to pull the card.Apr 21, 2021 07:33
One of sony great cameras can be used as a main camera or back up, either way a great investmentSep 21, 2021 03:54
Dual SD cards is fantastic! One for me, one to give out. Faster auto focus, sharper detail. Only complaint is recording in high speed, you will have auto slow motion in playback for the file using Mac and I hate that. Wish I could just have the file with no auto slow motion. Those that have the AX53 know what I mean.May 31, 2019 15:51
I've been using two AX100s for years as part of my video business, using them to tape theatrical productions, recording interviews, performances rehearsals, etc., and found them reliable, with a slightly oversharp image and no way to modify the image besides the most basic, consumer level picture profiles. Yet they produced a really nice image and seemed bulletproof in their manner of just churning out the footage, job after job.
The AX700 is the AX100 as I've very much wanted it to be for years. The autofocus is vastly improved over the AX100 - such a joy - the image and camera option menus are much more in line with a professional camera - the image itself seem to have more depth to it - I could go on and on. Very very satisfied.Apr 16, 2018 00:38
I bought the AX-53 4K Camcorder in 2020, and the only complaint I have between the two is that the AX700 requires you to use the Menu button a lot to perform some basic functions with the touch screen, like deleting videos. The issue with this is that the Menu button is behind and under the touch screen making it hard to access. With the AX-53 model, the delete feature (and many others) are included in the touchscreen menu not requiring you to use physical buttons on the side of the camcorder. This is just an annoyance, honestly and minor in comparison to the value gained by the hefty price difference. (2 memory cards is an essential plus) For a camcorder that I just need to sit on a tripod and record things, this is superior to the AX-53 in a few ways. The AX-53 is superior in the field though due to its longer optical zoom and "moving lens" that's mounted on a gyroscope, for one.
I would also add that the ECMW2BT Bluetooth Microphone and Lavalier useable through the hot-shoe DOES actually work even though the touch screen pop-up warning says it doesn't. (just switch to Analog) I've tested it over 50' away around corners and out of line-of-sight.Sep 30, 2021 13:29
Shoot video in ultrahigh 4K resolution with the Sony 4K Expert Handycam. The advanced Exmor R sensor delivers outstanding image clarity and reduces artifacts and noise for a great-looking, consistent video. Use the 29 mm wide-angle lens for up to 12x optical zoom, which ensures your Sony 4K Expert Handycam captures all the action.
Received my camera today. It was described as "Open Box", "Condition Excellent", and I agree. There is no damage or even sign of use on the camera or accessories and everything was included and nicely packed into the original box.
I had read some reviews saying this was a larger HandyCam, so I got out my older HandyCams to compare. The largest is a Video8 unit from 1995. I used it 7 years and documented both of my sons' first years and many important family events. The 2002 HandyCam DVD was a nice upgrade in picture quality and convenience. It was much smaller and featured Super SteadyShot, so the video was much smoother.
The AX53 is longer than the HCDVD, but not as tall. I expected to use the bag from the DVD HandyCam, but the AX53 is about 1 inch too long and doesn't fit. Well, it does fit with the battery removed but there is nowhere in the case to put the battery. Of the three cameras, the AX53 is much smaller than the Video8 HandyCam, and smaller than the DVD HandyCam in all dimensions but length. In the hand, the start/stop button, picture button, and zoom rocker are right where I expect them to be, so it feels very familiar.
One point notes is that the first two came with remotes for recording and for playback, so you can wire the camera to a TV and control it across the room. The AX53 did not include a remote but can use a smartphone to control it.
I've used the Sony HandyCams and a long zoom Cybershot for 25 years now, and have never had a failure. The old ones are hopelessly outdated but still work. Expecting this AX53 to continue the family tradition!Feb 19, 2020 21:46
I bought the AX53 shortly after the birth of our first child, wanting something that was better for video than my phone (Pixel 3xl). I have zero regrets with this purchase as it's allowed my to effortlessly capture hours and hours of memories in surprisingly high quality.
