Report from the Field: the Sony AX100
I decided for a trip to four China cities + Hong Kong (as a non tourist) I would bring the AX100, rather than the GH4 and lenses, as I like to travel light. Here is what I learned:
1. In 95+ F heat, shooting 4K for two or more hours without ever turning the camera off there was no overheating (except by me).
2. One battery was enough for the above (not two hours + of video, two hours + of shooting).
3. I brought three batteries (I had some from previous Sony's), but two would have been enough plus the little Sony travel charger I also had.
4. The camcorder is not very conspicuous without the large lens shade, which I left off. I did not see any problems of glare or flare.
5. I used the viewfinder exclusively, for better stability and because of the bright sun. I could see the peaking colors easily and the zebras and could judge color (overexposure).
6. I almost always had to reduce exposure (shutter priority mode) using AE shift by -.5.
7. Peaking is essential - it tells you what is in focus when in autofocus, and helps to manually focus. I used manual focus a lot to get close-ups of objects with distant vistas. I even used the magnifier (with my left hand). You really can get exact focus shooting handheld.
8. I used active mode exclusively - only way to get reasonable stability handheld.
9. I lost the lens cap early on.
10. The camera is somewhat heavy; my right arm is now more developed than my left.
11. I can easily edit the 4K video using the free Sony Movie Studio Platinum 13 on my tiny $259 Celeron laptop (with 4GB of memory). The trick is that the software automatically creates proxy clips, so the editing experience is just like you were using sd files. Proxy conversion takes a long time (when you have hours of video), but once the files are created editing is a breeze with smooth playback of your edits. Rendering takes a long time (e.g., 2.5 hours for a 5.5-minute final 4K video), but what matters is my work time.
The videos are to come. Two spots I returned to, so there will be an ability to compare videos of the same place shot by the Panasonic TM900, the Panasonic ZS30, the Canon EOS M, the BMPCC (RAW), and the AX100. For one place, I have a 3D video and that from the AX100. So you can see the progress, and false starts, of camera technology.
Last edited by markr041; 07-07-2014 at 09:47 PM.