Sony PXW X70–How the 60mbps codec performs compared with the 100mbps AX100 in 4K

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.”

As a note, I’ve been so busy I haven’t yet upgraded my own X70 to either the latest firmware or the 4K upgrade–something I hope to get to in the next week or so. -Joe

6 responses

  1. Hi, would it be possible to get to read this article without Facebook. I don’t do Facebook.Regards, Björn, Sweden

    4 augusti 2015, The Video Whisperer skrev: > > Video Whisperer posted: ” 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 dif” >


  2. The problem with your post, Joe, is simple: even if you’re right in what you say (and I’m sure you are) why has Sony not disseminated this information far and wide FOR MONTHS to quell some of the anger and disappointment of X-70 owners. It’s infuriating that they are so closed mouth and uncommunicative?

    That alone is enough to make you have second thoughts about dealing with Sony in the future–it’s all a one way street.

    Let me contrast this nonsense from Sony to a real company that gains adherents and happy customers every day because it communicates openly with their customers about what they are planning and when there will be availability—and actually listens to their customers and show they do so by actually adding features and capabilities to their products. That company? Atomos!

    Call Sony and you’ll be put on hold and then told you’re at the wrong number for what you’re askng about, then you’re transferred from coast to coast, finally get transferred to the right number to find out they just closed,

    They’re a great company, friendly, open, easy to contact, open with their plans, and have a great discussion site on their web site. This is a company that actually gives a crap about their customers and treats them like human beings. It is a very different atmosphere at Atomos than at Sony with their stone silence for months on end. It would be easier to get a straight answer from that Oracle at Delphi than these Sony people.

    Sony probably doesn’t give a fiddler’s damn, but they need a FACE or FACES, to speak to and address customer and product issues–they need to communicate.

    I find JVC much the same as Sony—very, very terrible in customer communications and customer relations. We should have known this months and months ago…it should have been explained thoroughly and examples presented.


    • Agreed. It’s a problem with most behemoth companies of any kind. They’re kind of like governments–same business model.

      The Highcross Applestore in Leicester UK illustrates this in a funny way. It’s a typical Apple store that is ALWAYS full of people with tons of staff. Lots of bustle and hard to move around, but nobody seems to mind. Not far away is a Sony store. They’ve laid it out just like an Apple store–which is a very unique layout in the whole merchandising world, so hard not to notice. And when you walk by there are typically one or two customers outnumbered by staff. No noise, no conversation–everything in a sort of weird slow motion. Kind of sad really.

      Both are huge companies. Both make good products. One is driven by sales (€ £ $…), the other by service. Excellent service of high quality products begets customer loyalty–and, funny enough begets more sales. So the youngster (Apple) is far richer than the grand dad (Sony) because it hasn’t sold its soul to the devil (yet…fingers crossed).


  3. When do you think the 4k will be available in the US for the X70? I have installed the 2.0 firmware update, but no word on where I can buy the license code.


    Joe Cowell


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