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Sony FDR-AX1/PXW-Z100 QFHD/4k 60p camcorder


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#1 Drew

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 03:12 AM

Well it was a matter of time but Sony finally put out a 4k camcorder style camera in the form of the FDR-AX1, a prosumer 1/2.3" 8.3mp CMOS sensor camera with XLR mic in and uses 2xXQD cards as media.
The camera records 1080p and QFHD (3840x2016) up to 60 fps and is global, so it can also do 25/50fps.  
The  professional version is called the PXW-Z100, which further shoots actual 4k resolution (4096x2160p) at 50/60fps at 10 bit Intraframe 4:2:2  at 500/600mbps, while shooting HD (1080p) at 223mbps, all in XAVC-S MPEG4/H.264 compressed format used on the F55 bigger sibling.  Apparently there is a limit on the recording time in the highest 4k quality XAVC which will be corrected with a firmware upgrade in 2014. Pricing rumors have it under $6500, which isn't that much more than the FDR-AX1 for the extra 10bit 422 600mbps recording capability.

FDRAX1_2.png

 

Sony Announces the FDR-AX1 Digital 4K Video Camera Recorder

Sony announces three new video cameras. The ground-breaking model is the FDR-AX1 Digital 4K Video Camera, which supports 3840 x 2160 4K resolution; the other two new models are the HDR-AS30V HD POV Action Camcorder and the HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder.

NYC, NY (PRWEB) September 04, 2013 -- Sony has just announced three new video cameras. The ground-breaking model is the FDR-AX1 Digital 4K Video Camera, which supports 3840 x 2160 4K resolution. The other two new models are the HDR-AS30V HD POV Action Camcorder and the HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder. The HDR-AS30V is an update on last year’s HDR-AS10 and HDR-AS15 action camera models, while the HDR-MV1 is a one-of-a-kind compact camcorder designed specifically for capturing high-quality audio to match the Full HD video.

The Sony FDR-AX1 Digital 4K Video Camera is Sony’s 4K camcorder that affords about four times the resolution of a Full HD 1080p camcorder and is outfitted with a variety of professional controls including independent zoom, focus, and iris rings. The Sony FDR-AX1 features a high-performance image processor and a back illuminated 8.3MP Exmor R CMOS image sensor that work in concert to facilitate 3840 x 2160p 4K video recording at 60 fps. This means that one will be able to record at the camera’s maximum frame rate—even when shooting 4K video.

The Sony FDR-AX1 supports the XAVC-S 4K/HD recording format, which is usually reserved for professional applications. However, since the XAVC-S codec will save as an MP4 wrapper, one can still create web-friendly videos that can be easily shared on social media sites like YouTube. Another highlight of the XAVC-S recording format is its ability to record images at 150Mbps in 4K and at 50Mbps in Full HD. The FDR-AX1 has also adopted a more professional type of recording media, thanks to the inclusion of dual next-generation XQD media card slots. Both XQD card slots support fast 4K/HD writing and reading rates. 

Another feature that makes the FDR-AX1 a professional-class video camera is its audio-recording capability. It records 2-channel Linear PCM (LPCM) audio with a built-in high-performance stereo microphone. However, the camera also features dual integrated professional-class XLR audio inputs for connecting external microphones. Photographers will even be able to mix audio tracks from the internal microphone with the audio recorded from any connected external mics. The camera’s other connectivity options include a headphone jack, a USB 2.0 port, an HDMI output, an analog A/V output, an accessory shoe, and more. The HDMI output facilitates playback of 4K/60p video on a compatible 4K Bravia LED TV.

PXW-Z100 Press Release:

 

16092c592fa3afe18b88a4936bbde8e9.jpeg


Camcorder uses Sony’s XAVC recording format and XQD media cards

Basingstoke, UK, Sept. 4, 2013: Sony today announced the PXW-Z100, a professional 4K handheld XDCAMcamcorder featuring a 1/2.33" Exmor R CMOS sensor. The sensor has total of 16 million pixels and is able to acquire stunning 4K content (4096x2160) at 50p or 60p. The camcorder marks Sony’s latest step in expanding the 4K world to everyone, from high-end cinema to corporate and event productions. 

