Broadcast Asia 2014: Sony’s new PXW-X160 and X180 with world first in-built electronic variable ND filter

By technical editor Matt Allard:


Sony released two new HD cameras in the XDCAM series of cameras today at Broadcast Asia in Singapore. The PXW-X160 and X180 both feature three 1/3″full HD Exmor CMOS sensors. A 25x zoom (26mm-650mm 35mm equivalent) lens and a world first electronic variable ND that is adjustable from 1/4 ND to 1/128ND giving you the ability to control depth of field and brightness while maintaining a constant aperture. The details of this system are complex and we hope to find out more in the coming days.

The only differences between the PXW-160 and 180 is that the 180 features wireless and GPS.

Both cameras are aimed squarely at the news, documentary and event shooter. Sony seem to have a lot of cameras that look similar in their handheld range – that said these new offerings over a lot of bang for your buck.

The cameras are compatible with many types of recording codecs including XAVC Intra at 100Mb/s XAVC Long Gop at 50Mb/s at frame rates up to 60p in full HD. It can also record 120fps in 720p. They both record 10bit 4.2.2.

Another feature of the cameras is that they feature a Sony Multi-Interface shoe that can supply power and receive audio signals from the Sony UWP-D11 or UWP-D12 wireless radio mics without the need for cables (with and adapter).

We are seeing a lot of inovations from Sony lately, from the electronic variable ND to the high sensitivity of the a7s. Don’t be surprised if these features find there way into many more cameras models in the future.

Both the PXW-X160 and X180 will ship in August this year for $5100 US and $6300 US respectively.

In other Sony news the popular PMW300 and 400 ENG cameras will soon have the ability to record XAVC Intra and Long Gop.

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