Sony to Release an Entry-Level Version of the F3 Early Next Year

As the same time as footage from the $16k Sony F3 hit the 'net, the electronics giant issued a press release about a consumer version of the same camera. The Sony NXCAM will be outfitted with an identically-sized Super 35mm sensor, but will take Sony E-mount lenses (similar to the NEX-VG10) along with "other mounts with third party adapters," and will record to AVCHD/MPEG-4-AVC/H.264. I wouldn't expect any uncompressed outputs, as that would defeat the purpose of also selling a $16k version of the same camera; no word on pricing for the NXCAM yet.

Teaser video here:

Full press release below.

[via Gizmodo and ProVideo Coalition]

PARK RIDGE, N.J., Nov. 17, 2010—Sony Corporation announced today that it is developing a new type of E-mount interchangeable lens camcorder for professional use that is equipped with a Super-35mm equivalent large format CMOS sensor. This new addition to Sony’s professional “NXCAM” line will be available in the middle of 2011.

Already a key player in the 35mm digital cinematography market with its highly acclaimed “CineAlta” F35 and SRW-9000PL cameras for high-end digital cinema production, Sony also recently strengthened its line-up in this category with the new PMW-F3, its first professional handheld digital production camera with a Super 35mm imager. With this new “NXCAM” HD camcorder now (still under development), Sony looks to further strengthen its position in the entry-level segment by providing an affordable yet highly capable professional solution for many applications—including independent film, music video and corporate communications—all looking for a cinematic look.

This “NXCAM” HD camcorder under development will be equipped with a Super-35mm equivalent sensor, a widely used film stock size in the film industry that is perfectly designed for capturing motion picture. This new sensor will have extraordinary performance in terms of picture quality and sensitivity, and is able to create rich “Bokeh” effect (beautifully defocused image) that is perfect for artistic story-telling in motion picture.

Thanks to the adoption of the E-mount interchangeable lens system that is identical to Sony’s “α” series NEX-5, 3 and “Handycam” NEX-VG10, the E-mount lenses will be compatible with this new professional camcorder.  In addition, a very short flange back distance (the distance between the lens mount surface and sensor surface) allows various “α” A-mount lenses to be mounted via a mount adaptor (LA-EA1). It is also possible to attach many other lenses using third-party mount adaptors[1]. With such flexibility, users will be able to experiment with various creative expressions by exploiting the characteristics of different optics.

[1]: Not all types of adaptors and lenses are guaranteed.

The recording format for this new HD camcorder will be AVCHD, a widely supported format by many non-linear editing software vendors and the same format used in the HXR-NX5 “NXCAM” professional camcorder.

There is also a plan to implement 1080p (60p / 30p / 24p[2] or 50p / 25p) recording modes. 
(MPEG4-AVC/H.264 compression will be used for these modes.)

[2]: 59.94p / 29.97p / 23.98p respectively.

Your Comment


Even though I've already pre-ordered a Panasonic AF100, I'm glad to see Sony jumping right into the fray. Competition between manufacturers can only benefit customers. I'm very curious to see how this will compare to the AF100.

November 19, 2010 at 7:36AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


i read about this cam on philip blooms site, i am confused by some stuff i read there. it said major stations only accept footage that is 50mbs and up for broadcast. does that mean the only way to get footage that is acceptable to be broadcast on hd networks is to use a capture device with any of thee cameras?

November 19, 2010 at 9:48AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


im also wondering if any of these cameras(sony, af100, gh2...) would be good to shoot sports? like high school football soccer basketball? it d be nice to avoid having to buy 2 cameras to shoot cinematic and action footage.

November 19, 2010 at 9:57AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


50mbps and up are for MAJOR HD Broadcast Networks (Discovery, NatGeo, NBC etc), and you can apply to have that waived on a case by case basis (I work for a distributor and gone through the process a few times, never had one rejected). There are plenty of broadcasters who say anything is fine except HDV (colloquially known as Dirty HD) and uprezzing. If you are selling to major networks, chances are you have completed content that they really really want and will waive the 50mbps for a lower license fee, or they are footing the bill (or part of it) and you should have the money to make your show on a professional camera. Some Networks (like discovery) just have "Tiers" of quality (based on your acquisition systems and editing codecs that also allow for certain percentages of HDV and uprezzed footage in the program) that determine their license fee standards.
These prosumer cameras (af100 etc) are definitely more suited to shoot sports/documentary than DSLR's, however they are still CMOS sensors and will exhibit Rolling Shutter (skew/shutter jell-o) which makes following quick action problematic. But if you are prepared for that and have experience/practice you should find some viable solutions to get around the rolling shutter problems

November 19, 2010 at 10:27AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


thanks alot for your comment it was helpfull

November 21, 2010 at 8:17AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


The SAME sensor as the F3? are you sure? some sources say it is the same sensor as the NEX cameras.

March 23, 2011 at 7:24AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM