Sony launches PXW-X500 broadcast camcorder

Sony PXW-X500
Sony’s PXW-X500 shoulder-mount ENG camcorder. Picture: Sony.
Sony has launched a new flagship ENG broadcast camcorder, the PXW-X500. Like the previous PMW-500, but unlike the rest of Sony’s XDCAM solid-state camcorder range, the PXW-X500 is based around 2/3-inch, three CCD imaging unit. It sits above the CMOS-based PMW-400 in Sony’s range.

The imager uses Power HAD CCDs, which Sony says produce images with a high signal to noise ratio of 60dB, and sensitivity of F12 at 1080i50 resolutions.

The camcorder is a full-sized, shoulder-mount design with a separate viewfinder and a B4 broadcast lens mount. But, aside from the new imaging unit, the main changes to the PXW-X500 centre around its recording formats and shooting modes.

The PXW-X500 records at up to 1080p at 120fps, for slow motion, as well as supporting quick motion recording. This, in turn, is based around the camcorder’s XAVC recording format; the 120fps frame rate is only supported in that format.

XAVC recording is supported in intra-frame 4:2:2 up to 1080p, but the camera also supports recording in long GOP mode at 1080p 4:2:2, as well as SD formats including DVCAM. Next year, Sony says it will release an update to allow internal ProRes and DNxHD recording.

The camera features two SxS cards, and the camera supports simultaneous recording to both cards. But the PXW-X500 can also record proxy files, using XAVC, to low-cost SD cards. Proxy files can also be sent over WiFi or cellular LTE connections.

The camera can also be operated via a tablet or smartphone, and from 2015, the camera will be upgradeable to support live streaming of proxy files, again over WiFi or LTE. The USB wireless LAN adapter is supplied with the camera.

Sony’s DXW wireless microphone receiver can be connected directly to the camera, and the PXW-X500 can also act as a pool feed camera, or be operated as a studio camera via the appropriate adapters.