Sony announced three new compact camcorders at the IBC 2017 trade show in Amsterdam earlier in the Fall – the Sony PXW-Z90, the HXR-NX80, and the more consumer oriented Handycam FDX-AX700. They feature a 1-inch EXMOR RS Stacked sensor as well as improved autofocus performance with 273-point phase-detection AF sensor and 4K HDR recording. The “big hitter” of the three is the PXW-Z90, which like the rest supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) workflow, meaning HLG (Hyrbid Log Gamma) support for HDR delivery and 4K/30p. Unlike the other two models, however, the Z90 features a 3G-SDI output in addition to an HDMI one, and also supports the 10bit 422 XAVC-L (Long GOP) codec.
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.
For those of you who shoot events or need a compact camcorder that is UltraHD and also has professional connectivity and super-slow motion, then checking out the PXW-Z90 might be quite useful. See Sony’s unboxing and quick features tour video below.
Sony PXW-Z90/HXR-NX80 Highlights
- 4K full-pixel readout without pixel binning
- Enhanced BIONZ X image processing engine
- Super Slow Motion recording up to 960fps (quality varies)
- 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 (only on PXW-Z90)
- Sony PXW-Z90 – $2,799 (B&H / Adorama)
- Sony HXR-NX80 – $2,299 (B&H / Adorama)
- Sony FDR-AX700 – $1,899 (B&H / Adorama)
Billed as the successor to the PXW-X70, the Sony PXW-Z90 (and also the cheaper NXCAM HXR-NX80) feature dual XLR audio inputs, 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.
In addition to the 3G-SDI connectivity, the Sony PXW-Z90 also supports 4:2:2 10 bit (Full HD) and 4:2:0 8 bit (UltraHD) in addition to conventional broadcasting MPEG2 HD format recording, and networking functions to support news reporting, such as compatibility with XDCAM air, the Sony cloud-based ENG subscription service.
And with that said, I just want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and I hope 2018 brings you much cheer, happiness, and massive success in all your professional and personal endeavours!
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