Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor



During September 2013 Sony announced the PXW-Z100 and the semi Pro FDR-AX1, both camcorders are capable of filming 4K and HD.



The main differences are as follows…

PXW-Z100 is 10 bit 4:2:2 XAVC and has an HD-SDI socket. XAVC allows 7m record time on a 32G XQD card. A free firmware update is planned for the middle of 2014 to support the LongGOP mode for extended 4K recording time and to add support for AVCHD recording via the SDHC card socket.

FDR-AX1 is 8 bit 4:2:0 XAVC “S” which is significant as it uses a wrapper unlike the XAVC. The XAVC “S” does allow 16m record time on a 32G XQD card.  No HD-SDI socket and will also include the free FW update during 2014.

“I have had a look at the FDR-AX1 and was very impressed with the HD pictures and some 4K footage I shot, the XAVC “S” does give you far longer recording times but at a cost, it took far too long for FCPX 10.0.9 to ingest. I am now producing a full video review on the professional PXW-Z100 camcorder and so far have only seen HD pictures which are far superior to the AX1 having the XAVC codec and 10 bit 422 processing.”

Also during September Panasonic announced the HPX 270 Micro P2 camcorder.


AJ-HPX 270

The AJ-PX270 is the first P2 HD handheld camera recorder with AVC-ULTRA recording and built-in microP2 card slots.In addition to the established AVC-Intra100, it has AVC-LongG for extended recording and AVC-Intra200*2 for master level recording. AVC-LongG25 enables extended 1920 x 1080 10 bit 4:2:2 broadcast-quality recording (four times longer thanAVC-Intra100). A newly designed, built-in, compact 22x zoom lens covers a wide range from 28 mm to 616 mm. Three lens rings (Cam-Type Zoom, Focus, Iris) provide comfortable manual control similar to interchangeable lenses. The newly developed high-sensitivity and low-noise 1/3 type 3MOS sensors produce superb image, even in dim light.

Two microP2 card slots enable the ultimate cost-effective operation. The microP2 card, with the same reliability of the P2card, can be used without an adapter. Simultaneous recording is also possible for backup use.A wireless LAN dongle*2 is available (a 3G/4G/LTE dongle is scheduled for use in the near future). These network function make workflows more efficient. For example, low-bit-rate proxy*3 and metadata are quickly and easily transmitted.

Also during September Panasonic announced a shoulder mounted AG-AC8 camcorder.



The shoulder mounted Full-HD 1080P AVCCAM features exceptional ergonomics and functionality, simultaneous recording to dual SD Cards, 21x optical zoom and intelligent auto mode (iA) with up to 50x zoom.  The AG-AC8’s exciting feature set makes it perfect for a range of professional and semi-pro users that require the best performance in applications such as weddings, business seminars and conferences, documentaries and nature films, sporting events and other events and shows.

“I produced an overview of the Panasonic AC8 and was very impressed with Panasonic’s new chipset finally giving us a true red making the 1080 50p pictures very vivid and punchy”


ARRI announced their new Amira large sensor camcorder during October



Featuring the same sensor and exceptional image quality as the ARRI ALEXA, AMIRA records superior HD 1080 or 2K pictures that are suitable for any distribution format. With a dynamic range of more than 14 stops, low noise levels, subtle highlight handling, natural color rendering, breathtaking skin tones and speeds of up to 200 fps, AMIRA will deliver stunning, life-like images.


During December Sony announced the new HXR-NX3 camcorder



The HXR-NX3 is a professional camcorder that features three 1/2.8-inch Exmor™ CMOS sensors for outstanding image quality. Dual media slots allow simultaneous or relay recording in AVCHD 2.0 (1080/50p) format. There is also a Slow & Quick Motion feature that achieves smooth 2x slow motion when recording at 25p or 50x quick motion when 1 frame per second is recorded in 50p. In addition to the 20x optical zoom, Clear Image Zoom with Super Resolution Technology provides an extended 40x zoom range with excellent clarity and detail and no effective pixel loss. A built-in LED light, WiFi/NFC remote control capability, and a larger 3.5 inch LCD panel for enhanced viewing add to the versatility of this multi-purpose camcorder, putting the finishing touches on an advanced system that offers unprecedented video recording freedom.


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.

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