Sample Footage from PXW-X180 XAVC/XDCAM/AVCHD camcorder.

I was lucky enough to get to spend some time with a pre-production Sony PXW-X180 here in Singapore. I put it through it’s paces shooting around the botanical gardens, China town and Clarke Quay.

For a 1/3″ camcorder it produces a remarkably good image. Really low noise, very clean images, much better than anything I have seen from any other 1/3″ camcorder. The 25x zoom is impressive, the variable ND filter is very clever and it might seem trivial but the rear viewfinder was very nice. It’s a very high resolution OLED, much, much better than the LCOS EVF’s found on many other models.

The zoom lens has proper manual calibrated controls with end stops, much like a PMW-200. The ability to use a multitude of codecs is fantastic and perhaps better still is the fact that you can use SDXC cards for XDACM or XAVC at up to 50Mb/s, so even XDCAM HD422 can be recorded on this low cost media. This will be great for news or other situations where you need to hand off your media at the end of the shoot.

A more in depth review will follow soon, but for now here’s the video. Un-graded, un touched, straight from the camera footage. Looks very nice if you ask me.

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17 Responses to Sample Footage from PXW-X180 XAVC/XDCAM/AVCHD camcorder.

  1. Igor Ivankov says:

    Hi Alister,

    thanx for posting the new PXW 180 video. I am interrested into the PXW 160 the same camera without WfI right? How does it compare to Panasonic AJ-PX 270 in your opinion? And the JVC GY-HM 600 with the new firmware 50Mbits/50P? It remains a 8 bit camcorder, but still?
    And maybe the most important qustion, if I go for the PXW 160 , do I get the 10 bit 422 when using the SDHX cards?
    Thank you in advance and best regards from Croatia.
    Igor

    • alisterchapman says:

      X160 is X180 without WiFi and GPS. They are 10 bit cameras. Yes 10 bit long GoP 50Mbps XAVC 422 to SDXC cards. Not tested along side HM600 or 270, so can’t comment.

  2. Mthobisi Phungula says:

    Hi Alister,

    I was about to purchase the PMW 200 before the release of the PXW 180, and right now I am confused about which camera to buy. I do a lot of promotional video and soon I will be shooting on green screen, I also do documentaries and sometimes weddings (but not that much). Currently I am using Z5 and NX5 and I wanted to a more professional camcorder to my equipment. Please advise. Mthobisi Phungula from South Africa

    • alisterchapman says:

      I would be confused too. The X180 is a very solid and more advanced camera than the PMW-200. My suspicion would be that sooner rather than later the PMW-200 will be replaced by a PXW-X model. But that won’t ship for at least 3 months so if you need a camera now it’s a tough choice.

  3. Mike Warren says:

    The X160 is strongly on my radar, too. Variable ND is something I’ve been wanting for years on 1/3″. What’s the slow end of the zoom like? Does it creep nicely? Also, I understand that adapters are required to use XDXC and XQD. What are they like to handle in the field? Are they fiddly, or can the adapter be left in the camera and the card swapped out while in situ?

  4. Dean Johnson says:

    Thanks for the great article. Would you know how the PXW 180 compares to the nx5 in low light? The NX5 gets pretty grainy above 3db. Also do you know if the PMX 180 would be better in low light than the Sony HXR NX3?

  5. Dean Johnson says:

    Sorry, should have read PXW 180, not PMX 180

  6. Mthobisi Phungula says:

    If both cameras were available PMW 200 and PXW X-180, which one would you choose? and why?

    • alisterchapman says:

      That’s a really tough choice. I’d wait until after IBC. The PMW-200 really needs a refresh soon. I would guess (I have no knowledge) that Sony will bring out a PMW-200 equivalent with XAVC some time soon.

  7. Hi Alister,

    I am a cameraman based in Tokyo, Japan.
    Will be investing in my first pro camera this month and after much research are looking to go for an XDCAM. My main areas are Events, Docs, ENG and Sport.

    Budget is an issue (as for us all) so this new camera interested me a lot. Especially because its so versatile and, in many cases, future proof. I would just like your honest opinion, would this camera be a smart and good buy for professional video production as a first time pro buy? I am mainly publishing for the web, but also broadcast here in Japan and Europe. Is the 1/3 inch sensor an issue perhaps?

    Would appreciate any advice you can give

    Cheers!
    Magnus Ahlberg

    • alisterchapman says:

      This is the first 1/3″ sensor camera that I would consider buying. It’s a great piece of kit. However, world wide there is still some resistance to 1/3″ sensor for broadcast. Some places will accept 1/3″ while others will not. Time will tell whether this camera will get BBC acceptance.

  8. Mthobisi Phungula says:

    I know that you have used both cameras, and lets compare both cameras on what they both have (meaning XDCAM 422 MPEG-2 Codec at 50 Mb/s) not XAVC, AVCHD etc. I know that they have different sensors PMW 200 (1/2) and PXW X180 (1/3), and without waiting for IBC, and just using your judgement. You have notified me that the PXW X180 was gonna be available after 3 months and September is just around the corner and I have been waiting. Please Alister, which camera is a better camera between PMW 200 and PXW X180 according to you since you used both of them.

  9. Thank you for your response Alister.

    If i`m not mistaken, didn’t the BBC approve the JVC GY-HM650 camera which has three 1/3 inch sensors? Do they approve 1/3 inch sensors more often than not?

    Cheers!
    Magnus

  10. alisterchapman says:

    The HM650 has approval for news gathering and journalism, as do a number of other 1/3″ cameras. For documentary and other mainstream productions 1/2″ is normally needed with the exception of the Canon XF305 which does have approval.

  11. Magnus Ahlberg says:

    Many camera operators here in Japan are using the XF305 for that very reason.
    I can’t imagine this new cam from Sony to be of lesser image quality then the 305.
    What’s your guess on the EBU approval of the pxw x180 Alister? What could make them disapprove of long form usage?

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