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Old May 23rd, 2015, 06:25 PM   #1
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Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

I'm admittedly a HUGE Sony fanboy and have owned 16 Sony cameras in 20 years.

I own a Hanycam AX100 and I just purchased an X70. Like others here, I'm anxious to get the 4k upgrade for it. However, I do have a big concern about it. The 60Mbp/s codec is really the rock bottom bit rate that you can shoot UHD with. (It's litterally 15Mbp/s per HD quadrent of the UHD frame)

Considering that the rest of the industry and all other Sony cameras shoot at 100 Mbp/s or higher. The AX100, AX33 and even Sony's new Action Cam has a 100Mbp/s codec. Literally ALL Panasonic, JVC and Canon 4K cameras shoot at 100Mbp/s or higher. (because realistically, every manufacturer knows it's very necessary)

This leaves the Sony X70 all alone and by itself with the LOWEST 4K (UHD) bit rate in the industry.

This really is a shame. Can somebody please tell me why Sony is doing this? The X70 is an "XDCAM" with a codec that is easily beat by it's Handycam and Action Cam cousins.

This is embarrassing and it's a shame.

CT
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 07:12 PM   #2
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

and what bitrate is that?
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 07:18 PM   #3
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

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Originally Posted by Jim Stamos View Post
and what bitrate is that?
It was in the original post.

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
The 60Mbp/s codec is really the rock bottom bit rate that you can shoot UHD with.
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 07:40 PM   #4
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

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and what bitrate is that?
Sony is offering 60Mbp/s in the next paid firmware upgrade. Im perfectly happy to pay for this. I think its fully justified on Sony's part. However, 60Mbp/s is just WAY too low. If you have ever tried to grade 60Mbp/s you know that it falls appart rapidly. if you bend or stretch any area of it than it immediately falls apart with compression artifacts coming from everywhere.

This is why Panasonic, Canon, JVC and all other Sony products DONT use 60Mbp/s!

Sony will not officially commit to 100Mbp/s and that is a total mystery to me. (They say they "might" go higher at a later date)

Why is Sony holding back on this and allowing the X70 to exist all alone as "the lowest 4k bitrate camera in the industry"

Sony...please do the right thing here. If you are going to do 4K on a "Pro XDCAM" model, at least give it the bit rate that your consumer "Action Cam" records to on Micro SD cards!

CT
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 08:43 PM   #5
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

Here is a simple run down of the other 4k (UHD) models that exist today:


JVC GY-HM200 = 150Mbp/s (Sony's DIRECT competitor to the X70)

JVC GY-HM170 = 150Mbp/s (Sony's DIRECT competitor to the X70...much cheaper than X70 w/4K)

Panasonic/Lumix DMC-GH4K = 100Mbp/s (Allot cheaper than Sony X70)

Panasonic HC-WX970K = 72 Mbp/s (Very cheap consumer entry level camera)

Panasonic HC-VX870K = 72 Mbp/s (Extremely cheap consumer entry level camera)

Panasonic DMC-FZ1000 = 100 Mbp/s (Consumer high zoom model - less than half X70's price)

Panasonic DMC-LX100K = 100 Mbp/s (Consumer 4k pocket camera - less than half of X70's price)

Panasonic DMC-G7KK = 100 Mbp/s (Extremely cheap, entry level consumer MFT model)

Canon XC10 = 305 Mbp/s (Similar price to X70 w/4K...similar 1 inch type sensor)

Sony FDRX1000V Action cam = 100 Mbp/s (Sony's consumer "GoPro" model!!!...1/5th the cost of the X70)

Sony Handycam AX33 = 100Mbp/s (Very cheap, base entry level consumer 4K model)

Sony Handycam AX100 = 100Mbp/s (High end "consumer" 4k (UHD) model)

Sony PXW X70 = 60 Mbp/s (Professional XDCAM PROFESSIONAL market model)

There you have it. The numbers don't lie. All of these camera are either similar in price to the Sony PXW X70...or far, FAR cheaper.

Sony, if you cant put 100Mbp/s on the next paid firmware, that's OK. However, please do make a public statement and commit to 100Mbp/s as a future firmware release. That is all I'm asking.

The industry has shown that 100Mbp/s is the "reasonable" low end H.264, 8 bit, 4:2:0, 4K codec bitrate...not 60Mbp/s

Sony, I know that you already understand all of this....so why?

