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


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Old May 19th, 2015, 11:02 AM   #1
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the X70 coming from the NX7OU

I've had the the NX70U for years and I love it. I wanted to get another one but to my surprise, they discontinued it. So I just got the X70. They look similar but I am having a tough time with the layout of the buttons. Here are my gripes:

The menu rocker button is very awkward for my thumb to reach. And the menu button location is also in an akward spot, as is trying to fine tune that little adjustment knob.
The extended NV100 batteries interfere with the eyecup.
The focus/zoom ring is very awkward to use. It just feels so cramped.
Not being able to use the XAVC footage is a real bummer. I don't understand how they could put a product through to production before the NLE's can use the footage!?!

I was excited to get the x70 and was looking forward to the 4K ability but I have to admit, after holding this thing and really fumbling around with it's awkward build design, I'm a little disappointed.

I know I will need to just get used to it. I am surprised that I could not find anyone talking about this camera replacing the NX7OU. Or the 7OU users migrating to this camera. Curious if there are any here and what they think.

Will play some more and report back.
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Old May 19th, 2015, 12:49 PM   #2
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

Premiere Pro has always been able to edit XAVC files from the X70. I think Edius too. There are ways to transcode to other formats if you need.

As you say I'm sure it will just take some time to adjust to the controls. I've got a VariZoom on mine which lets me do zoom easily, and the X70 has touch to focus on the LCD as an option, but I find the ring to be fine for focus, especially with the focus assist button.
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Old May 19th, 2015, 01:35 PM   #3
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

Hi John, Here's my experiences so far moving from NX70's to X70's

We have 4 NX70's (2 per wedding crew) & have purchased 2 X70's a few months ago to replace one of the kit bags, but we've found that some of our 'camera assistants' are really struggling to get to grips with the new X70's.

The main problem they've been having is with manually focusing during ceremonies & speeches (AF is as good as useless when there are photographers flashes going off as it causes the X70 to focus hunt). They're used to absolutely trusting the focus peaking on the NX70's & have found that on the X70's it simply can't be relied upon - you MUST use the 'focus magnifier' for critical focusing as the peaking leaves too much margin for error coupled with the fact that the focus ring is far too sensitive and a turn of just a hair's width can be the difference between in & out of focus shots - plug your X70 into an HD TV & try it - you'll be surprised.

We have had lots of luck though by 'trusting the technology' & using things like face detection, touch spot focus etc., these modern helpers seem to work well & we may use them as standard operating procedure going forward & ditching the traditional 'zoom in, set focus, zoom out' mentality - It seems that the X70 is a professional camera for the Facebook/cameraphone generation which works beautifully as long as you trust the toys and the technology.

Other annoyances are...... it's a pain to set manual white balance, the idiotic battery/eyecup issue, I won't mention the XAVC-L debacle (Oops I just did!), switching off the camera (closing the screen) does not stop the camera recording - I found that out the hard way with a 4 hour shot of nothing at the end of a first dance clip, the lack of a decent lens hood & having to use a lens cap, woeful battery life etc.

Plus it isn't waterproof!


However it's not all bad & there are areas where it's light years ahead of the NX70

1. The zoom rocker works like a zoom rocker
2. Locking exposure is as simple as pressing just 3 physical buttons instead of the 8 button press/touch screen hell on the NX70
3. The zoom rocker works like a zoom rocker
4. Far more useable low light footage at higher gain levels - no more muddy mushy mess of the NX70
5. It has 2 zoom rockers!
6. Picture quality is light years ahead, Picture Profiles are also a godsend - I have mine set with Black level +8 & Gamma/Color Mode set to Still & I absolutely love the footage.
7. 50mbps & 422 (Not that I use it to be honest)
8. 4k - at some point (bet they delay it!)
9. Two hot shoes
10. Audio through the XM1 mics seems a little better than the NX70's (subjective)
11. Camera settings can be transferred between cameras
12. Did I mention the zoom rocker?
13. Lens is far far higher quality with much less C.A. at the tele end
14. The 1" sensor produces really nice images with higher DR & shallower DOF - getting the NX70 to produce a shallow DOF is nigh on impossible
15. Auto white balance is completely usable in all situations except multi camera shoots
16. The zoom rocker works like a zoom rocker


In my experience with it, ergonomically it will grow on you & for a skilled operator, the X70 is light years ahead of the NX70. If you're willing to give it time & put in the effort with it - you'll be rewarded with stunning results!
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Old May 19th, 2015, 03:51 PM   #4
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

wow, thanks guys. Nice to see some love for the NX70's! I cannot image having both of these cams in a gig. It would be a mental workout trying to remember the settings for both since they are so different. Nice to see guys still rocking video cameras at weddings too. I thought I was the last of a dying breed. Seems like everyone has jumped ship to SLR video.
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Old May 20th, 2015, 04:04 PM   #5
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

I've not come from the NX70 but the NX3. Both the same type of sensor I believe. I have given up a lot easy to hand manual controls to go down the X70 route. It actually operates more like a DSLR than a video cam largely due to there being only one lens ring so there is a bit of button using going on.

Yes, it will take some getting used to. I'm getting there and each wedding that goes by I feel I'm getting more to grips with the cam. It was no hassle at all to move from the Z7 to the NX3 but this is a different story.

Focus can be an issue but that is largely down the the 1 inch sensor size which is a very recent development in this type of cam. Usually cams in this price range would be around 1/3 inch chips. Easy to focus but achieving shallow depth of field can be a problem. I find the DOF in DSLR cams to be a bit extreme so find the X70 a nice compromise.

