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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 June 1st, 2015, 09:07 PM   #31
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
I asked question to a Sony rep at an AbelCine regarding the 4K codec and he said something about heat related issues. I find that hard to believe given their consumer cameras size and 4K data rate.

Unless Sony does some PR claiming their 60mbps 4K codec is better than their consumer codec or their competitors higher bit rate codecs, they're going to lose credibility.
Really Sony? Heat?

Sony Handycam AX100:

The consumer-grade Handycam AX100 handles 100Mbp/s perfectly fine. Mine does not even get "warm" on long shoots. Did you remove these great AX100 heat sinks on the PMW X70 professional market "XDCAM" Camcorder? The X70 has a much larger right handle side. It's got even more body space for larger heat sinks. If the answer is "yes",...why would you "downgrade" the X70's heat dissipation ability from the AX100?.

Sony Handycam AX33:

VERY tiny entry level consumer Handycam. It's got a very small body with a servo stabilized lens and sensor track. It has even LESS room for heat dissipation than the professional XDCAM PXW-X70....yet it STILL handles 100Mbp/s with no problem.

Sony 4K Action Cam:

Extremely tiny body that is weather sealed with no cracks for vents. Does it have a massive copper heat sync or active cooling fan? Nope,...yet it STILL accomplishes 100Mbp/s perfectly fine without burning up.

Heat? C'mon Sony. No way.

Sony, Panasonic, JVC and Canon are all doing 100Mbp/s without heat problems on even their very lowest and cheapest models. JVC is doing 150Mbp/s on their direct X70 competitor. In fact, Canon is doing 305 Mbhp/s with a 1 inch type and a body that is smaller than your X70.

Sony, please don't play the "heat" thing. You do it with MUCH smaller cameras just fine. If you decide not to give it 100Mbp/s just say it's for "marketing reasons".

CT
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 07:02 AM   #32
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

The consumer cameras use the Bionz processor but I expect the X70 uses the pro processor used in the PXW-Z100 and the FDR-AX1 that do get hot and have a fan !!! Since they want to use MXF wrapper and SDI output I expect only this pro processor can do that !!! They are different divisions and one wonders if they are different design teams. It may well be a real problem without a fan. The handle is big enough for a fan not sure why they didn't do that and also then have 60P. That would have made the X70 a nice competitive camera. They just announced the HXR-NX100 that is yet another HD camera without 4K. Really not sure what Sony are doing !!!

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Old June 2nd, 2015, 10:52 AM   #33
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

I admittedly have no idea if the PMW-X70 has a BionzX processor or not. However it would seem to me that Sony has used the BionzX in so many products that I can't imagine why they would have it on cheaper models and cut it out on higher models.

I believe the Z100 pre-dates BoinzX. So, BoinzX showed up in products a while after the Z100 hit the market.

With 30 frames per second sensor scanning at the "jell-O" causing, slow clock speed that the X70 has, I strongly suspect the X70 can do 100Mbp/s if Sony has stated that they will do 60Mbp/s with it.

The X70 could have more CPU overhead than the AX100 though. The X70 will have that new "live streaming" firmware and dual recording. (something the AX100 does not have)

If this turns out to be the case, Sony can just simply disable some of the "fluff" options when shooting in 100Mbp/s and make those features unavailable.

Without a good codec, what good is having "4K" in the first place? Having a BELOW CONSUMER level bitrate is just bad.

I suspect the decision will be based much more on Sony "marketing politics" and customer pressure than any other factor.
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 01:48 PM   #34
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

The heat issue does make sense to me. The X70 will no doubt be taxing its processor more than consumer cams due to the extra features it has.

And, the processor itself may indeed be different than what is in the consumer line.
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 03:39 PM   #35
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

I would find it horribly ironic that Sony would put a slower processor in it's professional XDCAM PXW-X70 than it does on it's Handycam AX100.

It would be especially embarrassing for Sony if they designed and marketed this camera as "4K upgradable" while not giving the camera the hardware to "properly" handle this future 4K feature from day one.

I just hope that the X70's "below-consumer" grade, "PAID" codec upgrade is just a stepping stone to a higher bit rate....one that eventually leads it matching entry-level consumer 4K camcorder bit rates.

If it turns out that PXW-X70 professional XDCAM's hardware just can't match all the other lowley 4k models in the industry?...wow,..that would be a dismal failure on Sony's part.

Let's hope all this is not true.
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 09:28 PM   #36
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

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Originally Posted by Ricky Sharp View Post
The heat issue does make sense to me. The X70 will no doubt be taxing its processor more than consumer cams due to the extra features it has.

And, the processor itself may indeed be different than what is in the consumer line.
In terms of "heat", I don't claim to be an expert on Sony codecs or sensor heat sinks.

With that being said, camcorders that shoot 4k, 60p seem to need fans. Most cameras that shoot at 30p don't seem to need fans.

It's not so much the codec chip that is getting hot. The ActionCam has very little heat sinks and doesn't get hot at 100Mbp/s at all.

I think it's the amount of pixels being scanned, the scan clock speed and the amount of full scans per second that generate the most heat.