When picking a camcorder, picture and sound quality, and ease of use were the only important criteria. I knew 4K was going to be a must, and contemplated spending more, up to 2.5x more, for HDR (looking at Sony's AX100 and 700 cams, as well as those from Canon and Panasonic). I also was interested in trying to find a camcorder that would shoot in 5.1 surround while in 4k mode, but this wasn't possible inside the price range I was considering. I've owned other Sony imaging products, with my main camera being an a6300, so having a common hot shoe interface was definitely a plus, and I knew Sony sensors are among the best for imagine quality which is what drove me here.
After hours of comparison videos on YouTube and reviews and forum posts, I finally landed on the AX53 primarily for one reason: the absurdly amazing optical image stabilization. They describe it as having what is essentially an internal gimbal, and after hours of usage in a variety of scenarios (walking around, zooming in, etc) I can say without a doubt that this is the greatest feature of this camera. Generally, if you're not using a tripod, your videos are going to be annoyingly shaky. This simply isn't an issue in the vast majority of scenarios with the AX53. It's the reason I chose this one over the slightly superior imagine quality of the 1" sensor on the AX100, which is relatively close in cost. That one has no optical stabilization, so the trade-off in image quality was easily worth it. That being said, I'm also very satisfied with how great the videos look. Watching them using the included HDMI cable on both a 55" 4K TV and a 4K projector on a 93" screen, I'm very, very pleased with how good they turn out. The only really semi downside, which would've been better on the AX100, is that sometimes low light videos look less than stellar, especially when compared to what this thing does in daylight. Overall, great video quality though when using the 4K 100mbps setting.
Usability with the AX53, like others on the market I suspect, is what I'd consider comparable to a point and shoot camera. You flip the screen open, that turns it on, and you're immediately ready to start taking videos. When you're done, close the screen and it's off. This couldn't be any simpler. Changing shooting modes and settings is also simple, with most of the options being configurable from a button on the main display. One additional option that I didn't think I'd use, but that I'm really glad to have, is the dual shooting mode, where you can record videos simultaneously in full quality, as well as in lesser quality .MP4 files. This enables quick sharing without the need to down convert in situations where you just want to quickly share a video to social media or via text. Great feature.
The main downside I've seen discussed with the AX53 is the manual image setting controls. While you can technically set most of the aspects of the image, you can only set one thing at a time, meaning you don't REALLY have manual control over the image. For me, this isn't really that much of an issue, given the cam's auto mode does a pretty great job of getting things right in the vast majority of scenes. This may be a huge sticking point for those who desire complete control over things like aperture, focus, and WB, though.
Overall, I am completely satisfied with the AX53. It does it's job very well with no nagging issues. Even though it's a couple years old at this point, the image quality is very good. I would highly recommend this one.Aug 01, 2020 11:48
Video/photo quality is great.
Menues are understandable but UI is mediocre. It’s kind of a pain to switch between different photo/vid settings. Would love to see more actual buttons instead of having to go to the menu for everything.
Camera is a decent size and weight. But don’t expect to be able to take great action footage.
Overall this is a good prosumer model that can handle a wide variety of needs. A jack of all trades and master of none.Jun 21, 2018 13:36
In my opinion the Sony ax-53 has performed incredibly well. It’s surpassed nearly all my expectations.
High School soccer and Basketball are no problem for this camcorder. Even for interviews and walk and talk filming as well. Very stable for handheld use.
It’s not fair to judge this product by standards beyond its limitations. So please understand that my issue with it is really more a matter of what I am looking for in a product than the product itself.
I realized after using it for multiple uses that what I really needed was a camera with ability to record video in 4K for an hour without overheating but also be able to take photos like a camera with a full frame or crop sensor.
If you’re looking for a product to record things like sporting events in 4K and also wanting to have a product that can take quality photos than this Camcorder is probably not for you.
