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Pro and consumer versions including PXW-Z150, PXW-Z100, PXW-X70 / FDR-AX100


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Old January 8th, 2014, 06:17 PM   #61
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Since all the manufacturers are using the same approach to measuring, it's actually all "relative".- what is important is that this sensor has about 4X+ the area of a typical consumer level camera/camcorder, and that it is proving to work quite well - not as big as 4/3rds or APS-C, but a nice improvement over the small sensor cams, while maintaining a manageable size that's close to that of prior cameras with smaller sensors.
Fully agree with all that. Diffraction effects etc mean that once you seriously start to think about 4K, chips sizes such as 1/3", let alone smaller, start to have serious problems. I agree that for consumer cameras 1" is probably a good compromise in terms of price/size/performance, with s35 becoming increasing the norm for full pro work.
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Old January 8th, 2014, 06:50 PM   #62
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

A lot more info here. The cam also has 50mbps HD recording in the new codec.

Sony Global - Digital Imaging - FDR-AX100
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Old January 8th, 2014, 07:09 PM   #63
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Most Sony watchers and fans will know that Sony has a long track record of "sharing" Handycam models with the pro market. They tend to share most of the shell/body, optics and codec together. Here are past examples off the top of my head.

Handycam VX2100 = DVCAM PD170
Handycam FX1 = "Pro" Z1
Handycam FX1000 = "Pro" Z5
Handycam AX2000 = NXCAM NX5
Handycam PJ760 = NXCAM NX30
Handycam AX100 = NXCAM 4K ????

So, I would guess that most of us expect the same thing: NAB will reveal a "pro" version of this 4K Handycam. So what will this new NXCAM look like? Here are my guesses:

Same shell and generally the same body.
Wider hand strap
XQD socket. (The current SD socket well is big enough to modify/expand to XQD)
8 bit 4:2:0 XAVC-s 60 and 100 Mbp/s
XLR Handle (similar to NX30/NX70)
Raised internal mic (like NX30)
Same optics but I think the RX10 lens with constant f2.8 would be an upgrade. (even though zoom is less)
Real calibrated linear audio meters. (not the Handycam triangle things)
Nicer lens hood

What do you think? I'll bet my EX1r and FS100 that a "pro" sister will be out in the spring.

Anybody agree? I'm guessing a $3500 price tag.

Alister, have you signed a non disclose agreement yet? ;-)

CT

Last edited by Cliff Totten; January 8th, 2014 at 07:59 PM.
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Old January 8th, 2014, 09:10 PM   #64
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Cliff, that's a good summary. I see what you mean about the card slot area. It does look like it can fit a bigger card.
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Old January 8th, 2014, 09:18 PM   #65
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
Most Sony watchers and fans will know that Sony has a long track record of "sharing" Handycam models with the pro market. They tend to share most of the shell/body, optics and codec together. Here are past examples off the top of my head.

Handycam VX2100 = DVCAM PD170
Handycam FX1 = "Pro" Z1
Handycam FX1000 = "Pro" Z5
Handycam AX2000 = NXCAM NX5
Handycam PJ760 = NXCAM NX30
Handycam AX100 = NXCAM 4K ????

So, I would guess that most of us expect the same thing: NAB will reveal a "pro" version of this 4K Handycam. So what will this new NXCAM look like? Here are my guesses:

Same shell and generally the same body.
Wider hand strap
XQD socket. (The current SD socket well is big enough to modify/expand to XQD)
8 bit 4:2:0 XAVC-s 60 and 100 Mbp/s
XLR Handle (similar to NX30/NX70)
Raised internal mic (like NX30)
Same optics but I think the RX10 lens with constant f2.8 would be an upgrade. (even though zoom is less)
Real calibrated linear audio meters. (not the Handycam triangle things)
Nicer lens hood

What do you think? I'll bet my EX1r and FS100 that a "pro" sister will be out in the spring.

Anybody agree? I'm guessing a $3500 price tag.

Alister, have you signed a non disclose agreement yet? ;-)

CT


I agree with you. And I'm guessing the "pro" sister to the AX100 will be announced & revealed at NAB. I think the $3500 seems a little steep to me. I'm guessing closer to $3,000. That way Sony Pro can say that it is Pro 4K for 3K. Of course, I could be wrong.
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Old January 8th, 2014, 09:19 PM   #66
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Don't forget the built in LED lights. :)

Even though this doesn't have two XLR inputs, I could see using two of these for sit down interviews and either use external audio recorder or run one lav receiver to each camera and sync in post. Two cameras for $4000. Wow.
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Old January 8th, 2014, 09:23 PM   #67
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Cliff, do you think the pro version will do 60p @4K? I'm guessing no.
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Old January 8th, 2014, 09:38 PM   #68
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Differential is usually about $500 to $700 dollars depending on available deals. I know that when I got my NX5U it was only $200 more than the AX2000 and came with Vegas , the NX30U was $450 more than the PJ760 and also came with Vegas !!! Both of course came with mics. The PXW-Z100 is working out at just over a $1000 more than the FDR-AX1. So my guess would be $2800 with the XLR unit and mic. The extended internal mic on the NX30 provided the cold shoe of course. Differentiator to the FDR-AX1 and PXW-Z100 would be to keep the FDR-AX100 pro unit 30P and 60Mbps but give it time code and user bits.

