Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


The weather in Glasgow has been very poor so much so it has hindered my review of the Sony PXW-Z100, fortunately yesterday (Sunday) looked slightly better, cold but no rain, so I charged off to Falkirk to film the world famous Falkirk Wheel.


First problem was drive space, the PXW-Z100 in 4K 50p mode gives you 7 minutes of footage on a 32G card ! Now in my Super 8mm film days that would equate to 100 ft of film, not bad but every shot had to count.

The wheel rotating from start to finish takes 4m 43s !

I changed tac and decided to use 1080 50p the next surprise being 16m or 31m at 25p, I decided to stick to 50p as most of what I was filming moved.


The XAVC codec is heavy on drive space plus to engage 4K filming with XAVC you need an XQD S Series card. The Lexar above is £322 at, H Preston Media is showing the Sony 64G S Series cards for £449 each.


Filming with two Sony 64G XQD “S” cards at 4K would give you 28 minutes of fantastic footage but at a cost of £898. I realise this technology is new and pictures to die for but once again Sony needs to address the cost of XQD “S” cards to help bring this 4K format to a wider audience.


Even in HD mode the XAVC codec excels, the pictures from this 10bit 4:2:2 Sony PXW-Z100 camcorder are the best HD pictures I have seen in a long time, I will film studio and PTC shots in true 4K this week, as I am limited to 7m I can’t shoot outside the studio on location as I have no way of backing up my 4K footage.

I do realise a 4K enabled external recording device would be a good alternative, time wise, but I like the convenience of the XQD cards and less to go wrong.



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.

3 thoughts on “Filming at the Falkirk Wheel with the Sony PXW-Z100 for my Video Review

  1. Hi
    Please Check the aliasing Problems with downscaling and Sharp contrasts
    This Cam is so Sharp so on edges i often saw Scaling Problems
    Plus Noise in 4k , but only if you are extremely close To a 4k Monitor ( i had a seiki 39″ )
    Regards from a very warm Austria

  2. Thank you for this first review.
    I’m not sure to understand one detail. Does the Lexar’s XQD card is ok for 4K, or do you need the Sony XQD-S card absolutely?
    Thank you!

    HDW : As far as I am aware the AX1 would be fine with the Lexar while the Z100 needs the Sony XQD running at 180 MB/s

  3. Hi there, my question is, in order to avoid huge expense on xqd s card 64gb need for a 20 minutes vides. my question is can we take hd video with pxw z100 and save it to normal card. another question, if it is possible, is the quality of video is better than the normal pmw series hd video camera?

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