The Sony PXW-Z150 was quietly announced at the BVE 2016 Show in London back in February this year, and there hasn’t really been much happening with it since it started shipping a couple of months back. For those who missed the announcement details, the Sony Z150 features 4K/30p recording and 120fps Slow Motion in Full HD and a new Exmor RS 1-inch 20 megapixel CMOS sensor. The camera also features a 12x Optical Zoom fixed lens with Sony’s clever Clear Image Zoom technology expanding it to 18x zoom in 4K, which gets some extra zoom range out of the lens without sacrificing image quality. In Full HD the max zoom with Clear Image Zoom is extended to 24x.
Up until now there hasn’t really been any outstanding footage from the camera, or barely any “non-Sony marketing” independent footage at all, but recently Sony camera expert, educator and DP, Doug Jensen published some fantastic looking 4K test footage he shot with the Sony PXW-Z150.
From Doug: I was teaching an Interview Lighting course last week at Maine Media Workshops and so I took the opportunity to get out a couple of times in the morning and evening to shoot some 4K test footage with my Z150 that had just arrived a couple of days before I left for the trip. I barely had time to dial-in a rough Picture Profile. It looks okay okay in some shots but it still needs some work.
Lens: Sock lens that is built into the camera
Tripod: Sachtler FSB-6
Grading: Davinci Resolve 12
(the helicopter is HD @ 120 fps)
Sony PXW-Z150 Features and Highlights
- 20 megapixel 1-inch Exmor RS CMOS sensor
- 4K (UHD) up to 30p in XAVC-L 100Mb/s
- 12x Optical Zoom (18x in 4K/24x in FHD with Clear Image Zoom)
- 1080/120fps in XAVC-L 10bit 422 continuous
- Available Codecs
- XAVC-L (Long GOP) 8bit 4:2:0 at 100Mbps in 4K
- XAVC-L (Long GOP) 10bit 4:2:2 at 50 Mbps in Full HD
- MPEG HD422 8bit 4:2:2 at 50Mbps in Full HD
- MPEG HD420 8bit 4:2:0 at 35Mbps in Full HD
- AVCHD 8bit 4:2:0 at 28Mbps in Full HD
- Dual SD card slots for Relay / Backup recording
- 3G-SDI and HDMI outputs
- Built-in Wi-Fi with Sony QoS
- 0.39 type 1440K dots OLED electronic viewfinder
- MI Shoe – for UWP-D11 wireless mics, or any other MI shoe accessory
- Weight: 1.9kg Body Only / 2.2kg with NP-F770 battery; around 5 lbs.
The PXW-Z150 is a grown-up version of the PXW-Z100 4K camcorder, which never really caught on as maybe Sony would have hoped. One major difference apart from the new stacked Exmor RS sensor in the Z150 is the fact that it uses SDXC cards instead of the more expensive XQD media the Z100 uses. Plus the Z150 feels like a more solid camera thanks to the 1080p/120fps continuous and XAVC-L in FHD.
Although the PXW-Z150 lacks Slog2 or Slog3 gammas, those videographers, who primarily shoot events or weddings and are more comfortable with a handheld camcorder design with a fixed lens, rather than a Super 35/Full-Frame interchangeable lens camera, will appreciate this model more than those who are more keen on using A7sII’s or FS5/7s. And best of all at just $3,200 is a pretty good deal if you ask me.
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