Sony has unveiled a new 4K-ready XDCAM, the PXW-X70. TVBEurope got an exclusive sneak peek at the new camera at Pinewood Studios yesterday.
The new professional handycam, the first handheld member of Sony’s XDCAM family, has a Carl Zeiss lens and is upgradeable to 4K. It features a 1.0 type Exmor R sensor with a resolution of 20 megapixels and can record HD in XAVC Long GOP, enabling 422 1-bit sampling at 50 Mbps.
The PXW-X70 features a 3G SDI and an HDMI interface, as well as WiFi and NFC (near-field communications) capability. The wireless/NFC interface will allow live streaming and file transfer via an upgrade available in the first half of next year.
The camera supports multiple codecs, including XAVC Long, AVCHD, and DV, and includes two SD memory cards slots, which can be used for parallel recording or relay recording.
The camera is very light at 1.4 kg and features a removable handle. The camera should retail at around £1500 and will be available in the autumn.
“It’s the first affordable XDCAM handicam that we’ve done,” said Sony’s strategic marketing manager, Bill Drummond. “More users are demanding higher quality tools.” Drummond said that the camera was designed to be light and fully featured – with controls fully manual or auto, as needed.
DP Alister Chapman, stormchaser and publisher of XDCAM-User.com, talked about his testing of the camera and showed ungraded, but impressive test footage.
“The PXW-X70 really, really is an easy camera to work with. And it really isn’t an AX-100,” he said, referring to Sony’s small, lightweight handycam unveiled at CES last January. Chapman said the camera was “very different” from the AX-100 and “not your typical handycam”. He was particularly taken with the ergonomics that allowed easy adjustments of features and controls, while shooting, with minimal effort.
Chapman pointed out that definition on foliage that he had shot in test footage that was free of the “oversharpening” effect often seen in other cameras. The camera allowed substantially more control over depth of focus than most handycams, as well as extremely low noise. To illustrate, Chapman blew up a still image showing black shadow areas with virtually no noise.
Chapman liked that the camera’s removeable handle allowed the camera to take on the shape of any consumer handycam, making it useable in virtually any situation. “No one’s going to stop you shooting with it. You can take it anywhere.”
Robbie Fleming, product marketing manager, at Sony Professional Solutions Europe, said, “Over the past couple of years we’ve seen the broadcast industry really embrace the picture quality benefits associated with large sensors; the one-inch sensor at the heart of the PXW-X70 sets a new standard for colour, depth and texture in a professional compact camcorder. Coupled with the ability to upgrade to 4K, this represents a multipurpose, future-proof option for customers looking for a tough camcorder which doesn’t compromise on image.”