Panasonic HC-VX981K vs Sony FDR-AX53

A reliable camcorder will deliver a mesmerizing video quality and to get such a result, we also have to pay quite the amount of money. If you are in the market to get a great video camera for your future unforgettable moments or to elevate your videography skills, Panasonic HC-VX981K Vs Sony FDR-AX53 are two amazing recorders to check out because they can deliver a very nice video quality. For those who are also eyeing these models, see what we can expect from them below.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:
– What to Consider when Shopping for Video Recorder
– What are Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53
– what Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53 Look like
– How are the Camera in Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53
– How Many Zooms in Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53
– Do Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53 have Image Stabilization
– How are the Performance of Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53
– Panasonic HC-VX981K Vs Sony FDR-AX53

Shopping for the Best Video Recorder
With the abundant choices out there, it is easy to get confused when looking for the best device for our activity and it is the same with video recorder. In the past we are used to using a professional service to record our events like birthday and wedding reception but today, almost everyone can do it, but of course the level of professionality will be different between those with more experienced and novice users. Not only more traditional video cameras, today we also have action cams and the similarly compact smartphone sister.

For casual users, we don’t argue that action camera is the most versatile model today because not only they took quite nice footage but also versatile enough to capture still images and one of the most important advanced features most of the higher-end models have is an amazing image stabilization. However, many of us prefer the classic video recorder or camcorder because of some of their special capabilities or useful features which we can’t find on many other modern devices.

Before shopping for your favorite video recorder, it is good to set some budget limit so we can choose quickly by eliminating those that looks too cheap or too pricey. Additionally, it is wiser to see some of their features to decide whether the unit is already fitting your preference or not yet.

1. The first thing you may want to consider is the video quality because there is no use having a camcorder in which the footage is not satisfying. If you are fine with 1080p, entry level models like Panasonic HC-V380K Vs Canon VIXIA HF R800 can be a very ideal choice but those who wished to have 4K result, we should invest more as well as looking at models with greater sensor and pixel.
2. Second is about feature and one of the most desired capabilities of camcorder is the zoom range for smartphone or action cams are often lack in getting closer with your subject. Optical zoom is the best and make sure to get the most range depending on what you need.
3. The next function that we often compared with action camera is Image Stabilization because it is crucial for a better footage and having one ensure there will be less shakiness in your video despite being used while moving.
4. The last but not least capability we look in a video camera, especially for those who are more experienced is manual control like manual focus to improve the footage and an option to install an external microphone so we can take better audio quality.

About Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53
If you already list down what needs to be available in the camcorder, now is a good time to see what the market has to offer because in the last several years, companies are flooding the competition with new models and new technology especially for the 4K category because apparently everybody wants to record at this UHD quality and then watch them on the big TV screen. This creates a huge collection to choose but it means we have to spend some time to shop as well.

To save some more time, we can see what the other similar users are using because those satisfying lots of customers will have a high chance to fit our preferences too and among those huge amount of companies that offer video recorder, Panasonic and Sony are two of the most reliable with their long history in offering electronic devices including camera that we can always count on to. They also offers quite the options depend on what you are looking for.

For those who are in the market for a higher end video recorder, the HC-VX981K and FDR-AX53 from these companies will be a very interesting models to look at. Both of them are often compared because not only the fact that they do have similar capabilities but also because they are launched at the same time back then around 2015 or 2016. These two are not a video camera we can take light because they are made to be very capable even compared to modern smartphones or action cameras.

However, if by chance you are familiar already with their older siblings like the HC-VX870 and CX model respectively, these two will be very familiar as well. Panasonic does a very good job with the former camcorder in which there seems to be very little upgrade we can hope to see in this version while those who are used to CX model from Sony will see that the AX does not only literally offer 4K but also lack of the previously boasted integrated projector.

Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53 Design
As you can expect from a high-end video recorder, Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53 are very rugged that people can tell they will be fine when accidentally bumped but, it is also true that the main housing of these models are made of hardened plastic yet very well made and feels very durable as well. They sport the same black, standard fashion with the same shape of any other video recorder out there which is tubular main body and a dedicated main display.