The PXW-Z100, together with the fixed 4K-compatible high-performance G Lens, weighs less than 3kg. It uses the XAVC recording format first used in the PMW-F55 CineAlta camera. As with the F55, 4K (4096 x 2160, 50p or 60p, 4:2:2, Intra-frame, 10-bit recording in MXF file format) is possible at a high-bit rate of 500Mbps or 600Mbps. QFHD (3840x2160) and HD (1920x1080) resolutions can also be selected, both of which are compatible with most 4K TV’s.

Since the PXW-Z100 is based on the same shooting ergonomics as a conventional handheld professional camcorder, it is possible to record 4K content without extra equipment. In addition, during editing, downscaling from 4K to HD provides new possibilities for HD content production. “This incredible new camcorder is capable of capturing stunning 4K content, making 4K acquisition accessible to a wider range of professional users than ever before,” said Bill Drummond, Strategic Marketing Manager Entry Level Production. “Corporate and Event camera operators can deliver 4K today for distribution via an emerging number of 4K platforms including online, digital signage and large venue projection applications, and will be able take advantage of the greater flexibility in post-production that 4K acquisition offers when delivering in HD”. The PXW-Z100 will be available from November and comes packaged with a two year PrimeSupport contract via authorised Sony Professional Solutions Specialist dealers. 

Sony has also announced the new FDR-AX1 Handycam at IFA 2013. The FDR-AX1 has a similar specification to the PXW-Z100 but is only capable of QFHD (3840 x 2160) recording with the XAVC S format. The FDR-AX1 uses 4:2:0, Long GOP and MP4 file format.

Key features 

1. 4K (4096x2160) 50p or 60p shooting 
The camcorder provides extremely high sensitivity due to the back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor. With 8 million effective pixels, the 1/2.33" sensor captures 4K images at 50p or 60p. The inbuilt high-performance G Lens offers maximum shooting flexibility, including a wide angle of 29.5mm (equivalent to 35mm) and 20x powerful optical zoom. 

2. XAVC recording format at 4K 50p/60p, 4:2:2 10-bit at 500/600Mbps, HD at up to 223Mbps
The PXW-Z100 uses Sony’s XAVC recording format first employed in the PMW-F55 CineAlta 4K camera. MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression is used for HD (1920x1080), QFHD (3840x2016) 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 500Mbps or 600Mbps during 4K 50p or 60p recording respectively and 223Mbps during HD 50p or 60p recording. The XAVC format is ideal for those looking to implement a high-quality, secure and worry-free workflow.

A non-chargeable 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. 

3. XQD Memory Card recording
The XQD Memory Card is a new standard of solid state memory, which was 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 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 use of new S Series XQD cards (QD-S32E or QD-S64E which supports 180MB/s transfer speed) is recommended. 

4. HDMI interface for 4K output and 3G HD-SDI interface for HD output
The HDMI interface on the PXW-Z100 can output 4K as a 50p/60p signal. When the PXW-Z100 is connected to a Sony 4K-compatible BRAVIA TV, the recorded 4K image can be displayed in 4K 50p/60p quality. A future firmware upgrade is planned to provide compatibility with the new HDMI 2.0 standard and enable 4K 50p/60p output to a wider range of devices. Other features include a 3G HD-SDI interface that supports output up to HD 60p. It also supports HD output during 4K recording.

5. Paint function for more creative freedom
The PXW-Z100’s paint function enables multiple image parameters to be adjusted including gamma curve, black level, skin detail and colour. The range of settings is similar to those available in the PMW-F55. 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 to enable the matching of quality and image tones when using a multi-camera setup. 

6. Remote control with WiFi
Focus, zoom, aperture settings and ‘record start/stop’ can be remote controlled using the browser function of a smartphone or tablet.


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#2 SwiftFF5

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 03:46 AM

I know that I'm easily amused, but when I checked on the price at the Sony store ("now accepting pre-orders") using the link in the first sentence, I had to laugh when I saw that they had crossed out $4499.99 and were offering the camcorder at the heavily discounted price of $4499.99 <grin>


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#3 Pete L

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:11 AM

I am very interested in the z100.
Hopefully someone will make a nice housing for it.

