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Sony 4K Ultra HD Handhelds
Pro and consumer versions including PXW-Z150, PXW-Z100, PXW-X70 / FDR-AX100


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Old October 21st, 2014, 10:13 AM   #1
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X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

Anyone know yet what Sony is going to implememt with the X70's 4K firmware update?

Will it be UHD or full 4K?

Will it be the consumer 60mbp/s (like the AX100) or will it be a more Pro 100mbp/s

60mbp/s on the AX100 is "OK" but if you try to grade it, it falls apart pretty fast.

I'm hoping because this is an "XDCAM",..it "should" have at least 8bit 4:2:0 UHD at 100mbp/s long GOP.

Anybody know? How many are planning to pay for this upgrade?

CT
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Old October 21st, 2014, 12:13 PM   #2
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

One of my bigger concerns is that Sony hasn't mentioned price or features for the firmware upgrade. I don't doubt they're not sure what the can implement otherwise there'd be no reason not to disseminate that information. I'm a bit gun shy given how the FS700 4k upgrade was handled.

I'd really want XAVC-L 4:2:2 10 bit for 4k and to record it "internally" (with SDXC card).
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Old October 21st, 2014, 12:43 PM   #3
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

4:2:2 10bit?

I strongly suspect that Sony would be way too terrified to add that much to the X70. Im sure they would feel that if they did that, they would lose a ton of money from lost sales on their higher future models.

Im sure they are 4:2:0 8bit on this. The only mystery is, will it be the rock bottom 60mbps or 100mbps.

100mbps is a huge leap over 60mbps in the CODECs durability.

I called Sony in Teaneck. They told me over the phone that they "suspect" its only 60mbps but were not at all sure.

60mbps is a "Handycam" bitrate and should not be an "XDCAM" bitrate.
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Old October 21st, 2014, 01:54 PM   #4
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

Interestingly enough....while Sony allows its cheaper 4k/UHD products to have 60mbps, Lumix/Panasonic gladly gives its consumer products 100mbps!

The GH4, The FZ bridge camera and even their new pocket camera all shoot 4k to SDXC cards at 100mbps.

Sony seems to guard 100mbps carefully and differs to 60mbps for all its consumer cameras.

Let's see what Sony does with it's new RX20. I bet we are looking at Sony holding fast to 60mbps aagain and NOT matching Panasonic's competing model.
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Old October 21st, 2014, 03:53 PM   #5
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
One of my bigger concerns is that Sony hasn't mentioned price or features for the firmware upgrade. I don't doubt they're not sure what the can implement otherwise there'd be no reason not to disseminate that information. I'm a bit gun shy given how the FS700 4k upgrade was handled.

I'd really want XAVC-L 4:2:2 10 bit for 4k and to record it "internally" (with SDXC card).
Even the Long GOP update( due the end of this month) to the firmware for the PXW-Z100 is 420 8 bit UHD not full 4K with bit rates just like my FDR-AX1 but with mxf wrapper not the consumer mp4 !!! The rest of the firmware updates to both the Z100 (and I hope my AX1) not due till next year !!! The AX1 has bit rates of 60Mbps, 100Mbps and 150Mbps.

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Old October 21st, 2014, 07:58 PM   #6
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

Sony PXW-70X already supports XAVC-L 4:2:2 10 bit.
https://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-...roduct-PXWX70/

The new camcorder has the ability to record High Definition in XAVC Long GOP, enabling 422 10-bit sampling at 50 Mbps
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Old October 21st, 2014, 09:00 PM   #7
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

Firmware upgrade for the PXW-Z100 looks like one is already available. Not sure if it's the one you refer to.
https://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-...eRelease.shtml

Manual
http://di.update.sony.net/HXR/CylafE...100_manual.pdf

Does only mention 4:2:0 8 bit but as "output" unclear whether this is only an update relative to HDMI

Formats and Limitations of Outputs
This software update makes the camcorder compatible with the HDMI 4K/59.94P (50P) transmission system and enables 4K image quality playback on other manufacturers’ televisions compatible with this transmission system.
YCbCr 4:2:0/8 bit
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Old October 21st, 2014, 09:05 PM   #8
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Sony PXW-70X already supports XAVC-L 4:2:2 10 bit.
https://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-...roduct-PXWX70/

The new camcorder has the ability to record High Definition in XAVC Long GOP, enabling 422 10-bit sampling at 50 Mbps
I think Cliff and I were talking about 4K or UHD 3840x2160 not 1920x1080 HD. I was mentioning the fact that the Z100 which records 4:2:2 10bit for 4K and UHD but in XAVC intra frame with the proposed firmware update due the end of the month for Long GOP will in fact still only be 3840x2160, 4:2:0 8bit in MXF wrapper. So the chance that the firmware update for the X70 will be 4:2:2 10bit for 4K is very slim !!! The FDR-AX1 and PXW-Z100 are more than twice the cost of the X70, will record at 50Mbps, 60Mbps, 150Mbps and up to 600Mbps for the Z100. I think we can expect the 4K update for the X70 to be the same as the AX100, 25/30P at 60Mbps but likely in a MXF wrapper !!!

