Sony Expands XDCAM Handheld Camcorder Line


USA: Sony is expanding its XDCAM line of professional camcorders with the new flagship handheld PXW-Z280 while its smaller sibling, the PXW-Z190, is a 4K compact camcorder with "enhanced usability".

The new PXW-Z280 camcorder boasts three 1/2-type Exmor R CMOS sensors, delivering high sensitivity of F12 (59.94p), long zoom ratio and deep depth of field, useful for newsgathering. In addition, the three-chip sensors and 4K 4:2:2 10-bit add vivid imagery and delicate colour gradation. Enhanced network features, versatile formats and interfaces enable direct-to-air workflows, pitching this model at broadcasters, production companies and documentary creation.

It is designed for easy use with features such as the advanced Face Detection Autofocus (AF) function. Users can select "Face Priority AF" - convenient for shooting the scene including human objects - as well as the newly introduced "Face Only AF". This feature is important especially in more demanding 4K shooting applications such as recording interviews or lectures, where a specific person will automatically stay in pin-sharp focus when applied together with registration function of the face. A 17x zoom lens and three independent control rings with end-stop allow manual control of focus, zoom, and iris for quick and precise adjustment.

Sony's Electronic Variable ND filter allows greater exposure control by varying the density of the ND filter during shooting while maintaining resolution and depth of the fields. The camera also supports S-Log3 that allows users to create beautiful imagery, and Sony's Instant HDR workflow, which Sony claims eliminates the need for colour grading.

The PXW-Z280 features advanced network features to enable a secure, seamless wireless ENG workflow.

Based on the technology developed for Sony's cloud-based ENG service, "XDCAM air," the PXW-Z280 uses Sony's QoS for live distribution of high-quality broadcast content with the use of a Dual Link connection by multiplexing two cellular networks, assigning Planning Metadata, and browsing and getting clips in the recording media on camcorders from a distant broadcast station via the Cloud. In addition, an integrated Wi-Fi module and Ethernet connector enable hybrid wireless/wired data transfer, remote control and monitoring from devices such as a smartphone, tablet or PC, equipping users with more flexibility in production.

A range of formats including XAVC Intra/Long, MPEG HD422, MPEG HD and DVCAM are available to support established workflows. PXW-Z280 also has various interfaces to fulfil the need of professional users. SxS card and SD card with optional adapter can be used as recording media, providing more choice for users. Four-channel audio recording with independent volume dials facilitates precise control of external input audio and an attached MI shoe microphone. Dual MI shoes provide cable-less connection with Sony's UWP-D series wireless microphone receiver and use of a video light simultaneously. 12G-SDI function enables 4K 50p / 60p transfer between long distance using a single BNC cable.

The PXW-Z280 camcorder is planned to be available in July 2018.

Sony's PXW-Z190 is a 4K compact camcorder with enhanced usability to achieve various video expressions, making it ideal for independent shooters in the applications such as corporate, event production and education.

The camcorder's newly developed three 1/3-type Exmor R CMOS image sensors capture RGB light independently and deliver 4K 50p/60p imagery with high resolution and a wide range of gradation. 4:2:2 10-bit ensures vivid and rich colour content in HD.

The new model incorporates a 25x optical zoom lens to cover a wide focal range for multiple shooting requirements, with three independent lens rings to support intuitive operation. Using optical zoom lens with Digital Extender in an HD mode, a 50x zoom equivalent. Advanced Face Detection Autofocus (AF) includes the "Face Priority AF" and "Face Only AF" functions.

Sony's Electronic Variable ND filter ensures greater exposure control by smoothly varying the density of the ND filter during shooting while maintaining resolution and depth of field.

The PXW-Z190 combines advanced usability and network solutions for enhanced workflow efficiency. The PXW-Z190 is HLG compatible to support Sony's Instant HDR workflow, delivering beautiful HDR content quickly without the need for additional colour grading. In addition, "Content Browser Mobile" software allows the camera to be operated remotely via a smartphone. With an optional license, the camcorder can be used with Sony's cloud-based ENG service, "XDCAM air". The new camcorder utilises Sony's Quality of Service (QoS) for live distribution of high-quality broadcast content using a Dual Link connection, multiplexing two cellular networks. File transfer and streaming are also possible using a wired or wireless LAN or LTE modem connection, allowing immediate editing and live monitoring.

Dual MI shoe enables the use of a wireless microphone and video light at the same time to achieve further flexibility. When using Sony's UWP-D series wireless microphone, audio signals can be delivered without cabling - eliminating the risk of accidental disconnection and battery loss of the wireless audio receiver. Enhanced four-channel audio recording is supported by a combination of two XLR inputs and audio input via an MI shoe.

The camera records to SD memory cards, with dual card slots for simultaneous, relay and back-up recording.

The PXW-Z190 covers a wide range of main formats including XAVC-Long and DVCAM. In addition to these formats, MPEG HD 422 and MPEG HD are available with an optional license. Proxy 1080i up to 9Mbps can be utilised for 4K and HD simultaneous recording. Other features include 3G-SDI output and a remote terminal for compact multi-camera operation using Sony's MCX-500 production switcher and RM-30BP controller.

The new PXW-Z190 camcorder is planned to be available in September 2018.

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