When you place them side by side, it also becomes clear that Sony is overall bulkier camera between the two because Panasonic is approximately measured at 2.5-inch wide, 2.8-inch tall, and 5.4-inch deep while the other is at 2.8-inch wide, 3.2-inch tall, and 6.8-inch tall despite looking more compact than the former. It is also heavier at 535 grams as opposed to only 351 grams without each of their battery and SD card.

Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53 Camera
When looking for any type of camera, our first attention usually about the sensor because they are a very important part to notice that will decide the quality of your image or video. In this side, both of them are paired with the same 1/2.3-inch Back Illuminated MOS or CMOS Sensor with effective pixel to capture video equally at 8.29MP similar with the still image captured at 16:9 mode, making them indeed a very comparable video camera.

What’s more interesting is that they are also capable of recording the same 4K and in the same frame rates per second which is adjustable between 24fps or 30fps in MP4 format together with the lower resolution or 1080p which unfortunately still topping at 60fps so we still can’t get a reliable slow-mo experience yet in AVCHD or MP4 format.

Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53 Zoom
Moving further, we would like to talk about the additional desirable capabilities in a video recorder and it is their zoom range because one of the main points of having the device is so then we can zoom reliably on far away subject. Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53 are not lacking in terms of zoom since they are equally offering up to 20x Optical zoom which is extendable with Intelligent zoom at 4K up to 25x, 1080p at 40x or Clear Image Zoom in 4K at 30x and HD at 40x.

Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53 Image Stabilization
Using a handheld video recorder is prone to movement and resulting in dizzying footage which is why we have Image Stabilization almost in everything today most importantly on video camera. These two models are absolutely built with one and those using Panasonic before must be familiar with their Hybrid OIS+ and now it is even added with Active Mode, OIS Lock, and Level Shot Function that we can use in the highest 4K mode except for the latest that works only at 2K mode.

On the other hand, Sony is boasting the new well-known Balanced Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization which we prefer to call as BOSS and renew it with Intelligent Active mode or 5-axis. What you may want to keep in mind is BOSS does works in 4K mode but the 5-axis is not.

Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53 Performance
On the performance test, Panasonic HC-VX981K and Sony FDR-AX53 are working amazing especially on the video quality at 4K because they are delivered very well including the sound recorded. The decision to use touch panel is also appreciated because we don’t have to fiddle with lots of buttons anymore and operation can be done in a simple, quick way. Overall we love both video and still image of these cameras as well as their Image Stabilization which are not actually the best in the market but works very well on reducing shakiness.

It is understandable why people are confused about which camera to choose because these two are very similar to each other both in specification and in the way they work by offering great video quality in 4K and HD probably because they use the same sensor with the same effective pixel. The only prominent difference is that Sony will be bulkier and it has slightly more Clear Image zoom at 4K mode as well as slightly better display.

Panasonic HC-VX981K vs Sony FDR-AX53

- Get in Close and Detail: 18.91 Megapixel MOS sensor plus 20x Zoom LEICA Decomar Lens (4.08-81.6mm), plus 5-axis Hybrid O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)
- 1/2.3-Inch BSI Sensor: The Back Side Illumination Sensor has a large effective area with 8.29M effective pixels, suppressing noise even when shooting in dimly lit conditions
- 4K Recording and In-Camera Editing: Ultra-sharp 4K Ultra HD recording, plus in-camera editing for 1080p displays; Total Pixels 18.91 megapixels, still image 7.00 megapixels , 8.29 megapixels , 6.22 megapixels
- 4K XAVC-S recording with 16.6MP, Exmor R sensor, B.O.SS stabilization
- ZEISS lens(26.8mm) 20x optical zoom in 4K, 30x Clear Image Zoom in 4K
- 3.0" LCD (Touch panel), EVF, Wi-Fi/NFC, manual ring, night shot, 4K Time-lapse capture

All in all, both of them are a very reliable camcorder to have for anyone who wish to record footage at 4K but between the two, we do prefer Panasonic HC-VX981K because it saves more budget with equally great footage.

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