Sony's HDR-AX2000 makes for an impressive prosumer-level AVCHD camcorder. While not as decked out as the HVX-NX5U (its NXCAM pro counterpart), it's a clear step up from its HDV predecessor, the HDR-FX1000. The camera's ability to capture HD and SD video in AVCHD and MPEG-2 formats--and save it to solid state media--is only one of the traits distinguishing it from its tape-based forebearer. Full 1920 x 1080 HD video--which can be recorded at 60i, 30p and 24p--is another. The footage is saved to either Memory Stick PRO Duo or SD/SDHC cards, then easily downloaded to computer for editing via USB 2.0 interface.
Along with the three 1/3" CMOS Exmor sensors and 20x 'G' lens from the FX1000 comes a new professional element: audio, in the form of dual XLR ports. This means direct input of balanced, pro-level microphones without the need for an XLR-to-mini adapter. Component, HDMI, and S-Video outputs are also available, allowing for direct connection with analog and digital displays.
Another great pro feature is the three control rings around the lens--for iris, focus and zoom--which bring a more reliable, intuitive feel to image adjustment. When you add in 4 built-in neutral density filters, color bars, zebra display, and a live histogram, you've got the perfect camcorder for documentaries, indie features, music videos and other applications where image quality won't be sacrificed for mobility and budget.
Film-like Progressive Recording 24p/30p
In addition to 1080/60i recording, the HDR-AX2000 offers a 1080/24p and 1080/30p Progressive Scan mode that enables shooting with film-like results. Signals scanned at 24p/30p are converted to 60i (using 2-3 pulldown for 24p) and recorded on MemoryStick PRO Duo or SD/SDHC media.
Up to 24Mbps AVCHD Video
The HDR-AX2000 can capture video at up to 24Mbps for amazing clarity and detail, ideal for recording on to Blu-ray media since the AVCHD2 codec is highly compatible with the Blu-ray format.
Superior Low-light (1.5 LUX) Shooting Capabilities
Superior low-light ability with high sensitivity enables clear shooting of subjects in light as low as 1.5 lux (at 1/30 fixed shutter speed with auto iris and auto gain). This allows you to capture sharp detail and brilliant colors even in less than perfect lighting, especially when professional lighting cannot be used.
3x 1/3" ClearVid CMOS Sensors w/ Exmor Technology
The HDR-AX2000 features three 1/3" ClearVid CMOS Sensors, each having 1,120K total pixels. The 3 independent CMOS sensors each handle one of the color elements - red, green, blue (RGB) - improving the color reproduction of video recordings. Dark scenes can be captured with low noise thanks to "Exmor"-derived technology that features a column A/D converter and dual noise reduction. Sensor resolution has been optimized and the photosensitive surface area has been maximized thanks to the unique grid arrangement of the photo diode sensors, in which each is rotated by 45 degrees. This model also features the signal processing circuit, the Enhanced Imaging Processor (EIP) which uses Sony's unique image-processing technology.
Dual XLR Professional Audio Inputs
Professional quality video requires professional quality audio. Featuring dual XLR 3-pin audio jacks, you will be able to provide +48V phantom power to external microphones. Additionally, the grounded connection allows insertion/removal of connectors in live equipment without picking up external signals.
Wide Angle G-Lens: 29.5mm to 590mm (20x)
The HDR-AX2000 is equipped with a 29.5mm wide-angle "G" Lens made from an advanced 10-group, 15-element lens including extra-low dispersion glass, which reduces chromatic aberration caused by light refraction, and produces video with extremely low color fringing. The 20x optical zoom (29.5mm - 590mm: 35mm conversion) takes maximum advantage of the lens performance, so image quality does not suffer even at a zoom ratio of 20x, allowing you to faithfully reproduce the subject's impact. The digital extender increases zoom by 1.5 throughout the range up to 30x at full zoom.
CinemaTone Gamma and CinemaTone Color
Users seeking extra control over image expression can use Cinematone Gamma to deepen the color and Cinematone Color to recreate film-like color tones. Cinematone Gamma allows operators to quickly set up and load a gamma curve with similar contrast characteristics to a film gamma curve.
Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization w/Active Mode
Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with Active Mode improves on existing Optical SteadyShot image stabilization by allowing the camera lens to shift over a greater range of motion, allowing the camera to compensate for greater degrees of camera shake and deliver a stunning level of image smoothness.
3x Manual Rings for Zoom, Focus, and Iris
The HDR-AX2000 has three independent manual rings (zoom, focus, and iris) for superior control and flexibility while filming, which make it easier to promptly make adjustments to meet shooting needs. The iris ring allows you to adjust the aperture to attain optimal brightness and express beautiful depth of field shots, highlighting a subject while blurring a foreground or background. Exposure can also be assigned to the iris ring, enabling the camera to automatically select the optimal iris, gain or shutter speed, seamlessly enabling adjustment of exposure.
Minus Auto Gain Control (Minus AGC)
When shooting in overly bright conditions, this feature enables the selection of gain settings in the negative range for satisfying results with minimal noise.
Enhanced Imaging Processor (EIP) Technology
The EIP processor is able to rapidly process the vast amounts of pixel data read from the "3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor", and record beautiful HD and colorful video. The ClearVid CMOS Sensorв„ў has been developed using the most advanced technologies in the semiconductor industry. It handles video data in 1920 x 1080p and 4:2:2 color space for high-quality signal processing before recording it to MemoryStick PRO Duoв„ў media. Combined use of the EIP and 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor imaging system allows the HDR-AX2000 camcorder to provide extremely high image quality with a smooth gradation and detailed image reproduction.
Manual Gain/Shutter/White Balance Adjustment
The ability to manually adjust gain, shutter speed, and white balance makes it possible to fine-tune the HDR-AX2000's settings for near-professional operability and advanced image expression.
Dual Media Slots
Capture still images directly onto one of two selectable Memory Stick PRO Duo media or SD/SDHC media slots for easy transfer to PCs for emailing, printing, or sharing with other compatible Memory Stick devices (sold separately).
This feature allows you to assign frequently used functions to shortcut buttons. These commonly used features can be used quickly without going through a menu selection (default: Zebra, AE Shift, and Record Review).
Additional Record & Zoom Lever Controls
A record start/stop button is featured on the handle as well as on the side grip. The zoom lever enables easy zooming even when shooting from a low angle.
x.v. Color Technology
x.v.Color technology can capture or display nearly twice as many (1.8x) viewable colors than possible with the traditional RGB color standard. This provides a more accurate and vivid color range, for a more natural, lifelike overall experience.
0.45" Xtra Fine View Finder
This camcorder features a high-resolution 0.45" Xtra Fine (1,227K pixels) View Finder that offers extra clear visibility.
HDMI connectivity provides a simple, high-quality video and audio connection, with the ability to transmit HD video from the camcorder to compatible HDTVs via a single cable.
This feature emphasizes the screen's edge in the LCD and viewfinder, making it easier to adjust the focus. You can change the peaking color to white, red, or yellow according to the color of the subject, and you can also set the peaking level to high, medium, or low.
Change the menu display from English to English (Simplified), Canadian French, Latin American Spanish, or Brazilian Portuguese.
Picture Profile (up to 6)
Allows the user to set manual adjustments for a scene (color, sharpness, white balance, etc.) into any one of 6 customizable presets, so they can be called up at just the touch of a button. This is useful when shooting under the same conditions repeatedly, as options do not have to be re-set each time. Four settings for various shooting conditions are offered as defaults: portrait / cinema / sunset / monotone.
To enhance viewing enjoyment, users can create transitions between scenes by using the White fader or Black fader to fade images in and out.
While you are shooting, you can add a striped pattern to bright areas of the video image, and display it in the LCD and viewfinder. You can use this as a rough guide for adjusting brightness, helping to prevent blocked highlights.
When the histogram feature is turned on, a graph of the image's brightness distribution appears. This gives you an objective determination of whether the video image as a whole is bright or dim. You can adjust the camera's brightness and AE shift while checking this display.
The LCD and viewfinder feature a Center Marker that lets users identify the center of the screen at a glance. Users can also display a Guide-frame grid on the screen that simplifies the vertical and horizontal alignment of shots.
Four types of Color Bars are available for use. These are convenient for color adjustment when playing back images on a TV or monitor.