The tiny “4K Ready” camera from Sony - the PXW-X70 has been proving quite popular with documentary and event shooters given its small form factor. Apart from its size, the other most impressive feature in my opinion is the 10bit 422 Long-GOP codec and the fact that you can upgrade the camera to shoot 4K with the upcoming (paid) firmware in June, thus future-proofing your purchase. Combine this with a solid Zeiss 12x zoom lens (expandable to 24 digitally) and the fact that it records onto affordable SDXC/SDHC cards. The total package comes in at just around £1,800 inc. VAT, which is a fantastic deal given the flexibility and form factor this comes in.
The 20 megapixel 1.0” sensor is a nice addition too; it will allow for moderate shallow depth of field, for those needing it. Now, again we need to look into this in perspective; no it won't get you full-frame A7s crazy bokeh, but again, that's not what this camera is meant to do. The sensor size if similar to a Super 16mm film gate, so on the telephoto end of the zoom with a subject in the foreground and stuff in the background at a sufficient distance, under appropriate lighting conditions, it produces nice moderate shallow depth of field. I personally won't see it replacing your DSLR per se, but it would be a nice addition to have as it allows for easier inter-cutting of footage shot on larger sensors.
Built-in ND filters, as well as SDI out, were definite surprises here. Cameras of this size rarely offer professional features such as these, and I have to give Sony credit here. They added XLR inputs and 2 x SD card slots too, for dual / relay recording - all major pluses. They way Sony put it, the X70 shares some DNA in the design and internals with the more consumer oriented AX100, but with many improvements geared towards those working in the professional video world.
The X70 will eventually be able to record 4K internally via a firmware update expected to be available in June 2015. In the meantime, check out the new sample footage Sony just released, all shot on the PXW-X70.
- 1.0″ type Exmor R CMOS sensor for a wide range of shooting conditions
- High sensitivity and high resolution
- Compact body
- Optical 12x ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens with lens ring
- 24x Clear Image Zoom, and 48x Digital Zoom
- ND filter control mechanism
- Focus, Zoom, and Iris manual control
- Wi-Fi/NFC (Near Field Communication) with Content Browser Mobile version 1.4 or later
- Live streaming, file transfer, etc. are planned to be supported by a future upgrade (June 2015)
- XAVC HD422 10bit recording, and 4K ready in near future
- 59.94p / 50p recording at Full HD 1920 x 1080
- Dual media slots for simultaneous/relay recording, and independent record control
- Slow & Quick Motion
- Picture Profile
- 99 Camera Profiles
- Multi Interface Shoe (MI Shoe) for flexible connection
- Viewfinder includes amazing OLED technology
- 3G HD-SDI output and HDMI standard size connector have Timecode and REC trigger
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