My Vimeo page vimeo.com/user8157547

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#4 Drew

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 01:27 PM

Updated with the Z100 info. Sorry  I thought I pasted it correctly.  I think Gates will definitely do one. It's a little bigger than their housing dimensions for the EX1/PMW200 style housings but that's mostly in the length so it shouldn't be an issue.  It will be interesting to see if the Fathom glass can handle 4k as well though.  Dimensionally it should work optically.

However, the most important issue is that it is an 8kmp 1/2.3" sensor.  The noise level will not be great. but then again, there won't be as many focus issues like the bigger S35 cameras.
 


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#5 CheungyDiver

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:06 PM

sorry you lost me on 8K 1/2.33" sensor?


Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

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#6 Drew

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:31 PM

LOL sensor size queen!  I meant 8 mp 1/2.3" sensor.  Opps


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#7 CheungyDiver

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 11:00 PM

It appears Sony now favors the single chip camcorders. I hope this new camcorder does not suffers the same fate as the FS100 and allegedly FS700 in terms of poor results for UW footage. Bayer filter mosaic is going to do overwork for 4K resolution. No three chip?  I can't imagine how the Z100 will be good for low noise on a tiny 1/2.33" sensor. The drive to make consumer buy 4K TV and shoot  home video in 4K is strong with Sony.


Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

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#8 SimonSpear

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 02:30 PM

The Z100 looks very interesting, but I'm not entirely convinced with a single 1/2.3'' chip. Is there any reason they would have decided on a single(small) chip vs a more traditional 3 chip design?

I think because it is XDCAM the WB issues from the FS100/700 shouldn't be that relevant (the PMW200 white balances great), but admittedly I'm always going to be a little nervous with ANY Sony camera from now on!

#9 CheungyDiver

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:12 PM

hi Simon

 

I wonder about the single chip design too. For 4K? All the color channels and pixels from one tiny chip.The PMW 200 is 3 chip camcorder and essentially a EX1R modernized with better nitrates and recording media. Still it will be interesting to see what new 4K camcorders coming out of the woodworks from other manufacturers.


Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

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#10 SimonSpear

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 01:16 PM

If anything new camera tech seems to be speeding up even more! I'm not sure I can keep up with this, then again I don't want to end up being the old fogey still shooting on miniDV 5 years after HDV hit the market!

So...........Z100.

HIT or MISS??

My gut feeling right now for underwater use is that this is a MISS due to the single small sensor, but if I have learnt anything over the last couple of years then it is to only judge after actually using the thing or seeing examples rather than spec drooling / pixel peeking!!

Edited by SimonSpear, 08 September 2013 - 01:20 PM.


#11 Pete L

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 01:20 PM

Hit I hope

My Vimeo page vimeo.com/user8157547

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VIDEO - Panasonic HVX200/Gates Housing/EM43 Monitor/SWP44/L&M Sola 4000s.


#12 max gleeson

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 03:54 PM

If anything new camera tech seems to be speeding up even more! I'm not sure I can keep up with this, then again I don't want to end up being the old fogey still shooting on miniDV 5 years after HDV hit the market!

 

 

 

The one thing I have learnt is that having the latest camera has little to do with photographic talent. For some it's just an extention of their manhood.

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Edited by max gleeson, 08 September 2013 - 05:08 PM.


#13 CheungyDiver

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:44 PM

That's a sweeping statement Max. If you have better insight into these camera then lets share it.   I think hitting others below the belt (pun intended) is not what this thread is all about. Although I  understand you said this in jest :)..... Maybe.    Having the right tool for the job is what I would say. Getting the best tool possible within your means is not a sin. Explaining this to non-technical savy people is difficult  enough when technology is moving so fast and not many operators will know much of what each camera could do. Hence we have internet forums to share knowledge and bash each other with jibes! Most client of mine would just want what they hear is the latest and greatest- until they hear the cost.  I know a few producers who do not know a S35 to a three chip CCD camera. I for one will be guilty of wanting to try out all the new toys. Its human nature. I do not think it has any prosthetic effect to my ego either. It is simply a newer tool. Unfortunately or fortunately as part of my work in this niche industry I get to try out most of them. I totally agreed with Simon in that until the device is tested and proven to be fit for UW we should not be jumping to conclusions. Not every new camera kitted with new bells and whistles could be good for shooting down below (not no aussie pun intended).   My view on the Z100 - not likely to be a low light camera. the specs are interesting. I can't wait to see one in the flesh.   cheers


Edited by CheungyDiver, 08 September 2013 - 05:49 PM.

