It may seem that the mobile phone supplies everything for content creators (YouTubers or Instagrammers). But the truth is that if what matters is the image and sound in front of a video camera, a mobile phone has nothing to do. Sony recently introduced its Handycam 4K AX43, a compact video camera that makes professional production and easy video creation and sharing available to everyone.
Compared to a reflex camera, this Sony Handycam offers the best quality in both video and photos. Fast, intelligent autofocus and a sophisticated built-in multi-capsule microphone, plus powerful in-camera video processing, make it a compact all-round camera for creating content.
Sony Handycam 4K AX43 Specifications
- Optical Balance: SteadyShot with 5-axis Active mode.
- Recording: 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160).
- Objective: Wide angle ZEISS Vario Sonnar T 26.8 mm.
- Zoom: 20x optical sharp image with 20x/40x 4K/HD.
- Optical Zoom: 20x.
- Video creation software: Highlight Movie Maker.
- Sensor type: Exmor R backlit CMOS sensor type 1/2,5.
- Effective video pixels: approx. 8.29 megapixels.
- Type of screen: 7.5 cm Clear Photo LCD (type 3.0) (460 800 dots) widescreen (16:9).
- Built-in Zoom Microphone.
- Audio recording format: 2-channel LPCM (48 kHz/16 bit), Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 Creator, Dolby Digital 2-channel stereo, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2-channel.
Sony Handycam 4K AX43 Design
With a classic Handycam format, the Sony 4K AX43 has dimensions of approximately 73 mm x 80.5 mm x 142 mm without battery and with battery 73 mm x 80.5 mm x 173 mm. The weight is about 510 grams without battery, 560 grams with the included battery NP-FV50A. The design is ergonomic and allows you to record for long periods with the camera in your hand without getting tired.
The microphone records 5.1 quality located at the top of the camera, above the lens. Occupying a rectangle of 3cm x 2.5cm. The part where we hold the camera is rough. It is accompanied by an adjustable fabric strap to prevent it from falling over.
The button to take pictures is located at the end of the camera, behind the Zoom control, so that we can easily use it with the hand we are holding the camera.
The drop-down screen is 7.5 cm and is touch-sensitive. When the screen is opened, the camera switches on automatically. The screen is located on the left side of the camera looking at it from behind, on this side, once we open it we find the SD card slot, the mini HDMI connection, the power buttons, preview. On this side, there are also two buttons for the preview of images. And also another one to switch between photo and video mode.
One of this camera’s strengths is its Balanced Optical SteadyShot stabilization technology and the internal gimbal mechanism that allows you to record and take pictures while walking or running without any vibration. This technology is also evident when we are shooting at full zoom.
- Sony has developed a silent mechanism for the system.
- Two compact, energy-saving motors manipulate the entire lens and image sensor unit vertically and horizontally.
- This corrects vibration blurring in the steering and elevation axes.
At the same time, a sophisticated algorithm compensates for it in the warp axis. Sony’s software algorithm discriminates between unwanted (corrected) trepidation and internal (intentional) movement. When the angular velocity sensor detects vibration, the system analyses the pattern in real-time. The unwanted trepidation is isolated from the deliberate action to reduce the latency of tracking the latter.
It also incorporates the “Intelligent Active” mode that analyzes each frame to improve stabilization by compensating for 5-axis vibration and being effective even when walking or running.
4K recording with high resolution with Sony Handycam 4K AX43 camera
4K recording is not new to either professional or mobile cameras. Still, the Sony Handycam 4K AX43 makes it possible to capture high-quality video even in low light. High-bitrate recording in XAVC S format also captures fast and complex scenes. The camera has an easy-to-use memory card removal system, so you can easily remove files for processing on your PC.
The ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T lens has a maximum angle of 26.8 mm for wider shots. It allows you to capture different scenes with the 20x optical zoom (26.8-536.0 mm; 16:9 mode), as well as a sharp 30 (4K) or 40 (HD) image zoom and a 250 digital zoom.
The Exmor R CMOS sensor improves image clarity, reduces noise in dark environments, and creates a smooth out-of-focus background. The BIONZ X image processor achieves more natural and realistic images and faster processing.
And when it comes to video playback, the AX43 Handycam 4K plays back in super-fast Full HD on non-4K devices. When used in playback mode, it also allows you to select a 4K video frame, which you will see in Full HD on non-4K televisions or screens.
Smart focus and noiseless sound recording
The autofocus algorithm optimizes communication between lens and image processor for super-fast autofocus and autofocus range prediction that keeps the subject in focus.
On the other hand, it incorporates three microphone capsules that capture a clear sound and reduce noise, allowing a high-quality sound recording with clear stereo separation.
Designed to get you talking about yourself
Many videos are made and published by content creators or vbloggers based on their own experiences about places, establishments, or products, which they narrate directly to the camera. Many times these videos are recorded on the fly while visiting a city, town, or place. That’s why it’s crucial for them not only that the camera can record without vibration, but that they can see themselves while recording to control the shot. In other words, it controls the selfies to the maximum.
That’s why the Sony Handycam 4K AX43 has a swivel and touch LCD screen, so all controls are accessible via the screen for easy switching between recording modes. Also included are headphone and microphone jacks for controlling audio recording in the highest quality.
This camera is also intended for those who broadcast live video. To do this first, we will need a video capture device. This capture device must include this option if we want to broadcast in 4K. Once we have the video capture device connected, we must avoid that the camera turns off every ten minutes, so that it allows us to broadcast without limit. We have to deactivate it in the options of the camera in demo mode.
Edit and create content from the camera
Although with basic settings, the Sony Handycam 4K AX43 allows you to mount videos with whatever you have recorded and stored in the camera. You can choose from the images or videos you want to appear to music and transitions. It gives us the option to select the movie’s length, which can be a maximum of 1 minute or a minimum of 15 seconds. We can also choose from 6 music options. We can also decide that we want to hear more, whether the video or music’s sound.
With the Sony Handycam 4K AX43, we can also automatically record in fast motion and do time-lapse. With support for high-speed frame rate capture, up to 100 fps/120 fps in Full HD, you can create slow-motion recordings. As for time-lapse, with interval shooting, you capture photos of a scene over time with the interval between photos you decide. The resulting images can be combined into a high-resolution 4K interval video on a PC. Or viewed with a simple variable speed preview function on the camera.
Conclusions about Sony Handycam 4K AX43
I found the Handycam 4K AX43 very intuitive to use in general. The memory card slot is very accessible and easy to remove, making it very easy to connect to the PC. However, I found the file organization a bit more cumbersome. It is organized into folders with somewhat more confusing names. Also, the file names are incremental and can make it difficult to find files if you have already cut the first ones.
When using the video modes, I also think that having to change the video quality first and not doing it automatically wastes an interesting time. Also, the quality of the slow-motion mode, I think it could be improved.
However, the quality of 4k videos is fantastic. The zoom has offered impressive quality and very little loss of quality. It’s also great to control the camera with your phone if you’re making videos on your own because it lets you see what the camera’s focusing on and control the zoom.
We can already find the Sony Handycam 4K AX43 available through the brand’s official website, at a slightly higher price of 700 euros.
Sony Handycam 4K AX 43 is a versatile camera ideal for content creators.