I am quite intrigued with Sony’s new under US$2600 PXW-X70 camcorder. It has been a while since I used that term, but there is a good reason, since the “—corder” part of the X70 is at least as important as the “cam—” part in this compound word. The “cam—” part employs a 1-inch 4K UHD sensor, while the “—corder” part features up to 50 megabit/second 4:2:2 10-bit recording. So I decided to publish a first look before doing a full review later.
The PXW-X70 is a handheld camcorder with a non-removable zoom lens, and removable handle with balanced XLR audio inputs. Here are the physical specs, without and with that handle.
without the XLR audio handle
120.7 x 103.5 x 274.3 mm (4 7/8 x 4 1/8 x 10 7/8 inches) with lens hood and eyecup (excluding grip belt, and including projecting parts)
900 grams (1 pound 15 ounces) (body)
with the XLR audio handle
130.3 x 180.9 x 287 mm (5 1/4 x 7 1/8 x 11 3/8 inches) with lens hood, eyecup, and XLR handle unit (excluding grip belt, and including projecting parts)
1400 grams (3 pounds 1 ounce)
About the sensor
The 1-inch Exmor R CMOS Sensor has a raw resolution of 20 megapixels, which Sony describes as being larger than the Super 16mm film frame, and says it offers fantastic low light performance, as well as more depth of field control.
Initial shooting modes, and the “upgradable” ones
The PXW-X70 fortunately ships as WorldCam, which means that by purchasing a single unit, we get access to all worldwide framerates, including those derived from PAL and NTSC. Initially, the PXW-X70 offers up to 1080p modes, which include :
Progressive shooting modes
- HD 1080/59.94p (not directly broadcastable, but useful for special slow motion or certain non-broadcast use, or for scaling to 720/59.94p with some lossless blowup/pan & scan capability)
- HD 1080/50p (not directly broadcastable, but useful for special slow motion or certain non-broadcast use, or for scaling to 720/50p with some lossless blowup/pan & scan capability)
- HD 1080/29.97p
- HD 1080/25p
- HD 1080/23.976p
- HD 720/59.94p
- HD 720/50p
Interlaced shooting modes
- HD 1080/59.94i (aka 29.97i)
- HD 1080/50i (aka 25i)
- 576/50i (aka 25i) derived from PAL SD
- 480/59.94i (aka 29.97i) derived from NTSC SD
In my review, I will cover all possible shutter speeds for each framerate.
Upcoming 4K UHD shooting modes
Sony says that sometime in the first quarter of 2015, they will offer a firmware upgrade to add 4K UHD to the PXW-X70. It is not yet clear whether there will be a charge for this upgrade, or if so, how much it might cost. No more details are currently available. Hopefully I’ll have more information when I publish my review.
Internal compression/recording options
For its best quality, the PXW-X70 offers XAVC-L long GOP at 50 megabits per second. In this mode, it impressively records 4:2:2 10 bit. In this same mode, 2 channels of 24-bit 48 kHz audio are recorded. The PXW-X70 also offers higher compression (lower quality) recording modes (including lower bit rate XAVC-L, AVCHD, and DVCAM) which I’ll cover in detail in my upcoming review.
In order to record in the highest quality in XAVC HD with the PXW-X70, you can either use SDXC memory cards (Class 10 or faster, UHS-I) or Sony Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, both in exFAT formatting. To record in lower quality/higher compression, less expensive media can be used. I’ll provide more details in my upcoming review.
Zoom focal length and ND
The non-removable zoom goes from 9.3 – 111.6mm (equivalent to f=29.0 – 348.0mm on a 16:9 35mm lens). Sony describes the resulting options as 12x optical zoom, 24x Clear Image Zoom, and 48x Digital Zoom. I’ll describe these in detail in my upcoming review.
The camera offers the following built-in neutral density filter options:
Digital video outputs
The PXW-X70 offers both HDMI (full sized) and 3G HD-SDI outputs, although not simultaneously. I’ll include details about the types of signals available from them in my upcoming review, but apparently there is great news compared to other prior Sony cameras I have covered before.
Upcoming articles, reviews, and books
Stand by for upcoming articles, reviews, and books. Sign up to my free mailing list by clicking here.
Si deseas suscribirte a mi lista en castellano, visita aquí. Si prefieres, puedes suscribirte a ambas listas (castellano e inglés).
Books, consulting, articles, seminars & audio programs
Contact Allan Tépper for consulting, or find a full listing of his books, articles and upcoming seminars and webinars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his CapicúaFM and TecnoTur programs. Search for CapicúaFM TecnoTur in iTunes or Stitcher Radio.
My latest book (paperback + ebook)
My most recent book is available in two languages, and in paperback as well as an ebook. The ebook format is Kindle, but even if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can read Kindle books on many other devices using a free Kindle app. That includes iPad, Android tablets, Mac computers, and Windows computers. Although generally speaking, Kindle books are readable on smartphones like Androids and iPhones, I don’t recommend it for this particular book since it contains both color photos and color comparison charts. The ebook is also DRM-free.
In English, it is currently available in the following Amazon stores, depending upon your region:
- Amazon.com, for the US and other countries in the Americas that don’t currently have their own Amazon store, or anywhere if you simply prefer it
- Amazon.br for Brazil
- Amazon.ca for Canada
- Amazon.de for Germany
- Amazon.es for Spain pero a lo mejor lo preferirás en castellano, a continuación)
- Amazon.fr for France
- Amazon.in for India
- Amazon.it for Italy
- Amazon.co.jp for Japan
- Amazon.com.mx for México
- Amazon.co.uk for the United Kingdom
Or in your favorite bookstore by requesting ISBN–10: 1456310232 or ISBN–13: 978–1456310233.
En castellano, está disponible actualmente en las siguientes tiendas Amazon, según tu región:
- Amazon.com para EE.UU. y todas las Américas donde no existe ninguna tienda particular… o en cualquier parte si simplemente lo prefieres
- Amazon.com.br para Brasil
- Amazon.co.jp para Japón
- Amazon.de para Alemania
- Amazon.es para España
- Amazon.fr (Francia)
- Amazon.in para India
- Amazon.it para Italia
- Amazon.com.mx para México
- Amazon.co.uk para el Reino Unido
o en tu librería preferida al solicitar el ISBN–10: 1492783390 ó el ISBN–13: 978–1492783398.
No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.
Copyright and use of this article
The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!