20 September 2017

Sony launches new 4K HDR camcorders

  • Fast and reliable autofocus (AF) function adapted for shooting with a 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor
  • High quality images and versatile shooting features
  • Instant HDR workflow

  • Source: Sony. Sony launches new 4K HDR camcorders.
Sony has announced three new 4K HDR1 (high dynamic range) camcorders featuring its Fast Hybrid AF system: the XDCAM PXW-Z90, the NXCAM HXR-NX80 and the Handycam FDR-AX700.

All three palm camcorders combine a fast and reliable autofocus (AF) function adapted for shooting with a 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor, delivering high quality image clarity alongside a range of versatile shooting features. The new camcorders support an instant HDR workflow, enabling users to produce HDR content with minimum post-production.

The 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. This reduces the burden of focusing especially when highly accurate focusing is required for shooting 4K2 films. 

In movie recording mode, the appearance of phase-detection AF frames indicates the focused area and allows users to easily monitor a subject that is in focus. The new camcorders feature a high-resolution OLED viewfinder (0.39-type OLED, 2,359k dots) and a 3.5-type large LCD screen (1,555k dots). The AF drive speed, tracking depth range and subject switching sensitivity can all be configured as required.

The new camcorders support 4K HDR1 recording with HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) offering an Instant HDR workflow. This enables users to reduce the post-production work and produce high-quality HDR content smoothly, without the need for a grading process, which usually requires highly skilled technique and special knowledge. The new models are equipped with:

• 4K2 full-pixel readout without pixel binning using an enhanced BIONZ X image processing engine

• Super Slow Motion3 recording up to 960fps4 which is industry-leading among palm categories; and Slow & Quick MotionFull HD recording up to 120fps6

• S-Log3/S-Gamut3 capabilities

• 29mm7 wide-angle ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 12x optical zoom lens and 18x Clear Image Zoom8

• Less image distortion (rolling shutter phenomenon) in comparison to conventional models when shooting subjects in motion

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 multicamera operation capabilities supported by TC (time code)/UB (user bit). The new camcorders also have REMOTE terminals, multi-interface shoes, 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 Hiroyuki Takahama, Assistant GM, Content Creation Solutions Marketing, Professional Solutions Company (PSAP), Sony Corporation of Hong Kong. “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, 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 sync9 between multiple cameras.

The PXW-Z90 also includes several features to suit broadcast-specific requirements - XAVC format recording that provides high-quality images at 4:2:2 10 bit (HD) and 4:2:0 8 bit (QFHD) in addition to conventional broadcasting MPEG2HD9 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 S10, an extended format of XAVC for consumer use and it can record high-defined 4K films.


The XDCAM PXW-Z90, NXCAM HXR-NX80 will be available in December 2017 and the Handycam FDR-AX700 will be available in October 2017.

1 3,840 x 2,160 pixels.

For the FDR-AX700 and HXR-NX80:Connect to a HDR (HLG) compatible Sony TV via a USB cable when displaying HDR movies is required.

For the PXW-Z90: Connect to a HDR (HLG) compatible Sony TV via a HDMI cable and TV setting change required when displaying HDR movies.

2 3,840 x 2,160 pixels.

3 4K recording is not available. Sound cannot be recorded. A class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card is required.

4 960fps in NTSC, 1000fps in PAL.

5 Sound cannot be recorded. A UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC memory card is required.

6 120fps in NTSC, 100fps in PAL.

7 35mm equivalent.

8 18x(4K), 24x(HD).

9 Optional licences required.

10 A Class 10 or higher SDHC/SDXC memory card is required to record movies in the XAVC S format. UHS-I (U3) SDHC/SDXC card is required for 100Mbps.