NAB: Sony announces PXW-X180 three-chip camcorder

Small-chip camcorders

Sony's PXW-X180
Sony’s PXW-X180 allows direct connection of accessories such as mic receivers. Photo: Sony.

Sony is set to release a new, multi-format, small chip camcorder.

The PXW-X180 features three, 1/3-inch CMOS chips and can record up to 50mbps, making it suitable for HD broadcast. The new model is based around a 25x zoom lens – an improved range, compared with earlier 1/3-inch Sony models – with a 26mm focal length at the wide angle end. The lens is equipped with a mechanical ND filter.

The lens has independent zoom, focus and iris rings and also features hard stops for easier manual focusing; the optical unit is from Sony’s G series line.

Sony has also added support for new recording formats to the PXW-X180, bringing it in line with camcorders such as the PMW-300, which can record in XAVC. But the camera also supports MPEG2 Long GOP recording, for compatibility with Sony XDCAM workflows. In addition, Sony has added an AVCHD recording mode, as well as DV. However, unlike the single-chip, PXW-Z100, it is not a 4K camera.

The PXW-X180 also allows proxy recording, as H.264 files. These can be recorded to SD cards as MP4 files, in addition to the camera’s main recordings, which are recorded to SxS cards. The SxS cards themselves support both simultaneous and relay recording.

For live production, or connecting to outboard recorders, the PXW-X180 can output a 50p or 59.94P signal, but it can also downconvert from HD to SDI.

Sony has also added connectivity options, including near-field communications, for pairing with smart devices, and WiFi. WiFi allows remote control via a smartphone as well as the transfer of recorded footage. The new camera also features an intelligent accessory shoe, which allows direct connection of additional equipment, such as Sony’s UWP-D11 and UWP-D12 wireless mics, without an XLR cable.

The new camcorder will go on sale in August.