Sony boosts 4K line with PXW-Z150

For the diary:

Sony PXW-Z150
4K ready: the Sony PXW-Z150 uses a 1-inch chop for 4K video
Sony PXW-Z150
4K ready: the Sony PXW-Z150 uses a 1-inch chop for 4K video

Sony has added a further 4K model to its camcorder range.

The PXW-Z150 is a conventionally-styled camcorder with a built-in 18x zoom lens. Weighing just over 2kg with battery, Sony is positioning the camcorder as ideal for corporate event production.

Physically, the PXW-Z150 is similar to the PXW-Z100 we reviewed here; the newer model is slightly longer. But the main difference is the larger chip in the PXW-Z150.

Instead of a 1/2.33″ inch sensor, the PXW-Z150 features a one-inch chip. This is similar to the imager in the PXW-X70, and is a good compromise between being able to blur about backgrounds with a shallower depth of field, and keeping the subject in focus, and the camera’s size and weight down.

Unlike the X70, though, the PXW-Z150 is 4K-ready out of the box, rather than needing a paid-for upgrade. Set against the Z100, the larger chip does come at the expense of a slightly more limited zoom range, however: 18x (with Clear Image Zoom) against 20x on the Z100. The optical zoom is 12x.

The new camcorder records in the XAVC-L format – the same as used on the FS5 – and comes with Sony’s now-standard range of added value features, such as the MI interface shoe, WiFi remote control, streaming and both relay and backup recording. The Z150 also supports slow motion at 120fps, in HD.

Video formats range from QFHD in 4:2:0 and HD in 4:2:2, as well as support for MPEG and AVCHD recording in HD. QFHD is at 100mbps; media is SD, and there are two card slots.

External connections include two XLRs for audio, 3G-SDI, HDMI , a remote connection, USB and an analogue output. However, unlike the Z100, the Z150 has no timecode connection. The Z150 does, though, have a four-position ND filter built in.

The camera is now on sale for around £3000 in the UK and $3600 in the US.