However, when I compare the footage this cam shoots to that of the NX3 it's all worth it. So much sharper looking and low noise as well. Not as sensitive as the NX3 but that's only half the story as upping the gain is pretty acceptable all the way up to 21db. NX3 was 12 at best and when I compare the two the X70 looks way better at 21 than the NX3 at 12.

My only gripe is the white balance. Not a nightmare to use but making small adjustments means going into a menu unlike when I had a wheel on the NX3.

Stick with it though. It's a nice compromise between a standard sensor size video cam and a DSLR.
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Old May 26th, 2015, 05:49 AM   #6
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

One thing I'll also add is that for some reason the audio seems to have a much improved sound on the X70.

I use the old XM1 shotguns from the NX70's on the X70's & the audio seems richer with better dynamic range and a fuller sound - upgraded pre-amps perhaps??

Also when using auto gain, I find the levels are higher and the sound is slightly more natural & less compressed, whilst at the same time when looking at the audio levels, it actually looks like the sound is more compressed - perfect for my uses!!
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Old May 26th, 2015, 08:38 AM   #7
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

Perhaps the improved audio is due to the 24-bit recording on the X70, versus 16-bits on the NX70? Those extra bits do allow for a greater dynamic range which is highly desirable for doing compression.
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Old June 4th, 2015, 03:09 PM   #8
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

Just finished reading the manual. Trying to get a handle on the settings.

1. Someone mentioned 2 hot shoes? I don't see any. Well, there is one that the handle/sound goes onto. And then I have just a shoe atop the sound mixer.

2. The focus. I read about how flashes can disrupt the focusing. I have found that it also doesn't really "guess" very well either. It often picks the wrong thing to focus on, and when it is obvious it takes a really long time to focus in. Like 3 or 4 seconds. This seems really bad.

3. The battery life is terrible! OMG. I can almost watch it go down. I am using the 100 batteries and it dropped 75% in just 2 days while I was fooling around in the menus. Are there any things I can turn off that would help preserve battery life?

Not meaning to nitpick, just wondering how you are dealing with these issues. Thanks.
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Old June 4th, 2015, 09:46 PM   #9
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

1. There's an extra hot shoe in the box that can be screwed into the rear spot on the handle, covering up the existing threaded hole there. There are four tiny mounting holes for the screws around that larger threaded hole.

2. The focus is not super speedy, although once you learn where the focus zone is you can control it better. And I only see times that slow in low light. I find that for every time I find myself slightly annoyed by the focus speed, I also have at least one instance where I'm glad that it is fairly persistent: the focus is not quick to get thrown off by something temporarily moving across the frame. Ironically I find the touchscreen manual focus great, but actually *faster* than I want most of the time.

3. I've not really noticed the battery time being terrible, but then the batteries are so small that I always carry three. I have two inexpensive Wasabi FV100 type batteries that work well. I find that "playing around" may eat batteries even more than straight shooting.

Coming from my previous Canon XF100 (which the X70 surpasses in numerous ways) one of my biggest frustrations is the image stabilization. It's not bad, but decidedly average. I find myself using Active Stabilization most of the time, wishing I had brought a tripod/monopod more often, and using Stabilization in post far more than I did with my Canon.
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Old June 4th, 2015, 10:05 PM   #10
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

John/David,
Do you mean a shoe with connecting terminals when you say 'hot shoe'? in that case the answer is no, just two cold shoes and the connection that the handle/XLR set connects to.
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Old June 4th, 2015, 10:16 PM   #11
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

Sorry, was speaking generically since I don't have any use for a hot shoe on a video camera. Yes, the rear of the handle can be changed to a second cold shoe.
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Old June 4th, 2015, 11:09 PM   #12
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

Having owned both I can tell you that the PXW-X70 is a FAR better camera in almost every way:

The PXW-X70 has.....

A MUCH, MUCH M-U-C-H better zoom handle
Better top handle with another zoom rocker that is constant speed programmable
Way sharper lens that is actually sharp in the corners
Picture profiles with black levels, gamma curves, knee/slope, black stretch and much more.
Dual SDXC recording
Sharper LCD
Bulletproof 10bit 4:2:2 codec with 4k future
Much better sensor that resolves significantly more detail
Better low light

The NX70 has....

Weatherproofing
A more stylish looking body


That's it, those are the big points for me. The PXW-X70 is just a far better camera in just about every important category.
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Old June 4th, 2015, 11:17 PM   #13
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Buckhout View Post
Perhaps the improved audio is due to the 24-bit recording on the X70, versus 16-bits on the NX70? Those extra bits do allow for a greater dynamic range which is highly desirable for doing compression.
One bad thing about the X70 is that it has a pretty dirty and high noise floor. Using line level inputs, you get a noise floor that is in the mid to high 60's...so around -68db. (not great but "OK") Use the mic level preamps and that noise goes up 10-20db...ends up maybe floating around -50db-ish


So unfortunately, the wonderful 24bit audio bit depth is completely wasted on this cameras audio circuit.
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Old June 5th, 2015, 08:50 AM   #14
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

Thanks guys. I too use the wasabi 100s. I have 8 of them now since I share with my NX7. Yes, cold shoe. That's what I thought. Forgot about that one that mounts on the screw. What do you think one could use the threads on the handle for?
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Old June 5th, 2015, 10:00 AM   #15
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Re: the X70 coming from the NX7OU

Threaded hole on the handle is just another mounting point for accessories. With the cold shoe or a 3/8 to 1/4 adapter, etc. you can mount pretty much anything there - led light, external monitor or recorder, etc. I've only used mine with the cold shoe for a second wireless lav receiver though.
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