Sony FDR-AX33 4K Camcorder Unboxing and Initial Review!


I decided to upgrade my camera gear a bit with some 4K videos.  For that, I chose the latest Sony FDR-AX33, which is Sony’s latest 4K camera just released at end of Febuary in 2015.  Sony did release a larger FDR-AX100 (which has larger sensor) but the newer FDR-AX33 is a lot more portable plus it has BOSS (Balanced Optical Steady Shot) along with 100Mbps bitrate.  Now, for those of you looking for a good 4K camcorder to make 4K videos, this may be one of the best 4K camcorders out right nowt that’s under $1000.

With a price tag of $999, the Sony FDR-AX33 isn’t cheap by any means but it does a lot of things right and why I bought one.  First, I really like the optical stabilization that allows you to make full use of the zoom on the camcorder.   Many consumer camcorders do a lot of zoom but at the price of noise and shaking.   With the Sony FDR-AX33 BOSS technology, you can really get stable shots even at its maximum 15X zoom.  That may not sound like a lot but if you make a lot of videos, you know how useful that is especially when you are traveling and don’t want to carry a  tripod everywhere you go.

I also wanted a 4K camcorder that wasn’t too heavy to carry around with me everywhere.  I will be traveling to Thailand and South Korea in the summer soon and want to have a good camcorder that will allow me to make videos on the go without carrying all my DSLR gear.  For that, the FDR-AX33 fit the bill and it comes with nifty features you can’t live without.

Some of my favorite features on the Sony FDR-AX33 include its permanent USB plug (that you can use to recharge) along with a AC adapter (if you want to recharge faster), manual focus ring (which you can also use for other things like aperture, exposure, etc…etc…), headphone/microphone jacks, hot shoe mount (for mounting microphone, LED lights, etc…etc…), MP4 format for 4K recording, and fast F1.8 wide-angle lens (when zoomed all the way out).

Now, this camera isn’t perfect by any means (in comparison to my DSLR), low-light performance isn’t stellar but with average or better lighting I found this camera can perform just as good as my DSLR cameras.  It’s definitely a camera that I can recommend to those who are looking for one camcorder that will do everything 4K.   Also the audio quality is decent (nothing out of the world) but I will probably be using my Sennheiser wireless microphone anyways but it’s a good stereo microphone for general everyday stuff.

Overall, I am pretty darn satisfied with my purchase.  The F1.8 lens, 4K 100Mbps recording, and BOSS stabilization are just what a videographer needs to make some decent 4K videos.  If you are looking for a good 4K camcorder, I think you cannot go wrong this so definitely check it out.

UPDATE: I am actually not satisfied with my purchase anymore.  Although I did love this camera when I got it, I find the quality of videos not comparable to the ones took with my DSLR.  So, for now, I do still recommend this camcorder for home videos but if you want to make high quality videos, this isn’t it.  I will have an update on this soon.

YouTube sometimes doesn’t render 4K videos well, you can also download a RAW 4K MP4 sample file of the beach scene in my YouTube video here. (It’s 1.6GB so make sure you are on WiFi!)

Of course, if you need better low-light performance, definitely look into the last year’s Sony FDR-AX100.

You can get the Sony FDR-AX33 on Amazon.


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Max Lee

Max Lee is the founder of Max makes Android tutorials and review videos for people who want to get high on Android over at his YouTube channel and Korean YouTube channel.