Sony PXW-Z280 4K Camcorder
- 300 / Day
- Multi-day Discount Available
Included in rental:
- Sony PXW-Z280 4K Camcorder
- Three 90wH batteries with integral Dtap and USB connectors
- 36 watt power supply / battery charger + AC
- Three 256GB XQD cards with SxS adapters
- XQD card reader
- Stereo on-board camera microphone
- Padded soft bag
The way to look at this camera is as the 4K spiritual successor to the popular Sony EX1. It has three ½” chips, so a dedicated 4K chip for each of the red, green and blue channels. Despite there being four times the number of pixels on each chip, there have been advancements in chip design since the EX1, so light gathering ability is very good. It has a 17x parfocal zoom lens with fully manual zoom, focus and iris rings. In other words, the ring on the lens isn’t just a potentiometer that controls an electric motor trying to “fake” real controls – they’re real controls! Like the EX1, the focus ring can be slid forward out of manual mode to allow the camera to autofocus. The outstanding multi-point autofocus from Sony’s still cameras has made its way into this model, so it rarely gets fooled.
Although it has two onboard XLR audio inputs, it records 4 channels of audio. The additional two channels can be accessed through either of its two “smart” hotshoes, which allow Sony’s line of wireless mics to feed directly into the camcorder with no cables. This is one of the first cameras to market with a 12G SDI connector, allowing you to send 4K signals to switchers and other professional equipment over longer distances than HDMI. If a wired connection isn’t practical, the camera can be monitored on an iPad over a Wi-Fi connection. Although it takes SxS cards, we have adapted XQD cards to be used for longer recording times. The rear OLED viewfinder is quite sharp with 2.4 million pixels. One nice feature for shooters is the built-in variable neutral density filter. This allows you to make level changes without changing the aperture of the lens, so you don’t affect your depth of field. The 4K resolution means one has the option to use the centre portion of the sensor for a full HD signal. The advantage of this is that it doubles the reach of your lens with no resolution or light loss, making the 17x lens into a 34x lens when shooting HD.
Mirrorless large sensor cameras have their place, but they can’t do everything. It’s nice to see a high resolution camcorder with all the practical advantages a video camera can bring to the party.