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Sony launches professional XDCAM camcorder

MEDIA RELEASE: Sony, LAS VEGAS, 6 April: Sony has launched the PXW-X180 Handheld Solid-State Memory Camcorder, the latest addition to the popular XDCAMTM Series. Ideal for broadcast and professional video production applications, it features three 1/3” Full HD Exmor® CMOS sensors and a newly developed 25x optical zoom Sony G Lens with 26 mm wide angle.

The PXW-X180 records in MPEG HD422 at 50 Mbps, a format widely preferred by broadcasters and production houses, as well as XAVC Intra and Long GOP, which enable 10-bit sampling for high-definition recording of outstanding quality pictures. The camcorder can also capture in MPEG HD420 at 35 Mbps, AVCHDTM and DV formats.

SONY PXW-X180

SONY PXW-X180

As well as recording on professional SxS memory cards, the camcorder can record on XQD cards, SD cards and Memory Sticks by using optional card adaptors. Providing easy selection of a variety of recording formats and recording media, the camcorder is ready to support a wide range of video production applications.

The PXW-X180 is the first Sony professional camcorder to feature a new variable neutral density (ND) filter. This new device has been developed to electronically control density and enable continuous setting adjustment from 1/4ND to 1/128ND with simple dial operation. Using the filter in conjunction with different iris and shutter speed settings, depth of field and brightness can be adjusted. This allows the use of shooting techniques such as slow shutter shooting in daylight and other bright light conditions.

“The PXW-X180 represents the next step in the deployment of our new XAVC line-up, offering high quality, high bit rate, 10-bit intra-frame HD recording for ultimate picture performance” said Nick Buchner, Senior Product Manager for Content Creation at Sony Australia and New Zealand. “Coupled with a new wide angle 25x Sony G zoom lens, an innovative electronic ND system, plus support for existing MPEG-2, AVCHDTM and DV codecs, this model not only offers the flexibility to respond to today’s varying acquisition requirements, but also provides a future-proof purchase for production demands in the years ahead.”

A wireless LAN module is included to enable the use of wireless functions*. Easy, one-touch operation is all that is required for wireless connection to a smartphone or tablet, which can then be used to confirm the framing of the shot set-up, monitor recording and operate the camcorder by remote (including lens angle setting/white balance adjustment/iris adjustment, etc.). Using separately sold mobile routers and other mobile devices also allows transmission of files after shooting.

Sony continues to develop camcorders that deliver the high image quality and ease of use required by professionals for recording everything from news footage and documentaries to corporate and education productions.

*Wireless operation cannot be guaranteed with all smartphones and tablet computers.

Major features of the PXW-X180
1. Newly developed 25x optical zoom Sony G Lens with 26.0 mm wide angle
The new camcorder’s lens offers Sony G Lens quality, a 26 mm wide-angle view, and a 25x zoom range (35 mm equivalent 26 mm to 650 mm), which make it versatile enough to handle a wide range of shooting situations. Independent manual zoom and focus rings with end-stop and iris control are provided, and a slide mechanism on the focus ring enables easy switching between auto and manual focusing. If desired, the focus indicator can be displayed even when focusing manually.

2. Sony’s proprietary sensor, processor and lens technology for exceptional image quality
Three 1/3” Exmor™ CMOS sensors with a total of about 2.07 million effective pixels (16:9) independently capture red, blue and green light. This combines with the camcorder’s high resolution, high-sensitivity and wide dynamic range, to deliver outstanding colour rendition. Featuring noise reduction and anti-shake to contribute to high image quality, the camera provides fine image quality settings for detailed, beautifully textured results.

3. Compatible with XAVC and a wide range of other recording formats
In addition to XAVC Intra/Long GOP, the PXW-X180 records in MPEG2, AVCHD and DV. When recording in XAVC, it uses the MXF file format, efficiently compressing full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution using the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec. Image sampling is 4:2:2 10-bit with Intra-frame compression at 112 Mbps or high-efficiency Long-GOP compression at 50 Mbps, 35 Mbps or 25 Mbps.