If you’re looking for what I believe is the best camcorder available to consumers then I believe that this is the best one out there to getJan 18, 2020 00:58
Super smooth zoom in and out,great battery life,super great picture qualityDec 06, 2019 15:50
Probably the best mini camcorder out there that you can buy. 4K video quality is hard to find, even with the latest cell phones. But the best feature has to be the image stabilization. Can film my sons sporting events and watch them afterwards without getting motion sickness. Only wish it had wifi uploading functionality like cell phones.Sep 03, 2021 17:04
Before making this purchase, I spent 6 months reviewing multiple brands and units. Haven't owned a camcorder in 25yrs, currently use my Nikon D810 with 20mm prime f1.8 and 24-70 f2.8 for the occasional 5-10 min video. That said to qualify that I have a high expectation of image clarity and color reproduction. Substandard equipment [within my budget] just won't do.
By sheer luck, I came across a comment someone made about seeing this at CES and found a video accordingly. After reviewing the specs and seeing the ''bare minimum'' posted video from this particular camcorder, decided to wait and look personally when it came out. Very glad I did....
Pro's: In sunlight, 4K, this camcorder is absolutely PHENOMENAL. Color, clarity, depth of detail is simply beyond expectation. 1080P is slightly less when compared side by side, but still fantastic. You can pause a recording and see details in the image the look like a still photograph.
Daylight, indoors, 4K, still produced recordings above my personal expectations. Color is great, clarity [if you have your settings and focus tracking properly] still great.
Sound capture: Using only the internal mic, it's not perfect but MUCH better than expected and for home/personal use I have no need for a shotgun mic [which is available] Depending on your settings it offers Stereo, in 4K, or 5.1 surround in lower resolution.
Low Light: wow, read the specs but really didn't think it would be this good. Not studio grade, but for my experience and needs pretty close. Scenes filmed on the city street, at night, 4K, are clear and colorful even handheld.
In depth, real world, low light test: https://youtu.be/jA3TpopmSvw
Optical stabilization: Are you kidding me? 5 axis floating head you can see move? This thing records video in low light, 4K from a moving car you can easily use for home movies [or security footage] if desired. Stop the frame and you can read the road signs going down the highway...
B.O.S.S. in 1080P is even better when walking around, almost no movement.
Cons: Occasionally struggles a bit in low light moving from varying depth of field objects if it's a dark subject and faster moving pan, but actually I don't see the need for that [you can also bump the focus assist to correct or simply let the camera catch up]
Dropping the resolution to take advantage of 5.1 surround and additional image stabilization results in more noise [especially bare minimum lighting], but who wants that/those shots anyway.
Battery life with the supplied unit isn't stellar [2-1/2 hrs +/-], better than the 90's units though ~ I'd recommend buying a spare and an external charger as it's only rechargeable using the cord when on the unit otherwise.
Summation: For the money, this unit easily performs above it's level. I put it on par, perhaps better, with the more expensive AX100 for 700.00 less. Still well within my return period, have around 50hrs of recorded video used and have no buyers remorse. It's a keeper.Apr 12, 2016 08:49
I've been using this camera for almost a year and I've created so much amazing content and I haven't looked back. The camera stabilization is top notch and the zoom is great in multiple situations. The battery life is bearable but that's the price of recording in 4k (buy extra batteries chief). Overall it's worth the 5 stars and if you're on a budget this is bang for your buck.Jan 08, 2021 13:33
Capture high-quality videos with this Sony Handycam 4K camcorder. The 0.4-inch CMOS sensor delivers high-resolution 4K content with fast intelligent autofocus and enhanced audio, while the SteadyShot image stabilizer boasts clear detailed shots even at full zoom. This Sony Handycam 4K camcorder has a built-in Highlight Movie Maker that lets you create and share videos seamlessly.
GOOD – BUT MOST WILL WANT THE NEXT MODEL UP
REVIEW: Sony - Handycam AX43 4K Camcorder - Black
Best Buy Tech Insider Network
Overall the AX43 has very good image quality and great zoom with fantastic image stabilization, but it is missing some features that I expected at this price point. Almost all the missing features I wanted are on the next model up AX53 for only a little more money.
