NAB: Sony launches PXW-X320 and 3-chip, 4K system cameras

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Sony PXW-X320
News ready: Sony’s PXW-X320 uses three 1/2-inch chips. Image: Sony
Sony has announced a new entry-level, professional shoulder news camcorder aimed at news gatherers, as well as new 4K system cameras.

The PXW-X320 takes the place of the PMW-320 in the company’s XDCAM range of camcorders, and adds XAVC recording at up to 100mbps.

The new PXW-X320 keeps to Sony’s familiar design for shouldermount camcorders, and keeps the three half-inch chip sensor layout of the PMW-320. The sensor unit, though, is based on the unit fitted to the recent PXW-X200 and promises improved low-light performance over older, ½-inch chip Sony camera models.

The PXW-X320 uses Sony’s SxS card media in twin slots, and can record up to 1080p, as well as 720p, interlaced formats, and standard definition footage. The camera uses an industry standard half-inch bayonette mount, and the PXW-X320K comes as a kit with a 16x, autofocus power zoom lens.

It also adds a full 4:2:2 50mbps codec, for long-form broadcast work.

Sony claims that the new camera has an “extremely high signal to noise ratio”, and high sensitivity (F11 at 60fps and F12 at 50fps). As well as an updated sensor and new codecs, Sony has also improved connectivity and networking support.

The PXW-X320 has two HD-SDI ports, HDMI, USB and i.Link (Firewire), but it can also operate wirelessly via an optional adapter, including wireless remote control and live streaming over IP networks.

The camcorder uses industry-standard battery systems, and Sony claims that its low power consumption will give extended recording times on battery power.

HDC-4300 4K system camera

At NAB 2015, Sony also announced its first, 4K systems camera with three image sensors.

Sony's  HDC-4300 system camera
Three times 4K: Sony’s HDC-4300 is a system camera based on three, 2/3-inch sensors. Image: Sony.
The HDC-4300 is a studio or outside broadcast system camera with three, 2/3-inch 4K sensors and a B4 lens mount. As standard, the camera supports 2x and 3x slow motion, but this can be upgraded to 8x. The new camera uses the same controllers and lenses as Sony’s existing HD, HDC-2000 system camera range.

The new cameras support 4K programme production, but also live HD cut outs. This enables directors to select up to two full HD images from the 4K broadcast at one time, with controls over zooming and perspective. Potentially, this means that productions can cover more camera angles with the same number of camera heads, or reduce the number of cameras they need to deploy.

Sony is supporting the new system camera with new back-end systems, including the PWS-4400 multi-port 4K/HD Live server, which can process 4K in real time.