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Sony - Handycam AX53 4K Flash Memory Premium Camcorder - Black-Angle_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 431 reviews

97%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Plays above its' pay grade....

    Posted
    BNme2016
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    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.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good vid quality, poor interface for ProAm users

    Posted
    Mikeinastoria
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    4K recorded video looks marvelous on playback. 1080 HD looks great on playback w smaller files ,too! Good optical zoom quality; digital zoom ...works. Wireless is has good range and works well w iPhone iPad. User ergonomics are simple and easy to locate/use. Enough said! ... If you only want to record events on the fly...like the trip to amusement park, birthdays...kids at ballgame. ProAm users... Skip this camera. No access to manual features without either touching the screen or toggling thru a list of manual options with one (focus) ring serving all function access...also requiring touching the body. The problem w even slightly touching the camera is the floating iris mechanism (boss system) works only when hand held... When on a tripod it magnifies every vibration immensely and you video will be very, very shaky for just a couple seconds until the camera figures it out...then all good again. No remote trigger port... So you won't be pressing the record/capture button unless you physically touch the buttons. Wireless only offers record/play/zoom..no other options... When you use wireless, all video and access to the functions on the camera are disabled...the video screen simply says,"using wireless"... So to change any settings you have to disconnect t wireless...all your manual settings are lost when you switch to wireless. HDMI port - only accessible when the camera is on! To turn off the camera you need to unhook everything...so you can't leave it set up. No simple way to delete content on the card...pressing delete ...when you can go into the settings to find it..will delete some items but not others...even if you select delete all. Using lowlight setting blocks usage of the gain settings. So it's either one or the other... And lowlight setting works far better than the gain controls. The list goes on.... Bottom line... This camera is a mess for ProAm users, but excellent for average simple use when shaky video and getting what the camera gives you is all you need. Did I say the video quality was excellent overall..when it's not shaky. 5 stars for everyday use. 2 stars for advanced user functionality.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Camera! Sound OK.

    Posted
    Leostriple
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I've become a Sony camera fan since purchasing my first action camera, and then stepped up my game with an a7, and now the FDR AX53 video camera. I purchased the AX53 for the primary purpose of filming my son's music performances. The overall picture quality and features are top notch and user friendly. One of the most outstanding features is the BOSS stabilization feature. I was first sold on Sony's stabilization features with my action cam as it provided nice shots on rugged terrain. My first shoot with the AX53 was an outdoor solo drum performance for my son. I anchored the camera tripod to a chainlink fence prior to filming in order to stabilize the tripod. About halfway through my son's performance I noticed a group of kids shaking the fence very excitedly with the music. To my dismay, the fence shaking was frantic and forceful enough that the camera was bouncing rapidly on a vertical axis with the movement. The "bouncing" was such that the camera lens was rapidly moving up and down enough that it clearly appeared to be pointing skyward and then to the ground. I "knew" the footage was trashed because the camera shaking was so severe, and removed the camera from the tripod to hand shoot the remaining of his performance. I was SHOCKED to find the footage was steady with virtually no detectable movement from the fence shaking. In fact, the only discernible movement came from my hand shots after I removed the camera from the tripod! I was immediately grateful for the BOSS stabilization system. The only reason I gave this four stars rather than five is due to the nature of my shooting live music. The camera has a good internal mic for everyday footage, but it falls way short if you need high-quality audio typically required from shooting music. I've tried several different manual audio settings and EQing to fine tune the audio, but it just doesn't cut it for the demanding needs of music. I'm still a fan of the camera, and will figure out an external micing option that will work.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Mostly good some not too good

    Posted
    mikewinb
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    This will be a fantastic camera for those who will simply capture family memorize in 4K. Picture is nice in all modes. Lowlight mode is effective ( better in HD than in 4K ... Go figure.) All cords and connections are supplied... But they are each like 3ft max... So you won't really be able to set this on a 5' tripod while connected to A/C main. This will NOT be a camera for true videographers, though. Videographers need access to all manual tools while shooting. Unfortunately, you cannot access the manual features without touching the monitor. But touching the monitor while it's on a tripod or steady surface (steady cam feature on or off same result), the floating mechanism magnifies all vibrations and the video becomes extremely shaky...) Using this wirelessly would solve that problem... Except that the wireless function only allows you to zoom and start/ stop recording (or snap the photo). No other options are available in wireless mode. What's worse, when in wireless, the video screen is not accessible. (It then only shows "using wireless". So, to access the exposure controls, you have to turn off the wireless ... Which turns off the recording.) So, again, if you simply want to point and shoot, or set it on a tripod and record without accessing any features you'll simply love this camera. Videographers... I'd have to say, this camera isn't ready for pro-am users.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great consumer camcorder, fantastic stabilization!

