Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001


Sony PXW-X160 Camcorder Captures Documentary, Reality & Live Events

The Sony PXW-X160 is a new model in the XDCAM series of camcorders, with three 1/3” full-HD Exmor CMOS sensors and a 25x optical zoom G-Lens extending from a 26mm wide angle.  This camcorder is designed for use in broadcasting, production facilities and on corporate and event productions. Its performance and functions also suit documentaries, reality programming, events and corporate work, including handheld applications.

In contrast to the PXW-X180 Sony announced at the 2014 NAB show, the PXW-X160 does not have wireless functionality, NFC or GPS, lowering the price but keeping the same level of performance. It can record in XAVC Intra and Long GOP, enabling 10-bit sampling for HD recordings with a long tonal range, and also the MPEG HD422 at 50 Mbps format now used frequently in broadcast and production. It records in MPEG HD420 at 35 Mbps, AVCHD and DV formats as well.

The MXF file format is used for XAVC recording, compressing full-HD 1920 x 1080 resolution using the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec. Image sampling is 4:2:2 10-bit with Intra-frame compression at 112 Mbps, or high-efficiency Long-GOP compression at 50/35/25 Mbps.


The camera’s 25x optical zoom G Lens has a 26 mm angle of view at the wide end of its zoom range - a 35 mm equivalent of 26 mm to 650 mm, independent manual zoom and focus rings with end-stop and iris control. A slide mechanism on the focus ring switches between auto and manual focusing.

The Sony Exmor 3CMOS Sensor system comprises independent 1/3” CMOS image sensors for the red, blue, and green colour channels, each with 2.07 effective megapixels for 16:9 format, with the resolution and sensitivity required for good colour reproduction.  The image processor is built with noise reduction and distortion compensation to support detail and texture, with image quality settings matching those in higher-end broadcast camcorders.

 Sony-pxw-x160b       Sony-pxw-x160c

In terms of workflow, the PXW-X160 has two SxS memory card slots for high-speed read/write operation. It can also record to XQD memory cards or SD cards, the most economical option for extended shoots, but needs an XQD or SD card adaptor.

The PXW-X160 also has a continuously variable ND filter. This new system electronically controls density with continuous adjustment from 1/4 ND to 1/128 ND via a dial operation. When combined with iris and shutter speed settings that control depth of field and brightness, this filter supports more varied shooting techniques such as the use of slow shutter in daylight and other bright conditions. The camcorder has a dual ND filter control mechanism so that operators who need the regular ND selector interface can swap between the continuous electronic control and the standard four-position switch.


The camera has a 0.5” OLED viewfinder (1024 x 768 x RGB, 3:4) with high resolution for manual focus. Compared to LCOS devices, there is no colour breakup. The 3.5” QHD LCD panel (960 x 540 x RGB, 16:9) can also be seen clearly under extreme lighting conditions. Compatible accessories attached to the multi-interface shoe can be controlled from the PXW-X160, for example, switching the HVL-LBPC video light on and off. The optional SMAD-P3 adapter can be fitted on the shoe to set up power and audio connections to a UWP-D Series wireless microphone receiver without separate batteries and additional cabling.

Both the Sony PXW-X160 and PXW-X180 are expected to be available in Australia and New Zealand from September 2014.