Sony Launches Professional PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM camcorder
Sony today announced the PXW-Z100, a professional 4K handheld XDCAM camcorder featuring a 1/2.3" Exmor R CMOS sensor. The sensor has a total of 16 million pixels, allowing the camcorder to capture stunning 4K content (4096×2160) at 50p or 60p. This camcorder marks Sony’s latest step in expanding the 4K world to everyone, from high-end cinema to corporate and event productions.
The PXW-Z100, together with its fixed 4K-compatible high-performance G Lens, weighs less than 3kg and uses the XAVC recording format first used in the PMW-F55 CineAlta camera. As with the F55, 4K (4096 x 2160, 50p or 60p, 4:2:2, Intra-frame, 10-bit recording in MXF file format) is possible at a high-bit rate of 500Mbps or 600Mbps. QFHD (3840×2160) and HD (1920×1080) resolutions can also be selected, both of which are compatible with most 4K TVs.
Since the PXW-Z100 is based on the same shooting ergonomics as a conventional handheld professional camcorder, it is possible to capture 4K content without extra equipment and with a minimal crew. In addition, during post production, downscaling from 4K to HD provides new possibilities for HD content production.
Sony Australia and New Zealand Senior Product Manager for Content Creation Nick Buchner said, “This innovative new camcorder is capable of capturing very impressive 4K content, making 4K acquisition accessible to a wider range of professional users than ever before. Corporate and event videographers will now be able to easily deliver 4K content across a wide range of platforms including video wall and large projection applications, as well as take advantage of the greater flexibility in post production that 4K acquisition offers when delivering in HD.”
Sony has also announced the new FDR-AX1 Handycam at this month’s IFA 2013 in Berlin. The FDR-AX1 has similar specifications to the PXW-Z100 but is only capable of QFHD (3840 x 2160) recording in the XAVC S format. The FDR-AX1 uses 4:2:0, Long GOP and MP4 file format. The PXW-Z100 also offers a range of additional features of importance to professional users, such as off-speed shooting, 3G HD-SDI output, timecode, and remote control via WiFi.
1. 4K (4096×2160) 50p or 60p shooting
The camcorder provides extremely high sensitivity due to the back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor. With 8.8 million effective pixels, the 1/2.3" sensor captures 4K images at 50p or 60p. The in-built high-performance G Lens offers maximum flexibility, including a wide angle of 29.5mm (equivalent to 35mm) and powerful 20x optical zoom.
2. XAVC recording format at 4K 50p/60p, 4:2:2 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 (1920×1080), QFHD (3840×2016) and 4K (4096×2160) 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 50p or 60p recording respectively and 223Mbps during HD 50p or 60p recording. The XAVC format is ideal for those looking to implement a high-quality, secure and reliable workflow.
A free firmware update is planned for the middle of 2014 to support the Long GOP mode for extended 4K recording time and to add support for AVCHD recording.
3. 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.
* The use of new S Series cards (180MB/s transfer speed supported QD-S32E, QD-S64E) is recommended.
4. 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 50p/60p signal. When the PXW-Z100 is connected to a Sony 4K-compatible BRAVIA TV, the recorded 4K image can be displayed in 4K 50p/60p quality. A future firmware upgrade is planned to provide compatibility with the latest HDMI 2.0 standard and enable 4K 50p/60p output to a wider range of devices. Other features include a 3G HD-SDI interface that supports output up to HD
60p. It also supports HD output during 4K recording.
5. 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. 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.
6. 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.
The PXW-Z100 will be available in Australia and New Zealand from November 2013 and comes with a two-year warranty when purchased through authorised Sony Content Creation dealers.