    Posted
    MikeyA
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I needed a camera for some personal movie making as in vlogs and some short films. I wanted a small camera that I could run and gun with and that had great picture quality. After a bit of research, it came down to either the Sony AX-100 or this. The debate for me was between more manual controls (AX-100) vs. BOSS stabilization (AX-53). I was willing to spend the extra money for the AX-100 though the price difference is significant ($800). I chose the AX-53 because in the end it suited my needs of run and gun portability better. Because of the BOSS stabilization, most moving or walking shots are rock solid. In fact, this camera is better handheld than with a tripod. It's very easy to just point and shoot. The trade off is that this camera really should be used in "auto" most of the time. The manual controls are never fully manual. You get the camcorder equivalent of aperture and shutter priority along with manual focus and limited exposure compensation. You can do basic settings if you find a need. For example, you can set a constant 1/48 sec shutter speed to help with the "film look.". The only shortcoming i found necessary to address was to buy a separate variable ND filter for really bright sunlight. Other than that, it's full auto most of the time. The AX-100, conversely, has a better sensor, real manual control and a higher ceiling as far as picture quality,. But it's also bigger and shakier and more complicated. It's meant for a more measured style of shooting. I have a DSLR for that. The AX-53 is a capable camera with fantastic picture stabilization. The picture quality is remarkable. It's small and relatively inexpensive. There are a few creative controls but not many. That suits me just fine as i can focus my creativity on what's in front of the camera instead.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Amazing zoom! Clear video quality!

    Posted
    Teaspoon91
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    My husband and I are vloggers and chose this camera over the G7x, because of the amazing zoom, the stereo sound, the wide aperture for improved low light shots, and the digital AND physical video stabilization. All of those features are fantastic on this camera. It is a little bigger than most vlogging cameras, but I would chose it again. I feel like this camera is very versital and a bang for your buck. People often ask us what kind of camera we have. The camera is also very easy to use and is great for capturing family videos as well. The camera is good enough to even be used for some professional video projects, in my opinion. If I could improve the camera, I would make a way for the physical stabilization (moving lense) to be turned off if needed. Sometimes, it can be a little jumpy during zoom shots. I would also make a way to insert/ remove the SD card without having to turn on the camera ( opening the panel to access the SD card reader turns on the camera). I would also make a switch on the outside for depth of field adjustment. You have to access the menu to adjust it. (I know this improves with their more expensive camcorders, but this camera would be just about perfect if there was better control of that.) Overall, I would definitely recommend this camera. It is wonderful, and we are thankful that we own one. It has been great for us.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Works great, wonderful quality

    Posted
    shaNker
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    So I bought this on a decent sale after looking online for good 4K camcorders. My first trip with this camcorder was to record the totality of the 2017 Eclipse, which I used in Albany Oregon. Worked great. I love the ease of use and VERY MUCH SO the COLOR EYEPIECE which is missing from so many devices today. This works for outdoor shooting as you can CLEARLY and VIVIDLY see everything you're shooting while outdoors. Couple of caveats to know up front for those that it matters to: You cannot record in 5.1 surround sound while shooting in 4K, for me I didn't care as I don't do anything with 5.1 yet. Also the full features and benefits of the BOSS (Balanced Optical Steady Shot) image stabilization system are fully working in 1080p but only partially in 4k. However it still does a good job of stabilization in 4k. I really am partial to the Full HD 1080p 60fps recording setting. Also this camcorder can record up to 100Mbps in 4k which looks great! Another really wonderful feature of this camcorder is how wide the shot is when you zoom out. Extremely useful for shooting subjects close to you. Also it does very very well in low light. I also have a JVC GS-TD1 that does wonderful in low light and I would say that this Sony does just as good.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Sony is Quality

    Posted
    Gator
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    A long time ago, I bought a Sony trinitron tv and it had the most beautiful picture. Sony is known for quality. I didn't like those Sony cyber-shots. They lost me then. Then, I bought a Sony HDR CX150 and that is real nice little camcorder. My complaint is that when i zoomed in and out, i had to do it slowly because my picture would blur and then refocus. that little camcorder, i could put in my pocket or a purse. that blur doesn't happen on the AX53. The AX53 has the moving lens, so you don't have to be standing perfectly still. it moves with you. it's a LOT bigger camcorder, but, it has a lot more in it. It records in 4k, in keeping up with technology. i asked best buy what are the prices on 4k tv's and, they're very reasonable. i have not reviewed 4k on a 4k tv yet, but i'm sure it will be everything i imagine and what i've been told. the camcorder is easy to operate and i found a you tube on it. that's someone else personal experience outside of what you read on the manual. i think it's a very good camcorder. i'm happy with it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Affordable 4K Canera

