Video / News

Unveiled: the New Sony PXW-X180 – the 3-Chip Camera Isn’t Forgotten

With all the pomp and circumstance around 4K cameras and large-sensor, interchangeable-lens cinema cameras, you would be forgiven if you thought traditional 3-chip ENG-style cameras had been forgotten by camera manufacturers. But fear not, ENG and event shooters, the new PXW-X180 from Sony aims to give the 1080p ENG market the attention it deserves.

The new PXW-X180 camera is centered around three 1/3" Full HD Exmor CMOS image sensors behind a new Sony G lens with an impressive 25x optical zoom. The 25x zoom lens goes from a 235mm equivalent focal length of 26mm at the wide end all the way to a 650mm equivalent on the telephoto end. This huge zoom range is a benefit of the 1/3" sensor size. To allow users to keep the aperture open even in bright situations, the PMW-X180 has a built-in ND filter with 4 positions and, to help with handheld shooting, the camera also includes optical image stabilization.

Sure, 1080p isn’t 4K, but don’t forget 1/3" chip cameras didn’t have full 1080p sensors in them until only a couple of years ago. If you are coming from an older HD camera, you will probably be pleasantly surprised at how sharp a camera with three 2MP image sensors is. Plus, 1080p is still the standard for video distribution, and the PXW-X180 is designed to make shooting and editing in 1080p as seamless as possible.

The camera can record in a multitude of video codecs, from the newer XAVC Intra and XAVC Long GOP codecs, to the older XDCAM MPEG HD 422 50Mbps and 420 35Mbps codecs, as well as the more consumer AVCHD and DV codecs. This allows the PXW-X180 to fit into virtually any workflow. The camera records to reliable SxS cards and features dual SxS card slots. It also has the ability to simultaneously record low-bitrate H.264 proxy video onto SD cards for instant reviewing or sharing over mobile networks.

The PXW-X180 includes a number of new wireless features that are steadily gaining traction in the professional market. These include Wi-Fi and NFC, which allow the camera to be remotely controlled via a smartphone or tablet. Of course, a LANC control port is still there for traditional remote control. Wi-Fi also allows for wireless file transfer of low-bitrate recordings. Also, GPS is included for GPS metadata.

On top of the new features, the PXW-180 has all the traditional ENG-style features one would expect from a camera in its class, including XLR audio inputs, three separate rings on the lens barrel for zoom, iris, and focus. This camera offers easily adjustable on-body controls and a flip-out LCD screen, in addition to an OLED viewfinder, 3G-SDI and HDMI outputs, and more.

Discussion 35

Add new comment

Add comment Cancel

I have Questions, if I may

how is the pictures quality in comparison with Canon SLR 5D MarkIII and Canon 70D?

Colors, contrast, focus

Generally speaking, there is a noticable difference in the picture between 3x 1/3" sensor cameras and DSLR cameras as well as between Sony and Canon. Autofocus in Pro Video cameras such as the Sony PXW-X180 is much smoother and depth of field in these cameras are much deeper as they have smaller image sensors compared to DSLR's. This generally means a less "cinematic" look.

Terrific

3 chip camera doesn't necessarily means better image quality than 1 chip camera... dont let this marketing stuff fools you

$6,000??? For a 1/3" fixed lens cam? Rivals Canon's XF305. If these were BMWs, it's a 3-series that costs more then... A 7-series? I don't quite understand the pricing formula they use.

Does this camera have pre-roll?

Is the Auto focus quick?

How many hours HD 422 do you get on the two SxS

The camera is not listed to have pre-roll. The auto focus is fast and accurate.
A 64gb SXS card at the full quality will record 2 hours.

Looks like a real nice camera

I love the camera

boniface egwumah wrote:

I love the camera

Where does this camera fit into the range and how does it match up to the new NX3 please?

MTIA

Alan

Hi Alan -

Certainly the new Sony PXW-X180 XDCAM Handheld Camcorder is a step-up in terms of the feature set being offered and the higher pricing.  It offers a longer G Lens with 25x Optical Zoom; High-quality, 10-bit 1080p video using the XAVC Intra and XAVC Long GOP codecs;  A variety of connections to suit the broadcast workflow, including 3G HD-SDI, HDMI, USB, composite output, timecode input/output, and genlock input. The 3G-SDI connector is able to output the 1080/59.94p or 50p signal. Down-conversion output from HD to SD is also possible. Simultaneous output from both SDI and HDMI is possible. The Rec Trigger signal can be sent through SDI and HDMI to link an external recording device; GPS enabled - GPS data is automatically recorded in two file locations; 0.5" OLED viewfinder with 1024 x 678 resolution.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

None

  like to  now  the   price of the  camera.....

