Review: Sony PXW-Z100 4K camcorder

4K camcorders

A Z1 for 4K

Sony PXW-Z100 side
Familiar controls: the Sony PXW-Z100 follows the lines of most Sony camcorders

In this respect, the PXW-Z100 fulfills its mission. The camera is compact and portable: it is heavier and chunkier than Sony’s entry-level XDCAM camera, the PMW-100, and comparable with the PMW-200 or the new PXW-X200.

It is also a classic Sony camcorder: as we noted in our hands-on preview of the camera, its menus and controls will feel familiar to anyone using the current generation of Sony XDCAM camcorders, and indeed anyone who has used a Z1. It is also very close in design to Sony’s lower-end pro camcorders, the NX3 and NX5.

This is a good thing, as Sony is clearly aiming the camera at its existing user base, as much as anyone looking to start out in 4K. The camcorder also has most, if not all, of the core functions needed for a pro-spec camcorder: dual XLR inputs on the body, timecode, genlock, and built-in neutral density filters. Settings such as shutter, white balance, gain and iris are all logical and easy to set in the field.

The camera also feels well-balanced; if anything it has a slightly better centre of gravity than the PMW-200, perhaps due to its lighter lens.

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