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Sony HDR-AX2000 Handycam®

Professional HD camcorder

2 Reviews | 1 question - 1 answer

Item # 158AX2000

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Our take on the Sony HDR-AX2000 Handycam®

When you need the very best, this camcorder produces professional looking video that satisfies even the toughest critic.

When you need the very best, this camcorder produces professional looking video that satisfies even the toughest critic.

The Sony HDR-AX2000 would be perfect for a budding filmmaker who plans to send their short film to Sundance. Top-quality optics and image processing combine with extensive hands-on controls, allowing you to create high-definition videos with exactly the look you want.

Great image quality
The camcorder has a triple CMOS image sensor system — one for each of the primary video colors — for vivid, natural color reproduction. The 1080/30p progressive scan mode lets you shoot with film-like results. This digital camcorder records at a high bit rate — ideal for recording onto Blu-ray.

Hands-on control
You'll get superior "hands-on" control with the camcorder. It has manual rings on the lens barrel for zoom, focus, and iris. It includes manual gain, shutter, and adjustable white balance so you can control every aspect of the picture quality. Also, you'll be able to add professional microphones through the XLR mic inputs, and get superior sound for your videos, too.

Dual memory card slots for plenty of storage
The camcorder includes an HDMI connection, USB port, and dual memory card slots. You can select which card to record to, and keep track of your shots. It does not include any internal memory, so you'll need to add Memory Stick® PRO Duo™ or SD memory cards before you start shooting.

Product Highlights:

    Storage and Formats:
    • full HD video recording (1920 x 1080)
    • records high-definition video to optional Memory Stick® PRO Duo™ or SD™ memory cards
    • 16GB card (not included) holds from 90 minutes to six hours of video depending on the video setting
    • three separate advanced Sony Exmor image sensors to improve color reproduction and minimize video noise in dark scenes
    • 3-3/16" wide touch-panel LCD display, as well as a separate viewfinder
    • six customizable presets give you quick access your own camera settings with just a touch of a button
    • optional 1080/30p progressive scan mode for filmlike results
    • center marker and guide-frame for aligning shots
    • 20X Sony G optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 30X)
    • optical SteadyShot® image stabilization with Active Mode and 3-way Shake Cancellation
    • record and zoom control both on handle and side grip
    • three independent rings for zoom, focus and iris control
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • hi-speed USB port
    • HDMI connector
    • dual XLR professional audio inputs so you can add microphones
    • 7"W x 7-7/16"H x 13-3/8"D
    • weight: 4 lbs. 15 oz. with battery
    • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    Supplied Accessories:
    • AC adapter/charger
    • rechargeable lithium ion battery
    • remote control
    • A/V composite cables, component video cable
    • lens hood
    • lens cap
    • large eye cup

    What's in the Box:

    • Digital HD video camcorder
    • Lens hood (installed)
    • Large rubber eyecup
    • NP-F570 Lithium-Ion battery (7.2V/2100mAh)
    • RMT-845 Wireless remote control
    • CR2025 Lithium battery (inserted in remote)
    • AC-L100C AC adapter with attached 68" DC output cord (DC output: 8.4V/1.7A)
    • 61" AC cord
    • 62" USB cable (with Type A USB on one end and Mini-B 2.0 on the other end)
    • 61" AV cable (with composite video RCA and stereo audio RCA plugs on each end)
    • 62" Component video cable (with proprietary connector on one end and 3 RCA plugs on the other end)
    • Warranty sheet
    • Content Management Utility Ver.1.0 software on CD-ROM
    • Online registration sheet
    • Manual correction sheet
    • Accessories brochure
    • Operating Guide (English with Spanish Quick Guide)
    • Operating Guide (French)

    Excellent camera

    Chris, Charlottesville Va


    Sony HDR-AX2000 Handycam® Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (2 Reviews)

    Sony HDR-AX2000 Handycam®

    Chris from Charlottesville Va on 3/30/2014

    Excellent camera

    Pros: Easy to use and very functional

    Cons: A little heavy.

    Awesome Camera!

