Sony has now officially announced the new full-frame Sony FX3 cinema camera. As expected, it’s pretty much an A7S III in a new body, but there are some notable differences, geared towards dedicated video creators and filmmakers rather than hybrid shooters. It loses the EVF but gains a (removable) top handle to improve its audio […]
The FX3 is the latest addition to Sony’s growing Cinema Line of cameras. They seem to be multiplying at an impressive rate. VENICE, FX9, FX6, FX3.
Sony explained the concept on Sept 2, 2020: “Cinema Line will deliver not only a coveted cinematographic look but also enhanced operability and reliability. The series will extend beyond traditional cinema camera and professional camcorder form factors.”
Here’s a cinema camera with a decidedly different form factor. Inside, the FX3 acts quite like Sony’s a7S III hybrid still and video camera. Outside, the FX3 has lots of 1/4-20 threads in a unibody rugged steel skeleton. The cage-free design begs you to mount this camera in all kinds of places where a single mounting point and add-on cage wouldn’t dare to thread. read more…
The post Sony FX3: Cage-Free, Free Range appeared first on Film and Digital Times.
I need a battery—just a single battery in that camera’s battery compartment. Twenty-four hours before the official announcement of Sony’s new FX3 and I did not have a single battery to power the recently arrived camera. Luckily for me, I headed over to my buddy’s rental shop, Contrast Visuals, and bummed a couple of A7s III batteries to get me through my review of the Sony FX3. Crisis averted.
This is a quick look at the new Sony FX3, the often rumored and very NDA-breaking shared camera on the internet. By the way, I do not know who broke Sony’s NDA, but I have a feeling Sony will find out. Back to the topic at hand, the Sony FX3.
As you previously read, the Sony FX3 is in my hands, and I have about a day’s worth of experience with it. My immediate impressions are here. If you want to read the full news announcement about the Sony FX3 then jump over to Jose Antunes post here.
The FX3 is the video version of the A7s III. They share the same sensor and processor and features like IBIS and 4K 120fps. On paper, the FX3 and A7s III match up wonderfully; in my hands, the new Sony Cinema camera is a bit of a different story.
First off, the Sony FX3 makes shooting incredible footage a picnic. Features like the touch-screen, tracking autofocus, and 5-axis stabilization help creativity come a little easier. If you shot on any mirrorless or DSLR, then the dials, wheels, and buttons will feel in place if a little better thought out on the FX3 than other models.
On the right side of the FX3, your hand has immediate access to all necessary settings and menus. Three critical settings have dedicated dials and wheels. I’m writing about settings like ISO, Shutter, and Aperture. Sony also offers users buttons for ISO, Shutter, and Aperture to hold the button down for a second and turn the auto feature on for that setting or vice versa. I find it pleasant to change these three features to auto with a button’s touch instead of a quick menu dive. Quick menus are great, but who wants to stop shooting to find a hidden setting feature.
Let us discuss the shutter release button and the zoom rocker, shall we. I like the grip on the right side of the Sony FX3, but I feel the shutter release button and zoom rocker are wasted features that most will hardly use. Look, I get it; the FX3 can take pictures, and thus, the shutter release button. My natural feeling is this should be a video record button instead of a shutter release button. I am not sure if I can change the shutter release function or not because, you know, the Sony FX3 only landed on my doorstep yesterday.
The zoom rocker is another feature I find curious. The rocker does not work with the Sony supplied 24-105 lens. I will guess the zoom rocker works with Sony’s cinema zooms like the Sony FE C 16-35mm T3.1 or the Sony FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 options. In those cases, the zoom rocker becomes useful because it allows you and your two hands to stay where they need to stay, and that’s on the camera.
The way I see it, and again, only had the Sony FX3 for a day, Sony wants you to keep your hands on the camera as you shoot. The layout of the buttons on the right side of the camera makes it easy to change settings quickly. This right-handed setting button dedication by Sony allows a shooter’s left hand to cradle the Sony FX3 under the camera’s body and within reach to change one’s focal length smoothly.
What separates the FX3 from the A7s III is the video-ness of the FX3. Take a look at the camera, and you will find two dedicated vents keeping the FX3 and its sensor cool. These fans, of course, allow you to record 4K continuously without the Sony FX3 over-heating. Now, if you’re in a hot environment, you might experience overheating. The cooling vents and airflow give the FX3 a little thinker body than the A7s III, but the FX3 still feels good in the hand.