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Old January 8th, 2014, 09:44 PM   #69
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Dont think 60p will be on this imaginary future 4K NXCAM sister. They have another model above it to protect.

Actually, this camera seems to threaten the Z100 a bit too closely. That "1 inch" sensor could very well produce a significantly better image than the Z100's. (adding that RX10's constant f2.8 lens would make it even faster in the mid zoom range and challenge the Z100 even more so) Yes, I know the Z100 has profile options and a real iris ring. Yes, it's body "looks" more "Pro" too. But just looking at pure image quality alone?...I think this little 4k camera might beat it.

So yeah,..no 60p. I could be wrong but that might not be smart for Sony to add that to an already strong performing $3,000-$3500 fictitious 4k NXCAM.

I'd love to see Alister comment on this before he signs those Sony "do not talk" agreements. He can speculate with us all he wants before that. Afterwards?...he's locked up until April ;-)

I bet this HandyCam AX100 and it's future 4K NXCAM sister will make a few marketing gurus inside Sony very nervous. They will probably we watching the sales numbers EXTREMELY carefully. If they see high sales numbers on "cheap" 4K models and falling sales numbers on more expensive HD-only cameras....wow. That could be a scary thing for them. Yikes!

The HD to 4K transition and future camera model marketing could be tricky to navigate for Sony, Canon and Panny.

CT

Last edited by Cliff Totten; January 8th, 2014 at 10:17 PM.
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Old January 9th, 2014, 01:06 AM   #70
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I doubt there will be a more professional version.
First this is the prosumer version of CX900, just as NX30 was the prosumer version of PJ760. I cannot remember a case when Sony had launched 3 similar cameras.
Second there is an optional XLR unit for the AX100 the Model: XLR-K1M

In my opinion this camera is the love child of BMC. They had to rush out a competing product, because of the impact BM had on the market. A product that on the other hand totally disrupts their pro lineup. Panasonic is doing the same.
I'm pretty certain that the AX100 will produce a better picture in HD than pmw 200 which uses the ancient sensor of the EX1, a less efficient codec, can't do 1080 50/60 and costs $6.3K. Not to mention the 4K cherry of the AX100. The lens is 12X with 24X clear zoom (HD) compared to 14X for the PMW200. Its slower, but the difference in sensor size will probably make up for that. The only real advantage of PMW200 is better ergonomics, but for 3X+ the price.

I believe, like Red, who forced high end cameras to retail half price, BMC will also halve the price of the $6-10K cameras.

Wait and see...
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Old January 9th, 2014, 02:37 AM   #71
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Nothing too tricky about it... they failed to sell 3D TV's... so they MUST drive the UHD/4K market.

3D was a gimmick, and not something that the average shooter could deal with - limited display options, most of which cause headaches etc for at least some viewers... arguably a technology that was nearly DOA...

BUT, most people CAN see sharper images on really HUGE screens, and appreciate the difference. The displays are dropping in price, so the next challenge is content... there are already bloody "4K" camera phones and tablets and super high resolution screens in smaller devices... if 3D was something that most people didn't really want or care about that much, ultra high resolution screens are something that literally "connects" with the end user...

Into this market, Sony probably remembered (just as we all did) the HC1 - $2K price point, semi "pro" features, relatively affordable - arguably it broke open the "HD" market to the "average" shooter that couldn't afford or didn't want to lug around a larger "pro" camera like the FX1 and Z1. The comparison is inescapable - this is the way to get "content" and sell more 4K TV's! Panasonic is banking on that GH with "hot rodded" memory that as far as I can tell isn't even available, to do the same thing for their 4K TV's...


I knew from the specs that the "R" version of the 1" sensor in the RX10 was probably designed from the get go to be a "4K" output sensor... the specs on the Bionz X similarly indicated this was likely a "4K" processor... I'm still scratching my head why the RX10 wasn't given the "point position" in the breakout (it still does quite impressive 1080 60p)! The answer to that may lie with the sensors in the A7/A7r not being as capable as the one in the RX10, and it would have been a tad embarrassing! Rumor is that it will be the next gen Alpha coming "soon" that will get that honor on that side of the Sony line. The AX100 gets the honor on the Handycam side.


The one "compromise" seems to be the 30p in 4K mode. I noticed that the 4K Panasonic GH had to use specially "tuned" memory for higher bit/frame rates... That's where the bottleneck is at the moment - any memory cards have to be very fast and very large (AKA initially expensive) to "do" 4K. They will also need to run cool while all those bits are being shoveled in! It would appear there isn't even such "overclocked" memory commonly available! Quick solution is to bring the bitrate down with half the frame rate so existing high spec cards can handle the "storage/recording media" question.

As Ron has noted, 30p may or may not prove to be an issue with high motion scenes... so it's hard to say if the compromise is a good one or not, and I'm sure we'd all prefer 60p...