    Toad from Apple Valley, MN on 1/24/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Wonderful camera with outstanding HD quality! Full range of manual control options also allow for more advanced operation. The dual XLR inputs work perfect for stage performances to connect to a sound board, but even with an external microphone sound quality is very good. Have noticed during playback that an external microphone set to the automatic mic control seems to alter sound level when zooming in and out as to somehow compensate for sound level. Zoom feature on the camera works slightly faster than preferred, and would like to be able to zoom in and out slower, but overall this camera is very easy to use overall and playback and recording couldn't be any easier. After considering many places to purchase, I chose Crutchfield to obtain the best pricing. Their Rewards Points program and the Lifetime Tech Support made me very satisfied with this investment. I will be purchasing my next camera from Crutchfield also!

    Pros: Great Picture Quality Easy to use Works well in low lighting Expanded Focus option for manual focusing Great Display Screen Easy to Record on SD Cards

    Cons: Fair sound quality


    Hands-on research

    Product Research

    General Features
    Recording Features
    Playback/Editing Features
    Battery Information
    Inputs and Outputs Notes
    Software And Computer Information

    General Features

    3.2" LCD Screen: The Sony HDR-AX2000 Digital HD Video camcorder features a 16:9 wide-screen 3.2" Xtra Fine LCD monitor. The high resolution 921,600-dot (1920 x 480) LCD screen rotates up to 270 degrees for multiple viewing angles providing sharp and detailed images for monitoring or playback. Mirror mode allows you to view a mirror-image of the subject you are shooting in the LCD screen when the screen is rotated 180 degrees, but the image will still be normal when recorded. In addition, the LCD doubles as an "on-screen" touch panel, allowing you to navigate through the menu system by touching the LCD screen. The LCD screen frame contains zoom and recording controls for added convenience. The LCD also features an adjustable brightness and color level.

    0.45" Color Viewfinder: The HDR-AX2000 also features an adjustable 0.45" wide-screen color LCD viewfinder (1,226,880 dots or 2556 x 480) that lets you record and review video and still images when the LCD display is closed or in Mirror mode.

    Dual Media Slots: The AX2000 features dual memory card slots that will accept Memory Stick PRO Duo or SD/SDHC memory cards. The Relay Recording function automatically switches recording from Memory Card A to Memory Card B (or B to A) just before space runs out so you won't run out of available memory in the middle of a scene. Compatible memory cards include:

    • Memory Stick PRO Duo (1 GB-32 GB)
    • Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo (1 GB-32 GB)
    • SD memory cards (1 GB-2 GB)
    • SDHC memory cards-Class 4, 6, or 10 (4 GB-32 GB)

    Optics: The HDR-AX2000 has a 29.5mm wide-angle G-Lens with a 20x optical zoom (29.5mm-590mm--35mm equivalent). The Extra-low Dispersion glass reduces chromatic aberrations caused by light refraction. With the Digital Extender on, the total zoom is increased to 30x. The camcorder has a powered zoom mechanism with a zoom lever on the right side and another in the carry handle. The handle zoom switch can be set to a fixed or variable zoom speed. Manually, you can zoom at the desired speed by turning the zoom ring around the lens.

    Image Sensors: The camcorder has three 1/3" Exmor CMOS sensors, one for each of the primary colors red, green, and blue. Each CMOS sensor has 1.12-million total pixels and 1.04-million effective pixels for 16:9 video and 780,000 for 4:3 video. Combined with Sony's Enhanced Imaging Processor (EIP), the three imaging sensors give you noticeable improvement in color reproduction, low noise, and maximum light sensitivity.

    Accessory Shoe: The AX2000 has a top-mounted standard Accessory Shoe for mounting a self-powered video light or microphone. It does not supply power to the attached accessory.

    Recording Features

    Video Recording: The camcorder records High Definition video using AVCHD format (MPEG-4 AVC / H.264). Audio is recorded in 2-channel Dolby Digital (48 kHz, 16-bit). Standard Definition video is recorded in MPEG-2 format with 2-channel Dolby Digital audio. The camcorder allows you to select the following elements of the video signal: Image Quality, Image Size, Frame Rate, Bit Rate, and Scanning System. This gives you 11 different recording options:

