Sony PXW-Z90 Review, Unboxing, User Manual

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • ZEISS F2.8 - F4.5 lens with 20X optical and 48X digital zoom
  • 14.2 MP 1” large BSI Exmor RS CMOS Sensor
  • 4K 30P and HD 60P Video Recording
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 Colored Internal Recording
  • HD Slow & Quick Recording at up to 120 FPS
  • 2-Channel 24-Bit / 48 kHz Linear PCM Audio Recording
  • Remote Control Function
  • Dual memory Slots
  • HDMI and 3G-SDI Output
  • Wi-Fi Connection

SONY PXW-Z90V 4K HDR XDCAM- OVERVIEW

The Sony PXW-Z90 is a reliable 4K video camera for capturing good videos in low-light settings or on-the-go; and, currently one of the best easy-to-use 4K camcorders out there below a 3K dollars budget. It comes with a backside illuminated large-format image sensor, impressive image stabilization, and an advanced hybrid autofocusing system, making it perfect for all shooting situations.


The 4K ultra HD footage in 10-bit 4:2:2 color spaced at up to 30 fps with HDMI and 3G-SDI output enhances its professional values among camera enthusiasts.

In my opinion, it is one of the best 4K professional camcorders available today; in terms of portability, video quality, and the range of connectivity. After going through the spec sheet and test footage video, I think you would also agree with my opinion. Take a look below to know what else is making this camcorder best -

Product review

Design & Features

  • Handling and Controls

The Sony PXW Z90 is a compact ENG-styled grab-and-go camera; designed to be easy to carry and manage. The manually controlled rings allow you to fix focus and magnification range just with one hand. The ISO/Gain, aperture, and shutter buttons are placed on the left side of the camcorder.

You can attach a wired or wireless external microphone to the handle unit of the camcorder during shooting; you will also get several audio control buttons, a microphone holder, and an accessory mounting shoe. 

  • DISPLAY FEATURES

The 3.5” LCD monitor has a 1,560,000 Dots resolution touch-friendly screen that displays color vibrant videos. You can adjust the monitor screen according to your comfort; the eyepiece also allows tilting movements. The 2,360,000 Dot OLED screen of 0.39” EVF provides a 100% field view with satisfying brightness and vivid color vibrancy.

  • Lens

The F2.8 - F4.5 ZEISS lens offers a 9.3mm to 111.6mm clear wide view range with 20X optical zooming range; up to 48X digital extender range is also available to assist you; when you need more pixels after maximum physical magnification point.


The flexible range of f/2.8 at the wide end and f/4 at the telephoto comes in handy during newsgathering. It enables telephoto shooting capabilities without compromising on the desire of getting a wide end background. The integrated ND filter functions give you better control over exposure and depth-of-field.

  • IMAGING FEATURES

It has a 1” large BSI Exmor RS CMOS Sensor with 14.2 Megapixel effective resolution. The large-format sensor brings out stunning videos under low light conditions; plus, it is impressive in auto-focusing or track subjects throughout the video frames. Nearly 84% of the image area is densely covered with up to 273 phase-detection AF points, ensuring smooth focus transitions.

The hybrid optical image stabilization system has ENG-style usability, eases handheld shooting, and produces stable footage on the go. The efficiency of the image processing unit covers up the included noise caused by the digital magnification.

  • IMAGE AND VIDEO QUALITY

The PXW-Z90V camcorder supports video recording to various frame rates, bit rates, recording codec, and encoding formats. It records 60 to 100 Mbps 4K ultra HD resolution video in XAVC format at up to 29.97p; plus, it offers 23.98P and 25P recording modes. The 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps recording modes are available for HD quality video recording for XAVC and AVCHD codec. The bit-rate will be 35 Mb/sec to 50 Mb/sec for XAVC codec and 24 Mb/sec to 28 Mb/sec for AVCHD codec.

The internal recorder records 4:2:0, 10-bit 4K, and 10-bit 4:2:2 HD videos in XAVC Long, without requiring an external recorder. Moreover, the imaging features specifically take care about jerk-free zooming or focusing shake-free footage and noise or distortion-free low light imagery. The camcorder also supports quick-motion and slow-motion video recording in HD resolution at up to 120 fps rate.

STORAGE       

  • DUAL MEDIA SLOTS

The PXW Z90 has twin media slots; one is only compatible with SDCX and SDHC-type memory cards; another supports SD-type cards and Memory Stick cards - Memory Stick PRO Duo (Mark 2) or Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo.

  • BATTERY LIFE

The Sony PXW Z90 includes a 1900 mAh power capacity rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, Sony NP-FV70.

Connectivity and Compatibility

  • WIRED CONNECTION

You will get a type-A HDMI port, BNC terminals, and SDI for 3G outputs in the PXW-X70 camcorder as video device connectors. You will get twin 3-pinned XLR input interfaces for microphone inputs and a 3.5 mm port for headphone output in the audio section. Other input or output devices can be connected through a micro type-B USB port, micro B USB control port, and a 2.5 mm LANC control terminal.

