Quite Fretting about the X70s 60mbps…

I thought I’d share this post from the Sony PXW X70  Shooters Facebook page which contains a significant piece of information on the X70s 60mbps versus the 100mbps of other 4K cameras. The difference that hasn’t been covered until now is the difference between the XAVC-L professional codec (which is new) versus the XAVCS codec. Here’s the post in full:

Some may know that I did some tests comparing/contrasting the AX100 4K 100 mbps XAVC-S and the X70 4K 60 mbps XAVC-L. These tests were of virtually the same footage shot at the same time and projected in 4K onto a 15-foot screen in a high-end 4K color grading suite here in Los Angeles. In the opinion of two cameramen and two colorists present (one of them the senior colorist), while both cameras looked excellent, the X70 images looked slightly superior. They definitely graded better.

There have been various discussions about why Sony didn’t put 100 mbps in their professional camera but did so in the consumer version. Briefly, the two codecs are significantly different and the professional codec performs better.

I just received this word from Sony’s X70 product manager regarding possible future 100 mbps in the X70: “We are working on that, but have not clarified whether or not whether it is technically feasible to incorporate 100Mbps. It is different from those of consumer FDR-AX100 and other models.”

11 responses

  1. XAVC QFHD 4K 100Mbps UPGRADE FOR X70!
    Hi Joe, Speaking about the X70’s 60mbps; I have just discovered a new announcement by Sony about the V3.0 firmware upgrade for our Sony X70s due June/July 2016 including XAVC QFHD 4K 100Mbps plus MPEG HD422 50Mbps plus XAVC file protection with salvage recording with a paid-for upgrade CBKZ-SLMP software key for the MPEG recording, etc. at https://www.sony.co.uk/pro/article/broadcast-products-firmware-equipment-roadmap
    I could not find any price for the new key yet. I believe this upgrade will equal our Sony X70s specs with those of the Sony PXW-Z150. Your comments would be appreciated.
    More info is also available at: https://www.sony.co.uk/pro/product/broadcast-products-camcorders-xdcam/pxw-x70/overview/

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    • Sounds good. Should be free though. I paid for the 4K (and don’t use it much). Hope they don’t expect me to pay for the 3.0 firmware as well. But for the price and quality of the camera, I suppose it’s worth it anyway.

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      • My apologies for not writing in more detail; if I understand it correctly, the V3.0 Firmware including the XAVC 100Mbps is for free for those who already purchased the CBKZ-X70FX license key. The paid-for upgrade is for a new CBKZ-SLMP software key which is for those who want/need the new MPEG codex’s for recording. As I understand, the MPEG is as on the new Sony PXW-Z150. Does anyone know the benefits or differences between the XAVC and MPEG files? In other words, why would anyone who already has the free V3.0 firmware including the XAVC HD codex be interested to pay for the MPEG license as well?

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      • Ahhh! Makes more sense. As to XAVC vs MPEG, perhaps a techy will jump in here and explain it, but I’m pretty sure XAVC will give you the best available information for editing your master. MP4 I think is what gets used a lot on the web and is probably what YouTube and others transcode your videos to anyway. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but better to have your master in the highest quality.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. XAVC QFHD 4K 100Mbps UPGRADE FOR X70!
    Hi Joe, Speaking about the X70s 60mbps; I have just discovered Sony’s June/July 2016 firmware V3.0 XAVC QFHD 4K 100Mbps plus MPEG HD422 50Mbps plus XAVC file protection with salvage recording with a paid-for upgrade CBKZ-SLMP software key for the MPEG recording, etc. at https://www.sony.co.uk/pro/article/broadcast-products-firmware-equipment-roadmap
    I could not find any price for the new key yet. This upgrade will equal our Sony X70s specs with those of the Sony PXW-Z150. Your comments would be appreciated.
    More info is also available at: https://www.sony.co.uk/pro/product/broadcast-products-camcorders-xdcam/pxw-x70/overview/

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  3. Thanks Joe, I searched for the thread, but without success thus far. Will search more. However, there are lots of stuff on the net about X70 PPs. What I am looking for is your experience with the PPs of the X70 themselves. I know from experience with my previous Sony camcorders that Sony’s PPs are in the end the best for overall use. As soon as one starts using tweaked PPs’, they may be good for a specific shot, but if used generally, you can run into problems with certain shots. I see for instance that the X70 came with PP4 as default. Is there anything you can say from your experience thus far concerning the 6 PPs the X70 ships with? Which are good outdoors and which indoors, etc. In other words, which ones did you use?
    Thanks in advance.

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    • I’ve been using PP4 because in production situations you can’t afford to experiment and that takes time which I haven’t had. Later I’ll see if I can find the thread I was talking about, because that guy put quite a bit of time into it for a pp that would work in news eng work at any time of day.

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  4. X70 Picture Profiles
    I agree 100% with you about the “‘cinematic’ look” issue. Why in the world would one shoot in old jerkily 24p if he can have so much smoother footage in 50 or 60? I don’t understand. What I would like to know from you is: Which Picture Profiles do you use on the X70? I just received mine and am still struggling to make sense of the PPs. What would you recommend?

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    • I just got into this myself. Go to the X70 User Group on Facebook and search for the thread. There’s a guy who really knows his stuff who did a lot of work to come up with a couple really good pps. It will link to his article to tell you how he worked it out, which was no small task.

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