Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


The Sony PXW-X180 has both Intra and LongGOP as part of the XAVC codec. I have become a big fan of LongGOP with its 1080 50p 50MB/s stunning picture quality.

I decided to go down to the Kelpies at Grangemouth to film the enormous steel statues, this would give the camera a good run-through.


I love the ability to hook up the new hybrid radio mic system powering the receiver directly from the camera hot shoe.


Switching the input to MI SHOE gives you full control of the radio mics input making this camera very useful for press conference work.

The quality of the XAVC codec cannot be denied its one of the cleanest 1/3″ sensor camera’s on the market though at 9dBs you are starting to see noise but this has to be expected.


The ability to use SD adapters in this camera is a bold but welcome move for Sony although no one can deny the robustness of the SxS card its a step too far for some production companies who have a lot of long haul footage and want a cheaper alternative to the expensive SxS media.

Here is my 9m video review of the Sony PXW-X180…

Sony PXW-X180 Video Review from Philip Johnston on Vimeo.


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.

11 thoughts on “Sony PXW-X180 Video Review

  1. Thanks for the review, Philip. Any chance you could upload one of the nighttime original camera files? It’s hard to judge the noise critically from a 720p Vimeo video.

  2. Phillip,

    First let me say that I have learned so much from your website. Thank you for doing such a great job with all your reviews and stories. As a retiree now going to film school in America, your website is a great resource. I’m interested in corporate and ENG type filmmaking (I’ll leave the music videos and blockbuster movies to my younger classmates).

    The PXW-180 has been on the top of my camera wish list for a while but I’ve found so few reviews on the Internet. I’ve been eagerly awaiting your review since I saw your teaser last week. Looks like I’ll be pulling the trigger to buy this camera soon.

    Thanks again.

  3. Hey, Philip how would you compare this camera to the panasonic px270, which seems better?

    HDW : Personally its about preferences if you prefer Sony you will go with the X180 the Panasonic PX270 was the 1st to market and a very capable camcorder, picture wise there is very little to choose.

  4. Hi Philip

    Thanks for that great review. Its a great camcorder. My choice will be the PXW X 160.

  5. I was wondering why you didn’t compare the noise and low light sensitivity to the Panasonic 270 or the JVC 600. I think anybody that is considering this camera is also looking at these. The statues make gorgeous subjects for still or video.

    HDW : You can compare both my reviews both cameras compare very faviourably, I no longer have my PX270 so I dont have a side by side comparison.

  6. Hello Philip,

    Interesting test, but what if you compare the PXW-X180 against the PXW-X70 Philip, you say both make stunning pictures?

    HDW: The camera filming me was the PXW-X70, I don’t think there is much in it but the X70 has the edge picture wise having a 1″ sensor you can achieve a better shallower depth of field as can be seen in the video. The integrated hot shoe mount is only found on the X180 and it has a far better iris control and more features to hand on the side of the camera.

  7. Hi Phillip:

    Great footage. I’m looking for a sony but can’t decide on this or the pmw 200.

    Could you do a short film with this machine?

    Jon in California

  8. Hi, I am writing this message because I have a small problem with my PXW-X160.

    If I insert in X160 my original adapter Sony MEAD-SD02 with Sandisk SDXC da 6Gb U3 memory ( ) and then an original SXS memory 16Gb I see this message on display:”Types of Media (A) and (B) are different”. ! ! !
    Here you can see a short video and here a memory card’s photo.

    It is normal ? I can’t witch from memory A to memory B….I must remove memory A (adapter + Sandisk memory) to use SXS card 🙁 🙁
    Someone can help me ?

    Thanks for all

  9. hey phillip,

    was wondering, at the slowest zoom setting, how long it takes the camera to go from the end to end on the lens?

    danny b

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