    Posted
    Baron
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I bought this camcorder for my 6 month assignment in Europe. I wanted the best possible video and pics. I liked that the size, while bigger then traditional camcorders, is smaller than all other 4K camcorders I found. Except the more expensive next Sony step up model. The other feature that attracted me is the additional color view finder - since flipout view finders can be totally washed out in strong sun. I have used the camera for two months now and the quality of the video and pics are outstanding. I am not sure that the image stabilization is actually helping though - I have a very steady hand for taking videos and don't see a difference. I don't care for the Sony Playhome Memories software, prefer to do my own organizing and editing. Also, when you try to delete files on the camera via a computer, it leaves artifacts on the camera so that when you go back to the Playback function on the camera you get an image reference but no thumbnail. I found a workaround to delete these on camera, but involves extra steps. All in all a great camcorder.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Sony AX53 video camera

    Posted
    Revlimter
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I purchased this video camera for my wife to replace our older Sony HDR-SR11 which we enjoyed for years. We like having a separate camcorder vs using phone or ipads, The quality is better. I was not able to look at the AX53 as our local store did not have one on display. I ordered on line and took a chance. Upon unboxing I was disappointed. The build quality and feel were not close to the old AX53. The view finder protrudes from the body. When you add the battery that comes with it sticks way out and is not protected. I wonder how long it will be before it breaks. I was disappointed to find no hard drive only memory cards. It is not a big deal but the AX53 has both. I was not able to discuss the camera with an associate b/c they did not have one and they looked at me like I had 2 heads for wanting to purchase one. Having said this, the picture quality and ease of use is OUTSTANDING! it is FAR superior to our old AX53. My wife loves it. which is reason enough to buy it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Upgrade from 1080p

    Posted
    OLED4K3D
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Compared to the six year old 1080p Sony camera I am replacing, the image quality, ease of operating and manual override controls (for focus, iris or zoom) are all significant with this 4K model and worth the upgrade. The only areas I'm disappointed are the audio quality (though this can be improved with a separate or shoe attached microphone) and the stabilization is sometimes too aggressive, introducing shakes or a sense of floating past the point where I intend a pan to stop, as it over compensates for intentional camera movements. The image stabilization has several intensity levels in the settings and I am still playing with it to get the right level given the amount of camera movement a particular scene needs. This takes some getting used to. I have a pretty steady hand or I will sometimes use a tripod even when moving the cam, so the over-reacting stabilization can be frustrating at times. I expect I will get used to it and overall I'm pleased with the upgrade.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent camcorder.

    Posted
    Hodrain
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I bought this as my primary camcorder for work (fraud investigator). It does not disappoint. This isn't your regular point and shoot..... but it can be if needed. Amazing quality, excellent low-light capability with little to no artifacts, and the nightshot is as expected. Camera turns on immediately upon opening the screen, and another awesome feature (for me) is the fact that it actually has a viewfinder, which is rare these days. Great for people (again, in the industry I'm in) to be able to open up the viewfinder discreetly without light from the screen blaring in my face. For you video-heads out there, the quality, manual controls, everything about this camcorder is top notch. No, it doesn't have the absolute control you'd find in a $5,000 camera - but the quality is comparable. Plus, post-processing matters alot as well. I would absolutely recommend this camcorder to anybody. Whether you're shooting a wedding, your kids sporting event, or doing what I do for a living.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent 4K Camcorder

    Posted
    John153

    I recently returned from a 7 week vacation in Europe where I took over 4 hours of superb video with this new camcorder. (I had previously used a Sony HDR-XR500 HD camcorder on four earlier trips to Europe. While I was pleased with the results of the HD camcorder, I wanted something better.) I found the camera easy to use. After I returned home I used Adobe Premiere 15 to edit my videos and I saved them to an external Western Digital My Passport hard drive as high quality 4K ISO files. This allowed me to view the videos at 4K resolution on a 55" 4K TV via the USB port. Incredible viewing experience. When filming I used 128 GB SD cards and produced ISO files of approximately 150 GB. I am very pleased with this camera and look forward to taking it on my next trip to Europe in 2018.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    A lot in one package

    Posted
    controlanator
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The Sony AX53 has a lot to offer. For me, however, it's too complex to select the desired settings in the menus. The manual doesn't address nearly all its features. I learn how online but forget sometimes and, when in run and gun mode, I don't haver the right setting and get blurry results. One thing I've had a hard time is focus. The camera will focus on something other than what I wanted it to. For example, the clip was ruined when two children sitting beside each other were out of focus when the camera focused on the distance background between their faces. The screen is so small that I didn't notice that until playback...then I missed the moment. On the plus side, the video quality is awesome. The small size and light weight are great. The touch screen is also nice. I would recommend it with reservation, considering Best Buy has a great return policy.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    As good or better then ax100,.

