Hands on preview: Sony’s PXW-Z100 4K camcorder

4K cameras

Sony PXW-Z100 front.
4K up front: Sony’s PXW-Z100 is a step into 4K production. Picture: Sony

Sony announced its PXW-Z100 camcorder just before this year’s IBC Show. A single-chip, conventional camcorder design, the new model aims to bring 4K video to an entry-level camera, and allow producers to test out the idea of 4K, before investing heavily in the technology.

Cameras that can record in 4K are not new: Sony has the F55, Canon the EOS 1D-C and C500, and there are the Reds. Sony recently added 4K as an option to the F5 and FS700, and the GoPro can even shoot 4K, albeit briefly.

But the Sony PXW-Z100 has few competitors, on price. The EOS 1D-C is almost twice the price of the PXW-Z100, and the Canon’s price is body only. The Sony, however, is expected to sell for around £4500, a similar price to the 1080p, PMW-200.

Does this, then, render the PMW-200 obsolete? Perhaps only if you need Ultra HD resolution. The PXW-100 has the potential to be a good camera, but it is not quite up to the specifications of similarly-priced, HD models. 4K is still a new technology, and manufacturers clearly have to make compromises to bring prices down.

Audio Video Pro had a chance to test out the PXW-Z100 at a recent open day at Sony dealer Visual Impact. These are our early views, based on the late pre-production model on display.

Next: 4K in the hand