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Sony looks to change the way cameras feel with the new PXW-X400

3 minute read

SonyThe new X400 - coming next February

Sony’s newly announced PXW-X400 is not just a new XDCAM shoulder camcorder for ENG work, it’s designed to sit differently on the shoulder.

There are quite a few headline features on the new Sony PXW-400, but probably the one that will jump out more to people who actually use such machines as this in the field is the new weight distribution.

The company says that it has essentially altered the inner structure of the camcorder body, thus “drastically” improving the weight balance and handling capabilities of the PXW-X400 compared to similar camcorders before it. Couple that with a newly introduced 20x manual lens (a 16x auto focus option will follow after release) and the company says that front-heavy issues become a thing of the past, “dramatically reducing” the load on the right-hand.

This is welcome stuff. Ergonomics is an oft-neglected part of modern camera design, which, given the affection that units such as the Aaton film camera are held in, seems a bit of an oversight on behalf of the manufacturers. Still, Sony has been doing some sterling work in this field of late — witness the recently released PXW-FS7 4K, which we described as having the veritable cat sitting on your shoulder  — so we’re already looking forward to picking one of these up and feeling the way it hefts.

And if it is a cat then this new XDCAM unit is a remarkably well connected one. An Ethernet interface enables direct connection to a network when wireless LAN is not available or flaky, NFC technology provides a one-touch link between the camera and a mobile device; and an “ONLINE button” (Sony’s caps) gives users direct on/off control over direct streaming transmission to assigned destinations; auto-uploading of proxy or high-resolution files to cloud services and FTP servers and more.

It also rather importantly features XAVC 50p recording (60p recording will be supported on XAVC-Long format only).

Expect to see it available from February 2016.

More after the break.

New advanced XDCAM shoulder camcorder launched by Sony for News and Broadcast operations

New PXW-X400 model shows optimal weight balance, extensive network and wireless functions for faster to air content.
Basingstoke, November 9th, 2015: Sony’s newest addition to its PXW series of shoulder-mount camcorders – the PXW-X400 – delivers stronger network and wireless capabilities, improved weight balance, XAVC 50p recording*¹and pool feed functions to give ENG and field production professionals a versatile and high-performance tool.

“This new camcorder combines all the capabilities professional shooters need – enlarged connectivity for content faster to air, improved ergonomics for easier operation on the field, and high performance for efficient workflows – in a true news and broadcast production workhorse.” said Lucie Wendremaire, Product Marketing Manager, Sony Professional, Sony Europe.  “The various additions of features like XAVC 50p recording and pool feed make the PXW-X400 a perfect fit for today’s demanding field content creation requirements.”

The new camcorder’s Ethernet interface (RJ45 connector) enables direct connection to a network when wireless LAN is unstable or unavailable, for file transfer, live streaming and control from a web browser. A near-field communications (NFC) feature gives users a one-touch link between the camera and a mobile device. The Content Browser Mobile application enables users to preview or remotely control camcorder settings of various menu functions.

The pool feed function (HD/SD SDI) enables the recording of a 1.5G HD-SDI external signal on an SxS card, a useful function to record a distributed signal from another camera on-site without portable deck.

Redesigning the inner structure of camcorder body, Sony has drastically improved the weight balance and handling capabilities compared to predecessor models. The combination of the newly introduced manual lens and the well-balanced body resolve any front-heavy issues and dramatically reduce the load on the right-hand.

The camcorder’s “ONLINE button” lets users bypass a mobile device or the camera’s menu for direct on/off control over the following features: direct streaming transmission of AV signals from a PXW-X400 to assigned destinations; auto-uploading of proxy or high-resolution files to cloud services and FTP servers; and on/off control over Sony’s PWS-100RX1 network station enabling QoS live streaming while shooting.

The low-power (22W) camcorder PXW-X400 uses a 2/3” 3-chip CMOS image sensor and supports several HD and SD formats including XAVC. Lens options include a 20x Manual Focus Lens (PXW-X400KC model) and a 16x Auto Focus Lens*² (PXW-X400KF model). The PXW-X400 model is body-only with neither lens nor viewfinder. The new camcorder supports Sony’s new HDVF-series Full HD OLED Viewfinder (model HDVF-EL20/EL30) for a greater visual comfort, as well as the new URX-S03D, the first 2-channel portable slot-in receiver from the UWP-D Series, and a new bodypack transmitter, the UTX-B03HR, using a true diversity system and Sony Digital Audio Processing.

The PXW-X400 camcorder is planned to be available in February 2016.

*¹60p recording will be supported on only XAVC-Long format.
*²Auto Focus capability will be available in May 2016.

Tags: Production