Mechanically, except for the missing features, they are the same, so this review should mostly work for the AX53 as well.
POSITIVES: Good Battery Life, Relatively Compact (but bigger than I expected), Hot Shoe Accessories, External MIC Capable, Good to Great Images in bright to dim lighting (not 0 LUX).
SHORTCOMINGS (most fixed on AX53): No Viewfinder, No Night Vision, Poor Viewing Angles on Screen, No Remote Control Included, No Live Streaming, Limited Photo Modes. Low (0 Lux) light is poor.
I can recommend the AX series, but if any of these shortcomings above are important to you, then spend a little bit more and get the upgraded AX53 instead.
UNBOXING: (see picture)
Typical Sony Camera Packaging, no surprises, well packaged, everything nice and secure. Easy to open, easy to unbox, easy to set up. The camera feels a little more fragile than my Sony Cameras of the past. It is also larger than I expected in this age of miniaturization and this price point (see pics). Nevertheless, it was easy to use without the manual.
The Photo button is not in a good place, thus it necessitates two hands to use if you want to hold the camera steady while clicking.
Here is what you really bought the Video Camera for. At 8MP (mega pixels) it is more than enough for 4K Video, and while it also does a good job at snapshots, it won’t be the same as your 20MP DSLR. I took some video and stills with both my Sony 20MP RX100-VA and the AX43 to compare side by side. To the naked eye, there is little difference. The AX wins hands down on zoom (20X optical vs 3X optical) so I was able to get incredible closeup images from far away. Though I could get slightly better images with the RX camera I had to be right on top of the subject, which is rarely possible. The gimbal based Image Stabilization is amazing and probably the feature most worth the investment.
Note: This does not shoot HDR video, in case that matters to you. Again, I would have expected it at this price point.
EASE OF USE:
Overall, the AX43 is very easy to use, I only have a few minor complaints.
The VIEWING ANGLE of the screen is very small. This means you need to be looking at it head on. It swivels, so you would think this would not be a problem, but it is. I find that I have to use 2 hands all the time. One on the view screen and one holding up the camera. The reason is that I have to change the angle of the view screen constantly as I move the camera around. The AX53 has an improved screen, maybe that is not a problem on that unit.
The PHOTO BUTTON is in an awkward place which again means you have to use 2 hands to hold the camera steady when taking a photo.
There is no hard or soft “stop” when transitioning from Optical to Digital Zoom. I understand this on the video side of things as 4K is smaller than 8MP so there is some buffer to spare. But in photo mode you usually don’t want to exceed the optical limits.
These are minor things for most people, and they are for me as well. They don’t take away from any of the other quality features. I’m just more used to other Sony products being so perfect ergonomically these stood out a little to me.
You can read the feature list for yourself. What I appreciate the most are many of the little touches like all the ports have sliding covers. I like that is has a hot shoe mount for accessories like an external microphone. I like that the screen is touch screen. I’ve used the wifi remote app (memories) to transmit images to the phone or computer. The app is OK if you need to quickly get something to your phone to share, but I usually have to spend a few minutes fussing with the apps and wifi settings to make it work each time, while my spouse rolls her eyes for me taking too long to text the picture to her so she can share it.
My biggest disappointment and my bad assumption was that I could use this as a webcam for live streaming. The AX53 says it supports live streaming the AX43 does not. Most of the last few Sony Video Cameras I owned had this feature, I just assumed it would be there since they promote the as a VLOGGING platform. This means instead of using it every day, it goes back in the box until I go on my next vacation.
On the plus side I’ve never seen video stabilization this good.
SIDE NOTE: Why not just use my point and shoot RX100 for video?