You will also find the useful addition of 6 1/4 20 mounting points. These mounting points always help on video cameras. I usually need a handful or a camera cage with mounting points to include all my accessories. I see the only way a camera cage is necessary is when you want a better tripod plate than the single 1/4 20 mount on the bottom of the FX3 affords.
The in/out interface on the Sony FX3 is covered by doors shut with a reassuring pressure textured feeling. It’s hard to describe, but you can tell a door is closed and won’t accidentally open on you. It’s the details for me, and this detail makes me feel like water and dust will stay out if those doors are closed.
The Tally light is a detail done right by Sony. On the FX3, we get not only the red square around the LCD screen when recording but a dedicated wide thin red LED above the LCD screen. Sony did not stop there either. The FX3 has a record indicator outlining the top record button and the camera’s left front corner. I know this is a small detail, but if I’m rigging a camera, I want to see its recording if I can’t see the LCD screen. This camera was designed for solo shooting, and the addition of multiple ways to see you are recording is just one example.
One day with a camera is not enough time, but this is just a start for me and the FX3. I mean, I didn’t even have time to take my own photos of the camera. I’ll be back on PVC after I finish my full review of the Sony FX3.
Sony FX3 Highlights
Full-frame 10.2MP high BSI image sensor
High sensitivity 409,600 max ISO
15+ Stops of Dynamic Range with S-Log 3
Phase Detection AF with Face /Eye AF and Object Tracking AF
XAVC HS and XAVC S-I All Intra 4:2:2 10-bit recording formats
High Frame Rates – up to 4K 12-p with audio, up to FHD 240p
16-bit RAW output through HDMI
5 axis In-body Image Stabilization
12MP Still Capture 10fps
S-Cinetome as a default Picture Profile
Uninterrupted 4K 60p recording – cooling fan
XLR Audio Inputs – with 4Ch recording with audio interface
If the Sigma fp married the Sony A7, the result would not be much different from the Sony FX3, which looks like a Sony A7RIV without the hump for the electronic viewfinder. It’s Sony’s new cinema camera.
So, here is the much expected FX3 that some consider to be just a more expensive A7SIII with a fan and no EVF. Sony has other ideas, and the company has developed the camera to be the smallest offer from the company’s Cinema Line series. In fact, despite looking like a compact mirrorless, with a design that immediately brings the Sigma fp to mind, the Sony FX3 is something else, as it offers the best of Sony’s industry-leading digital cinema technology with advanced imaging features from Alpha mirrorless cameras to create the ultimate cinematic look.
It’s a camera that Sony hopes will be the first choice for young creators who strive for new cinematic freedom. The new model provides, according to sony, outstanding image quality and usability for small scale and one-person shooting. The FX3 boasts first-class focus performance, optical image stabilisation, handheld shooting design and advanced heat dissipation for extended recording times. All this in a compact, lightweight body that provides the performance and mobility to meet the growing demands of today’s content creators.
“The FX3 was designed to turn creative vision into reality,” saidYann Salmon Legagneur, Director of Product Marketing, Digital Imaging, Sony Europe. “It allows creators to bring their visual expression into the world of cinema through immersive content. We will continue to support the world’s creators through Sony’s Cinema Line Series.”
15+ stops dynamic range
The FX3 flaunts Sony’s industry-leading image sensor technology to achieve high processing speeds and outstanding image quality. The full-frame, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor full-frame 10.2 megapixel (approx. effective) count for movie recording (and 12.1 effective megapixels for stills) and the BIONZ XR image processing engine team up to ensure high sensitivity with low noise. The standard ISO range is 80 to 102,400 (expandable to 409,600 when shooting a movie), and dynamic range is an impressively wide 15+ stops, according to the information provided by Sony.
In response to a growing need for more expressive depth, the FX3, along with FX9 and FX6 Cinema Line cameras, allows users to create a cinematic look without post-production using S-Cinetone, something the recent Sony Alpha 1 also offers. Based on the colour science inspired by Sony’s flagship VENICE camera, S-Cinetone delivers natural mid-tones, plus soft colours and smooth highlights that are essential to cinematic look.
Create movies with in-camera 4K recording at up to 120 frames per second. Extraordinarily smooth slow-motion imagery (up to 5x) at QFHD (3840 x 2160) resolution with autofocus provides new expressive capability.
