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Sony PXW-X320 Overview
Sony's PXW-X320 XDCAM Solid State Memory Camcorder supersedes and improves on many of the features of the PMW-320K. Designed for the professional market, this ENG/EFP-style camera incorporates three 1/2"-type full-HD EXMOR CMOS sensors, solid state SxS workflow, advanced features, and shoulder-mount ergonomics. The PXW-X320 can record 10-bit video and 24-bit audio using the XAVC codec, and provides the options of XAVC Intra, XAVC Long, MPEG HD422, MPEG HD, MPEG IMX, and DVCAM for those requiring in-camera SD video recording.
The camera records a variety of frame rates from 23.98 native up to 59.94p. It features both genlock and timecode, and fits into an XDCAM EX workflow. It features a viewfinder with 960 x 540 resolution, 3D noise reduction for improved image quality, flash band reduction, a customizable user menu, and 2 x SDI outputs. The camera records to 2 x SxS media card slots, and can support a variety of media using optional adapters. You can also record HD using MPEG HD420 and SD using DVCAM to an SD media card slot.
Three 1/2"-type Exmor CMOS Sensors
The PXW-X320 incorporates three 1/2-inch-type Full-HD Exmor CMOS sensors (1920 x 1080) to achieve high resolution, high sensitivity (F11 at 59.94 Hz / F12 at 50 Hz), low noise (60 dB), and a wide dynamic range to give more freedom of expression for creative shooting.
The camera includes a three-dimension noise reducer. This not only detects vertical and horizontal direction in a frame but also noise components in a time axis, utilizing correlation characteristics between video frames that allow the camera to achieve a signal-to-noise ratio of 60 dB.
Enhanced Flash Band Reducer
Incorporating a newly developed algorithm, the PXW-X320 detects and processes flash banding inside its hardware before recording begins. This provides greater flexibility in reducing flash banding across different shooting environments. This feature can be disabled from the menu if you want to use Content Browser for flash band reduction after shooting.
Robust, Nonlinear Recording Media, "SxS PRO" & "SxS-1"
The XDCAM EX series adopts high-speed SxS PRO and SxS-1 memory cards for its recording media, developed specifically for professional content creation applications with a number of key features:
Compatible with ExpressCard/34 interface slot which is common on modern Windows PCs and Macs
Uses PCI Express interface and achieves an extremely high "read" speed of 800 Mbps
Low power consumption
Highly reliable: Can resist shocks (up to 1500 G) and vibrations (up to 15 G)
Affordability: SxS-1 media (introduced in late 2009) provides users with a lower cost alternative to SxS PRO media that offers the same high performance, but with an estimated 5-year life span when recording at full capacity once per day.
With the included 3.5" QHD color LCD viewfinder, the PXW-X320 offers outstanding resolution of 960 × 540 pixels, strongly supporting critical focus control during HD shooting. The viewfinder cover can be flipped up to enhance visibility when the camera is set on a tripod.
User Customizable Menu
This feature allows you to pick and organize frequently used menu items much in the same way as the bookmark feature of a web browser.
Variety of Interfaces
Two lines of SDI output connection are provided by the PXW-X320. This enables, for example, the director and camera operator to concurrently check shot content via two separate monitors. Also, for monitoring purposes this camcorder can be connected via HDMI to professional displays as well as domestic-use TVs with an HDMI connector. The i.LINK connector can be used for HDV when SP 1440 (FAT) mode is selected and for DV when DVCAM (FAT) mode is selected, for both input and output signal flows.
The PXW-X320 offers a wide array of recording formats for multiple content creation applications. In HD mode, scanning is switchable between 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720, and 1440 x 1080 resolutions. Frame rate is also selectable from interlace and progressive: 59.94i, 50i, 29.97p, 25p, and native 23.98p.
The camera can record up to 4 channels of audio. Each channel level can be controlled by an independent individual level controller.
The Peaking function can help operators adjust the camera's focus more accurately by altering the way pictures are displayed on the LCD monitor and viewfinder. It can enhance the outline of the image, which the camera focuses on most, and change its color to make it more visible. Enhance levels can be selected from a choice of "HIGH," "MIDDLE," and "LOW," and the outline color from "RED," "WHITE," "YELLOW," and "BLUE."
ALAC (Automatic Lens Aberration Compensation)
This feature decreases any chromatic aberration caused by the lens, which is active only with the PXW-X320K's supplied lens and with certain third-party lenses that incorporate compensation data. Please check with your lens supplier for ALAC support.
Optical ND Filters and Electrical CC Filters
The PXW-X320 comes equipped with optical ND (Neutral Density) filters and electrical CC (Color Correction) filters. The optical ND filters are controlled via a built-in ND filter wheel--Clear, 1/4ND, 1/16ND, and 1/64ND. And with the electrical CC filters, users can easily obtain the desired color temperature by setting the mode--3200K/4300K/5600K/6300K--on a camcorder-assignable switch. Users can select the four values cyclically, or choose one preset value. This is also available via an assignable switch. This is useful when a sudden change occurs during shooting, and a quick and direct setting is required.
Slow & Quick Motion Function
The PXW-X320 offers a powerful Slow & Quick Motion function--commonly known as 'over-cranking' and 'under-cranking' in film shooting--that enables users to create unique 'looks' or special effects with slow- and fast-motion images. The camera can capture images at frame rates selectable from 1 fps (frame per second) to 60 fps in 720P mode, and from 1 fps to 30 fps in 1080P mode in increments of 1 fps. For example, when viewed at 23.98P, images captured at 60 fps will appear 2.5 times slower than normal. Conversely, images captured at 4 fps will appear six times faster than normal.
