Sony is expanding its line of professional 4K technologies with the new PXW-Z100 4K handheld XDCAM camcorder. The new model broadens professional 4K capabilities to markets and applications beyond motion picture or high-end TV production – including houses of worship, education, corporate, and live events. The camcorder’s affordable price of less than $6,500 gives professionals even greater flexibility and more creative options for acquisition and production in HD, QFHD and 4K (4096×2160).
With a 1/2.3-inch Exmor® R CMOS sensor, the camcorder can create stunning 4K content (4096×2160) at 50p or 60p. The PXW-Z100 camcorder is based on the same shooting ergonomics as a conventional handheld professional camcorder, allowing users to record 4K content cost effectively.
“This new camcorder brings high-performance 4K capabilities to the entry-level of our 4K line,” said Takahiro Kagawa, Product Manager at Sony Electronics. “It’s perfect as a standalone content creation tool or as a complement to our large sensor, higher-end 4K cameras. Corporate and event producers can now deliver 4K images for a growing number of applications including large venue 4K projection and 4K monitors. Professionals now have access to the widest palette of 4K tools to tell their stories more effectively and creatively.”
The PXW-Z100 camcorder, together with the fixed 4K-compatible high-performance G Lens, weighs less than 7lbs. The PXW-Z100 uses Sony’s XAVC™* recording format first employed in Sony’s 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 500 Mbps or 600 Mbps during 4K 50fps or 60fps recording, respectively, and 223 Mbps during HD 50fps or 60fps recording. The XAVC format is ideal for those looking to implement a high-quality, secure and worry-free workflow.
Users can select QFHD (3840×2160) and HD (1920×1080) resolutions, both of which are compatible with most 4K TV’s.
The camcorder provides extremely high sensitivity due to its back-illuminated Exmor® R CMOS sensor — even during 4K shooting. With more than 8.8 million effective pixels, the 1/2.3-inch sensor captures 4K images at 50p or 60p. The built-in high-performance G Lens offers maximum shooting flexibility, including a wide angle of 30 mm in 4096×2160 mode or 31.5mm in 3840×2160 and 1920×1080 modes and 20x powerful optical zoom (equivalent to 35mm).
The new camcorder uses state-of-the-art XQD solid-state memory cards, a format 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 camcorder 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 HDMI® interface on the PXW-Z100 camcorder can output 4K as a 50fps/60fps signal. When the PXW-Z100 is connected to a Sony PVM-X300 4K professional monitor or a 4K-compatible BRAVIA® TV, the recorded 4K image can be displayed in 4K 50fps/60fps quality. A future firmware upgrade is planned to provide compatibility with the new HDMI standard (referred to as HDMI 2.0) and enable 4K 50fps/60fps output to a wider range of devices. Other features include a 3G HD-SDI interface that supports output to an SDI of up to HD 60p. It also supports HD output during 4K recording***.
The camcorder’s paint function enables multiple image parameters to be adjusted including gamma curve, black level, skin tone detail and color. 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 camcorder to match quality and image tones when using a multi-camera setup.
Users can remotely control focus, zoom, aperture settings and “record start/stop” using the browser function of a smartphone or tablet. Users just need to simply plug the supplied WiFi adaptor into the camcorder to enable the wireless feature.
The PXW-Z100 4K camcorder is planned to be available by the end of 2013 at a suggested price less than $6,500. For more information, visit www.sony.com/professional.
*A 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, a format that until now has been compatible with the playback environment of Blu-ray Discs.
** The use of new S Series XQD cards QD-S32E and QD-S64E which supports 180MB/s transfer speed are recommended.
***The PXW-Z100 is not capable of simultaneous 4K (HDMI) and HD (3G HD-SDI) output