I can’t say enough good things about the RX100 line of cameras, but they are not video cameras. The RX is used for photos and the occasionally video while the AX is used primarily for video and the occasional snapshot. Why drive a truck vs a sedan, they are both vehicles but specialize in different things. For one, the RX100Va and below have a short zoom 3x vs 20x. Also, the RX sensor is much larger, draws a lot of power, and can only shoot 4K video for about 5 minutes before it overheats. It also does not have a shoe mount or external mic input (though later models do). I tried to use only my RX on my last vacation and I missed a lot of great shots and videos that would have been better on a Camcorder like the AX. I could have recorded our entire private opera performance with the AX at 4K. Instead I had to record it at 1080p and only for 30 minutes instead of an hour because of the heating issue on the RX. They are just built for different purposes. You need them both!
Overall, the AX-43 is a good quality camera with all the basic features you typically would need. For my tastes I would upgrade to the AX-53 with more features. I’m more of the “rather have them and not use them” kind of person. Case in point, 6 months ago I would not care if I could use this as a Webcam. 4 Months into the COVID lockdown and I really need a better webcam than the one built into the laptop.
I’m still rating this 5 stars for what it is, as I don’t believe in taking away stars for what it is not. It does everything it says it does, it does it well, and with high quality. You can't go wrong with Sony Camera / Video Gear.Jul 19, 2020 17:54
The Sony FDR-AX43 enters a world you’d think wouldn’t see the camcorder as a viable product. However, with the explosion of content creation, video cameras have entered a new life. While action cameras, and even Sony’s own lineup of mirror-less cameras have become popular in this space, Sony knows that packing a good sensor, excellent glass, and microphones into the well honed form-factor of a camcorder has worked for generations. In a camcorder, you get more of everything, and if your focus is video production, the AX43 delivers in spades.
First of all, Sony markets this camera to vloggers and content creators. Don’t let that fool you into thinking this isn’t an excellent piece of kit to record family activities, sporting events or special events. In fact, the built in gimbal - what Sony call’s the “Balanced Optical SteadyShot w/ Intelligent Active mode” (whew that’s a mouthful!) - makes this one of the best hand held cameras for this sort of shooting - especially while utilizing zoom. The AX43 was designed to be used on the move, and records professionally smooth video while walking and moving about. This produces movies that are far less distracting than those even taken with the highest end smartphones, action cams, DSLR or mirrorless cameras. This is also a perfect feature for vloggers keeping video production high quality. It is however creepy how the lens follows you during movement - just fair warning. It’s like the camera has an eye ball rolling around in the body.
Video quality is great with this camera. Out of the box in low-light, the AX43 outperforms my A6000 in movie mode easily. Auto focus is solid and flexible with minimal hunting. Zoom is quiet with no discernible noise. There is zebra and peaking settings to help understand real-time shooting information which is helpful. The lens/sensor combo does a great job and offers both a wide angle and great zoom. Video is 4K/30fps or 1080p60 with a 120fps option.
Feature wise, filters/lens hoods of 55mm are able to be attached. There is a door at the top that reveals the hot shoe mount. A 3.5mm microphone jack is hidden behind a door on the left side, along with the multi-connector which is micro-usb. Opening the screen exposes the SD card slot and micro-HDMI connector hiding behind their own doors. The almost ubiquitous layout of zoom control at the top with a photo button behind the rocker with a record button in thumb’s reach on the backside is present. There is a large microphone array near the from lens which is directionally aware. There is a feature to allow the camera man’s voice to be muted which is nice if you are a small time production with a camera man. Hiding near the front lower left is another door revealing a 3.5mm headphone jack - ostensibly for editing on the go. Physically it’s a pretty sleek package save the battery hanging off the back - which is especially noticeable on the AX43 vs the AX33 and AX53 with viewfinders.
Software wise on the camera, the menu system is quick and responsive. It’s initial setup is easy enough, but the menus are laid out about as well as any camera from the past 15 years - which is to say abysmal, but usable. Options are grouped according to task, which sometimes leaves them hard to find. Advanced options are all hiding behind arcane naming that has long since scared away a majority of users who will leave everything on auto and pray. Options such as facial recognition that will automatically take still photos when smiles are detected are what I would file under interesting if slightly creepy. There are limited editing capabilities with simple effects. There is the option to set your videos to six different “music” which hilariously all sound like MIDI synthesized generic background music from different genres. The Action Cam Movie Creator software is not the easiest to use either, so you may want to invest in some software if video production is your intent.
