By this stage in Sony’s camera evolution they have made it clear that XAVC is the way of their future. Sony has spend the last two years or more slowly remaking their whole professional and broadcast lineup to unify on XAVC. Everything above the AVCHD/NXCam products has transitioned this direction. With these two cameras Sony’s XAVC line has grown to 9 professional cameras. The traditional XDCam, MPEG2 422, camera line is now down to 5 in-production models.
Sony has now introduced two more ENG cameras to the XAVC camera family. The first is a full-size shoulder mount ENG camera called the PXW-X500. This directly replaces the PMW-500 in the XDCam lineup. The PXW-X500 features a full 1080p 2/3″ PowerHAD 3CCD sensor block. It combines state-of-the art wireless technologies, utilizing wi-fi control, FTP file upload, and LTE proxy transmission. It also features up to 120fps 1080p recording and has options for ProRes and DNxHD.
The second camera Sony has shown is the XAVC version of the PMW-200. You guessed it, the camera is called the PXW-X200. Although for the moment the PMW-200 will remain in the line the X200 is the obvious replacement. Built on the same body and using the same 1/2″ 3CMOS block the camera now records XAVC up to 60fps 1080p. It adds the wireless connectivity that has started to become standard including wireless streaming. It also ups the zoom ratio to a 17x zoom lens.
As a side note Sony is shifting the use of the term “XDCam” once again. XDCam started off as their term for tapeless acquisition. Then it became a video codec that could be recorded to optical media or solid state media. Then it became a family of similarly designed MPEG2 codecs. Now Sony is using it to simply refer to their broadcast level cameras, the category above the “pro-sumer” AVCHD/NXCam cameras and adjacent to the CineAlta cameras. In all the Sony literature they’ve now started to refer to the older MPEG2 recording codec as simply “MPEG2 422 50mbps”, with out any catchy moniker. Sony XDCam could be a broadcast-level XAVC camera or it could be a broadcast level MPEG2 camera. Additionally all of the newly announced XAVC cameras have legacy support for MPEG2 recording formats.