With the Slow & Quick Motion function of this camcorder, images are recorded natively without interpolating the frames. This means the quality of the slow- and fast-motion images is extremely high and incomparable to those created in the editing process. In addition, these slow- and quick-motion images can be played back immediately after shooting, without using any converters or processing on non-linear editing systems.
Image Inversion Function
When a cine-style lens or a stills camera lens is attached to the camcorder with a DOF (Depth of Field) adapter, the image is usually rotated by 180°. The Image Inversion function normalizes the image for easy picture monitoring. This will also negate the need to flip the image in post-production.
Slow Shutter Function
The PXW-X320 offers a Slow Shutter function for capturing clear images in low-light environments. This allows the shutter speed to be extended to a maximum of 64 frames. The Slow Shutter function not only increases camera sensitivity but also produces a special blurring effect when shooting a moving object, for enhanced shooting creativity. The shutter speed is selectable from 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, 16-, 32-, and 64-frame periods.
Selectable Gamma Curves
The PXW-X320 camcorder offers a wide variety of gamma curves to flexibly handle contrast and give a specific 'look' to an image. In addition to six types of standard gamma curves, there are four types of Hyper Gamma which are identical to those on high-end CineAlta camcorders. Operators can select the best-suited preset gamma curve, depending on scenes.
Cache Recording Function
Once enabled, Cache Recording continuously streams audio and video through the camcorder's internal memory. Once the Record button is pushed, the content buffered in the camcorder's memory is recorded onto the memory media at the start of the recording clip. The caching period can be adjusted for up to 15 seconds, so in a situation such as monitoring a developing situation, Cache Record enables capturing an event up to 15 seconds before the record button is pressed.
Shutter Angle Settings
In addition to the electronic shutter speed controls, the PXW-X320 also has a "shutter angle" control--which is familiar to film users.
Total Level Control System (TLCS)
By activating TLCS, the correct exposure is automatically set for normal, dark, and very bright shooting environments by controlling the lens iris, electronic shutter, and Auto Gain Control.
Scene File System
The Scene File feature of the PXW-X320 allows camera operators to easily call up customized picture-tonal settings--such as the parameters of matrix, color correction, detail, gamma, and knee--to suit particular shooting conditions, rather than having to readjust the camera each time. This gives users greater operational efficiency. SxS memory cards can be used for storing and loading scene files.
The Turbo Gain function can boost the camera gain up to +24 dB, which helps reproduce images in very low-light environments.
Camera Metadata (HD Format Only)
The camera setting data such as iris, focus, zoom, macro, capture fps, shutter, gain, white balance, and gamma are recorded as acquisition metadata for future utilities.
A Depth-of-field Indicator can be displayed on the viewfinder to help camera operators easily recognize the depth-of-field of a scene, and thereby produce their desired images.
The average brightness level of the center of a frame can be displayed on the LCD monitor and viewfinder as a percentage. This is useful when a waveform monitor is not available for shooting.
The Histogram Indicator can be displayed on the LCD monitor and viewfinder, allowing operators to easily evaluate the distribution of brightness on currently captured images. This enables proper exposure control of iris, gain and gamma.
Six Assignable Buttons
Frequently used functions can be programmed onto six assignable buttons, allowing operators to make rapid changes when working in the field. The color temperature button and lens RET button also can be utilized as additional assignable buttons.
Adjustable Shoulder Pad
The position of the shoulder pad can be adjusted--either forwards or backwards--to provide users with optimum weight balance. This is particularly useful when the camera is docked with a different lens or camera adapter. In addition, no tools are required for this adjustment. For those who prefer a soft shoulder pad, there is the optional CBK-SP01.
ATW & Hold Function
The ATW (Auto Tracing White Balance) function of the PXW-X320 automatically adjusts the camera's color temperature according to changes in lighting conditions. This function is useful when recording outside for long periods, as lighting changes gradually over time. The PXW-X320 also has an ATW Hold function, which allows the operator to hold auto tracing at a desired color balance via an assignable switch.
Wide Array of Interfaces
The PXW-X320 comes equipped with a wide range of interfaces optimized for a variety of operational needs. These include an HD-SDI output, downconverted SD-SDI output, i.LINK (HDV 1080i and DVCAM stream) input/output, USB2, and analog composite output. Timecode In/Out and Genlock in are also supported. An HDMI output (Type A) allows the user to show the picture on a consumer display or professional monitor equipped with an HDMI input. Noncompressed video and two channels of audio can be output. When HDMI output is selected, other outputs are not available.
Digital Extender Function
The PXW-X320 has a 50-pin interface option, which offers a digital extender function that acts as an optical doubler, only without incurring the light loss of an optical extender digitally double images in size.
Camera Remote Control
A Sony 8-pin remote interface is supplied with the PXW-X320. Various camera settings can be remotely controlled using an optional RM-B150 RM-B750, RCP-750, RCP-751, RCP-920, or RCP-921 Remote Control Unit via its 8-pin remote connector (please note that not all controls on the remote control units may be supported by the PXW-X320). Composite output is always available for monitoring purposes, regardless of HD/SD output selection.