If you want to use the AX43 for live video streaming, you’ll need a capture device. Luckily I had an AverMedia capture device and was highly impressed at the quality in this role. The HDMI connection worked without any adjustments and offered both video and audio that blew away my mid-range webcam. It’s obvious overkill for Zoom meetings, but for live streaming in even low-light it performed quite well. I do wish the USB connection would have natively offered to be a capture device, so do be aware there’s another $100+ investment in a good capture device to use it like this.
The biggest problem I have with the AX43 is the fact that it delivers much of the value of the AX53, but for a price that’s too close for the compromises to make sense. You get a much lower screen resolution, you lose the optical view finder (especially helpful for framing outdoor shots on sunny days), the more advanced manual features, and the 0 lux night shot. Other than those differences, the AX43 is near identical to its bigger AX53 brother, yet only $100 separates them in price. Perhaps none of these features mean anything to you, but overall the compromises make the AX43 less versatile than it could have been. I lament the loss of the optical view finder the most. This does feel like a model specifically designed by Sony to capitalize on the content creator explosion, deliver what it thinks that audience wants while trimming the features of the AX53 to maximize profits. The problem? I think most vloggers will just go straight to the AX53 for the additional flexibility it offers.
Any model criticism aside - the AX43 packs all the core tools for producing excellent video. From smooth video, noise/voice cancelling, attachment mounting - the core feature set to deliver a flexible platform is here. The lens and sensor have outstanding performance you’d expect from Sony. If you can live with the compromises found here, the AX43 is an excellent camera.Jul 23, 2020 00:52
It does what it's supposed to! Quality footage and images with multiple shooting options.Mar 26, 2021 17:50
I have been using this camera for a little over a week now and i can say i am liking it. I have used video cameras since they were VHS and its been crazy to see the evolution of the tech. There are 3 main reasons why i like this camera and rate it highly. It's capture quality, it's design and its durability.
First of all, the capture quality of this video camera is high, as in 4k high. The 4k capture paired with the onboard internal stabilizing mechanism assures anyone from vloggers to outdoor enthusiasts to even anyone recording friends and family will have a near wiggle/wobble free shot. The stabilizing feature is one of those thing that you wont quite realize the benefit until you see a side by side. This paired with the extra long battery life and companion app life will assure a high quality experience and production value.
Design and Durability are the other primary reasons i like this video camera. Camera's ive used in the past are all made of the super slippers hard plastic on the exterior shell. Well, one thing that i noticed immediately was the built in grip which is placed where your hand goes when recording, This assures a reduce chance of slippage by hugging your record hand securely. The compactness of this video camera is also akin of a a helmet cam of some sort...not in the face that its small, but in the way of how much tech is squeezed into such a small frame.
All in all, I love this 4k beast. Its ahead of its time and is in a different category of its competitors due to its output quality, design and durability.Jul 22, 2020 19:58
after looking into a lot of cameras and camcorders, for what we needed this not only fit the price but had a lot of features we wanted. I have had the ax43 for about two weeks now and i am still loven the camcorder so much that i want to get one more. The only thing that would be better is the 6600 for the XT4, witch cost more and at the time are not out yet.Mar 19, 2020 01:20
Overpriced. Yes nice quality lens. The bad it doesn’t record 5.1 surround in 4k filming. Only 2.0 stereoJul 10, 2020 16:59
I haven’t had a dedicated camcorder in quite some time, but the Sony Handycam has been a well known brand since the 80’s. I really had high expectations for the FDR-AX43 being a 4K camcorder with a gimbal mechanism built in. However, I don’t feel it is everything I had imagined it to be.
First off, I’m not saying this is a bad camcorder. It does record nice quality video and photos, much better than my phone has over the past few years. The 20x optical zoom, 30x(4K)/40x(HD) clear image zoom is pretty amazing when looking down on the city (image attached from photo mode reduced for upload size). The built in microphones provide pretty decent audio quality, as well as an audio zoom when enabled. When in AVCHD format it also provides 5.1 surround recording. There is also room for expansion to include external microphone, handheld grip and interchangeable battery.
