New camcorder from Sony

If you’re tempted by the compact size, full feature set and excellent ergonomics of Canon’s XF200 or Xf205 camcorders – and we can attest that they are indeed all that – but you’re put off by the widespread reputation those camcorders have for being spoiled by a rather noisy image – something we also can, sadly, attest to – then Sony may have the answer.

They’ve just announced a new compact camcorder that takes elements from the tiny PXW-X70 including its 1″ sensor but puts them into a more traditional design. Since we liked the X70 very much, this bodes well.

The HXR-NX100 comes under the company’s NXCAM brand which makes it more of a semi-pro / entry-level piece of kit but that said it’ll certainly find favour with a whole hoard of videographers if it lives up to spec.

The good news, apart from that sensor, is that the cam has three control rings so no faffing about with little dials to change exposure. The lens, as usual on their camcorders of this type, is a “G” lens (what on earth this stands for we have no  idea) with a 12x optical zoom as the usual claim of “visually lossless” doubling through a sensor crop though we’ve never been satisfied with this in any products boasting it to date.

Sony HXR-NX100

Sony HXR-NX100

Wide angle is a mere 29mm (35mm equivalent) so it’s not terrifically wide. The lens ramps from f2.8 to f4.5 too.

A 4-step ND (clear plus three levels of darkness) should prove useful for keeping the iris in its optimum spot, and it has HDMI out, XLR audio in, Sony’s “MultiInterface Shoe” for certain compatible accessories, and some degree of LANC  controllability.

Shooting is onto dual SD memory cards at up to 50Mbps using the AVCHD, DV and XAVC-S formats; bizarrely the cam specifically is NOT being offered with an upgrade path to 4K so consider carefully whether this is relevant to you before purchase. That said, much corporate video is still being delivered on DVDs in our experience with HD something for master copies or the web, so we wouldn’t worry about it too much. If you can’t make this camera pay for itself in jobs by the time that 4K actually becomes ubiquitous, then you haven’t been doing enough work…

The viewfinder has 1.5 megapixels so should be nice and sharp for focusing, with the tiny 3.5″ LCD screen also having that same resolution. Availability is scheduled for October and it’s expected to be relatively inexpensive.

Would you want one? If it can deliver a decent image, it’ll make a handy compact tote-anywhere corporate or news cam. Film-makers will probably wish to look elsewhere.

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1 Response

  1. Nikola Velimirovic says:

    To me it seems, that this at the first glance promissing NX 100 is nothing else but the” AX 2000 reloaded” with one large sensor instead of three small sensors.
    Due to this, Sony can offer more attractive price, but on the other hand, it does not look like a huge innovation.
    It is as bulky and heavy, as the AX 2000 was , so it does not attract with the practical compromise- size of the CANON XF200/205.
    Yes, it offers three objective rings, which we have missed on the PXW X70, but it still does not offer 4K.
    Keepeing all this in mind, my enthusiasm is somewhat less than after it has been announced.

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