Sony's New XDCAM EX Solid State Camcorder

Written by James MacGregor on . Posted in Equipment


Sony's new XDCAM EX solid state camera unveiled at NABSony's all-new XDCAM EX solid-state camcorder was first seen at NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) show in Las Vegas where it was the most talked about product at the show. Crowds of people fought to get a glimpse of it.

The EX series is Sony's first solid-state only camcorder, not dissimilar in size and weight to previous Sony prosumer cameras such as the PD170, Z1, and V1 models,  but there the similarities end.


The XDCAM EX is solid-state only and features two card slots for the very latest ExpressCard technology cards (the replacement for the older PCMCIA Cardbus specification). The latest ExpressCard technology is more robust, more reliable, much faster, and available in much higher capacities than its predecessor. As a storage type  made by lots of different manufacturers it is inexpensive.

Sony's XDCAM EX records to cards that are available in 8, 16, and 32GB capacities and above. Unlike alternative solid-state offerings the EX series will achieve 2.5 minutes per gigabyte at full HQ quality 35Mbps HD or 3.5 minutes per gigabyte at 25Mbps constant bitrates. Two 16GB cards will record around 90 minutes of the highest quality 35Mbps footage variable bitrate or 115 minutes at 25Mbps constant bitrate. These figures can be doubled if you use 32GB cards.

SxS Express Cards are much cheaper than other solid-state options and they can be bought over the counter in high street stores. ExpressCard is not a Sony invention, it is the PCMCIA industry standard that has replaced the older PCMCIA PC card. This ensures prices will come down even faster in future.

The XDCAM EX camcorder features a fully manual lens with the same degree of control afforded on full size shoulder mounted cameras. Sony decide to employ Fujinon to design the lens that features a fully manual iris ring, focus barrel with end stops for infinity and macro, and zoom markings allowing critical control over the picture. The lens also features industry standard gearing which means that it is ready to accept professional follow focus units and functions,  an industry first for a camera of this type. The Fujinon lens design for the XDCAM EX camcorder is based on their high-end professional broadcast lenses.

The XDCAM EX has Sony's famous CineAlta badge on the side. Sony use the CineAlta badge for only their very best cameras, capable of native 24p progressive scan shooting.

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