There is still a demand for small sensor HD only camcorders. Usually they are used by video journalists and news organisations. After all not everyone needs or wants super shallow depth of field, a limited focal range and 4K. Sony still caters for this market and today has expanded its NXCAM line of HD camcorders with the new HXR-NX5R professional compact camcorder, which offers a range of enhancements over its predecessor. The new camera offers a choice of broadcast friendly XAVC-S 50Mbps or established AVCHD/DV recording formats, and simultaneous backup recording through dual SD card slots.
The camcorder uses three 1/2.8-type Full HD Exmor CMOS sensors. The focal range of the lens is 28.8mm to 576mm (35mm equivalent focal length), f1.6-11, and has 40x Clear Image Zoom function, that according to Sony allows users to double the length of the optical zoom without losing image quality. This lens looks to be the exact same one on the previous HXR-NX3.
The XR-NX5R has a 3G-SDI terminal, that supports a Full HD 60p output, handy for live broadcasts and multi-camera setups. It also has a joystick controller that allows you to access key camera functions without entering the menu. The new camera also has a high contrast OLED viewfinder for image monitoring.
Users can take advantage of the camcorder’s advanced network functions, such as built-in Wi-Fi and FTP wireless connections. The camera provides compatibility with Sony’s Multi-Interface (MI) shoe, which allows for integration between the HXR-NX5R and Sony’s UWP-D series wireless microphones without need for cables.
The HXR-NX5R also includes what Sony are claiming to be the industry’s first adjustable brightness LED video light to minimize the need for external lighting equipment. This seems like a strange claim, but I guess they are referring to a camera in this class that actually comes with a LED light as standard.
“The HXR-NX5R’s flexible operations, file transfer options and easy-to-use features are designed for professionals who need to quickly and easily shoot, edit and deliver high-quality content,” said Sebastian Scala, Pro Video Marketing Manager for Sony’s Professional Solutions Americas group. “It’s ideal for corporate or event/wedding production, newsgathering, documentaries, online content creation, nature, sports and more.”
In addition to the HXR-NX5R, Sony have also announced a new compact multi-function remote commander – model RM-30BP. Designed for freelancers and small-budget productions, the lightweight remote can be handheld, placed on a table or attached to a tripod arm for operation. The RM-30BP can control most camera functions including:
Lens control: one push auto / manual focus, iris and zoom control
Camera control: recording / display functions, shutter speed, white balance – including six assignable buttons
Playback and multi camera control (up to 3 cameras)
The new remote can connect to the new MCX-500 for multi camera control directly from the switcher, and is compatible with the new HXR-NX5R and PXW-FS7 with v4.0 firmware, with plans to introduce compatibility for other Sony camcorders. This is great news for owners of the FS7, and will certainly provide great functionality if you are using your camera on a jib or gimbal etc.
The new MCX-500 is an all-in-one switcher system designed for live events or corporate productions, to work alongside the NX5R and the RM-30BP for multi-camera operation. The MCX-500 sends PGM/PVW tally signals to each HXR-NX5R. This feature allows operators to know which camera is selected for live, allowing content creators to handle projects that previously would have required more assistants or a larger team.
The following is planned availability for the new products:
HXR-NX5R – September 2016
RM-30BP – October 2016
MCX-500 – January 2017
The list price for the HXR-NX5R here in Japan is 380,000 JPY ($3790 US). The RM-30BP is listed at 110,000 JPY ($1097 US), and the MX-500 will be 260,000 JPY ($2595 US) when it ships in 2017.
There are quite a lot of accessories available including the VCT-SP2BP shoulder rig (48,000 JPY- $479 US).
While the specifications are hardly earth shattering, there is still a big demand for cameras like the HXR-NX5R in emerging markets such as South America, India and Africa. Owners of the popular FS7 should be excited about the RM-30BP, which when combined with the upcoming Version 4.0 firmware will greatly expand its functionality.