Sony 4K Handycam (FDR-AX100): Unboxing & Overview

by birtanpublished on May 17, 2021

Hey guys Mike here the Detroit Borg and I'm really excited to show you my new YouTube camcorder so this is the sony handycam FDR a x100 in 4k so this is the camera that kind of stole the show at CES this year is the first camcorder to bring 4k down to the kind of prosumer level this is a $2,000 camera so it's still kind of expensive but certainly not as expensive as a red camera and certainly better than something like a 4k camera and a cell phone so it's kind of nice to see finally this camcorders show up I've actually been waiting for this for quite a while before upgrading to upgrading my gear because I wanted to

Do 4k eventually and I just wanted to wait until a higher or a more attainable camera came along for my production I really like sony handycams that's what I use for my video recording so this was the perfect product for me I'm pretty excited to finally get it so there are a lot of specs here to take a look at so let's get through it so we do have Wi-Fi in here primarily for controlling your camcorder using an iPhone or something like that we do have NFC technology so this can use NFC on the phone particularly an Android phone because there are apps for

Android for controlling your Sony camcorder so you can transfer files using NFC from the camcorder to your phone you can also use the remote control apps that are available on Android or iPhone we do have carl zeiss optics we have buying ZX so we do have 120 frames per second processing in here for slow motion we have exmor r CMOS sensor a one inch 20 megapixel sensor so fairly large sensor 20 megapixels for still image recording and 14 for video we have triluminos LCD display PlayMemories which is sony software for managing this

Content we have 4k video recording as well as 1080p so you can record in 1080p if you don't want to use 4k because of course 4k is a really high bitrate so it takes up a lot of space HDMI we have Dolby 5.1 available on this so you can record in 5.1 surround AVC HD progressive so we do have standard 1080p AVC HD so if you want to use that you can but we also have XA VCS which is the format used to record in 4k or 1080p this is a higher quality codec we also have the Stoney hotshoe this is the NI multi interface shoe which is kind of hidden on the Cameron

I'll show you that now this supports SDXC class 10 cards which is what you're going to need for 4k so I was actually pleased to find out that this card actually works in this camcorder this is a standard class 10 card 80 Meg's these aren't too expensive so you can pick these up pretty cheaply there are faster cards out there that are more expensive that go up to 250 mega think now and those are called class 3 cards or you three cards as well alright so let's unbox this and take a look at the contents alright the first thing we get is our literature so we have our limited

Warranty consumer warranty accessories so there's lots of accessories for that ni interface you multi interface you including wireless microphones directional microphones that sort of thing as well as tripods and cases Sony movie studio platinum which is editing software you could use I just use Final Cut Pro now this is for Canadian consumers now we also have a pamphlet for US consumers encourage you to register your device and get 15% off Sony accessories and we have our two manuals very skimpy manuals in multiple languages all right so let's just lift

The lid here if I can't get it off there we go alright so there is the camera itself which is quite big in fact before I take it out you can see just how much beer it is compared to the camcorder I normally use for my videos so here we have looks like the lens hood they did include a lens hood as you can see they also give you this little orientation points for lining up the lens hood with the lens and we're going to take a look at that of course looks like we have our large battery I'm actually not sure how big this very is to tell these the info

Lithium battery so this looks like just like the extended battery packs you can buy for any Sony Handycam in fact if I connect it to my old handycam you can see actually fits just fine all right now according to this this is 1960 milliamp hours alright so the next thing we have is our power cable I assume for connecting the power adapter which at the bottom here looks like a HDMI to micro HDMI cable they've included so that's kind of nice we have a USB extender and then we should have our power brick here so there it is I'm

Familiar with these because I've had so many sony handycams is pretty much the same power brick you get with those as well so you can use this for powering your camera or just charging the battery of course you do have USB built into this camcorder so you can't charge it that way as well now also in the bottom of the box is the remote control they've included so as you can see you have record folk zoom in and out pause play skip ahead so for playback purposes of course so all that's available here your display and you have a little battery protector here so you just pull that out

To activate your remote alright so let's get to the Beast itself there it is 4k first thing I see a nice chrome 4k logo really nice really hefty camcorder especially for use to the small portable sony handycams alright so let's take a close look around so you do have an eyepiece here including a proximity sensor so if you pull this out and you place this closest to your eye this will activate the OLED display that's in here back here we have our battery pack so if you look here you can see we have a pretty large space for our battery pack this will of course support a variety of

Sizes let me pop in and there you go I can see it sticks out a bit also has some weight to it we have our record button for standby as well as record we have our shutter release or our mode we can change between camera mode and video mode we have our power LED indicator we have our photo camera or shutter release for taking the photo you can take a photo any time a recording video just hit that sugar release we have our zoom control as well we have that ni hot shoe so it pops off actually spring-loaded I think there we go so there you can pop in an accessory snaps on very nice you

Can see it's got that nice texture too it's got that high quality camera texture also along the sides got this kind of faux leather texture feels really nice in the hand you also have your charging port down here for ACN for charging your camp we have our hand strap with Velcro suppose you just sign it up as you want it also has your integrated USB port I believe this is just USB 2.0 but yeah also use this for charging as well so you have to carry around the charger if you don't want to it kind of plugs into the hand strap there where you seen this

Before with other sony handycams we also have our focus magnifier 8x clear image zoom so we have full optical zoom there we have NFC technology this is the NFC area for tapping to your phone SDXC as well as memory stick Pro we have Exmoor our branding optical steadyshot so we have both optical image stabilization as well as software stimulus table ization and we have Wi-Fi built in carl zeiss optics we have that 5.1 channel surround microphone built in right there we have our zoom control zoom in focus we have auto focus and manual focus you can enable that switch you have your manual

Controls here for controlling your aperture or iris your gain or ISO and your shutter speed along the front we have these doors here for microphone input they also have this multi input for it's kind of a proprietary connector for connecting something other than micro HDMI to your camera so you can use other connectors on the other side you have these ports were HDMI they've included a cable for you this is micro HDMI out then you have your headphone jack now along the bottom we have our battery release which is kind of an unfortunate location for it because if

You have this mounted on a tripod it's going to be hard to exchange the batteries and we also have our mount for the tripods as well along the front we have our IR or infrared blaster for night modes also your IR receiver for the remote control now along the front we have our Sony lens cap behind it is our fairly large lens with our agency anti glare properties we do have a manual focus ring as well and of course you can see all of the specs here for that lens Carl Zeiss optics and let's go and take a look at the screen this is a 3.5 inch LCD touchscreen automatically

Turns on when you flip it open if you're used to sony handycams this is very much the same interface so same interface i've seen for years now some surprised it hasn't changed much at all so here we have the controls on the inside so we have our program auto exposure our night shot mode so there is infrared night shot in here you can turn off the display you can also power it on and off we have our speaker built-in right there we also have our playback so if you want to play back your media you just hit that button takes you right to the playback and then

We have something called my voice cancellation so you can cancel out your voice by hitting this button in fact if you press it you'll see it pop up on the screen you can see we also have audio monitoring here and 5.1 or 2 channel if you prefer just standard stereo now like all sony handycams you pop off the display you can rotate it around and it will flip the display for you automatically so you can face the user or you can move it sideways and monitor it from the side of the camera now just to show you the SD card slot I have one installed here I can pull that out as

You can see it's spring-loaded and when you install it you get a little read status light right there the kitting that success successfully connected and then it's reading and writing to it now on the back you have of your ND filter so you have step one two and three for reducing brightness in the shot we also have auto and manual mode now as i mentioned you have these manual controls down here so if you want to manually control these i have to do is press on any one of them and use this little dialer at the front to change it so for example I'm changing my aperture if you

Look at the reading right now you can see it's manually changing with that dial same with your kind of sensitivity as well and your shutter speed now we also have the eyepiece which you activate by pulling in and out so as you can see turns off turns on now that display isn't on again that's an OLED displays not on until you actually approach it or place something in front of that sensor right there so for example you go really close here there you go you can see as you can see inside and see all those controls you would normally see on that touch display now

The eyepiece also has this manual control for the diopter in fact if you look at the eyepiece you can see it moving in and out now just to show you how to install the lens hood you just line up the red dots one on the camera run on the lens hood just line them up and twist them into place and there you go and in case you're wondering the lens cap does work with the lens hood on and of course if you want to take it off just twist it and take it off now just to give you some idea the size difference between this and one of the

Handy cams I've been using for my videos as you can see it's just microscopic by comparison but it's funny because they look very similar and they work similarly I mean they have the same software and many of the same features this of course just has a lot more of it this also has internal storage while this does not this relies entirely on the SD cards or memory Pro card – you install now just to give you a brief overview of the user and your face starting off with the main screen so we have our shooting modes generally I just shoot in movie yosef photo mode slow

Motion recording golf shot and high-speed recording now these differ depending on what's resolution you're shooting at so for example and if you're shooting in 4k these are not available to you so right now I guess I'm in 1080p or either X AVC – s 1080p or AVC HD and I'll show you how to change that so we have our camera and mic so here you can change your white balance spot metering focus I actually use let's see I use this a lot exposure control so I prevent the camera from automatically adjusting my exposure so you can do manual settings you can see with this can we

Get nice read of exactly your values so you can use auto or manual mode so we have focused AGC limit auto exposure shift so we have manual settings for low Lux scene selection picture effects cinema tone steady shot digital zoom and as you can see some features are grayed out if you're if it's not available for the specific camera setting dala settings nice shot lights face detection Smile Shutter smile sensitivity flash there is no flash in this right now then we have our audio so you have my voice cancelling which is that little feature that you can toggle on and off directly

On the camera itself built-in zoom so you do have mic zoom all the wind noise reduction audio mode so we have 5.1 channel surround you can change that then we have audio recording level which you can set to auto if you select these you can see you have more things you can do manual settings as well you can see exactly what you got so our next category is shooting assist so we have control with smartphone which you can enable my button gridline zebra camera data display audio level display and I think that's it so you can see as you cycle through those they go through