There are various shooting modes depending on the format set and different quality settings for higher bit rate and frame rate. However, you have to change each of these settings in order for the specific options to appear, not auto selected when you pick a shooting mode like one would expect. Example being the High Speed Rec shooting mode only being available if you are in the XAVC S HD format which can only be changed while in the movie shooting mode. The good thing is, the touch screen is really responsive and gets through the menus quickly.
The built in gimbal does reduce the common hand shake, however, it does not have the full benefit of a real gimbal, such as rotation, and when zoomed in seems to create a slight mechanical looking shake of its own.
Quality of the video is decent, but I felt that some of the colors looked washed out and faded, especially when zoomed in. I also noticed a lot of blurring in any motion when recording in XAVC 4K movie mode which can be reduced in higher modes with higher frame rates, but then it appears to introduce grain.
Another feature when recording in specific formats is simultaneous recording for sharing and highlights. This is so that you can quickly share a 720p video that will be about 5% that in storage size of the 4K video file for faster download and share of the video. However, the quality is pretty bad with lots of digital noise. There are three different apps that you can use to connect to the camera via your phone, all named differently so that it makes it difficult to find till you organize them. Each provides their own function such as controlling the camera remotely, transferring images and editing. Why they couldn’t combine most of those functions into one app so you're not connecting/disconnecting, changing WiFi direct and data connections multiple times is beyond me.
I really feel like they tried to make an all in one feature packed camera, but didn’t make it exceptional in any particular one of those features.Jul 21, 2020 12:46
This Camcorder is perfect for me on the go with the kids and the dog. The fact it can double as a camera and takes excellent pictures. In fact because of the optical stabilization it takes great pictures without a tripod and a nice optical zoom it makes it really cool. I've included an example of a picture taken in a poorly lit room from a distance of my keyboard. Did a nice job. I like the fact it was also easy to pair with my phone for remote control of recording/pictures and send them to the phone. Otherwise taking videos of the kids was really easy and have been coming out great even as they move and run. Also it had a mode to take stop motion, which I've always wanted to do and that was cool. Basically this is a cool camcorder with better image you can get from a phone and easy to use. I do highly recommend you follow the recommendations for an SD card for recording. The battery seems to last enough to get me through what I need. I honestly admit I haven't stressed it trying to get 160 minutes of video in one shot, but getting a bunch 10 minute videos/pictures I can get through the day without issue.
I've been very happy to carry this around to capture memories of my kids and the video looks great that makes the grandparents who are remote being able to enjoy it on the TV with great clarity. It is really easy and if you need a camera to capture pictures and take videos this definitely seems to be the one.Jul 21, 2020 21:34
Capture quality footage with this Sony Full HD camcorder. A 3.5-inch touchscreen OLED LCD panel supports easy operation, while the Exmor RS CMOS sensor ensures quality video capture even in dim light. This Sony Full HD camcorder features HDMI A and multi-Micro-USB output for connectivity plus two memory card slots for more storage space.
This camera returns clear and bright images. The 1” light sensor helps in lower light settings. Multiple ways to input audio. High value purchase.Jun 29, 2020 11:52
Great camcorder the zoom feature works well for recording church
services, I like the switchable inputs, the quality of video is great.Jan 01, 2021 18:35
Great beginners camera love how small and easy to carry it is.Nov 08, 2019 20:33
The HXR-NX80 introduces the next generation of NXCAM® palm-sized professional camcorder with XAVC S 4K, Fast Hybrid Auto Focus, Instant HDR workflow and Live Streaming via RTMP / RTMPS protocol with a large 1” (1.0-type) Exmor RS sensor.
A tiny camera with tons of pro features though the camera lacks depth. Very flat image. And under low light conditions it performs very poorly unless the gain is increased, which adds grain. Very expensive for what you get…May 05, 2021 07:58