CT

p.s Does anybody else feel as strongly about this problem as I do?

Last edited by Cliff Totten; May 23rd, 2015 at 09:27 PM.
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 10:39 PM   #6
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

The source for the X70 is the AX100 that already has 100Mbps and to be fair the price difference to the CX900 is about the same cost as the X70 upgrade to 4K but of course the AX100 has 100Mbps for that. If Sony really want to make the X70 competitive then 150Mbps for 50/60P would be the differentiator. I would likely buy for that but the DVX200 is looking more attractive even though every other camera I have is a Sony.

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Old May 23rd, 2015, 11:28 PM   #7
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

I'm happy with the X70 base price of $2000. I'm happy with a $500 4K upgrade. I'd gladly pay that for 100Mbp/s. My complaint is that if Sony is going to add 4K, it needs to at lease be "consumer-level" 100Mbp/s 4K to match their own lower models and match their competition.

If Sony offered 150Mbp/s like JVC does, I'd even be happy if they had a two tier upgrade path:

$500 = Plan 1 - 60Mbp/s & 100 Mbp/s to match the AX100 and most other manufacturers standards.

$750 = Plan 2 - 60Mbp/s & 100 Mbp/s & 150 Mbp/s.

60Mbp/s is almost worthless. The only thing you could really use the 4K upgrade for at that point is the 4k HDMI output for a Shogun recorder or something.

Sony, please match your competitors or even better,...please match your own cheaper 4k models!

I'm trying to get a customer fire started here in the hopes that Sony will listen.
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Old May 24th, 2015, 02:26 AM   #8
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

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Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
The source for the X70 is the AX100 that already has 100Mbps and to be fair the price difference to the CX900 is about the same cost as the X70 upgrade to 4K but of course the AX100 has 100Mbps for that. If Sony really want to make the X70 competitive then 150Mbps for 50/60P would be the differentiator. I would likely buy for that but the DVX200 is looking more attractive even though every other camera I have is a Sony.

Ron Evans
Generally agree with your statements but I notice though that there are some caveats that come with the Panasonic DVX200 in getting that higher bit rate and that is the windowing of its sensor in UHD.

In the DVX200 at 4K 24p its 28mm wide lens becomes 29.5 and that in 4K 50/60p it becomes 37.2mm! That means they are windowing the sensor by 32.8% to be able to output 50/60p in 4K at 150-mbit. That's a massive crop. With the fact that MFT has a crop factor of 2 x That's a wide end equivalent to 74.4mm in a full frame camera... not very wide in 4K at its widest is it? Even if you had .8 x zoom through wide angle converter that brings it it back to 59.52mm. A 60mm wide end in a fixed lens UHD camera, hmm, well that's a tough ask that one. That lens width wouldn't work for me.

What's also not great in my mind is that at 1280 x 720 in 50 / 60p Panasonic is stating a maximum bit rate of 9-mbit, yes you read correctly 9 -MBIT! With a highly compressed AC3 audio codec to boot. To me that's crazy as it makes the 720p video selection on the DVX200 a pretty useless feature. I don't know about a lot of you guys but I do most of my corporate web based work in 720 50p and 9-mbit just won’t cut it.

I wonder if the X70 will lose lens width in UHD? I don't think so having seen the 24p example here.


I've downloaded the 4K file and it looks pretty good for a cheap camera in spite of it being 60-mbit. As it stands I think the camera as a pure HD cam is well worth the money. If I want full 4K at a higher bit rate I might look elsewhere but at the moment it won't be the DVX200 on its crippled lens spec.

See attached DVX200 specs. Lens width specs under the picture of the camera.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!-dvx200-03.jpg   Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!-dvx200-04.jpg  

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Old May 24th, 2015, 02:38 AM   #9
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

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Originally Posted by Christopher Young View Post
In the DVX200 at 4K 24p its 28mm wide lens becomes 29.5 and that in 4K 50/60p it becomes 37.2mm! That means they are windowing the sensor by 32.8% to be able to output 50/60p in 4K at 150-mbit. That's a massive crop. With the fact that MFT has a crop factor of 2 x That's a wide end equivalent to 74.4mm in a full frame camera... not very wide in 4K at its widest is it?
The 28mm & 37.2mm focal lengths stated are already at the 35mm equivalents - ie. at 50/60p the FOV will be equivalent to 37.2mm on a full frame camera - not that wide but very useable in many situations.