    • HD 1080/60i FX: 1920 x 1080, 60 frames interlaced @ 24 Mbps
    • HD 1080/60i FH: 1920 x 1080, 60 frames interlaced @ 17 Mbps
    • HD 1080/60i HQ: 1440 x 1080, 60 frames interlaced @ 9 Mbps
    • HD 1080/60i LP: 1440 x 1080, 60 frames interlaced @ 5 Mbps
    • HD 1080/30p FX: 1920 x 1080, 30 frames progressive @ 24 Mbps
    • HD 1080/30p FH: 1920 x 1080, 30 frames progressive @ 17 Mbps
    • HD 1080/24p FX: 1920 x 1080, 24 frames progressive @ 24 Mbps
    • HD 1080/24p FH: 1920 x 1080, 24 frames progressive @ 17 Mbps
    • SD 480/60i HQ: 720 x 480, 60 frames interlaced @ 9 Mbps
    • SD 480/30pScan HQ: 720 x 480, 30 frames progressive converted to 60i @ 9 Mbps
    • SD 480/24pScan HQ: 720 x 480, 24 frames progressive converted to 60i @ 9 Mbps

    Recording Time: The following table indicates the estimated amount of recording time in minutes for HD and SD movies on a memory card:

    Memory Card AVCHD
    24M (FX)
    17M (FH)
    9M (HQ)
    5M (LP)
    9M (HQ)
    4 GB 20 25 50 90 55
    32 GB 180 235 435 750 475

    Still Image Capture: The AX2000 does not take digital still images like a digital camera, but allows you to capture selected frames from a recorded movie as a JPEG image. The image size is fixed depending upon the image quality of the movie:

    • 2.1M: high definition image quality (16:9)
    • 0.2M: standard definition image quality (16:9)
    • VGA (0.3M): standard definition image quality (4:3)

    x.v.Color Technology: x.v.Color technology enables the HDR-AX2000 to capture nearly twice (1.8x) as many viewable colors as the standard RGB color range, resulting in more natural, life-like images. You can even experience this expanded color range on your HDTV when you connect your camcorder to an x.v.Color-capable display monitor via HDMI.

    Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization: Optical SteadyShot with Active Mode improves on existing Optical SteadyShot image stabilization technology by allowing the camera lens to shift over a greater range of motion. This allows the HDR-AX2000 to compensate for greater degrees of camera shake and deliver a stunning level of image smoothness.

    Focus Modes: The Sony HDR-AX2000 allows you to choose between Auto Focus or Manual Focus. The minimum focus distance is about 1 cm (13/32 inch) for wide angle, and about 80 cm (2-5/8 feet) for telephoto. To focus manually, you can set the focus switch to "manual" and rotate the focus ring around the lens.

    Exposure Modes: The Sony Handycam HDR-AX2000 gives you the option to set the exposure automatically or manually. When manual exposure is selected, the camcorder lets you adjust the following exposure elements:

    • Iris: You can manually open and close the iris to control the volume of light entering the lens. In the viewfinder/monitor, the F value is expressed between F1.6 and F11 or Close. You can change the operating direction of the iris control by selecting Normal (clockwise rotation darkens image) or Opposite (counter-clockwise rotation darkens image).
    • Shutter Speed: You can adjust the shutter speed in a range of 1/4 second through 1/10000 second. The selected shutter speed appears in the monitor.
    • Gain: When you don't want to use the AGC (automatic gain control), you can manually set the gain to High, Medium, or Low.

    Neutral Density Filters: The AX2000 has three built-in ND (neutral density) filters for adjusting the amount of light entering the Image Sensor through the lens. Depending on the shooting conditions, you can choose from 1/4, 1/16, or 1/64 filters, or Clear (no filter).

    Zebra: You can display a zebra pattern as a guide for adjusting brightness.

    White Balance Adjustment: You can adjust and fix the white balance according to the lighting conditions of the recording environment. You can store two white balance settings in Memory A and Memory B for later recall. Other white balance settings include:

    • Auto: The white balance is adjusted automatically.
    • Outdoor: The white balance is adjusted for the following conditions: Outdoors, night views, neon signs and fireworks, sunrise, sunsets, under daylight fluorescent lamps.
    • Indoor: The white balance is adjusted for the following conditions: Indoors, party scenes and studios where lighting conditions change quickly, and under the video lamps or incandescent-like color lamps.
    • One Push: The white balance will be adjusted according to the present ambient light.

