The incredible sunsets experienced at Antelope Island provided the perfect opportunity for us to try out the cutting-edge variable ND filter on the PWX-X180. This has been one of the most popular features on the camera and we couldn’t wait to give it a try.
This was what the scene looked like with no ND filter at all:
As can be viewed in the clip above, the scene included very dynamic lighting with high highs and low lows. It can at times prove difficult to obtain a balanced image in a situation like this, but with Sony’s PXW-X180, there’s no need to fret.
The adjustable and rollable ND filter allowed us to find that perfect sweet spot in the camera settings, where items in the shadows were visible, yet high tones, like sun-lit clouds were not blowing out. Watch as we rolled the filter up and down and made other camera adjustments until we found a setting we really liked:
Conventional ND filter stops at times create an image that can look too “creamy” for my personal taste, but on the X180 you have a lot more latitude to tweak your iris or other settings, in tandem with the variable filter, to obtain a look that’s just right.
We took landscape shots at Antelope with several different cameras that day, and excluding the RAW clips, the X180 produced the most balanced RGB image by far.
The variable ND filter is definitely one of the coolest features on the newest in the XDCAM lineup. Personally, I would love to see this highly handy feature added to more of Sony’s pro cameras in the future. Good thinkin’ on that one Sony!
FILM AND ARTICLE CREDITS
- Emerson Urry - Author