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8 ways video cameras beat mobile phones

If you love to take travel videos – you probably need to upgrade from a phone.

Sure, it’s easy and convenient to film on your mobile. But even the latest and best smartphones can’t compete with a video camera.

Video tips and tricks

Callum and Amelie Godfrey use the Sony AX33 handicam on the Nepean Belle in Penrith. Picture: Alison Godfrey

We tested a Sony AX33 Handycam for our travel videos for three months and were astounded by the difference.

After filming for three months, I found eight ways the Sony AX33 beat my mobile phone.


A mobile phone doesn’t do zoom well. Even if you can get in close to the action, that footage is likely to be shaky and blurry and disappointing.

I tried filming the kids’ attempt to tackle the Aqua Splash Park on a recent trip to Penrith. With a phone, it was nearly impossible to focus on them splashing and slipping over. The footage was grainy and the slightest shake in my hand made it impossible to focus.

But with the Sony AX33 Handycam, I could zoom in and get a clear, stable picture. It was even stable when I giggled at them falling over.

Unlike phones, the AX33has steady shot. As you move the camera, a gimble built inside the video camera automatically stabilises the lens. It is up to 13 times more stable when you move from wide shots to telephoto. The difference between a video camera and my Galaxy S9 was instantly noticeable. For long shots – the Sony Handycam camcorder wins every time.

Reducing voice noise

Ever recorded a video and then been annoyed at the sound of your own booming voice saying ‘smile, wave’? You can’t change that on a phone. But on a Sony AX33 you can decrease the voice volume of the person recording the movie. It’s called My Voice Cancelling. I love this function so much because I often laugh or yell right at the crucial moment in our videos.

Night vision

One of the things my kids loved the most about the AX33 was the night shooting feature. It allows you to see in the dark. To do it simply hit the NightShot function button and the camera will change to the infrared light setting.

Slow motion

Yes, phones do slow motion. But the AX33 did it better. I tried filming the kids jumping into the pool during the holidays. On my Galaxy S9, slow-motion filming starts when the action happens in a box displayed on the screen. The problem is, kids are unpredictable. I would set the box up where I thought they would jump and they would miss it, or it would start the slow motion too early, or too late.

The Sony AX33 starts filming in slow motion when you press the start-stop button – much easier.


Golf Shot

This function is unique to the AX33. Frame the subject in the white grid in the centre of the LCD monitor, then press START/STOP right after the subject has taken a swing. The camera will then split the video into dozens of photos – so you can see exactly how you hit the ball frame by frame. This is great for kids who are competitive at sport – they can analyse their game and learn what to correct.

Fast motion

I love using a video camera to take a shot of our destination when we arrive. With a video camera you can set it up to record time-lapse video, which will condense a long action into a short video. Capture a sunset when you arrive at a destination and you can still use your phone to surf the web as you do it.

Save your battery

When I use my mobile phone to film, it drains the battery. When I get back to the hotel to rest – I want to use my phone. But with a low battery, it needs to be plugged in. If I use the Sony AX33, to take photos and videos, I then have enough power left in my phone to use it for web browsing or to use Google Maps to get us home.

Better quality footage

Video cameras win hands down when it comes to video quality. The AX33 can even shoot in 4K – the best quality available.

This is one of our latest travel videos from Japan, filmed on the AX33: 

And two things that are just as easy

Transferring files

Old video cameras had to be plugged in to transfer files. But technology has improved.

All you need to do is Download an app called PlayMemories mobile. Then you can connect the Sony AX33 to your phone or laptop with WiFi.

If you are using Windows – you can upload directly from the Sony PlayMemories home app to YouTube or Facebook. You can even view the images on a calendar – which the kids loved. If you have an Android Device that supports NFC you can even transfer MP4 files by touching the phone to the camera. It’s that easy. Great quality footage, on your phone fast.


All kids love doing selfies. And selfie videos. With the AX33 you can rotate the LCD monitor so you can actually see yourself when you record.

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