    Picture Profile: The picture quality can be customized by adjusting various picture profile items. Picture quality settings for different recording conditions have been stored in presets PP3 through PP6. You can store your own picture profile settings in presets PP1 and PP2. Other picture quality settings you can adjust include:

    • Gamma: select Standard, Cinematone 1 or Cinematone 2
    • Color Mode: set type and level of colors depending upon above gamma settings
    • Color Level: set color level from -7 (light) to +7 (dark) or -8 (black & white)
    • Color Phase: set color phase from -7 (greenish) to +7 (reddish)
    • WB Shift: set color temp from -9 (bluish) to +9 (reddish), and color correct offset from -9 (greenish) to +9 (magentish)
    • Detail: sets the detail level from -7 to +7
    • Skintone Detail: adjusts detail of skintone areas to reduce wrinkles, plus color phase, range, and saturation levels

    Spotlight: When the Spotlight function is on, you can prevent overexposure of light while recording a subject under strong light, such as a stage. This keeps people's faces from being washed out and over-exposed.

    Back Light: You can use the Back Light function to adjust the exposure for backlit subjects.

    Smooth Slow Recording: The camcorder features Smooth Slow Recording which increases the record rate from 60 fields per second (fps) to 240 fps for 6 seconds, allowing you to capture approximately 6 seconds of fast motion video and play the clip back in slow motion for 24 seconds. This is great for analyzing a golf swing or viewing a bird in flight. You can select whether the 6 seconds recorded occurs before or after the record button is pushed. No sound is recorded during Smooth Slow recording.

    Assign Buttons: The AX2000 lets you assign some functions to 7 designated "Assign" buttons. Functions such as Expanded Focus, Iris Ring Rotate, AE Shift, Back Light, Spotlight, Steady Shot, D Extender, and Fader can be moved to one of the easily accessible Assign buttons.

    Wireless Remote: The Sony Handycam HDR-AX2000 camcorder comes supplied with an IR wireless remote control (RMT-845) for wireless operation of the camera when you have the camcorder mounted to a tripod or during playback when you have the camcorder connected to your television.

    Removable Lens Hood: The AX2000 comes with a lens hood to protect the lens and help prevent excess light from entering the lens from the side. The hood has a lens cover that opens and closes with a mechanical lever. The lens hood can be removed if desired.

    Note: No lens cap is included with the camcorder, so it would be recommended that you obtain a 72mm lens cap if you decide to remove the lens hood.

    Audio Recording: The HDR-AX2000 compliments the professional quality video recording with professional quality audio. A high-quality stereo microphone is built-in, however, you can add one or two external microphones if you desire. Dual XLR 3-pin audio jacks are provided for connecting external microphones with or without +48V phantom power requirements. A built-in microphone holder allows you to mount an external microphone to the camcorder. Rubber isolators help prevent the pickup of mechanical noise from the camcorder.

    Audio Controls: The camcorder gives you numerous settings for recording audio. You can independently set the source of each audio channel to internal microphone or external input (the two XLR inputs). If external input is selected, you can set the input source to Line, Mic, or Mic+48V (with phantom power). The level of each input can be automatically or manually set (using rotary controls). If the internal microphone is selected, you can set the incoming audio signal to mono or stereo.

    Playback/Editing Features

    Visual Index: The Sony HDR-AX2000 displays thumbnail images for all recorded movies on the Visual Index screen on the LCD monitor. The buttons for playback are conveniently located on top of the camcorder adjacent to the LCD panel. On the Visual Index screen, you can make selections by touching the LCD screen. You can select Memory Card A or B, and the playback type (HD, SD, Stills). Each recording of the selected type are displayed with the date and time of the recording. Once the video begins playback, you can use the on-screen touch controls or the playback buttons to select the next/previous file, pause/play, stop, and fast reverse/fast forward. Each press of fast reverse or fast forward changes the view speed (5x, 10x, 30x, 60x).

    Edit Menu: The Edit Menu allows you to perform the following:

    • Protect: Select movies and still images for protection against accidental deletion
    • Photo Capture: Create digital still images from recorded movies
    • Playlist Edit: Create and edit the list of movies you have recorded and put them in a desired order or grouping
    • Divide: Allows you to divide recorded movies to create separate scenes that can be re-ordered in a playlist. Once movies are divided they cannot be restored
    • Delete: Delete unwanted movies and still images to free up space on the memory card (except for protected movies and images)
    • Format Memory Card: Formatting deletes all data from the memory card including protected movies and still images.