While there "could" be heat issues, I'd suspect Sony made very sure to avoid thermal problems in the sensor and processor, due to all the criticism of the NEX (and some early Alphas) with video. The "new" 1" sensor and Bionz X are the hardware foundation, but memory has to catch up... both in specs AND in production quantities that don't have to be hand picked and "tuned" to be usable - we've all run into "memory card issues", this one is a BIG one!

As it is, I'm sure that Sony will STILL run into a lot of "customer service" calls and bad reviews because a lower spec or substandard card is used.


So I guess we wait for new high spec affordable memory... and then there's another "missing element" - how exactly are we going to DELIVER 4K - I'm presuming BR disks aren't an option? Or can we burn 4K to BR like it was possible to burn HD to SD disks? Do we shuffle huge files around on fast HDD's or high spec USB sticks? I'll admit to being a bit behind the curve on this, and pretty happy with "HD", but that's where the AX100 gives a "toe in the water" to get a handle on 4K!

As Ron has suggested, pan/scan of 4K files should be useful for HD output for the foreseeable future, and the camera is a good entry into 4K at a reasonable price (and should shoot very nice 1080 60P!). I don't know how well the CX900 will sell, but the AX100 will get a lot of people in the door to 4K, and they will all want to display on a 4K TV, edit on faster computers with 4K displays, etc, etc...

Sony obviously "gets" that "enthusiast" market, and is charging into it with innovative approaches to imaging devices. They'll also leverage the new tech into the pro market as they typically do. Next year, maybe memory will be more up to speed... and the "wish list" will be fulfilled...
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Old January 9th, 2014, 05:27 AM   #72
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Yes, I do think there will be a pro version of the FDR-AX100, as has been pointed out, that's what has happened historically. It will most likely add an XLR adapter, maybe the ability to switch between Pal and NTSC regions and possibly a couple of paint settings. I suspect on the AX100 the manual setting won't allow you to do everything manually while the pro version would.

I doubt it will ever do 4K at 50 or 60p, it only has a slot for an SDXC card, no high speed media here.

I do think that in good light this camera might do very well, maybe better than the Z100 due to the larger sensor, but in low light the difference will be smaller due to the slower lens on the AX100.

Will it impact the Z100 if there is a pro model. Probably, but that's always been the case, for example HC1/Z1. The AX100 is limited to the lower bit rates by the SD card and there is only one slot so no slot switching. Manual control will be more trickier as there are not enough controls - press a button change iris, press button again to change shutter etc. It's smaller so will be fiddly. By the time Sony add the "Pro" premium the price gap won't be as big.
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Old January 9th, 2014, 06:43 AM   #73
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

This has happened several times before in the line ups. The VX3 Hi8 challenged the then pro cameras, then the VX1000 etc. At that time though there was a definite preference for shoulder mount cameras and detachable lenses that protected the pure pro models. I used to rent Panasonic pro cameras until I got my FX1 that was far superior even at SD and surpassed the image when shooting HD and downconverting. Not rented cameras since. I have bought cameras from Sony at this $4500 sort of price point since the VX3 and they usually have some feature lacking on the pro models and missing some features !!! That's how it works. If you want a particular feature there are usually a few models in the line up with it . But not all. Frame rates, lens, codec memory, user features etc. You have to choose what is important for your uses. There will definitely NOT be a model that has them all. That would definitely be silly marketing especially if its only $2000 !!!

For interest look at the new action cam AS100, 5 can be controlled by a wrist controller, XAVC-S similar sensor as the FDR-AX1/PXW-Z100, 50Mbps but HD so 60P. When do you think we will see 4K version !!!

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Old January 9th, 2014, 09:08 AM   #74
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Being an EX1r and FS100 owner, a week ago I would have emphaticaly stated that I will NOT even "think" about investing into 4K untill 2015-2016. Now, in one big swoop, Sony has just suddenly reversed my thinking. I'm amazed at how easily and quickly they did that to me!!

That much image quality for just $2000-$3500??? (assuming the NXCAM 4k sister is almost here)

At worst case scenerio, I will dive into 4K with this Ax1000. With a little black tape over the "4K" label, I believe I can seven sucessfully hide it from my wife and she will be non the wiser! (just kidding..gulp)

Even the biggest 4K cynics can justify spending $2000 on this thing. I even think you will see this little Hendycam floating around the offices of allot of TV stations too just a a toy and for editor testing off air.

I think even the WORST "4K hater" will find it easy enough to grab one...if not just for the only purpose of sticking his toe in this new 4K swimming pool.

The more you think about this, the more attractive it begins to sound.

The "wow!" to "dollar" ratio is amazing.

CT
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Old January 9th, 2014, 09:16 AM   #75
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Cliff,

I know the feeling. I tend to be an impulse buyer myself. But, we need to let cooler heads prevail. Right now, we are just speculating. We need to see this pro version(if it does come out or does exist) in action. What advancements it will have over the AX100, what the price will be and if the price justifies what it offers as a camcorder to us. It's easy to be caught in the moment. But, logic and our wallets will eventually make us decide whether we want(or NEED) this camera or not. Or at least, it will for me. But, first Sony Pro has to show the camera first which I still speculate will be at NAB.
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