    Posted
    joefur1

    It is lighter ,It does not have the great viewfinder or large sensor ,or the manual controls,,It is lighter and just as good in low light ,,The microphone is super sound and of course the optical steady shot is perfect,side note,.,.,the rmt-835 remote works with this have to turn remote on in menu,,also the hand held remote tripod gpvp11 works great..,takes some time to learn correct ways to use controls and the menu,,once you do no probs,,Amazing pics,, and the play memories home software works great,,have to adjust in settings for HD playback,,only thing i wish it had is the line for playback that panasonic has instead of the fast forward etc,,you can not pinpoint the part you want to see..but works on computer with software,.,

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Impressed so far

    Posted
    Nate
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I haven't had much of a chance to use the camera yet, although set up seemed easy. Camera is a little bigger and heavier than the standard HD camera which was expected. Battery is a bit bulky, and it doesn't lock in really tight. The battery hasn't came loose or fallen out, but there is a small rattle when you move the camera much since the battery was a little loose. My only concern so far is with Best Buy and their choice of camera bag that they gave away with the purchase of the camera. "Sony LCS U11 Soft Camera Case - Black", is not big enough to hold the camera even if you take the battery off. Best Buy certainly didn't plan this out very well. I will update more once I have used the camera more.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent 4K quality for the pricemo

    Posted
    Stan
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase

    I have an older Mini-DV HD camcorder, and recently purchased a mid-level professional 4K camcorder. This one shoots with ease right off the truck seat with no guesswork at what settings to use, and is much friendlier to use than the pro level Sony PXW-Z100 for a fraction of the cost. Admittedly, I have not learned all about the Z100, but it definitely requires more setup to get it going. Digital zoom to 250x is still digital zoom, but I was able to record a group of about 1,600 elk 4 miles away and could still see them well enough to count individual elk (hand held!!! - can't wait to see how it does on a tripod!!!). Once I found the Active mode for image stabilization, the jumpiness while panning all but disappeared. Output in .MP4 files works well with most PCs, although some codec prevented it playing in Windows Media Player on at least one PC.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Sony does not disappoint

    Posted
    CTByTheC
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Though I am typically a Canon user, I went with the Sony - Handycam AX53 4K Flash Memory Camcorder - Black, after reading a review in a trade magazine. I am pleased so far and really like the fact that the camera has a full 35mm sensor for recording the images. The built-in stereo mic is good and may even be a bit too good for most applications. It truly picks up everything. I will be adding a shotgun mic to the camera to sit in the accessory shoe on the top of the camera. Battery life is outstanding and the on-screen menu is very good and intuitive. The night shot function works well, though I have never used it except for running the camera through it's paces. The SD cards can be expensive, but the cards can be reused over and over if need be. It is best to zero the card before re-using it. All-in-all, this is a great camera for the money. If the lens were interchangeable, this would be a perfect camera for indie, zero budget filmmakers.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best Camera but Beware!!!

    Posted
    TechDot94
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    It’s a fantastic camera. But I learned which a lot of people don’t mention is there is a chance of you getting a “bad” one where it won’t let you record in 4K by rebooting itself after less than a minute or even in the faster pace HD, b/c once you go back to look at it, it’s no longer “there” to preview. But all I literally had to do was go back exchange it, get a new one & it’s perfect! The issue is a known, but yet not known issue. It will happen automatically if you buy a “bad” one. But if it works well off top, you’ll be fine! I was once Team Samsung until I got totally screwed by them! Now I’m Team Sony to the fullest. Should of went with them even years back, but I learned my lesson, & it made me appreciate my Sony even more!!! P.S. I use it for vlogging & making cool videos! Have fun & enjoy! I know I am!!!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Great for consumers.

    Posted
    Cesaron
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This isn't intended for professional use, so I won't get mad at it for not being a pro-level camera. The video quality is great. The battery life is far above expected. Stabilization and zoom are both fantastic. Manual settings are there but it's really not as convenient or comfortable as other cameras. I wish there was a zoom rocker instead of the tiny switch... but for a consumer camera that's completely fine. Again, picture quality is winning -I like it. I returned the camera because ultimately it wasn't what I needed. But I'd absolutely recommend it for anything except paid work. Not because the image quality was poor, but because for my purposes it was a little annoying to use. Certain things I look for were buried in the menu a little bit.

    I would recommend this to a friend