    Battery Information

    InfoLithium Battery: This unit comes with an NP-F570 InfoLithium (Lithium-ion) battery (7.2V / 2100mAh minimum / 2200 mAh typical). Larger capacity batteries are available for this camcorder: NP-F770 and NP-F970. The InfoLithium system exchanges data about its actual power consumption with the camcorder for a more accurate estimate of recording time available. Cold temperatures will increase battery consumption.

    Battery Life: The approximate recording, playback, and charging times for the supplied and optional batteries is as follows:

    Battery Continuous Recording Typical Recording Playback Time Charging Time
    130 150 80 85 225 270 260
    285 320 170 185 460 550 370
    425 480 245 285 690 830 480

    Note: Typical recording time shows the time when you repeat recording start/stop, turning the power on/off and zooming.

    Charging: The battery charges in the camera using the supplied AC-L100C AC adapter, or in an optional charger (AC-VQ850D).

    Inputs and Outputs Notes

    Video Outputs: The Sony HDR-AX2000 has the following video outputs:

    • A/V Out: RCA composite video output and stereo RCA audio jacks. A 5' A/V cable is supplied.
    • Component Out: Proprietary (Mini-D) jack for use with the supplied 5' component video cable. For audio output, the stereo RCA jacks from the A/V out are used. You can set the resolution of the output signal to 1080i/480i, 720p/480i, or 480i.
    • HDMI Output: Full-size HDMI jack to output video and audio to an HDMI-equipped TV. You can set the resolution of the output signal to Auto, 1080i/480i, 720p/480i, 480p, or 480i. No HDMI cable is supplied.

    USB Port: The camcorder has a mini-B Version 2.0 Hi-Speed USB port for connecting to a PC via the supplied USB cable. Connecting the camcorder to a PC via USB allows you to download videos and still images from the inserted memory cards.

    Dual Microphone Inputs: The camcorder features two XLR microphone inputs for adding external microphone for advanced audio recording. These can also be used for line level audio signals if the input type is changed in the menu.

    Headphone Output: The camcorder features a 3.5mm minijack headphone output for connecting a pair of headphones for listening to audio/video playback. You can select the headphone audio source with a 3-way switch: Channel 1, Stereo Mix, Channel 2.

    DC In Jack: The DC In Jack is for use with the supplied AC-L100C AC adapter and charger. The battery charges in the camera, or in an optional charger (AC-VQ850D).

    Software And Computer Information

    Content Management Utility: The Sony HDR-AX2000 comes with Content Management Utility Ver.1.0 for AVCHD Camcorder software on CD-ROM. The software allows you to import images to a computer and view the images. It is recommended that commercially available software be used to edit the images or to create discs.

    Computer Requirements: Content Management Utility is for Windows users only and is not compatible with Macintosh computer. To use the software, your computer should have the following minimum requirements:

    Operating System
    • Windows XP SP3 (64-bit and Starter editions not supported)
    • Windows Vista SP2 (Starter edition not supported)
    • Windows 7
    • Intel Core 2 Duo 2.20 GHz or faster to play back videos with HD image quality in FX mode
    • Videos with HD image quality recorded in other than FX mode may be played back with a slower CPU.
    • Pentium III 1 GHz or faster is necessary to:
      • import movies to the computer
      • process with SD image quality
    • Windows XP: 512 MB or more (1GB or more is recommended)
      • 256 MB or more is sufficient for processing only movies with SD image quality
    • Windows Vista/Windows 7: 1GB or more
    Hard Disk Space Disk volume required for installation: Approximately 100 MB
    (Only the NTFS or exFAT file system can be used for importing videos or registering them for viewing.)
    Display Minimum 1,204 x 768 dots
    • High Speed USB 2.0 port
    • CD-ROM drive is necessary for installation

    Our Product Research Team

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    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    1 question already asked

    Focus Modes: The Sony HDR-AX2000 allows you to choose between Auto Focus or Manual Focus. The minimum focus distance is about 1 cm (13/32 inch) for wide angle, and about 80 cm (2-5/8 feet) for telephoto. To focus manually, you can set the focus switch to "manual" and rotate the focus ring around the lens. [ Jeff  Dec 16, 2013 ]  Staff