IBC 2017: Sony PXW-Z90 and HXR-NX80 Compact 4K Camcorders with Improved AF and HLG HDR

Sony kicked off it’s IBC 2017 presence by announcing three new palm camcorders featuring 1-inch EXMOR RS Stacked sensors as well as stunning autofocus performance with 273-point phase-detection AF sensor and 4K HDR recording – the PXW-Z90, HXR-NX80, and the Handycam FDX-AX700.

The new camcorders all support an instant HDR (High Dynamic Range) workflow, which means they can record in HLG (Hyrbid Log Gamma) for HDR delivery with minimum post-production for either web or broadcast and/or home viewing. Sony claims their Fast Hybrid AF system ensures highly accurate focusing and tracking during shooting, delivered by 273 phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 84% of the shooting area, high-density placement of autofocus points and a newly developed AF algorithm to make it easier to focus even when shooting in UltraHD.

Canon have been leading the industry with their yet-to-be-matched or beaten Dual Pixel AF system, so to see Sony upgrade theirs and move in the right direction is a good sign, which will help with plenty of situations including interviews and events.

Sony PXW Z90

4K is limited to 30p, while you can do Full HD at 120fps and even higher up to 960fps but at a penalty of losing quality. The PXW-Z90 is positioned as the successor to the PXW-X70, which required a paid license to record 4K upon release, but looks like you get that with the new cameras included.

In movie recording mode, the appearance of phase-detection AF frames indicates the focused area and easily allows users to monitor a subject that is in focus.

The new camcorders feature a high-resolution OLED viewfinder (0.39-type OLED, 2,359k dots) and advanced touch screen operation, on the 3.5-type large LCD screen (1,555k dots), to allow users to quickly switch focus from one subject to another, while the AF Drive Speed, Tracking Depth Range and Subject Switching Sensitivity can all be configured as required for different subjects and content styles.

Sony PXW-Z90/HXR-NX80 Key Features:

  • 4K full-pixel readout without pixel binning
  • Enhanced BIONZ X image processing engine
  • Super Slow Motion recording up to 960fps (quality varies)
  • Full HD recording up to 120fps
  • S-Log3/S-Gamut3
  • 29mm (35mm equivalent) wide-angle ZEISS lens
  • 12x optical zoom lens and 18x Clear Image Zoom
  • MI multi-interface shoe for cable-less audio (with Sony UWP-D11 for example)
  • Record onto SD cards
  • 10bit 422 in Full HD XAVC-Long GOP (Z90)
  • UHD is 8bit 420
  • PXW-Z90 features 3G-SDI and HDMI
  • NX80 – HDMI only
  • 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz with QoS Streaming (Z90)

Workflow efficiency benefits such as Proxy recording, relay recording and simultaneous backup recording are also delivered thanks to the new camcorders’ dual memory card slots and multi-camera operation capabilities supported by TC (time code)/UB (user bit). The three new camcorders also have REMOTE terminals, Multi-Interface Shoe, and HDMI Type A to ensure enhanced operability.

“We strongly believe in empowering customers to tell amazing stories, whether it’s a journalist out in the field covering a breaking news event, or a freelancer working under the tight deadline pressures of a one-day corporate shoot” explained James Leach, European Product Manager, Sony Professional Solutions Europe. “Our new palm camcorders do exactly that. By minimising the efforts required to focus on a subject in-frame and streamlining the post-production workflow, we’re helping users concentrate on what they do best: storytelling.”

In addition to the above key features as series, the XDCAM PXW-Z90 and NXCAM HXR-NX80 also feature dual XLR audio input, a detachable handle, and access to Content Browser Mobile –  a supporting smartphone application to enable Wi-Fi monitoring, Camcorder remote control and wireless timecode sync between multiple cameras.

The PXW-Z90 also includes several features to suit broadcast-specific requirements including XAVC format recording, which provides high-quality images at 4:2:2 10 bit (HD) and 4:2:0 8 bit (QFHD) in addition to conventional broadcasting MPEG2 HD format recording, 3G SDI connectivity for compatibility with existing broadcasting equipment, and networking functions to support news reporting, such as compatibility with XDCAM air, the Sony cloud-based ENG subscription service.

NXCAM HXR-NX80 and Handycam FDR-AX700 adopt XAVC-S ,an extended format of XAVC for consumer use which can record 4K videos.

The XDCAM PXW-Z90, NXCAM HXR-NX80 will be available in December and Handycam FDR-AX700 will be available in October. For more information on Sony visit www.pro.sony.eu, or visit stand 13.A10 at IBC 2017. Pricing is to be confirmed.

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  • Fotovarieta

    Does Content Browser Mobile (a supporting smartphone application), allow AF control trough smartphone touch screen ? Could I control AF of a Sony PXW-Z90 with a touch screen of a smartphone ?