                                Fernando  Jimenez

Hi Fernando -

Follow the link below to view the price for this new SONY PXW-X180 camcorder:

http://bhpho.to/1iwZXTy

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

So, how does this camera campare to the Sony PMW 200, which is priced only a few hundred dollars more?  Do the PMW 200 half inch sensors make a difference?  Or, does the PXW 180's XAVC capability level the playing field?  I need to know quickly!  Many thanks.

Hi Les,

The quality will be better on the PMW200 due to the 3 1/2" sensors. The lens and the feature set on the PXW-X180 will be better though in my opinion.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

How much this camcorder ?

Hi c b -

Follow the link below to view the price for this new SONY PXW-X180 camcorder:

http://bhpho.to/1iwZXTy

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Please keep me informed! Thanks!

Let me know when pricing is available.  Thanks.

As soon as we have delivery and pricing info it will be on our website.

Since it has 3G-SDI output and the XAVC codec, does that mean it can be used with an external recorder to shoot 4K?

The camera is not 4K capable. 1080 HD internally and externally only.

There is no mention of an upgrade to this sensor. The new features are worthwhile but without an upgrade to the sensor I will not be replacing my old Sony 1/3" sensor cameras with this. JVC and Panasonic have kept the 1/3" sensor alive by updating its performance as well as add new features.

Yes, this is what I'd like to know also.  Even though the sensors in the X180 are 1/3", I'm hoping they outperform the 1/3" sensors in my NX5U, especially in low light. 

Until the camera starts shipping and some side by side tests are done it is hard to say. I imagine though that it will be just as good if not better than the low light capability of the NX5.

This Sony PXW-X180 looks impressive. I'm going to purchase a camera soon and wonder how this Sony may compare to the Panasonic AJ-PX270?

I noticed that most of the  B&H camcorder best sellers are Sonys. Is this a quality issue or a features and price issue?

John

It will be hard to say until the Sony is released and some side by side tests are done but on paper the Sony is a slight step up in a few important areas.

Both are 3 1/3" sensor cameras.

The Sony has a very long 25x zoom range where as the Panasonic is 22x.

The Panasonic records in AVC-Intra at up to 100mbps whereas the Sony records in XAVC-Intra at up to 112mbps. 

The Sony is also slightly less expensive currently.

Will BH Photo Video be selling the PXW-X160 as well?

Hi Peter -

SONY Professional USA has not made any plans or announcements that we are aware of at this time.  When and if they do - we will be sure to post it up here as soon as possible.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

how to copy memory card slot a to b

Hi Sanjeev -

Dual SxS media slots, “Simul” or “Relay” recording, and independent record control:

The PXW-X180 is equipped with two SxS memory card slots. The camcorder is compatible with SxS PRO+ and SxS-1 memory cards, XQD, SDXC and SDHC cards can be also used with an appropriate card adaptor. Two media slots can record in either “Simul” or “Relay” mode. “Simul” mode permits simultaneous recording to two memory cards, while “Relay” mode automatically switches recording from the first to the second memory card when the first is full. The user can set up the two Start/Stop buttons on the PXW-X180, one on the grip and one on the camcorder body, to independently start and stop recording on different memory cards while recording in Simul mode.

Please see the SONY Operation Manual for details.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

How does this cam perform compared to the older Canon XF305
XF305?
Obviously it has longer zoom, but what about video quality, low light handling, performance?
They are both now at the same price
How good is the G lens of Sony compared to L lens of Canon?
If I want to get one for I-MAG and record events which one should I get?

Hi Molham -

Certainly the new Sony PXW-X180 XDCAM Handheld Camcorder is a step-up in terms of the feature set being offered.  It offers a longer G Lens with 25x Optical Zoom; High-quality, 10-bit 1080p video using the XAVC Intra and XAVC Long GOP codecs;  A variety of connections to suit the broadcast workflow, including 3G HD-SDI, HDMI, USB, composite output, timecode input/output, and genlock input. The 3G-SDI connector is able to output the 1080/59.94p or 50p signal. Down-conversion output from HD to SD is also possible. Simultaneous output from both SDI and HDMI is possible. The Rec Trigger signal can be sent through SDI and HDMI to link an external recording device; GPS enabled - GPS data is automatically recorded in two file locations; 0.5" OLED viewfinder with 1024 x 678 resolution.  The Sony G lens is debatably as good or better than the Canon's lens on the XF-305. The PXW-X180 includes a number of new wireless features that are steadily gaining traction in the professional market. These include Wi-Fi and NFC, which allow the camera to be remotely controlled via a smartphone or tablet. Sony is offering  a newly designed camera when compared to a Canon's older "long-in-the-tooth" product.  SONY's XAVC codecs are more advanced, more efficient, the OLED viewfinder is simply brilliant, and low light shooting is superior in my estimation.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com