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

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#14 max gleeson

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 06:48 PM

David, having trouble reading the post two above mine???? If you start having a go at people,(earlier subject/post) after they have asked a question, or at the equipment they are using then it defeats the purpose of the site.  Prehaps you should direct your opinion to the clown I am referring too.  And believe me my statement was not made in jest. It's a fact. And as a retailer, your lucky that they do


Edited by max gleeson, 08 September 2013 - 07:18 PM.


#15 CheungyDiver

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 07:57 PM

Well the camcorder for 4K is out with easier to store format than RAW. Genie cannot be put back into the bottle. Panasonic is coming out with one. In the world of 4K now its the consumer's turn. Content is king as the cliche goes. My cynical self would say it is a ploy from big corps to push the sales of 4K TVs. Well I have seen 4K up front and I like what I see. So talented shooters go forth and shoot some stuff and show the world what you can do. One thing is for sure there is more opportunity to shoot good stuff and more equipment to choose from than ever before. No excuse that equipment will let you down if you choose the right one for UW that is. All I can say is that hopefully one of these "relatively affordable" 4K camcorders  would be good for UW footage. 

 

It would be interesting if Sony did make a 3 chip version for 4K. I doubt it. The 3 chip sonys like the EX1r /PMW 200 is still pretty much  best for HD for most underwater production use at the present if one does not shoot ultra HD or 4K. 

 

Cheers

David


Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

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#16 Drew

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:20 AM

With profitability down, Sony is definitely trying to bring out the next big thing to the market.  The Korean manufacturers are hitting them hard.

 

As for forum etiquette, please check ego and sensitivities away before you start reading and typing. :)  What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for all others. No need to make sarcastic statements about other people business.

Simon, I understand the feeling of being too cautious with new technology. Quite a few camera peeps I know, including a top guy, hesitate with new tech but eventually end up buying in.  Did they save money by not being early adopters? Did they lose jobs because their equipment/knowledge didn't meet requirements?

4k/UHD is going to be a standard resolution sooner or later.  If you can afford, why not jump in. 

The noise performance will be interesting to see.  Physics can't be denied, backlit sensor or not. 


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#17 SimonSpear

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:11 PM

Gosh, I assumed that we all fancied a bit of manly 'enhancement' with our toys, be them for work or just for fun! :D

I do find it funny that what would have been considered a 'beta tester' a few years ago is now known as an 'early adopter'. After my experience as a FS100 'early adopter' I really don't fancy putting my finances on the line to test out the Z100, so it is definitely someone else's turn!! :) Then again I could be testing something very, very cool next month, but that's another thread entirely........

Edited by SimonSpear, 09 September 2013 - 02:11 PM.


#18 thani

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:50 AM

hmmm...

It seems similar (wishful thinking) to EX1 size & form. Might fit in my EX1 housing. It might have the standard sony LANC as well. Similar lens to EX1 and PM200. I can use my old housing and ports, Isn't this great? am I dreaming? :) :) :)

 

Here is unboxing link:

http://www.moviemach...d-xdcam-camcor/


Edited by thani, 11 September 2013 - 08:04 AM.

Best Regards,
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#19 SimonSpear

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 02:38 PM



I found this an interesting summary with a few quick pro/cons and comparison vs pmw200. Doesn't sound like it is going to be great in low light and at 600 Mbps OUCH!! :D

#20 CheungyDiver

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:31 PM

Pretty much agreed on what Alister said in the vid. with regard to the new Sony camcorders with the exception that at the time HD was first introduced there were no HD DSLR around or mobile phone capable of recording in any sort of video. In fact any sort of wearable video capture devices. Now there seems to be a saturation of video capture devices of all shapes and sizes . Choice is definitely what we have now and it is confusing lots of people. PMW 200 is still by far the option for just HD broadcast if there is no need for higher res. It is still not a cheap camera. The ML 5D MIII could definitely produce stellar results if used in the right way with stable media and recording. 

To satisfy my curiosity I would love to see some UW test footage of the  Z100 


Edited by CheungyDiver, 17 September 2013 - 01:44 AM.

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

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