Sony Unveils Two New 4K Cameras. PXW-Z100 & FDR-AX1

September 4, 20130 Comments

Sony PXW-Z100 4K Camcorder

Sony PXW-Z100 4K Camcorder

Here we go! Before you read one more word watch the video. It really is stunning. make sure you change the settings to original first to see it in YouTube 4K.

Sony has two, shall I say affordable camcorders in the 4K format. The FDR-AX1 is retailing for $4,500. Its using the XAVC S format by capturing video in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Long GOP and audio in linear PCM saved in an “MP4 wrapper. Got that? A 64GB card will get you 2 hours of 4K video. The FDR-AX1 uses a 1/2.3 Exmor R CMOS sensor and a 20x optical zoom (31.5-630mm) G lens, and has built in ND filters. I think the days of no internal ND filters is finally over.

The more prosumer PXW-Z100 retails for $6500. It has 1/2.33-inch type Exmor R CMOS sensor 4K compact XDCAM camcorder recording on XAVC format. More on specs below. This camera would be a good fit for documentary work since it has a much more robust codec options. The small sensor wont get you that shallow depth of field look but for event shooting this might be a better choice.

I think this is a smart move for Sony since they need consumers to have 4K content in order to want to buy a new 4K television, and if they can create their own with a high end camera then the need would be more pressing to get a new display. This train has left the station and in order to get more people on board it has to be affordable. I’m sure we are going to see a lot more 4K offerings in this price range soon from Panasonic. They have been so quite they must be getting something going soon.

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Here is the info on the PXW-Z100

Professional handheld camcorder records 4K using the XAVC format on to XQD solid state memory cards.

The PXW-Z100 professional 4K handheld XDCAM camcorder features a 1/2.33-inch Exmor R CMOS sensor with 16 million pixels. The camcorder is ideal for creating stunning 4K content (4096 x 2160) at 50 fps (frames per second) or 60 fps. The camcorder makes it easier for everyone from high-end cinema to entry-level productions to work in the 4K world.

  • Stunning 4K, QFHD or HD images in lightweight camcorder

    The PXW-Z100, together with the fixed 4K-compatible high-performance G Lens, weighs less than 3kg. It uses the XAVC recording format first used in the PMW-F55 CineAlta camera. As with the F55, 4K (4096 x 2160, 50fps or 60fps. 4:2:2, Intra-frame,10-bit recording in MXF file format) is possible at a high-bit rate of 500Mbps or 600Mbps. QFHD (3840 x 2160) and HD (1920 x 1080) resolutions can also be selected, both of which are compatible with most 4K TV’s.

 

  • 4K (4096 x 2160) 50fps or 60fps shooting

    The camcorder provides good sensitivity due to the back-illuminated Exmor™ R CMOS sensor. With 8 million effective pixels, the 1/2.33″ sensor captures 4K images at 50fps or 60fps. The inbuilt high-performance G Lens offers maximum shooting flexibility, including a wide angle of 29.5mm (equivalent to 35mm) and 20x powerful optical zoom.

  • XAVC recording format at 4K 50fps/60fps, 4:22 10-bit at 500/600Mbps, HD at up to 223Mbps

    The PXW-Z100 uses Sony’s XAVC recording format first employed in the PMW-F55 CineAlta 4K camera. MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression is used for HD (1920 x 1080), QFHD (3840 x 2016) and 4K (4096 x 2160) content. Image sampling is 4:2:2 10-bit, with an intra-frame system that compresses each frame individually at a maximum bit rate of 500Mbps or 600Mbps during 4K 50fps or 60fps recording respectively and 223Mbps during HD 50fps or 60fps recording. The XAVC format is ideal for those looking to implement a high-quality, secure and worry-free workflow.

    A free firmware update is planned for the middle of 2014 to support the LongGOP mode for extended 4K recording time and to add support for AVCHD recording, a format that until now has been compatible with the playback environment of Blu-ray Discs.

  • XQD Memory Card recording

    The XQD Memory Card* is a new standard of solid state memory, which was recently defined by several industry leading companies. XQD uses the ultra-fast PCI Express interface and Sony’s unique camera processor to enable stable video recording at 500Mbps or 600Mbps. The PXW-Z100 features two XQD Memory Card slots. Multiple cards can be used in various ways, such as for relay recording. When the first card becomes full, recording continues on the second card without a break.

    * XQD cards have a write speed of up to 800Mbps. The use of S Series cards with 180MB/s writing speed is recommended.

  • HDMI interface for 4K output and 3G HD-SDI interface for HD output

    The HDMI interface on the PXW-Z100 can output 4K as a 50fps/60fps signal. When the PXW-Z100 is connected to a Sony 4K-compatible BRAVIA TV, the recorded 4K image can be displayed in 4K 50fps/60fps quality. A future firmware upgrade is planned to provide compatibility with the new HDMI 2.0 standard and enable 4K 50fps/60fps output to a wider range of devices. Other features include a 3G HD-SDI interface that supports output to an SDI of up to HD 60fps. It also supports HD output during 4K recording.

  • Paint function for more creative freedom

    The PXW-Z100’s paint function enables multiple image parameters to be adjusted including gamma curve, black level, skin detail and colour. The range of settings is similar to those in the PMW-F55. Together with other setting options, parameter settings can be recorded as a camera profile onto a memory card. The recorded camera profile can then be used to set the same parameters in another PXW-Z100 to enable the matching of quality and image tones when using a multi-camera setup.

  • Remote control with WiFi

    Focus, zoom, aperture settings and ‘record start/stop’ can be remote controlled using the browser function of a smartphone or tablet.

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I'm a broadcast DP In San Diego. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on and testing new equipment. This blog is also part of giving back. I've learned so much from so many people.

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