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Old October 21st, 2014, 09:16 PM   #9
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Firmware upgrade for the PXW-Z100 looks like one is already available. Not sure if it's the one you refer to.
https://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-...eRelease.shtml

Manual
http://di.update.sony.net/HXR/CylafE...100_manual.pdf

Does only mention 4:2:0 8 bit but as "output" unclear whether this is only an update relative to HDMI

Formats and Limitations of Outputs
This software update makes the camcorder compatible with the HDMI 4K/59.94P (50P) transmission system and enables 4K image quality playback on other manufacturers’ televisions compatible with this transmission system.
YCbCr 4:2:0/8 bit
That update was last January for both the Z100 and the AX1 mainly to update HDMI to 2.0 and and correct the audio that was switched channel 1 and 2 it did not make any of the non functioning interfaces work or give Long GOP to the Z100 so record times are still short for the Z100. The FDR-AX1 has always been 8bit 4:2:0 XAVC-S Long GOP. There is a new firmware update due 30 October for the Z100 no mention yet of anything for the AX1 since most of the complaints have been for the short record times for XAVC intra of about 12 mins for 64G card !!! I at least get about 50 mins on a 64G card in my AX1.

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Old October 22nd, 2014, 12:29 AM   #10
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

In order to extend the life-cycle of a product, or compete with new items from the competition, it seems that manufacturers have discovered ways to make little improvements but perhaps without changing anything physical about the unit, like:

Add Pre Record or Retro cache, or extend the time
Add a Time lapse option
Add another/new recording format
Add two-channel recording capability
Improve color management

These are things that can be improved upon with updates to the firmware

Later in the product life-cycle, the MSRP gets lowered and then the last step is to sweeten the pot by throwing in some overpriced accessories.

If the design gurus can build in some features, say in the circuit boards, that can be accessed with firmware updates then this can make it easier for the marketing department later on to add new selling features.

Buying a camera is almost like playing poker - if it's not needed right away then wait a couple months until the price softens a bit. If all the new features (4K?) aren't really needed then pick up an older model but without all the bells and whistles, where all the positives and negatives are known, and the price has come down significantly. NAB is, what, six months off? So there will be more new gear.

It's not a three-ring camera so on that level it can't really compete with the truly pro models. Make a dent? Sure, but how much? What about a dent in the competition's market share? Hold out on the upgrades and the competition can take the wind out of your sails.

Guess this why the CEOs get paid all those big bucks.

This will be interesting to watch.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 08:43 PM   #11
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
So the chance that the firmware update for the X70 will be 4:2:2 10bit for 4K is very slim !!! The FDR-AX1 and PXW-Z100 are more than twice the cost of the X70, will record at 50Mbps, 60Mbps, 150Mbps and up to 600Mbps for the Z100. I think we can expect the 4K update for the X70 to be the same as the AX100, 25/30P at 60Mbps but likely in a MXF wrapper !!!
If it's supposed to be the pro version of the AX100, then why would they be using the consumer UHD, XAVC-S codec? But if it is only XAVC-S, why wait to roll it out?
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Old October 25th, 2014, 09:11 PM   #12
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence Bansbach View Post
If it's supposed to be the pro version of the AX100, then why would they be using the consumer UHD, XAVC-S codec? But if it is only XAVC-S, why wait to roll it out?
We will have to wait and see but I would still be surprised if the real difference between XAVC-S UHD and XAVC-L isn't just the wrapper one being mp4 and the other mxf. The mxf firmware for XAVC-L has not yet been released for the PXW-Z100 so the team may be the same and have not yet finished !!! Initially I thought the difference between XAVC-S and XAVC was one being 8 bit 420 and the pro version 10bit 422. However it is clear from the information on the firmware update to the Z100 that at least for UHD Long GOP it will be 8 bit 420 just like XAVC-S. I see no reason for the X70 to be different than its big brother the Z100. If it isn't different then by next year the price difference for the X70 upgrade and just buying an AX100 as well may not be worth the difference. If they can find a way of moving to 60/50P at 150Mbps then it will be worth it. But at the moment for Sony this needs XQD cards as used by the PXW-Z100 and the FDR-AX1.

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Old November 1st, 2014, 07:15 PM   #13
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

Spoke to a couple of people from Sony at PhotoPlusExpo.
The X70 will have the same UHD (4K) codec as the AX100.
They gave me a delivery date range (subject to change) of between March and May 2015.
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Old November 1st, 2014, 08:08 PM   #14
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

The next time someone is talking to Sony and can get some "unofficial" details, I'd love to know if the X70 upgrade to 4K will also add the 120fps of the AX100...

I don't even care if it's 720p.
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Old November 1st, 2014, 11:24 PM   #15
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Re: X70's 4K (UHD) Capabilities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Spoke to a couple of people from Sony at PhotoPlusExpo.
The X70 will have the same UHD (4K) codec as the AX100.
They gave me a delivery date range (subject to change) of between March and May 2015.
It may end up being the MXF wrapper like the Z100 rather than mp4 like the AX1 and AX100 but just lower frame rates not 50/60P

Ron Evans
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