4. Compatible with SxS memory cards, XQD cards, SD cards and Memory Sticks
To meet the needs of various workflows, the PXW-X180 features two SxS memory card slots offering high-speed write and read. Using the optional XQD card adaptor also allows recording to XQD memory cards, offering high-speed write and read. Using the SD card adaptor enables recording to SD memory cards, which helps to keep costs down during extended recordings.

Simultaneous recording* onto two memory cards is possible (in the same recording mode only). With two record buttons, the operator can choose which card to record on, so one card can be used for recording while the other card serves as a backup. Continuous relay recording* is also possible from the card in the A slot to the card in the B slot.

*In AVCHD recording mode, simultaneous recording and relay recording between the two memory cards is not possible.

5. Variable ND filter
The PXW-X180 is Sony’s first professional camcorder to feature a variable ND filter. A new filter device has been developed to electronically control density and enable continuous setting adjustment from 1/4ND to 1/128ND with simple dial operation. Using this filter in conjunction with different iris and shutter speed settings to adjust depth of field and brightness allows the use of shooting techniques such as slow shutter shooting in daylight and other bright light conditions.

6. Wireless functions for file transmission and remote control
Near Field Communication (NFC*) functions allow easy, one-touch wireless LAN connection to a smartphone or tablet. Content Browser MobileTM application enables confirmation of the angle of the shot before shooting, monitor recording and operation of the camcorder by remote (field angle setting/white balance adjustment/iris adjustment, etc.). The use of separately sold mobile routers and other mobile devices also allows transmission of files after shooting.

In addition, lightweight proxy video files can be generated separately from the main line recording and recorded to SD cards for quick sharing of content over low-bandwidth mobile networks.

*1 Wireless operation cannot be guaranteed with all smartphones and tablet devices.
*2 NFC, or Near Field Communication, allows close-range wireless communication between the PXW-X180 and an NFC-equipped smartphone or tablet devices.
*3 The Content Browser Mobile smartphone application can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or App Store. A version upgrade (timing TBA) is required.

7. Multi-Interface shoe
Accessories attached to the camcorder’s Multi-Interface (MI) shoe can be controlled by the PXW-X180. For example, when the new HVL-LBPC video light (also launched at NAB2014) is attached to the MI shoe, video light power can be switched on and off from the camcorder.

Furthermore, if an optional UWP-D Series wireless microphone receiver is connected, power supply and cable-free audio signal input are possible, minimising the need for extra batteries and removing the need for additional cabling.
The PXW-X180’s launch date is scheduled for August 2014, with pricing to be confirmed.

* Accessory to be launched simultaneously

HVL-LBPC High Power LED Battery Video Light
Along with PXW-180, the optional HLV-LBPC is a flexible, yet powerful LED lighting solution. It features flexible colour temperature setting from 3,200K to 5,600K maintaining high power 1800lux/1m brightness.  A 2100 lux/1m brightness boost mode further enhances its lighting capability. The newly introduced Multi Interface shoe enables light on/off control from a PXW-X180 camcorder.     

Launch date (scheduled): August 2014, pricing to be confirmed.

About Sony
With a diverse portfolio of businesses across electronics, music, film, gaming and telecommunications, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the world’s largest technology and entertainment company. Sony Australia Limited and Sony New Zealand Limited are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Sony Corporation of Japan, a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Committed to producing innovative and quality electronic products, the range includes BRAVIA TVs, Cyber-shot digital cameras, Handycam camcorders, α digital SLR cameras, Walkman MP3 players, VAIO computers, READER eBook Readers as well as professional broadcast and production equipment. For more information on Sony Australia, visit www.sony.com.au or for New Zealand visit www.sony.co.nz

Product Information
For further Sony professional and broadcast and production product information or stockist details, readers can contact Sony New Zealand. Call 09 488 6188 or visit pro.sony.co.nz

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