January 08, 2010

Sony HXR-NX5 is NX big thing

Sony's first NXCAM camcorder, the HXR-NX5, is now available. Details are pretty much as described in  our previous post and video, but now we know the name, and have a a little more information. Most notably, its two Memory Stick slots can also be used to record content on to the more widely available (and cheaper) SDHC cards, which makes the NX5 one of the most flexible solid-state camcorders yet built. You just have to remember to insert the SD cards the other way round to the MS cards, as its electronic contacts are opposite the MS card's ones. [UPDATE: We have a further video looking at the practicalities of using the HXR-NX5 and how it works with various non-linear editors]

Recording codec: AVCHD (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 - long GoP) at 24Mbps (Variable Bitrate), 8-bit sampling, 4:2:0, plus two-track PCM uncompressed (16-bit/48kHz) audio or Dolby AC-3 audio; MPEG-2 at 9Mbps for Standard Definition. It can also output 10-bit 4:2:2 video via HD-SDI or HDMI (for recording to a separate recorder, like the AJA KiPro, for example)

Recording media: Memory Stick Pro Duo (two slots - allowing consecutive "relay" recording) or SDHC (Class 4 or higher), plus optional HXR-FMU128 128GB Flash Memory Unit

Lens: Sony's own 20x G Lens (4.1-82mm - equivalent to 29.5-590mm); manual zoom, focus and iris rings (no end stops), Auto Focus can have manual assist; three neutral density filters; Optical Steady Shot image stabilisation with Active Mode (for added anti-shake)

Sensors: Three 1/3-inch Exmor CMOS chips using a ClearVid array for improved low-light sensitivity

Low-light sensitivity: 1.5 Lux (almost as good as the fabled PD170, which was 1 Lux)

Recording standards: 1920x1080 at 50i or 25p, plus 720/50p and Standard Definition - US version  offers 60i/30p/24p and 720/60p - an optional upgrade makes it 60i/50i switchable

Connections: HD-SDI, HDMI (both can be used at once), component, composite and stereo audio (using RCA jacks), USB 2.0; 2x XLR audio inputs with +48v phantom power; LANC remote control; Timecode link

GPS: Built-in GPS receiver,  which embeds GPS metadata when recording.

Display/Controls: 3.2-inch 921,000-pixel LCD (1920x480), with Touchscreen interface. There are also seven customisable buttons on the camera which can be assigned with different functions for quick access. Electronic, high resolution viewfinder (1,227,000 pixels)

Power consumption: 7.7 Watts (8.8W with HXR-FMU128)

Weight/size: 2.5kg; 175x193x342mm


There will also be a less expensive, less professional version, the HDR-AX2000, which won't be able to take the 128GB drive, although, unlike previous cut-down versions of its professional cameras, the AX2000 will have two XLR audio jacks. However, it also apparently lacks HD-SDI (as can be seen in the picture on the left), 720p, Standard Definition recording, and GPS.

By David Fox

1 comment:

  1. We have been using our NX5 for about 2 months now and it is producing great quality pictures and proving a joy to use. After months of research before buying it, we made a rule of only using class 10 (30MB/sec) SDHC cards to avoid any buffer issues. We have also updtated the firmware to version 2.0. This was recommended to avoid any buffer overflow which has happened to a few people. Any owners should do this. Go to the Sony professional site to download it.
    I am used to having a full size camera on my shoulder and the thought of going out on a job with this little thing bothered me a bit. But only until I used it and saw the pictures. I take my hat off to Sony for this one.
    Doug Wiggins
    Sydney Australia