Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


This has been a camcorder that has attracted a lot of followers over the last year mainly through word of mouth. The Sony HXR-NX30 seems to have been a direct replacement for the very popular HXR-MC50.

I once again was never given a chance by Sony to review this camcorder so I can’t give you my personal thoughts on it but I do have a colleague who bought one and has been delighted with it.

Sean ” I bought this camera to compliment my HXR-NX70 but have found many of the features so useful that it’s been my main camcorder over the last 6 months. I film weddings and live parties and the NX30 has been a great investment especially for the live events.

The lens is mounted within a gyroscope, which affords unbelievable image stabilisation, way beyond the MC50 and I thought the MC50 was good, the floating lens is a dream to use, especially in a live event where you are moving all over the floor filming people having a good time and your pictures are projected onto a large screen.


I love the 1080 50p mode filming at 28Mbps this is taken into Premiere Pro CS6 and looks fantastic, the other feature I really like is the wee projector, I thought this was a bit of a gimmick as first till I tried it out on a job and the client wanted to view the rushes, on a white wall the footage looked great and stopped the need for a crowd of us huddled around the LCD.”

The camera performs very like the NX70 in many ways but stops short when it comes to dual recording it’s the single feature that Sean wants Sony to update in a future FW as it’s a feature he sadly misses off the camera.

Sean “AVCHD by nature can be a bit hit or miss and not having an automatic back up with dual recording is a real negative feature that I would like Sony to address”

I was a bit negative towards this camcorder when it first came out but Sean has convinced me otherwise, after all he bought one and uses it more than his NX70 and that’s got to tell you something.

Listening to other peoples accounts this camera certainly pulls in a punch when it comes to stabilisation and the fact it has a full XLR rig on board gives this camera a far better score than I was expecting… 4 out of 6

At £1,650 you really can’t complain at the price either this is a Cinderella camera that has already gone to the ball !



Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

6 thoughts on “Sony HXR-NX30 Review of 2012

  1. Yes its a SUPERB camera. Ive used it in many situations from filming a bagpipe concert to filming in a darkened nightclub. Highly highly recommended. Also bought the excellent MC50 after seeing a review on HD Warrior…. and the RX100 is astounding too! The age of the one man band with everything hand carried and set up by one person has dawned……..

  2. Totally agree with this review!!! I bought the CX760 because the NX30 was not available at the time, the CX760 being the “consumer” version minus the XLR rig, minus the projector, and no time code. As long as you don’t need “splash-proof-ness”, this is a FAR SUPERIOR camcorder to the NX70, due in no small part to the quick adjustment dial below the lens, and of course the amazing stabilization afforded by gyro lens unit. The NX70 is just to slow and clunky to adjust to varying exposure conditions – in auto mode exposure comp can only be done via the touch screen (horribly inconvenient), and in full manual you are constantly forced to bounce between the touch screen and the lens ring. When lighting is changing rapidly, the NX70 could drive you around the bend trying to keep up, meanwhile the NX30 is simplicity itself (tweaking the little dial), and an utter joy to use. I’d love to see 120FPS on a future version, even if only at 720p. After all, if they can do it on the AS15 Action Cam, then certainly they could make a “NX40” with this feature…

  3. The NX30’s only problem is that it doesn’t allow for control over gain, shutter and aperature at the same time. Take your pick..but you can only do one at a time.

    The three most fundamental aspects of camera control and this camera has them blocked. Shocking to see on Sony’s “NXCAM” pro brand.

  4. Can the NX30 be controlled by a LANC remote controller? For example the Manfrotto remote controller 523PRO? Does it support a push auto focus button?

    HDW : It uses the special AV to LANC cable that Manfrotto produce, the push auto focus button doesn’t seem to do anything.

  5. Greetings from Kennesaw, GA.
    First I would like to compliment you on your excellent blog. Well done. I purchased a NX30 in April 13 and read your review at the time. I thought you mentioned a winds screen for its ECM-XM1 microphone but I can’t find is now. Is my memory correct and if so can you point me to the one you used. I did find a photo of one in your blog on an NX30 but no info.
    Best Regards,

  6. Will this formidable camera accept a tele convertor as Ten times is a little short for me?

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