  • WIRELESS CONNECTION AND ACCESSORY MOUNT

The camcorder works well on both older 2.4GHz bandwidth and the newer 5GHz Bandwidth WI-FI settings. The included remote commander device RMT-845 lets you remotely control some basic camera functions like recording off/on, gain, and aperture. You can use a separate monitor during video broadcasting using the wireless connection.

BEST FEATURES OF SONY PXW-Z90V NXCAM CAMCORDER

Being a camera enthusiast, you may desire to have the latest professional tool; Right? The Sony PXW Z90 HDR video camera has all that you need for pro-level filming. I particularly like the 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording, 4K 30P recording ability, multiple codec and frame rate choice, high frame rates, live streaming facility, wireless connection, remote control operation, and much more. The smooth zooming, jerk-free focus shifting and outstanding low-light performance also impressed me a lot.

Specifications

LENS SPECIFICATION

Focal Length

9.3 - 111.6 mm
35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 29.0 - 348.0 mm

Zoom

12X Optical and 48X Digital Zoom

Maximum Aperture

F2.8 - F4.5

Filter Size

62 mm

Control Rings

Focus, Zoom

Focus Control

Autofocus, Manual Focus

IMAGE SENSOR

Sensor Size

1" 

Sensor Type

Back-illuminated Exmor RS CMOS sensor

Effective Resolution

14.2 Megapixel

CAMERA SPECIFICATION

Image Stabilization

Optical + Electrical Stabilisation Mechanism with Steady Shot Function

Built-In ND Filter

Clear, 1: 1/4ND, 2: 1/16ND, 3: 1/64 ND

Shutter Speed

1/6 to 1/10,000 sec

Gain

-3 to 33 dB

White Balance

2300 to 15,000K

VIDEO RECORDING

Recording Formats

XAVC, AVCHD

Video Resolution

4:2:0 XAVC:
QFHD (3840 x 2160) in 24P, 25P, 30P mode at 60 to 100 Mbps
HD (1920 x 1080) in 24P, 25P, 30P, 50P and 60P mode at 35 to 50 Mbps


4:2:0 AVCHD:
HD (1920 x 1080) in 24P, 25P, 30P, 50P and 60P mode at 24 to 28 Mbps

Frame Rates

1 to 30 FPS for 4K Ultra HD
Up to 120 FPS for 1080P HD

Audio Recording

Quality

2-Channel 24-Bit / 48 kHz Linear PCM Audio for XAVC codec videos
2-Channel 16-Bit / 48 kHz Linear PCM Audio for AVCHD codec videos

Display Screen

Screen Size

3.5"

Resolution

1,560,000 Dots

Display Type

LCD Touch Screen

EVF

EVF Display Type

OLED

Screen Size

0.39”

EVF Resolution

2,360,000 Dots

Connectivity

Wired Connection

Type-A HDMI, BNC, 3G SDI Video Output
Dual 3-Pin XLR Inputs, 3.5 mm port for Headphone for Audio Devices
Micro Type-B USB, Micro B USB Control, 2.5 mm LANC Control Terminal for other Input / Output Devices

Wireless Interfaces

2.4 GHz Wi-Fi (802.11ac)

Power

Battery Model

Sony NP-FV70 Lithium-ion battery packs

Battery Capacity

1960mAh

Sony PXW-Z90 TEST FOOTAGE

Sony PXW-Z90V VIDEO CAMERA UNBOXING

SONY PXW-Z90 4K CAMCORDER USER MANUAL

You will be receiving a detailed user manual while purchasing a Sony PXW-Z90. But, you can also view the user manual from the Company's official website. The user manual will have a complete guide on the different camera settings, firmware, and safety precautions you will need to follow while using this camcorder.

If you wish to download the official user manual of this Sony PXW-Z90 camcorder, click here.

SONY PXW-Z90V ACCESSORIES

With Sony PXW Z90, you may require the following things

Tripods

The professional often uses a tripod in multi-camera shooting, interviewing, or indoor shooting to get the best stable footage. You can purchase a 1/4 “-20 camera mounting screwed tripod along with the camcorder.

Microphone

Most ENG-style camcorders support external microphone input; the Sony PXW Z90 is not exceptional. You can use two wired shotgun microphones at once or multiple wireless microphones for newsgathering, interviewing the mobs, or celebrities. 

Conclusion

The PXW Z90V from Sony is formerly known to be a favorite among run-and-gun documentary shooters, professional event videographers, and filmmakers. It performs genuinely well in low-light conditions and handheld shooting positions; even it can challenge some higher-priced 4K camcorders to do so.

The video quality, 4:2:2 10-bit video in 4K resolution, separates this camcorder from the competition. The high frame rates, multiple-codec choice options, HD live streaming, and the included remote controller device are unexpected bonuses for such a small ENG camera. 

Xavier
 

I'm Xavier. I am a professional writer and blogger. It all started when I fell in love with my camera, which was presented to me when I was ten as a birthday gift. Since then, I wanted to become a cinematographer and also succeeded in that. So I am here researching and reviewing the filmmaking gadgets and giving out my top gadgets from the market.I hope you find my review articles interesting and helpful.

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