These Three New Sony 4K HDR Camcorders Offer Some Seriously Powerful Specs

by on September 28, 2017

Juan Carlos Ropel, Sept 28, 2017

At this year’s IBC Sony announced its new lineup of palm-style 4K HDR camcorders, the first camcorder models from Sony to feature phase-detection autofocus AF. These are the Sony XDCAM PXW-Z90, Sony NXCAM HXR-NX80, and the Sony Handycam FDR-AX700, intended for either professionals or video enthusiasts who want a little more of pro-level features.

This line-up of camcorders support 4K HDR recording with Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) at 24p or 30p, and besides boasting a fast hybrid AF system based on 273 phase-detection AF points that covers around 84% of the shooting area, they use a 1.0-type Exmor RS image sensor to provide an immediate high quality HDR workflow.

Sony HXR-NX80 4K HDR Camcorder model

Sony NX80 4K camcorder model. The Z90 looks essentially identical.

The new camcorders also use a high-resolution OLED viewfinder (OLED type 0.39 of 2.359.000 points) and an LCD touch screen to change the focus or to perform system operations. The PXW-Z90, HXR-NX80 and FDR-AX700 are compatible with Sony’s MCX-500 live producer, a compact, cost-effective switcher for running multi-camera shooting easily.

These recording cameras offer a 4K full-pixel readout using an enhanced BIONZ X image processing engine and S-Log3 / S-Gamut3 image capture capabilities. Super Slow Motion records up to 960fps and Quick Motion Full HD can shoot at up to 120fps. The 29mm wide-angle ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T lens covers a 12x optical zoom range, supported by an 18x Clear Image Zoom

Sony FDR AX-700 4K HDR camcorder

The XDCAM PXW-Z90 and NXCAM HXR-NX80 models look virtually identical and both feature dual XLR audio input, a removable handle and access to Content Browser Mobile, a smartphone application that allows monitoring of Wi-Fi connection, remote control of camcorders and the wireless synchronization of the time codes between several cameras.

Sony FDR AX-700 4K camera

These cameras share the same basic specs, but differ in some key features. For instance, the HXR-NX80 and the more expensive PXW-Z90 can record in XAVC format, but the PXW-Z90 includes a wider variety of functions for specific production requirements. These functions, unique to the Z90, include XAVC®format recording, for high quality images at 4:2:2 10 bit (HD) and 4:2:0 8 bit (QFHD), 3G SDI connectivity for broader compatibility with existing broadcast equipment and networking functionality for news reporting. This latter feature means compatibility with XDCAM® air, the cloud-based ENG subscription service run by Sony.

The XDCAM PXW-Z90 and NXCAM HXR-NX80 camcorders will be available in December while the FDR-AX700 Handycam camcorder in October. The FDR-AX700 model will go for $1,899, while the higher-end NXCAM HXR-NX80 and XDCAM PXW-Z90 models will be retailing for an estimated price of $2,299 and $2,799, respectively.

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