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Sony unveils new PXW-Z150 4K pro camcorder, for $3595

by on February 24, 2016

Stephan Jukic – February 24, 2016

Sony has announced a new 4K ultra HD pro compact camcorder, the PXW-Z150, with a 1-inch Exmor RS CMOS sensor for superior low light performance and with a whole host of other specs, for a hefty but not unreasonable price tag of $3595.

The PXW-Z150 comes with a 29-348mm built in lens that offers a 12x optical zoom which is further augmented by Sony’s proprietary Clear Image Zoom technology. This means that the 12x optical magnification is further extended to 24x in HD and to 18x in 4K ultra HD. 4K recording in the new PXW-Z150 is delivered in the XAVC Long codec at a max bitrate of 100Mbps.

Furthermore, the PXW-Z150 comes with a 0.39 type 1440K dot OLED viewfinder and a flip-out 3.5 type 1550K dot LCD display that comes along with a built-in four-stop ND filter and three different independent lens rings. In addition to this, there is built-in WiFi for live streaming, FTP and remote control manipulation. Attached to the camcorder, the Multi-Interface show is also on hand to allow Sony camera technology accessories like wireless mics and other peripherals, which can be connected without cabling in many cases. There are also dual media slots for both the SDXC and SDHC formats in storage cards.

As we’d said, the Z150 records video in the XAVC Long GOP format (4:2:2/10bit 50Mbps) and in MPEG-2 HD (50Mbps/35Mbps) and this in turn simplifies workflows for easier editing and transfer of video. Additionally the camcorder does 4K ultra HD video in XAVC Long GOP at 100Mbps, with AVCHD being an option for even smoother workflow processes.

The 4K recording capacity of the PXW-Z150 is further enhanced by the fact that the camcorder can manage this high quality resolution without binning, with full pixel readout in other words.

As for its networking capabilities, the Sony PXW-Z150 allows broadcasters to upload files directly via FTP or live stream their video from any given shooting session through the above-mentioned built-in WiFi feature. Additionally, Sony’s unique SoS (Quality of Service) technology, the PXW-Z150 can stream its video in HD over mobile networks with high levels of video clarity.

Sample of footage shot with the PXW-Z150 4K camcorder

Sample of footage shot with the PXW-Z150 4K camcorder

The Z150 also offers a broad range of connectivity options built into its body and shoe. These include slots for 3G-SDI, HDMI, Multi/Micro USB, professional audio XLR terminals, REMOTE and Composite (RCA), as well as an included Sony cold shoe adaptor kit.

The MSRP of the PXW-Z150 is somewhat on the steep side but this is definitely a more professionally oriented camcorder with a focus on shooting sessions for documentaries, movies, commercials and corporate event videos. However, Sony also claims that the camera can easily have appeal to a broad range of users. In one particular example, Sony Marketing Manager Jeanne Lewis mentions that the PXW-Z150’s ability to shoot Full HD video at 120fps could easily be appealing to sports videographers who also want slow motion shooting flexibility while extracting high levels of clarity and video sharpness. Furthermore, the camcorder’s support for long-GOP HD codecs like the above-mentioned XAVC Long 4:2:2 and MPGE-2 HD will be attractive to many broadcast filmmaking users.

Finally, we have to mention the low light capacities of the PXW-Z150. This capability is a particularly strong characteristic in many Sony shooters of assorted types and it’s very much present in the Z150, with Sony’s EXMOR RS technology and its “stacked design” for increased low light performance. With the stacked CMOS, all pixels are on the sensor’s top layer with electrical circuits in a lower layer, meaning that with more room, the pixels in the sensor can be larger and as a result capture more light with better sensitivity, better dynamic range and superior overall contrast.

The Sony PXW-Z150 compact 4K UHD camcorder is already available for pre-order and will be shipping to customers in April of 2016.

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