This may be a neat, conventional-looking HD camera, but there are some surprises under the hood
Proving that there's more to a good camera than a single large sensor and raw output, Sony's just announced the latest addition to their more conventional camcorder family, the HXR-NX3.
As we've recently discussed, fixed-lens cameras with smaller sensors have some significant advantages over their more fussy large sensor relatives.
Well aware of this, but possibly not convinced that their customers are, Sony spells it out in their press release:
"Sony’s Exmor™ 3CMOS Sensor system with three 1/2.8” sensors provides 1920x1080 Full HD effective pixel count. As a result red, blue and green light are independently and accurately captured by separate image sensors, contributing to high resolution, high sensitivity and wide dynamic range that creates extraordinary natural colour reproduction."
With no debayering (because each colour channel is captured separately) we should be able to expect very good colour performance, high sensitivity and a good dynamic range. Focusing will be easier because the smaller sensors will provide a wider depth of field; not necessarily what film makers want but for everyone else, it means that they're more likely to get usable shots!
Clean HDMI output for external recording
The camera records to AVCHD 2.0 at up to 1080/50p (in Europe) and uncompressed 8 bit 4:2:2 is available through the HDMI output for connection to an external recorder. (It's interesting that manufacturers are now including this information - a recognition, surely, that some users like the option to record the uncompressed output externally).
The device can simultaniously record MP4 720p at 3 Mbit/s, a "network-friendly" format that is ideal for transfer to other devices.
Proving that the new camera is designed for the era of mobile computing, it comes with WiFi capabilities that allow it to transfer footage and be remotely controlled from iOS and Android smartphones or tablets.
According to Sony, remote functions include:
● Monitoring of camera material on the smartphone display
● Record start/stop
● Touch AF (Auto Focus) function
For the first time that we can remember, the new camera has an NFC (Near Field Communication) capability which is used to handshake with WiFi enabled devices. Just touch the two items together and a WiFi link is set up automatically.
For full details, read the Sony Press Release after the break