Designed for comfortable solo-shooting
The most compact and lightweight Cinema Line camera is ideal for handheld shooting, gimbal and drone-mounted work. It weighs just 715 grams, including battery and memory cards, and the body is 77.8 mm high, 129.7 mm wide and 84.5 mm deep – without protrusions. The camera grip has been carefully designed to provide optimum flexibility, stability and comfort for long shoots.
Designed for mobility and efficiency, the FX3’s body features five thread holes (1/4-20 UNC) to easily attach compatible accessories while remaining light enough for handheld shooting and making it easy to carry and set up. The supplied XLR handle unit securely attaches to the body via the Multi Interface Shoe without any special tools and provides three additional thread holes for accessories: two on the top and one on the end. External monitors, recorders, wireless microphone receivers, the accessory shoe kit (cold shoe plate), or other add-ons can be securely attached.
To enable high quality audio, the XLR handle unit includes two XLR/TRS audio inputs to the FX3. With an optional XLR microphone, digital audio data can be directly transferred to the camera for outstanding audio quality. Camera settings provide audio recording formats, including 4-channel 24-bit recording. Because the XLR adaptor is integrated into the handle and does not require any additional cables or batteries, it offers stress-free set up.
Fast AF, 5-axis image stabilization
The FX3 offers Fast Hybrid autofocus (AF) by using the 627 points focal plane phase-detection system during movie recording. The camera is further enhanced with Touch Tracking (Real-time Tracking) where simply touching the desired subject on the monitor screen initiates auto focus and tracking on that subject. Precise and smooth focus is maintained with Real-time Eye AF – technology that pinpoints eye even when subjects are looking down or up at steep angles. Additionally, other AF features have been included and refined in response to feedback from professional users, including AF Transition Speed, AF Subject Shift Sensitivity, intuitive control and AF support when focusing manually. These AF features have been implemented in the FX3 to ensure stable, flexible and precise focusing in any situation and are easy to operate for solo shoots.
The FX3 features 5-axis optical in-body image stabilisation – highly effective for handheld shooting. A high precision stabilisation unit and gyro sensors have made it possible to provide an Active Mode that is dedicated to movie shooting in each format, including 4K. In-body image stabilisation means that effective stabilisation can be achieved with a wide range of lenses, including E-mount lenses that do not include stabilisation of their own. In addition, the FX3 records image stabilisation metadata that can be done more practical adjustment during post-production using Catalyst Browse/Prepare.
Sony FX3 highlights
The presentation of the new FX3 was one of the shortest online presentations, somehow reflecting the compact size of the new Cinema Line camera. ProVideo Coalition will have more info about the model but for now here are the product highlights:
2 megapixel full-frame back-illuminated CMOS Exmor R sensor and BIONZ XR image processing engine
Ultra-high sensitivity with ISO expandable to 409,600 for very low light conditions and 15+ stops of dynamic range
S-Cinetone look profile which is inspired by the digital motion picture camera VENICE’s colour science, also used in FX9 and FX6 Cinema Line cameras, and records up to 4K 120p
Compact and lightweight body design with high operability for hand-held shooting, gimbal and drone-mounted work
Multi-thread (1/4-20 UNC) body makes it easy to mount accessories
Detachable XLR handle unit with two of XLR/TRS audio input
“Active Mode” image stabilisation supports handheld movie shooting
Fast Hybrid Auto Focus, Touch Tracking (real-time tracking) and Real-time Eye AF, also used in other Alpha cameras
Uninterrupted 4K 60p recording (Continued) by Effective heat dissipation and built-in cooling fan
Sony has announced the FX3, the fourth camera in its new Cinema Line. It now joins the FX6, FX9, and the VENICE in Sony’s professional digital cinema line-up. Essentially the FX3 is an a7S III in a slightly more video-centric configuration. Please make sure you check out Erik’s hands-on with the new FX3. You can … Continued
2020 brought us many new cameras in both the cinema and mirrorless space, and the beginning of 2021 doesn’t look like we are even close to done yet. Just a week ago, Blackmagic Design released the Pocket 6K Pro with internal ND, an upgraded 1500 nit tilting screen, and an optional EVF. Yeah, we are … Continued
A slew of new Sony FX3 images has been leaked by Nokishita ahead of the official Sony announcement expected tomorrow. There isn’t much in the way of specs, except for reports that it’s basically a Sony A7S III in a slightly different body, but we do now know its dimensions, 4K frame rate and weight, […]
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