Update: the “NXCAM Prime” is the Sony HXR-NX5U

It’ll cost $4950, and it takes SD cards as well as MS PRO Duo.

Sony officially rolled out the HXR-NX5U today, which I had been calling the “Prime” in my preview article. Now, the remaining puzzle pieces can be revealed…

[Update 7 Jan 2010: FMU price is $800, not $500; AX2000 price uncertain.]

The HXR-NX5U camera’s suggested list price is US$4950, the same MSRP the HVR-Z5U had on its release.

The HXR-FMU128 Flash Memory Unit will list for $800.

Both will be available at the end of January 2010.

In addition to Memory Stick PRO Duo, the NX5U will also accept SDHC cards!

The NX5U’s card slots will have contacts on the left for MS PRO Duo, and on the right for SDHD cards. Simply insert the card type of your choice with the notched corner down, as shown in the graphic on the card slot itself (see the image of a production NX5U above, courtesy Sony), and it’ll work. So please: no whining about media types. (For the record, Sony says that their PRO-HG Duo media is faster than high-speed SDHC cards, with a transfer rate of 20 MB/sec—if it were an SDHC card, it would be speed class 20. If you have the need for speed, PRO-HG Duo still buys you something.)

Sony has also announced a consumer version of the NX5U, the HDR-AX2000. The HDR-AX2000 also accepts both MS PRO Duo cards and SDHC cards. It retains 1920×1080 @ 60i, 30p, and 24p capability, but it gives up quite a lot, according to Sony:

  • No 720p recording.
  • No linear uncompressed audio (Dolby AC-3 only).
  • No FMU capability; thus no simultaneous recording, of course.
  • No GPS, timecode setting, or date recording.
  • No ability to be upgraded to 60i/50i switchability.
  • No SDI / HD-SDI.
  • No TC LINK.
  • No B&W EVF mode; macro focus; high-speed zoom; smooth-transitioning gain and white-balance; hyper gain; viewfinder markers and safety zones; numerical zoom display and focus distance display in feet; black level, black gamma, knee, and color depth adjustments; manual white balance setting; colorbars with tone; individually switchable front & rear tally lamps; shutter angle display; hour meter; TC reset via remote control./li>
  • Fewer tweaks for color modes, gammas, and detail settings.

Also, the consumer version doesn’t use the NXCAM label; I take that to mean that NXCAM will be Sony’s Pro AVCHD branding, just as Panasonic calls their Pro AVCHD “AVCCAM”. Price on the consumer cam appears to be $3500; I had been told it was only $500 less than the NX5U, but Amazon lists it for $3499.99, shipping 8 February.

I have updated the preview article with this new information.

(The NX5U is, of course, the USA model. Other countries will have NX5 models with other letter suffixes.)

16 CFR Part 255 Disclosure

Sony sent me a prototype HXR-NX5U with Flash Memory Unit for review. I will return it to Sony at my own expense.

Sony updated me early on 6 Jan 2010 with the information given above, and supplied the photograph, and lifted the embargo on this info as of 4:30pm PST.

All hardware, software, and documentation sent to me for the review will be returned to Sony; I’ll retain an electronic copy of the preliminary user’s manual for reference.

No material connection exists between myself and Sony; Sony provides no compensation to me for reviewing equipment and has not influenced me with payments, discounts, or other blandishments to encourage a favorable review.

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PVC Staff
Adam Wilt has been working off and on in film and video for the past thirty years, while paying the bills writing software for animation, automation, broadcast graphics, and real-time control for companies including Abekas,…

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