The PXW-X70 in 4k only scans 30 frames a second and at a relatively slow cycle speed. (hence the rolling shutter skew) When a camera needs to scan at 60p, it is scanning twice the mount of pixels, twice the amount of data and if the scan clock is faster,...allot more heat. (twice as much heat?...maybe. More than twice as much?...maybe) The sensor just cant dissipate or cool down in between cycles the way a 30hz scan does.

30p seems to run cool at slow scan speeds and it's not the codec chip that is overheating at 100Mbps. Again,..all cheap consumer 4k cameras do 100Mbp/s with no problem.

If the X70's main CPU is overwhelmed?...that would be just plan sad and clearly, it was poorly designed form the get go.

I don't think "heat" or "CPU" is the problem. Odd company "politics" is my suspicion.
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 09:42 PM   #37
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

Heat can come from the sensor, the buffer memory, cpu and the circuits to write to the cards plus other stuff I am sure. Certainly in my FDR-AX1 lots gets hot writing 60P at 150Mbps to XQD cards. The fan is small and unless I put my ear next to it I cannot hear it. Why didn't they put a fan in the X70 as it has a big enough handle. The X70 has two cards slots to write to as well as processing for SDI etc so there could be a lot more places that get hot. But I agree at 30P it should at least do 100Mbps.

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Old June 3rd, 2015, 10:25 PM   #38
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

Curious why SONY chose to do this. I would have thought they could at least match the AX100. Im not sure I can see a good reason why.
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Old June 4th, 2015, 12:57 AM   #39
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

As previously noted, when I asked a Sony rep at a recent appearance they told me the low bit rate was due to heat related issue. That they are charging $500 for a bit rate exceeding for their own less expensive consumer cameras is a serious business mistake.
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Old June 4th, 2015, 01:00 AM   #40
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

And to rub salt into the 60mbps wound, it looks like our friends in China get the update for free!

From the FW update page.......

Contents of update :
1.) Recording/playing back/outputting in 4K (QFHD) (CBKZ-X70FX (sold separately) is necessary)
*For China, CBKZ-X70FX will not be sold. 4K activation will be available at the local service centre.

Another win for Sony marketing!
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Old June 4th, 2015, 03:30 AM   #41
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

This my first venture into Sony, previously use Panasonic. While the X70 is great, Im totally bemused by the lack of coordination and supreme lack of marketing skills that parts of Sony show. Do they just want to p**s people off or are they just stupid?
Now I've got that ability to load straight into FCPX, I'll live with the idiotic white balance controls and I'll forgo 4K until they come to their senses.
Still a great price for such a highly specced camera. Can't say the same for marketing. (Should we really call it marketing? wouldn't 'screwing up' be a better phrase?)
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Old June 4th, 2015, 09:33 AM   #42
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

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Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post
Yes, Canon and Sony are leaving the middle ground wide open at the moment and that's where JVC with the LS300 and (I think especially) Panasonic with the DVX200 will gain significant sales in the next 12 months.

I was all set to buy either a "cheap" 4K camera (initially I thought the X70, then I leaned towards the JVC HM200) and "dabble with 4K" - or go the whole hog and buy a C300MkII. but more and more I'm getting close to pre-ordering the DVX200 as it meets so many of my needs for the type of shooting I do. I also feel uncomfortable about paying the high price tag of the C300MkII when it still has a few compromises from my perspective and the 4K camera landscape is changing so very fast.

Although we have yet to see images from it, the DVX200 is likely to offer a decent (enough) step into 4K without breaking the bank. Still wish it did 150Mbps in 4K though, not 100Mbps, although I like the idea of 200Mbps for HD, when needed. 120 fps in HD could be useful for some slomo effects too. The X70 is now off my list with its lowly 60Mbps 4K codec limit.
Sounds like good reasoning to me. The Elephant in The Room question is not weather the C300MkII is a great camera, its about value. Is it worth an "added 10K" over other cameras like the AJA or Black Magic or the JVC etc. TEN THOUSAND MORE .... seriously ??

In your example, the pending DVX200 is not the same kind of camera per se, but its a 4k image with a single sensor and a built-in V-log profile with a gamma curve that mirrors the Panasonic VeriCam 35 for more then 10,000 less then the Canon. You cant afford not to look seriously at it.
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Old June 4th, 2015, 09:38 AM   #43
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

Im sure there is a Delete button here somewhere - LOL
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Old June 4th, 2015, 11:41 AM   #44
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

I took that to mean the upgrade will not be sold *online* and user installed. For some reason in China it will require physically bringing the camera into a service center for the 4K upgrade.
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Old June 4th, 2015, 01:22 PM   #45
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

In another thread (covering the firmware 2.0 update), it's been stated that one cannot record 4K internally while sending a 4K signal out via HDMI for external recording. I cannot confirm that myself. But if true, that's another strike against the X70's 4K solution.

After reading the 2.0 update guide, there's a decent set of features not available when recording 4K (e.g. S&Q motion)

It really does seem that the unit is being completely "maxed out" when having to deal with 4K footage. Look at all the features one loses if wanting to record at that resolution.

I'm very glad I decided to stick to HD for a few years to come. I'm finding the X70 to be a very capable cam for 1080p especially for its price.
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