Sony has recently launched the 4K/60FPS PXW-Z280 3-sensor camera, and it was being exposed at Inter Bee 2018, a broadcasting trade-show that we visit to see the latest in ultra-high-end camera and broadcasting equipment.
Sony says that for the first time, a professional 4K camera is equipped with three 0.5-inch CMOS sensors to increase light sensitivity (Sony calls this 3CMOS). This setup is a great alternative to working with one enormous sensor. However, it is really difficult to properly merge the data, although Sony managed to make it work very well from what we could tell.
This camera can capture high-quality 4K video at 60 FPS (or 50, if that’s your target) with excellent HDR capabilities from the demo we’ve looked on the show floor.
It is equipped with a 17X optical zoom lens and an electronic variable Neutral Density (ND) filter that provides additional control over how much light can reach the sensor. It can be useful to change the brightness automatically, without altering the shutter speed or aperture settings.
An advanced face detection autofocus is present and can automatically help with tricky shots. There are two modes: Face Priority and Face Only. Face Only does exactly what you think and will change focus only when a face is visible, but it works with only one face in the frame. Face Priority is here to handle multiple people, and the director can choose one subject on which the AF will focus.
With the built-in WIFI, the camera can receive commands, and transfer files or video-streams to computers or other systems. Additionally, Sony’s XDCAM air (subscription required) lets the crew stream video back to the TV station using an LTE aggregation that combines the bandwidth of two LTE connections.
Sony also has the Sony PXW-Z190, which is based on the same industrial design and controls but has smaller sensors (⅓ inch) and 25X zoom, made possible because of the smaller sensor size. The Z190 costs ~$4000 while the Z280 is priced at nearly ~$7000 reflecting their “pro” status and feature set.