Sony announces NXCAM HXR-NX3 Pro Handheld HD camcorder with 3 x CMOS sensors

Written by RedShark News Staff

SonySony NXCAM HXR-NX3

 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

●     Zoom

●     Iris

●     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

Basingstoke, UK, December 10, 2013: Sony today announced the HXR-NX3 handheld HD camcorder, the latest addition to the NXCAM line-up. Perfect for the professional videographer, the HXR-NX3 combines Sony’s exceptional imaging technology with the ability to connect seamlessly with other devices such as smartphones or tablet computers with built-in WiFi technology allowing the camcorder to be controlled remotely.

The HXR-NX3 combines leading lens, sensor and LSI technology to achieve impressive image quality.  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. A newly developed LSI that includes advanced noise reduction and several distortion correction technologies handles image processing, allowing clear, low-noise recordings to be captured even in low light.

Sony’s G Lens delivers stunning image quality as well as a wide zoom range that offers a 28.8mm angle of view at the wide end, with a 20x optical zoom range that will easily cover most shooting situations.

In addition, the newly developed LSI contains cutting edge 40x “Clear Image Zoom” technology which offers 1152mm(*1) focal length with virtually the same quality as optical zoom. The LSI also includes advanced noise reduction and several distortion correction technologies to handle image processing and deliver notable improvements in image quality. The recorded images are remarkably lifelike in both texture and detail, as a result.        

The HXR-NX3 records video in AVCHD 2.0 format, which includes 1080/50P, for smooth, natural subject motion. 50i and 25p modes provide playback compatibility with Blu-ray players. The HDMI connector provides uncompressed 8bit 4:2:2 while shooting and allows users to record stunning images on a generic external video recorder. The ability to record in DV format is also provided for users who prefer a DV workflow and who need to work in a DV compatible non-linear editing environment.

As well as outstanding imaging capabilities the HXR-NX3 can connect effortlessly with other devices to be controlled remotely or transfer footage. iOS (versions 4.3 through 7.0) and Android (versions 2.3 through 4.3) smartphones or tablet computers can be used to remotely control the HXR-NX3 through a WiFi connection and video files can be transferred from camcorder to smartphone(*2). Remote control features include:

●     Monitoring of camera material on the smartphone display

●     Record start/stop

●     Zoom

●     Iris

●     Touch AF (Auto Focus) function

The HXR-NX3 is capable of light MP4 file simultaneous recording. The MP4 (720p, 3Mbps) is a network friendly file that can be transferred wirelessly from the camcorder to a smartphone or tablet computer with the PlayMemories™ Mobile smartphone application(*3). Once transferred, the MP4 file can be uploaded to a cloud server, social media, video share site and other platforms (*4). PlayMemories™ Mobile can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or App Store.

The HXR-NX3 also has a cutting edge NFC (Near field communication) chipset which allows users to establish a WiFi connection simply by touching an NFC compatible smartphone or tablet computer on the camcorder.

The HXR-NX3 also comes with a number of additional features for versatility when filming and to minimize the need for additional equipment. The camcorder can capture footage in both slow and quick motion in full HD quality, with 2x slow motion and 50x quick motion easily achievable. Elsewhere, Dual media slots allow simultaneous recording to two SD memory cards in ‘Simul’ mode, while ‘Relay’ mode switches recording automatically to the second memory card when the first is full. The two cards can also be controlled independently from two recording buttons. This flexible control allows users to start/stop recording on one memory card, while continuing to record on the other, for proof recording (*5).  A built in LED video light is also included above the camcorder microphone for convenient illumination for a wide range of shooting situations (*6).                   

Kanta Yamamoto, Strategic Planning Manager, Sony Professional, Sony Europe, said: “The HXR-NX3 is a fantastic addition to the Sony NXCAM line-up especially for filmmakers working for corporate, event, wedding and education videos. We also expect the MP4 function to make it a hit with web journalists who need to share images with colleagues as quickly as possible, while the WiFi remote and built-in LED video light can make filming interviews easier. The HXR-NX3 is destined to become the ‘go to’ camcorder in the handheld field. As you would expect, it includes outstanding imaging capabilities that allow videographers to capture rich, detailed footage in a range of environments. A wide range of additional features make the HXR-NX3 the perfect camera for the videographers looking for high quality performance, adaptability and ease of use.”             

Sony Professional Solutions Europe will deliver the HXR-NX3/VG1 which comes with Sony’s high quality ECM-VG1 shot-gun monaural microphone. The HXR-NX3/VG1 will be available in Europe from end of January.

*1-35mm film equivalent

*2-WiFi operation cannot be guaranteed with all smartphones and tablet computers.

*3-PlayMemories™ Mobile is a common Sony mobile application used for Sony WiFi compatible consumer products such as Handycam®, Actioncam, α, Cybershot™ cameras and so on.

*4- MP4 recording is not available when AVCHD 50P is selected. Only MP4 files can be transferred wirelessly. Timecode is not included in MP4 files. Uploading to web servers/sites must be done via separate applications installed on the smartphone or tablet computer.

*5-When the MP4 recording is activated, Simul mode and Relay mode are not available.

*6- An external microphone connected via the XLR connector may cast a shadow if used simultaneously with the built-in LED video light.

 

Tags: Production

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