Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Sony update their information from a PXW-X70 product specialist in Japan…

So there are two ways to control X70:

  1. Wi-Fi remote (using the Content Browser Mobile)
  2. Multi/Micro USB jack

-LANC remote controllers cannot be used. Remote controllers such as the ”RM-VPR1” and  “VCT-VPR100”(attached to a tripod) can be used. Multi/Micro USB to AV/R “VMC-AVM1” can also be used.

The Sony RM-VPR1 works with the PXW-X70 and has the following functionality…Start/Stop, variable zoom and power on and off. Not as good in my opinion as a Manfrotto zoom controller but having a variable zoom switch is a bonus I was not expecting. It comes with a clip to allow it to sit on a tripod handle but the regular video handle as used on the Manfrotto 505HD is too thick, a couple of tie wraps do the trick.



It’s official there is no hidden or otherwise LANC control for the PXW-X70 camcorder, you can use the supplied RMT-845 which is very useful for reviewing shots but not as practical as a wired zoom controller.


Last week was my first chance to use the X70 in anger and the pictures are fantastic to be honest I did not miss the zoom control and if I needed some kind of control during an interview I could use the small remote pictured above.

I think companies like Sony put so much effort into making a wee camera like the X70 professional that they forget the simple things like a LANC control but the picture quality certainly outweighs any misgivings I have over the lack of remote zoom control.


Having ND filters really sets this camera apart from the likes of the NX70 and NX30 also having a second card slot is a major bonus, one user comment the ND filter switch is behind the camera and would benefit from a yellow background like the AUTO/MANUAL switch above it.

You can only choose between SDI or HDMI or Video out of the camera so if you choose SDI the HDMI O/P is disabled.


The MENU switch is in the wrong position once the LCD is retracted its a pain to get to quickly.


Be aware that you will find yourself using the wrong switch during recording, I am so used to a round rec button I find myself trying to use the wee joystick to stop a recording but thats just a minor detail.



Jill pic timeline web

Click this picture Sony XAVC to see the Full HD 1920 X 1080


Click this picture Sony AVCHD to see the Full HD 1920 X 1080

I kid you not you will film your first interview with the X70 and sit in complete amazement at the sheer quality of pictures the XAVC codec delivers, I keep banging on about this wee cameras output but please be assured Sony have delivered a true jaw dropping picture out of a camcorder that most seasoned professionals would sneer at…till they saw the pictures !



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.

56 thoughts on “Sony PXW-X70 Update on Lanc control and user info (Updated with new remote & AVCHD still)

  1. I own the AX100 and am able to use a LANC remote so found it odd and checked the SONY Japan website. As with the AX100, they offer the RM-VPR1 as an option, which is a consumer remote.

    I am using the RM-1BP Remote Commander with a Manfrotto LANC 522AV adapter cable and SONY VMC-AV1 cable.

    Admittedly, it’s a bit of a faff, but it works at least on the AX100.

  2. All that you say is true. I am getting another one of these fine cameras. No big deal about no lanc. Controller works fine. You’d have to pry this camera from my cold dead fingers…thats how good it is.

  3. This does not agree with users on DVinfo forum who say they have their X70 working with input to the multi/usb jack. Have you actually tried using a Sony multi/usb equipped tripod like the
    VCP-VPR100 or RM-VPR1 controller ?

    Ron Evans

    HDW : Hi Ron, if Sony tell me this camera has no remote function I have to take them at their word, if someone wants to send me a RM-VPR1 at £59 to test fine I will report my findings.

  4. Hi Philip,

    Can you please tell me whats that LED headlight shown on the pictures with the PXW-X 70? It uses NP-F Sony batteries, right?

    Thank you, best regards

    HDW : Its a great camera light a Ledgo Bi Colour CN160 about £109 plus vat from Holdans and it uses Sony “L” batteries.

  5. Hello Philip

    How does compare the PXW-X70 image quallity to the Panasonic PX270?.

    Thanks, I love yours posts.


