In our haste to run immediately to a DSLR or Mirrorless solution for video, let us not forget there is another direction to come at this from.  The venerable  Camcorder has been around for quite some time.  Just like its DSLR and Mirrorless cousins, it too has undergone serious transformations, metamorphosing into the hand-held powerhouses we have today.

The Sony PXW-X70 appears on the surface to be an outstanding example of the current state of technical progress.

The new ‘4K ready’ PXW-X70 has a one inch sensor and 20 megapixels of resolution used to create the 4K image recorded internally. The camera records 10-bit 4:2:2 HD in the XAVC codec using the popular MXF file format. It can record at 50 Mbps or 35 Mbps at 1920 x 1080 50p/60p/50i/60i/ 30p/25p/24p and there is also a 25 Mbps option at 1920 x 1080 50i/60i. An upgrade to allow 4K recording is promised but no date for its release has been specified.

The sensor is larger than the Super 16 sensor in the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera so when coupled with the integral 12x Zeiss zoom lens should be capable of some reasonably shallow depth of focus tricks.  Very cool.

The camera weighs less than 1.4 Kg and comes equipped with both HDMI and SDI outputs, an XLR audio break-out-box and three levels of switchable ND. Wi-fi control by smartphone or tablet is also available. Interestingly for many broadcasters there is also talk of a live streaming capability but no further details.

The PXW-X70 smells a lot like the prosumer AX100 which came out a few months back.  Key differences though are the audio backpack, HD capabilities with a different choice of codec, wi-fi and SDI output. Of course at present the PXW-X70 lacks the AX100’s 4K option. As long is the image quality is better in HD than the AX100 then I can see the PXW-X70 becoming a popular tool for hard working hybrid video journalists.

 

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