The Sony HXR-NX80 is one of three professional 4K pocket sized camcorders announced at this years IBC 2017; falling in between the consumer level entry (AX700) and the professional entry (Z90).
Overall, The NX80 is a beautiful device; its compact design, thin form factor (I got it to balance on a Ronin M) and image make it a seriously capable camcorder. For anything from corporate, event, education, and government video, Sony’s HXR-NX80 is tough to beat. Its sleek chassis, native 4K resolution, Instant HDR, a giant one-inch type image sensor and Fast Hybrid Auto Focus, make it quite the perfect tool for taking your productions to the next level.
Material choice is spot on, most of the camera including the handle is framed in some sort of metal (Aluminum or Magnesium Alloy?) balanced with plastic here and there. The entire construction feels solid and rigid and I have no doubt that it will last. The physical design of the camcorder is intuitive and makes sense. On the other hand, the software design is a bit all over the place but, with six customizable buttons, you should be able to map any menu item you want for quick access. The included handle is comfortable to hold, well built and necessary if you are serious about audio as it includes two XLR inputs capable of 48V phantom power. If you are considering the new AW700, I would say save up a bit more and get the NX80. Both offer pretty much the same features but, the overall package would be more expensive and less durable if you were to buy a seperate handle and XLR inputs to the AW700. Overall, I absolutely love this camera and the only problems I have so far are design orientated. First, to access the memory cards, the screen needs to be flipped out automatically turning the camera on. This could probably be fixed with a software update but, at the moment I can see it getting annoying. Second, I wish the directional pad that allows you to go through the settings was a bit bigger. The control itself is excellent but the size is too small. Thirdly, I wish the zoom rocker was slightly further back about 1cm. It may be just me but, the rocker should be lined up with the middle of the wrist for comfort and control while holding the device. I noticed that subconsciously, when I want to zoom in, my left hand jumped in to help hold the camera up since I have to bend my right wrist forward to zoom. Lastly, I know barely any companies do this but, I wish the included lens hood was made of metal.
The Sony HXR-NX80 is not perfect but, it sure comes close. The lack of 4K resolution at 60FPS and the small problems mentioned above are not deal breakers but, definitely leave room for improvement.