Download: Sony FDR-AX100 vs Panasonic HC-VX870 -- Video camera outdoor side-by-side comparison

By Randy Schnedler


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Various outdoor scenes tested and shown side-by-side, with all tests labeled. All scenes shot in 4K (Ultra HD/UHD/3840x2160) at highest available quality.

Includes mid-day sunny motocross scene, several dusk scenes, and a slowest shutter test. All shot at Murphy's MX near Bastrop, Texas on March 7, 2015.

I accidentally had the "Pop Color" effect on the Sony on the first (sunny) scene, so not exactly apples-to-apples here, but the Panasonic doesn't have that feature available in 4K.

Edited in Sony Vegas 13 and rendered using MainConcept AVC 2-pass VBR at average bitrate of 50Mbps before uploading to YouTube. While Vegas rendering and YouTube processing will introduce some artifacting, the side-by-side comparisons are still valuable. For example, the Panasonic shows more noise and slightly less detail in some areas.

I recognize that these are two different quality levels of camera, with the Sony costing approximately 2X and with a much larger sensor and bigger glass. However, sometimes we have to mix camera sources so it's nice to see how they compare. With enough light, the right scenes, and manual white balance, these cameras could be made to match fairly well.

The VX870 has some really great features for the price of the camera. On the con side, its menu system is catastrophically bad.

The AX100 looks great and has a decent menu system. By comparison with the Panasonic, the Sony is physically much larger which has its good and bad points.

(2015 03 07 throwdown ax100 vs 870 codec test MainConcept AVC 4K CPU 2pass 50Mbps test)