If it is genuinely at an equivalent of 74.4mm that would be a joke & Panasonic would be laughed out of business & the only people would would buy this camera (with 800mm+ equiv. at the tele end) would be people who film birds in flight & peeping toms/perverts!!!
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Old May 24th, 2015, 02:49 AM   #10
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

Don't forget that although 60mbps is low - it doesn't quite equate to 15mbps at Full HD due to the compression algorithms (IIRC the maths from a sony seminar when HD first came out - it would actually be a little higher than 15mbps as an equivalent!)

Actually - No, who am I trying to kid??, it's uselessly low & It should be a minimum of 100mbps.

Grab the torches & pitchforks and we'll all meet up outside the Sony HQ!!
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Old May 24th, 2015, 07:43 AM   #11
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

Yes I noticed the FOV change for the 50/60P of the DVX200 as well. The internal processor may not be able to handle the computations at that rate. Maybe that it why my FDR-AX1 has a fan !! I do not shoot 720P so that is of no concern to me but a wide UHD at 60P is important. So if the final product is like that it too will be off my list. Will just have to keep saving for a FS7 !!!!

I have a FDR-AX100 and a FDR-AX1. The FDR-AX1 does shoot UHD at 30P ( what the X70 would shoot ) at both 60Mbps and 100Mbps and of course the AX100 also shoots at 60Mbps and 100Mbps and I can see the difference !!! I think Sony have got themselves totally confused in model specs by market. 30P for a consumer may be fine but for any thing professional where one would like to crop into a UHD image to 1920x1080 ( why I want UHD ) then I want to match it with interlace 60i from my NX5U or AVCHD 60P from my other cameras. 30P at 60Mbps or 100 Mbps just will not do. There is also a visible difference moving to 150Mbps at 60P on my FDR-AX1 too. The main downside of the FDR-AX1 is poor low light performance.

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Old May 25th, 2015, 04:44 AM   #12
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

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Originally Posted by Paul Hardy View Post
The 28mm & 37.2mm focal lengths stated are already at the 35mm equivalents - ie. at 50/60p the FOV will be equivalent to 37.2mm on a full frame camera - not that wide but very useable in many situations.
Doh! My bad. Of course they are the 35mm stated equivalents. For some reason that just didn't click in my brain. As you say though not very wide that's for sure. Will still be interested to have a look at it all the same.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Old May 27th, 2015, 12:37 PM   #13
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

I think the thing that bothers me the most is at 60Mbp/s...the PXW-X70 sits at the VERY BOTTOM of the industry in 4K (UHD) bit rate. It is literally LAST on the industry model list in 4K codec quality and it's beat by consumer Action Cams and ENRTY LEVEL 4k cameras designed for soccer moms and grandmothers.

The PXW-X70 is a professional market "XDCAM" product. It should, at the very bare minimum, equal the codec performance of it's cheap Handycam and Action cam family members. It certainly should not be passed by them. C'mon Sony,...a cameras codec is one of the top 5 most critical factors.

Are my expectations completely absurd or way off base here?
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Old May 27th, 2015, 12:49 PM   #14
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

I don't think you're off-base here at all. Even if I were to move to 4K, I would require 4:2:2. I haven't seen any details on if the X70 will send out 4K via its HDMI in 4:2:2 or if that will also just be 4:2:0. Pretty sure the HDMI out would also be 8-bit and not 10-bit.

So bit-rate aside, really surprised this pro-level cam doesn't do internal recording of 4K at 4:2:2. That at least would be something when comparing to other cams.
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Old May 27th, 2015, 02:27 PM   #15
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Re: Sony X70 4K - Lowest bit rate in the industry!

Well I agree that the X70 should at least match the AX100. However it is the entry level of XDCAM and if one needs 10 bit 4:2:2 for 4K/UHD it is there in the PXW-Z100 or the FS7. Even these for Long GOP 150 Mbps change to 4:2:0 8 bit. Intra frame 4:2:2 at 10bit needs about 600Mbps so would need a move to XQD cards to achieve this. With the upgrade to 4K as announced the X70 will cost about $1000 more than the AX100 for 10bit 4:2:2 HD , XLR audio, SDi and timecode etc. If you think that is worth it fine. If you want more then move up the family to Z100 or the FS7 and pay 2 to 4 times as much. When you do this you will also get 50/60P , more robust memory cards etc which in my mind is a lot more useful.

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