All the inside details on Sony's ground-breaking new compact camcorder

Is this model a successor to an existing Sony camcorder?

No. This is an all-new concept specifically designed to bring the very latest technology to this product category. We think it’s a very strong proposition for professional users who’ve previously used a consumer camcorder or DSLR, but now need professional video features. The HXR-NX100 should also be a compelling upgrade for customers currently using tape media products and requiring a higher speed workflow with solid state media.

What advantages does the HXR-NX100 offer compared to competitor products?

Compared to its principal competitor at this price-point, the HXR-NX100 has a very significant advantage in picture quality due to its large 1.0 type Exmor R CMOS sensor and Sony G lens. Moreover, it features a built-in 4-step ND filter for easier exposure control in bright scenes, while Sony’s advanced XAVC S codec recording at 50Mbps offers excellent picture quality and exceptional efficiency. In addition, the HXR-NX100’s Multi Interface (MI) Shoe makes it to easy to work with a wide range of accessories without the need for cables, for example the HVL-LBPC Video Light and the UWP-D wireless microphone series.

What are the target applications of the HXR-NX100?

These days, compact camcorders are used in many applications and with the HXR-NX100’s superior picture performance, we expect it will be used for a wide range of professional applications, from events to documentaries.

What is the overall concept of the HXR-NX100?

The entry-level professional camcorder market is where a lot of people begin their professional careers. We want to make sure Sony has the very best solution, an affordable, compact camcorder capable of stunning results with a no-compromise big sensor and a familiar, proven set of manual controls. The HXR-NX100 is our most affordable professional camcorder.

As an entry-level NXCAM camcorder, the HXR-NX100 offers professional features in an easy-to-use body, achieving high cost performance. Nothing is compromised in terms of the camcorder’s quality, it has a truly professional, robust handheld design with extensive manual controls to develop advanced shooting skills.

Who is the HXR-NX100 aimed at?

The HXR-NX100 can be used for a wide variety of professional applications. It is an entry-level professional camcorder, ideal for users who are looking for their first professional camcorder, users who want to step-up from consumer models and low-end shoulder models, and users who want to make the move from tape media to memory recordings.

The camcorder’s compact size make it ideal for shooting scenes that require high mobility, for example, for interviews and can be operated by one person, or as a second camera for documentary shooting, educational users and governmental and public services.

What are the camcorder’s key features?

The HXR-NX100 camcorder comes with a 1.0 type Exmor R CMOS sensor, 12x optical zoom lens (maximum 48x combined with Clear Image Zoom and Digital Extender), 3 manual lens rings, high quality EVF and LCD screen, plus XAVC S 50Mbps Full HD, AVCHD and DV recordings.

What are the advantages of a single 1.0 type sensor?

The HXR-NX100’s single 20.2 megapixel 1.0 type Exmor R CMOS sensor is approximately the same size as a 16mm film frame. The key benefit of this large size is low noise and less blur because more light reaches the sensor, offering clear and steady pictures even in a dark scene. The large sensor size also enables beautiful background defocusing (bokeh) to enable you to focus on what you want to show and defocus the rest of the image.

Most cameras in this class use 3CMOS 1/4.7 type sensors in an effort to keep costs under control. The HXR-NX100’s 1.0 type sensor is approximately four times larger in size than even the three sensors combined, with high resolution. Consequently, we believe the HXR-NX100 offers a step-change in imaging performance in its category.

Why doesn’t this model support 4K recording? Is there any firmware updating plan?

The HXR-NX100 has been designed from the start to provide the absolute best performance for Full-HD production scenarios. It provides multiple choices, including AVCHD and DV, which are suitable for conventional workflows, as well as the newly implemented XAVC S 50Mbps, which delivers better image quality. We believe this is where most target users will be working with this camcorder and wanted to fully dedicate the performance of the camera to Full-HD. Currently there is no firmware updating plan to support 4K or other features.

What is XAVC S and why does it matter?

XAVC S offers stunning picture quality, above all, but also workflow flexibility and storage efficiency. The XAVC S format was developed by Sony in April 2013, building on the basic concept of the original XAVC format used for professional recording and is already supported by all the major NLEs. The NX100 also supports AVCHD and DV recording, so it’s easy to stay with those established workflows, but we think most people will quickly move to XAVC S.

In XAVC S, the HXR-NX100 uses the MP4 file format, sampling at 4:2:0 8-bit 50 Mbps. Compared to AVCHD, XAVC S 50Mbps captures more details and less noise thanks to the higher bitrate of XAVC S.

How does the HXR-NX100 compare with Sony’s PXW-X70 and HXR-NX3?

As you would expect, a higher price point for the PXW-X70 and HXR-NX3 offers some significant advantages for those who need higher performance.

The PXW-X70 is widely regarded as an optimum second camcorder for high-end professional models such as PXW-X180/X160. Compared with the HXR-NX100, the PXW-X70 has many similar characteristics but the PXW-X70 also includes XAVC-L with 4:2:2 10-bit recordings and even 4K resolution for higher picture quality, as well as Wi-Fi, 3G-SDI and an even more compact body.

For the HXR-NX3, its advantages are a higher image quality from its 3 chip 1/3 type CMOS sensors and brighter lens, greater zoom range, built-in video light with a larger body size for stable shooting.

The specification of the lens of HXR-NX100 seems the same as that of PXW-X70. Do they share the same optical design?

No, the lens of HXR-NX100 was specifically designed for it with Sony’s unique optical and mechanical engineering expertise. Although its specification is similar to that of PXW-X70, its optical and mechanical construction is not the same as PXW-X70’s.

Contact your local Sony solutions specialist today to find out more