Three New 4K Camcorders With Fast Auto Focus Announced By Sony

4K, HDR, and super fast Auto Focus in a small package

Small, light-weight and with killer Auto Focus the three newest members of  Sony’s camcorders club were announced today. Sony has beefed the trio up with phase detection Auto Focus, 4K, and HDR capable tools for shooting in every application whether it be home videos to corporate and events to broadcast and TV production.

Three New Camcorders

The three new camcorders are the XDCAM PXW-Z90, the NXCAM HXR-NX80, and the Handycam FDR-AX700. The Fast Hybrid AF system can nail your focus needs and track your subject while keeping it in focus. This is especially helpful during 4K shooting when a small dip out of focus is easier to see on a large screen. Each camera has 273 phase-detection AF points that cover close to 84% of the shooting area. In movie recording mode, the appearance of phase-detection AF frames indicates the focused area and allows for an operator to monitor a subject that is in focus.

Camcorder All three camcorders their great Auto Focus for video shooting with a 1.0-type stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor. The bells and whistles do not stop at a really good Auto Focus, the new camcorders support 4K HDR recording with Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) offering an Instant HDR workflow to produce high-quality HDR content smoothly. The Instant HDR Workflow enables simple shooting, editing and viewing of HDR content in HLG, without the need for color grading during post production.

The new camcorders feature a high-resolution OLED viewfinder (0.39-type OLED, 2,359k dots) and advanced touchscreen operation, on the 3.5-type large LCD screen (1,555k dots), to allow users to quickly switch focus from one subject to another, while the AF Drive Speed, Tracking Depth Range and Subject Switching Sensitivity can all be configured as required for different subjects and content styles.

Simple, multi-camera live production

Camcorder The PXW-Z90, HXR-NX80, and FDR-AX700 camcorders all work with Sony’s MCX-500 live producer, a compact, a cost-effective switcher making it easy for a solo operation to run multi-camera events. Combine all of this with Sony’s RM-30BP controller and a Tally icon will appear on each camera’s LCD panel and viewfinder.

The MCX-500 supports eight video sources, four stereo embedded audio channels plus two XLR Inputs, and a dedicated Title Input, up to nine video inputs, and five stereo inputs including XLR. Internal recording and live streaming are also possible via Ustream, Facebook Live and YouTube Live. Sony has given customers a small sized multi-camera production studio for all of your web streaming needs. This is a huge plus since many companies are adopting live video streaming to Facebook.

Versatile Shooting Capabilities

The new camcorders enable the following key technology and features to support versatile shooting, including:

  • 4K full-pixel readout without pixel binning using an enhanced BIONZ X™ image processing engine
  • Super Slow Motion recording up to 960fps, which is industry leading among palm categories and Slow & Quick Motion Full HD recording up to 120fps
  • S-Log3/S-Gamut3 capabilities for users to create and work with images as they desire.
  • 29mm wide-angle ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T* 12x optical zoom lens and 18x Clear Image Zoom
  • Less image distortion (rolling shutter phenomenon), in comparison to conventional models, when shooting moving subjects in motion

The camcorders’ also share dual memory card slots meaning each camera can take advantage of proxy recording, relay recording, and simultaneous backup recording.  The new camcorders also have REMOTE terminals, Multi-Interface Shoe™, and HDMI Type A for enhanced operability.

The new models also feature dual XLR audio input, a detachable handle, and access to Content Browser Mobile a supporting smartphone application to enable Wi-Fi® monitoring, Camcorder remote control and wireless timecode sync between multiple cameras.


The PXW-Z90 is the big brother to the other two newly announced 4K camcorders. The PXW-Z90 includes several features to suit broadcast-specific production requirements: XAVC L format recording, which provides high-quality images at 4:2:2 10 bit (HD) and 4:2:0 8 bit (QFHD) in addition to conventional broadcasting MPEG2HD format recording; 3G SDI connectivity for compatibility with existing broadcasting equipment; and networking functions to support news reporting, such as compatibility with XDCAM® air, Sony’s cloud-based ENG subscription service. The HXR-NX80 and FDR-AX700 adopt XAVC S, an extended format of XAVC for consumer use.

Here are the prices and dates we expect the cameras wil be available.

  • FDR-AX700 – October 2017, $1,899 USD
  • HXR-NX80 – December 2017, $2,299 USD
  • PXW-Z90 – December 2017, $2,799 USD



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Brian Hallett, is an award winning cameraman, editor, and producer. He has shot everything from Network broadcast news, promotional image campaigns, music videos, short films, and documentaries. Check out his reel at
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