At BIRTV Beijing, Sony not only unveiled the HXR-NX5R professional compact camcorder, but also a relatively affordable solution for covering live events or corporate productions. The MCX-500 is a compact, lightweight (2.2kg), portable all-in-one switcher system that makes it simple for a single operator or small team to produce a broadcast quality live event. The switcher has multiple video inputs including 3G-SDI, HDMI, and composite Video that make it suitable to use with just about any type of camera.
Productions can live stream, either via PC or Mac or directly from the MCX-500 itself using the Ustream service with a router. What is also handy is the MCX-500 has a built-in SD card slot so you can give your client an immediate recording of the event without having to use a external recorder. Recordings can be made in AVCHD, or XAVC S, but unfortunately only in 4:2:0/8-bit at 28 Mbps. The other downside to the system is that is is built around 1080i signals and not progressive – although in fairness interlaced video is still the standard for much of TV and live video.
The MCX-500 has a set of features that enable you to cut between multiple cameras with a wide-range of broadcast quality transitions, mix in a secondary video feed with picture-in-picture, or put a presenter in front of live or recorded video using Sony’s broadcast standard chroma key technology. There are 8 video inputs, plus a dedicated DSK channel (total 9 inputs) for on-screen graphics, as well as a 5-channel audio mixer.
The switcher offers easy integration with camcorders such as the new HXR-NX5R. The lightweight RM-30BP remote controller allows you to control all the key features of up to three suitable camcorders while sitting at your control desk. It also allows tally signals to be sent to connected camcorders, so a camera operator knows when each camcorder is on-air.
The RM-30P looks like a great solution for freelancers and small-budget productions, as 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 RM-30BP is compatible with the HXR-NX5R and PXW-FS7 v4.0, with plans to introduce compatibility for other Sony camcorders.
The RM-30BP is listed at 110,000 JPY ($1097 US) and will start shipping in October, while the MX-500 will be 260,000 JPY ($2595 US) when it ships in 2017.