With the first compact entry into their professional XDCAM lineup of cameras, Sony has announced the 4K-ready PXW-X70 XDCAM Professional Camcorder. The PXW-X70 takes many of the features of the industry-standard XDCAM lineup and adds the cinematic benefits of a large 1” sensor.
This sensor, a 1.0 type Exmor™ R CMOS Sensor, has a resolution of 20 megapixels and is even larger than a Super 16mm film frame. This large size not only helps the PXW-X70 deliver high performance in low light situations, but also better control over depth of field.
With a 4K firmware update bringing Ultra HD shooting to the PXW-X70 soon, the camcorder currently shoots HD in XAVC Long GOP, delivering 4:2:2 10-bit sampling at 50 Mb/s. This means good things for those interested in smaller form factor, large sensor cameras for broadcast, documentary and corporate implementations.
Complimenting the large sensor is a fixed ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens, capable of 12x optical zoom, which can be extended to 24x without resolution loss then doubled to 48x, using something called Clear Image Zoom and Digital Extender zoom, respectively.
Rare to many small form factor professional cameras, the PXW-X70 also has an integrated ND filter function, allowing a choice of four mechanical ND filter positions. They've also managed to fit other large camera features, such as dual XLR audio inputs, 3G-SDI and HDMI outputs, as well as a lens ring for manual focus and zoom control. Other fancy features include Wi-Fi/NFC (Near Field Communication) for device control from a smartphone or other controller.
From Sony’s European release, here are some highlights of the PXW-X70:
1.0 type Exmor R CMOS Sensor. High sensitivity and fantastic resolution with 14.2 million effective pixels delivers striking detail and colours, even in low light conditions.
Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens. The lens offers a 12x optical zoom, which can be increased to 24x with Clear Image Zoom while retaining full resolution thanks to Super Resolution Technology. Zoom performance can be doubled at any point with a Digital Extender by up to 48x.
Compact, lightweight XDCAM camcorder packed with adaptable professional functions. The PXW-X70 weighs less than 1.4kg, including the XLR handle unit, battery (NP-FV70), lens hood and large eye-cup. It offers professional interfaces such as 3G-SDI and HDMI output connectors plus an XLR x2 handle unit with zoom lever. Other professional features include a manual lens ring that can intuitively control zoom and focus, ergonomic palm grip with large zoom lever, two SD memory card slots for backup, simultaneous and relay recording, and a three-level switchable ND filter.
Breadth of recording format capabilities and 4K-ready. Provides multiple choices depending on application required, including XAVC, AVCHD and DV file-based recording. When recording in XAVC, the PXW-X70 uses the MXF file format, efficiently compressing full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution using the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 CODEC. Image sampling is 4:2:2 10-bit with high-efficiency Long-GOP compression at 50 Mbps, 35 Mbps or 25 Mbps. The PXW-X70 is also 4K-ready and can handle 4K recordings with a future upgrade.
Built-in Wi-Fi control functionality for monitoring and remote control versatility. Near Field Communication functions enable easy, one-touch wireless LAN connection to a smartphone or tablet, while the Content Browser Mobile application allows confirmation of shot angles and operation of the camcorder by remote, including field angle setting, spot focus and iris adjustment.
So far there has been no word on pricing or availability.