The first in the NXCAM line of solid-state camcorders, the Sony HXR-NX5U NXCAM Professional Camcorder is also the company's first professional-level AVCHD camcorder. And while it may look similar to its HDV predecessor, the HVR-Z5U, this updated model is very different. Its ability to capture HD and SD video in AVCHD and MPEG-2 formats and save it to solid-state media is only one of its distinctive traits. Full HD 1920 x 1080 video is another trait, including the option of recording 720p60 video as well as 60i, 30p, and 24p. And because the NX5U can capture to media cards plus an optional flash memory unit, you can simultaneously record a different signal to each, whether HD plus a backup or HD plus SD. The footage is then easily downloaded to a computer or backup drive using USB 2.0.
Three 1/3" CMOS Exmor sensors, a 20x 'G' lens, and dual XLR inputs are carried over from the Z5U, but the beautiful video and audio these elements produce are now in service to a higher level of professional control. An HD-SDI output makes this one of the most affordable camcorders to provide uncompressed 4:2:2 output, while HDMI and RCA outputs allow for connection to professional and consumer-grade monitors alike. Timecode sync between two or more cameras is also possible, and the addition of GPS technology makes for another first on an AVCHD pro camcorder.
Meanwhile, a newly designed user interface—including convenient MODE buttons and a touchscreen menu—make setup and operation easier than ever. And if touch-screen controls aren't your thing, there are the usual navigation keys and thumbwheel to help get you around. Whether you're recording at one of the camera's bit rates (24/17/9/5 Mb/s), taking advantage of simultaneous or relay HYBRID capture, or recording AC-3 or linear PCM audio, the HXR-NX5U gives you near-professional flexibility and control on a prosumer budget.