    HDW : Not much in it but the Sony has the edge noise wise.

  6. How are you finding the 1″ sensor for depth of field? I’m very interested in 1″, I have a suspicion it’s going to replace the smaller sensors currently in the XF305, PMw200 etc – IF it can give shallow depth of field when used correctly…

    HDW : The lens on wide starts at f2.8 to f4.5 on the tight end, I am not aware of any better SDoF than you would get with the likes of a DSLR.

  7. Hi Philip, Can you please tell me which recording option of the codec are you using for filming the young girl’s face? The picture quality is excellent and v sharp. Are you using the XAVC LongG 50Mbps? Thanks m in advance.

    HDW : Yes Full HD 1080 50p XAVC 10bit 422 50Mbps LongG onto a Transend SDXC class 10 speed 3 card.

  8. Hi Philip,
    Sony’s UK’s own WEB site information shows the X70 remote function integrated into the “Remote Integrated into Multi/Micro USB jack ” Taken from the specs on the WEB site. Which would support users on the DVinfo forum who say they have it working.


  9. “There is no lanc on this camera. There are no plans to use USB AV Socket as far as we know.”
    That’s strange because on the website of Sony Professional it says explicitly that the remote connector of X70 is integrated into the Multi/Micro USB port. This has been standard for years now in Sony camcorders of this size and the consumer version of the X70, the CX900/AX100, has it as well. If you want to use a LANC or A/V-R controller with a different plug, you need an adapter of course.

  10. Do you know if this camera can export timestamp ? also any idea if it superimposes timestamp ?

    HDW : I assume you mean timecode it has HDMI TC output if thats any help.

  11. From the Sony pdf brochure,

    “Remote Integrated into Multi/Micro USB jack”

    They also told me this on the phone. It looks like all that is needed is the Sony VMC-AVM1 adapter to the AV/R connector.

    Then use an AV/R zoom controller like the Acebil RMC-1AVR that also has record start/stop. This should give a proper variable speed zoom remote.

  12. Do you know if this camera can export timestamp ? also any idea if it superimposes timestamp ?

    HDW : I assume you mean timecode it has HDMI TC output if thats any help.

    I’m referring to RCA/Composite out. Will that superimpose out to a dvd recorder? this is for legal video.

    HDW : I can’t tell the camera does not ship with the AV cable for SD output.

  13. RM-VPR1 works fine with this camera, tested it yesterday. Be nice to have a remote focus too…

  14. Do you have issues getting focus on extreme closeups? I got mine in yesterday and the images look great. I’m not sure what setting to have it on to get clean ECUs. Any advice would be appreciated

  15. Kieron

    I can only give you my experience with the FDR-AX100 and so should be taken with a pinch of salt regarding the X70, but using the combination of:

    RM-1BP Remote Commander into Manfrotto LANC 522AV adapter cable into SONY VMC-AV1 cable I am able to not only zoom but focus also.

    I think it would be unlikely that SONY would include that protocol on a consumer model and omit it from a higher model although its not unknown. It seems the USB port that SONY now employs is quite universal and broad in its application although I have to admit I prefer a 2.5mm connection.

    I’m sorry I don’t have an X70 to test, but the fact it works on the AX100 is at least a hint that it might indeed work on the X70.

  16. I’m responding to Brian’s question about recording to DVD with timestamp. Yes this does work fine using a VMC-15MR2 cable. However, there is this caveat: I used 1080i AVCHD setting (because that setting can allow timestamp) and selected video output. I attached the cable to the multi port of the X-70 and to my DVD burner. I rolled the DVD burner for the full two hours and got a very nice DVD with timestamp. Then I switched the camera to the legacy DV setting (which also allows timestamp) and rolled the DVD burner thinking I would get the full two hours. I walked away with a timer on my phone set to ring at 1 hour 59 minutes. When the alarm rang, I came back to see that the DVD tray had popped out. The DVD had run out of space and self-finalized. When I ran the DVD on my iMac it showed that the DVD was only 1 hour and 55 minutes long. I don’t know why that happened, but I will not record DVD’s in DV mode again.

  17. How does Sony AX100 change the sharpening, contrast, saturation. The RX10 is this function. But I could not find Ax100. Was this regulation is in x70?

    HDW : Its called picture profile which is on the PXW-X70 underneath the pull out LCD.

  18. Tip McPartland : on AX100 the lanc controller (vivitar aka ebenk) with the VMC-AVM1 works fine. (the vivitar comes with a female 2.5mm to AVR cable).
    But the same configuration didn’t work with a Libec 3DV
    again on AX100.
    I’ll try on the X70 tomorrow and I’ll try the acebil as well. I’ll post the results.

  19. What I was thinking, and can’t try because I don’t have the X70 yet, is to plug the Sony VMC-AVM1 adapter into the camera’s USBish port, which then gives you an AV/R input per Sony.

    Then plug an AV/R zoom controller like the Acebil RMC-1AVR (I don’t know of another one) into the adapter’s AV/R. I’m hoping that this combination will send the right data protocol and work. Your thoughts on this?

    HDW : We have nailed the remote to the Sony RM-VPR1, I don’t think any further experimentation is needed.

  20. Tip McPartland : I can confirm that the ebenk 8-button lanc remote works on pxw-x70 giving start/stop, 1 variable zoom speed on pressure , several constant zoom speeds (very slow to fast, regardless of the camera settings) via a dial on the unit, focus up and down. It also can switch the LCD info display on and off (on-screen button on the remote).
    It needs the vmc-avm1 and a female 2.5mm to AV/r cable. (the vivitar comes with it actually)
    I can also confirm that the libec 3DV doesn’t work on X70!

    couldn’t try the acebil , but at least the ebenk/vivitar works (pretty well too!)

  21. I’m having a pretty serious problem with the X70 regarding the use of XLR mics: it’s common practice to set the shotgun on one channel and the internal mic on the other channel (for both ambient and backup): unfortunately the X70 selects 1 source at the time and if I set the XLR then the camera disables the internal mics and vice versa. So the only solution would be adding a second XLR mic for ambient when using a shotgun , or a separate mixer (that would be as big as the camera).

    Tip: I agree with Philip actually about the “official” remote to be used on this camera, also because adding cables on cables is not a good idea (in the long run): cables and patch cables can and will get lost at the last minute and when needed while the official remote connects directly to the USB(ish) port.

    HDW : Hi Mark, most professional camcorders do not have an internal mic, the internal mic you are referring to is only for use when the XLR/handle is off the camera otherwise you need to source a small camera mic and plug it into CH1 or 2 for ambient sound.

  22. Hi Mark, thanks for the info. When I get x70, I will get the adapter cable and the Acebil remote because I like to have full control over the speed of the zoom, which you do not get from the “official” remote, that is only two speed. I have never lost a cable and do not want a creative limitation, such as no smooth ramping up and down on a zoom, because I might lose a cable someday. To each their own.

  23. Philip : thanks. After a closer look at my previous cameras I see that all had a mechanical switch to select the source (internal or XLR for each channel) . The EX1 for example has it right on the back. So it may not be just software for the X70. But we are videographers and we make things work regardless: I’m going to use a stereo lapel (cony CS3) on the Ch2 with an adaptor (tsr to xlr) and the attenuator @20db on the camera. works fine and it’s small enough to put it on the shoe or attached to the lights for example. After all this camera do deserve the extra effort, and thanks for your work! Please know that your honest reports mean a lot to me and I’m sure to the community of videographers as well!