The various categories that are available to you so you know all the way up to manual and you can also tap on any one of these just jump right to them now under image quality and size we can change our settings here so right now I am in AVC HD so if I want to change that to X a VCS 4k that will also change these settings that are available to me so right now let me just show you that when you're in 1080p AVC HD you can change your recording mode from highest quality to standard to long play kind of old VCR memories there but you get the idea here you have frame rate which you

Can change the under 1080p you do have up to 60 frames per second progressive or interlaced or 24 P now when you're in 4k you're limited to 30 or 24 we have dual video recording simultaneous records movies for sharing so if you want a smaller quality image for sharing you can enable that I don't need that so I keep it off I can also change your image size which right now is limited 14.2 and if we go to X AVC s 4k click OK again it changes your menu selections okay let's go back to menu image quality and again frame rate the only thing

That's available is 30 frames and 24 frames we have dual video recording which is also available in here image size so if you go here you now have 20 megapixels as well alright so that gives you an idea of some of the settings that are available we also have playback functions so you can do event here for take a look at the media if you've recorded previously edit and copy so you can send it to a smart phone again via Wi-Fi or NFC view on TV so you can push it to your TV such as a sony bravia tv now under setup we'll find media info which will tell us about

Our memory card that's currently installed actually how much time we have left in the current format 4k so you can see 2 hours and 11 minutes which sounds like a stretch to me we can also format the card directly from the camera you can repair the image database of the memory card you can change the file numbering scheme here from series or you can reset it we also have the data code which you can toggle on and off so you have date and time or camera if you want to put that on your video we have to download music so you can tell music to your camera let's go back to

Menu here setup we have empty music so you can delete music as well we have WPS push for connecting to a Wi-Fi access point access point settings this is where you can actually connect to your wireless access point so if I see mine here time capsule I could do that right here by inputting the password we can also edit the devices name so I'm just going to leave that the default we also have display MAC address so we can see our MAC address of the device we have SSID and password reset network info reset TV types you can change that here hopefully you're not using 4 by 3 HDMI

Resolution and change that to Auto either 1080p 1080i or even 4k yes 4k TV and then we have USB connect settings USB power supply and a bunch of other things so there you go you get the idea of the basic user interface and we also have our file explorer so you can see all the things that we've downloaded it's kind of interesting it looks like some files that are still on my SD card here I recorded a 4k video earlier just as a test so you can play that back and you can delete it if you want you can skip ahead pause it that sort of thing now in terms of the recording screen we

Do have a menu to get back to our menu controls and as you can see when you snap back to the recording screen you get a flash of all the information that's available but of course you can bring it back just by hitting the display button along the side of the camera kind of cycles through it for you you can control your zoom on the display itself like so so you can use this or the physical control on the camera and of course you can also hide this if you don't want it in your way and then let's get back to the standard controls here so we have our record button as well for

Recording and as you can see we have live monitoring here along with our audio monitoring which is very helpful and as you can see we're in auto mode so it will automatically adjust for you depending on the shot now if you don't want to hear yourself talking in your videos you can enable this and this will kind of minimize the voice of the person recording the video and emphasize the voice of the people in front of the camera now we can also use this as a still camera just by tapping the shutter release now we have this multi use ring so we can use

For zooming or for focusing so let's go ahead and demonstrate how this works in real life now right now I have it set for zooming and it's not instantaneous it's not a physical connection to the lens mechanism itself it's really just using it's like using a button but it's kind of like a jog dial see a little more precise control and speed over it now let me switch to focus mode and hit the manual focus control here so now if I use the dial I can now manually focus the image and as you can see it's actually really smooth so combined with stabilization

You can actually get some really smooth focus shots with this camera now just to show you how NFC technology works here I have my Nexus 5 sending me some notifications here which has NFC technology built in and as you can see the NFC receiver is right here so if you tap it you get a little notification tone that will take you right to the Play Store to download the app so we have that PlayMemories mobile app so let's go ahead and install that now once I've logged into Wi-Fi on my camera and install the app on the smartphone I can now tap the phone to the camera

Automatically launches the app and now I can control my camera directly from my smartphone completely wirelessly so as you can see as I move the camera around it's updating live on my phone there is some lag here and there but surprisingly smooth so I can record video and I can zoom in and out using the touchscreen on my phone and I can stop it now I can also change to still mode and I can snap a photo and this actually allows me to snap photos from my camera and save them to my phone so actually this images state saved not only on the camera but also on my phone so if we go back here

We actually went to the gallery there we go we have our settings and you can adjust this under settings so you can enable this or not so I have under save options I've turned that long that's actually on by default but you can turn it off alright guys so that is my unboxing first look at the Sony FDR a x100 4k camcorder I will be posting a 4k demo real just show you an idea of what the 4k performance looks like so stay tuned for that and until then see you in the next video

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