Sony AX33 Brief Review



  • 8 megapixel 1/2.3" back-lit CMOS sensor
  • 4K video at 30 fps
  • Bit rate up to 100 Mbps in XAVC
  • Shutter speeds 1/8-1/10,000
  • Iris range f1.8-9.6
  • 10x optical zoom
  • Backlight compensation
  • Flash
  • Auto and manual focus
  • Manual modes
  • Manual ring
  • Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
  • Minimum focal distance 1 cm (wide)
  • 20.6 megapixel stills (8 megapixel stills can be pulled from the 4K video)
  • Wi-Fi
  • 3” Touchscreen
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Li-ion battery
  • Weighs about 1 lb 5 oz.
  • Release Date: 2015-01-01
  • Final Grade: 91 4.55 Star Rating: Recommended

Sony continues advancing 4K technology with the AX33
4K is slowly becoming more accessible to the average consumer--Sony's 2015 option offers 4K for about $1K.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 1/12/2016

Hey! You should know that Sony has released a newer version of this product: the Sony AX53.

Sony has long been at the forefront of 4K camcorder technology--in 2015, they're continuing to expand the technology while simultaneously lowering the price, making 4K a bit more accessible to the average consumer. The Sony AX33 offers 4K for about $1K, yet is the first high resolution cam to use Sony's Balanced Optical Steady Shot.

At the heart of the 4K is a 1/2.3" sensor. 4K video can be captured at a 30 fps frame rate, or users can downgrade to regular 1080p HD for when the faster 60 fps rate is more important. Perhaps even more impressive though is the bit rate--a huge 100 Mbps when shooting in 4K XAVC format. That large bit rate paired with the high resolution allows for exceptionally detailed shots--8 megapixel images can even be pulled directly from the footage without affecting the video quality.

Wrapped up in a body that's about 30 percent smaller and 20 percent lighter than the 2014 4K model, the AX100, the AX33 has a handful of features that appeal to enthusiasts, including manual modes and a manual control ring. Features like backlight compensation and a built-in flash are also available, as well as a hot shoe slot for other accessories.

Automated modes are available as well, and if past models are any indication, should still allow for solid videos from consumers with little experience. The convenience of wi-fi is also included.

Sony is certainly headed in the right direction with the AX33, continuing to develop 4K technology while lowering the price a bit each year. Panasonic also introduced a $1,000 4K shooter, the X790 that should be cosidered alongside the AX33. The AX33 has the edge in image quality with a better sensor, though the X790 is lighter, has a better zoom and offers a sub-camera for picture-in-picture recording.

While $1,000 is still expensive for a camera, the features will be worth it for many consumers, and who doesn't like a downward trend in price?

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