  24. Tip : it’s not just the risk of losing the extra cables but also about the other risk to lose the connection while shooting some important stuff. That said the acebil looks good but it only gives variable speed on pressure, while the manfrotto (521 that I have for ex1 for example) gives also a dial to control the max zoom speed. Now back to the risks and benefits: don’t underestimate the vivitar/ebenk) : they give also 8 constant zoom speeds selectable AND a variable on pressure as well. Plus the rocker is vertical (that I like way more than the horizontal ones). There is a way to fix the loud(ish) “click” of the rocker. and it’s proven to work on X70 while the others may not. Again the libec 3DV for example(a lanc/panasonic) controller didn’t work on X70 with the two cables, and I have the feeling that the manfrotto, acebil and varizoom may not work as well. it you get the acebil then make sure that the store has a good return policy 🙂

  25. update on camera mic (omni for ambient) on ch2 when a shotgun is on ch1:
    the ECM-CS3 can be connected to the XLR2 via adaptor ( like the rode VXLR) and needs phantom power from the camera.
    I attached the CS3 to the shotgun cord using the clip, also to avoid handling noise (since the lapel mic is pretty sensitive to that). It also needs 20db attenuation from the camera (it’s on the XLR panel)

    thanks to Philip for the excellent tip!

    here’s a pic

  26. I’m about to grab one of these. It certainly seems to have all I’d need for Medical lecture videography. Is Sony using a dense plastic, alloy or a combination of both for the body material on the X70? I really can’t tell from pics though I’ve noticed a number of positive impressions regarding it’s build quality.

  27. It looks like the FV100 batteries bang against the eyecup. Do you recommend staying with the FV70 batteries.
    Also … I can only get the Sony software to transcode one XAVC file at a time, and it WILL NOT transcode to pro-res on my Windows PC (the option is not there). What codec do you recommend to convert for Windows (I can’t import XAVC to PP CS6, and I don’t want to pay again for CC yet, I have to save some $$). Creative Cloud is a pain because I go for long periods with minimal editing, and then bursts of lots of editing, but I would have to pay the subscription even if I don’t edit for a couple months. But I really want to take advantage of XAVC on my Windows platform. Any suggestions much appreciated.

  28. Phillip: I am going to purchase my first HDCAM and know nothing about them. I was thinking about the Sony Pxw-X70. My budget is $2000 to $5000 us dollars. The main use for the camera will be filming outdoor hunting and indoor green screen work. I have been following your site and respect your honest opinion. Thanks very much for any suggestions.

    HDW:Green screen will be no problem, you can extend the 12x optical zoom might be a bit small for “Hunting” but you can multiply this to 24x by using the digital extender without too much loss in quality.

  29. hi Mark I would like know the exact model of ebenk zoom controller and if the zoom speed is variable on pressure and the focus bottons works in sony pxw-x70

  30. @Robert
    I use 2 vivitar lanc 8 button(they are the same as the ebenk) and they come with a 2.5mm female to av/r cable. The model number is VIV-RC-800 . you can find them at B&H or focuscamera or ebay. Not sure if the ebenk comes with the 2.5-avr cable that will cost more than the controller if bought separately). It has a rotary dial that selects 8 zoom speeds from slow to fast (regardless of the camera settings for it’s own rocker that will still work by the way) plus a variable on pressure. It also has two buttons for focus (Near and Far), on-screen button that does exactly what the display button of the camera does (it needs 1 click to remove the top info, and a second click to remove all the info)HDMI and SDI out will not be affected, so it works only for the info on the LCD. Start/Stop. All the said functions work on X70 : to connect you need the usb to avr cable of course. the other functions (camera on/off, photo and index on thumbnails) were not tested because I never use’em. The focus control moves the lens VERY smoothly. Not good for fast action, but pretty good for micro adjustments (for interviews and close-ups for example). This is a video camera after all, things (like zoom and focus) must go slow. The zoom rocker gives a loud “click”: to fix that you must open the controller (3 screws in the back, open it, locate the switches of the rocker, put a piece of paper to isolate and fix it with gaffer’s tape. close everything and the rocker will be silent.

  31. Thank you Mark and Philip from spain ,its very good the answer and the site HD Warrior
    I find better solutions than Sony
    They said me that not possible remote zoom only by wifi.
    thanks again.

  32. Hi Mark,
    Do you still need the Sony VMCAVM1 with the VIV-RC-800?

  33. Hi all
    I would like to ask about battery of this camera. As I see, NP-FV100 has 3700mAh 6.8V and Vivitar Sb-FV100 has 4200mAh 7.4V (even 8.4V).
    I wonder whether it cause damage If I use vivitar sb-fv100 for this camera.
    Many thanks.

  34. Thanks Mark I’ve ordered the parts and look forward to getting them working with the X70.

  35. Happy to say my 10 year-old Manfrotto LANC remote control pan bar is now working with the PXW-X70. I just received a Sony Multi Adapter Cable (SOVMCAVM1) and Manfrotto Adapter Cable LANC/AV-R Sony (MA522AV) from B&H. Much easier to run than using the remote control in your left hand and a standard pan arm in your right.

  36. Gerry Fraiberg not really. all the studio cameras have separate controls, on separate arms, for a reason.

  37. That’s good news Gerry, I’m hoping the Manfrotto Remote Control with Pan Bar for Lanc Camera (MVR901EPLA) will work with those same 2 adapter cables…

  38. No, really Mark. The remote control has to be pointed at the front of the camera, which is awkward. Studio cameras don’t run on remote control units, but as you suggest two control arms. Having tried zooming with the remote control on three jobs, it was quite a relief to be able to use my Manfrotto 522 once again with the PXW-X70.

  39. @Gerry Fraiberg I’m talking about lanc wired controllers only, never used IR remotes(ever) on any camera. But I think that there was some sort of misunderstanding lately. Now the LANC protocol is a very simple sequence of commands (via serial RS232). In order to have focus on one arm and zoom on the other arm it will be possible to chain a second (lanc) controller simply using a 2.5mm stereo splitter and attach 2 controllers (I do that with a libec 3dv that has two 2.5mm plugs actually). But the focus on X70 on LANC is slow , not good for anything else than micro-adjustments in studio (in my opinion). The Sony (and Canon) protocol don’t give iris on LANC. For that Panasonic adds a second control . But you can’t have a constant zoom speed dial on the panasonic protocol. For that you have to go back to LANC (sony/canon). Why we can’t have everything in consumer cameras? because they are consumer cameras and consumer protocols.

  40. Hi,
    thanks for the hint about the Sony Multi Adapter Cable (SOVMCAVM1) and Manfrotto Adapter Cable LANC/AV-R Sony (MA522AV) combination. Using both I was able to connect my Manfrotto 521 LX LANC controller, and it works as expected. This controller has 2 programmable joystick-like controls (up/down and left/right, both selectable to control zoom, focus or aperture) and 4 assignable buttons (can be assigned to various functions, including mapping to assignable buttons on the camera and iris control), plus a rec button and an autofocus on/off switch.
    Zooming is quite slow, but well controlled (even including a setting for ramp). Focus adjustment works very well (using setting “CTRL SETUP – SONY FOCUS – EXT” and F.MAX SPEED 8).

  41. You CAN use LANC controllers with this camera easily.
    Sony makes a cable VMCAVM1 that goes from multi to A/V. You will need a second cable to go from A/V to LANC such as Monfrotto 522 A/V to make the connection from A/V to LANC.

    I am using this camera with a Manfrotto LANC controller and it works very nicely.

  42. It has been disappointing that it has had no LANC port,
    but I am pleased to know that it is possible for me to control remotely the guy with using multi port
    Thank you for your useful information.

    HDW : Sony strangely have bypassed Lanc with the X70 yet put it on the FS7 !!!

  43. I wonder if Sony bypassed Lanc on the X70 to keep the cost down? Is the multi port more efficient in that one port does many things? If they’ve included it on the FS7, it doesn’t appear they’re moving away from the technology.

  44. I have this camera and love it but the only thing that I do not like is the way the battery is held in – I can see that “giving” over time.

    Anyone know of a way to power the camera using a V Mount – is there an adaptor? I really can see plastic fatigue against gravity kicking in quite soon. Seems like an Achilles heel to me?

    HDW : I think a “V” mount is un-practical to use with an X70.

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