Sony continues its challenge of the cinematic camera industry with the announcement of the Sony FX3. Hot on the heels of the recent Sony a1 announcement, the new FX3 demonstrates Sony’s confidence to take visual content creation to the next level. As video content grows in both popularity and demand, Sony has listened to visual creatives’ voice worldwide. They are pushing the envelope of consumer-to-pro level cinema cameras, and the Sony FX3 is a testament to that.
But the Sony FX3 is a cinema camera so let’s cut to the chase. The FX3 captures 4K 60p, 4K 120fps and 240fps in Full HD recording in a nutshell. It features a Digital Audio Interface and delivers 10-bit internal intra-frame recording and 16-bit RAW external recording. The dual function media card slots supporting both SD and CFexpress Type A with a blistering 1000mbps speed handle the digital media. No matter how challenging or diverse the project, the Sony FX3 will deliver.
High-level specs of the Sony FX3 include a 35mm Full-Frame Exmor R CMOS images sensor with 12.9-megapixels. The native ISO range is 80-102400 with an expandable ISO range to 409600, ensuring low light performance. Shutter speeds of 1/8000 to 30 seconds are achievable, and the camera boasts 5.5 steps (CIPA) image stabilisation with Active Mode Stabilisation. True to the heritage of Sony’s Alpha camera range, the FX3 features 627 Phase-detect AF points in movies, 425 Contrast-detect AF points and an AI-based Real-time Eye autofocus in stills and movies.
Here’s a snapshot of the Sony FX3 specifications:
- 35mm full-frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm), Exmor R CMOS sensor
- Approx. 12.9 megapixels for Stills and 10.2 for Video
- ISO 80-102400 equivalent (Expandable to ISO 409600),
- 1/8000 to 30-second shutter speed,
- LCD: 7.5cm (3.0-type), Approx. 1.44M dots, touch panel, Opening Angle: Approx. 176 deg., Rotation Angle: Approx. 270 deg.
- 627 Phase-detect AF points in Movies
- 425 Contrast-detect AF points
- AI-based Real-time Eye autofocus in stills and movie mode
- Standard ISO range 80-102400
- 5.5 steps (CIPA) image stabilisation with Active Mode stabilisation
- Digital Audio Interface
- 120fps 4K and 240fps FHD movie recording
- 16-bit RAW external recording
- 15 stops dynamic range
- Internal intra-frame recording at 10-bit
- Dual function Media card slots
- CFexpress Type A with 1000mbps speed
- Simultaneously display video across three displays
- RAW, JPEG & HEIF photo formats
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 2.4 and 5Ghz WiFi
- Weight 715g with battery and memory card included
- Weight 1.015kg with XLR Handle, battery pack, SD card
- Dimensions (W x H x D)129.7 mm x 77.8mm x 84.5mm
Sony FX3 – Durability and Optical Precision
The Sony FX3’s main chassis, front, top and rear plates are constructed from a durable magnesium alloy to deliver a strong but lightweight camera. The result is a real workhorse that endures any conditions while out on location. Further to this, machined stainless steel forms the mounting points and the lens mount’s attachment points. As a result, the mount effortlessly handles all sizes and weights of lenses without strain on the frame.
Sony has paid close attention to ensuring that the FX3 meets the demands of pros. Dust and moisture resistance was a high priority, and as a result, seals protect the body at all key points including the battery compartment and media slots. Despite this, the camera still features a cooling inlet to maximise airflow in conjunction with the onboard fan for uninterrupted 4K 60p recording.
Sony did not stop there in the pursuit of purity. The FX3 houses an anti-dust filter placed in front of the image sensor that oscillates at an ultrasonic frequency of 70,000 cycles per second. This system removes any dust or particles that may appear on the filter, preventing them from progressing the sensor. The best part about this system is that videographers can confidently change lenses throughout a shoot without fear of contaminates impacting image quality.
Sony FX3 – Compact and Capable
The Sony FX3 follows the unmistakable form of a slimline Sony Alpha mirrorless camera. Yet this compact design houses functionality that pushes the FX3 to the top of the cinema camera rankings. Its width and height may fool the uninitiated into thinking this is a paired-down FX body. But the depth of the camera allows for some impressive specs and functions. The cage-free weighs only 715g with five mounting points (industry standard) around the body.
Also, the Sony FX3 comes bundled with a removable top XLR handle unit that acts not only as stability support but in itself houses intuitive functionality. The handle attaches via one of the camera body mounting points and houses two XLR inputs and an additional three mounting points. Without a doubt, the Sony FX3 is a cinematographer’s ideal camera for on the go or in-studio work.
The layout of the Sony FX3 is a pure practical design with a video-centric button layout for simple operation. The flat, minimal appearance is interrupted by a deep handgrip and rotating 7.5cm (3.0-type) 1.44M dots touch panel. Designed for right-hand use, the top face features frequently used controls that ensure quick and effortless operation. The FX3 features a dedicated zoom level for single-handed power zoom control and a dedicated video record button. Plus, there are no less than three unique and easy to view Tally lamps found on the camera.
Sony FX3 – Uninterrupted 4K 60p Recording
First and foremost, the Sony FX3 is a cinema camera capable of pro-grade video recording. Thanks to its compact and lightweight design, it is well suited to the studio and outdoor projects. But can it last the distance when undertaking long shoots? Fortunately for you, the answer is yes! The FX3 utilised heat dissipation frameworks and an inboard fan to maintain a cool operating system. As a result, there is no heat build-up and no thermal shutdowns. In simple terms, the Sony FX3 is capable of uninterrupted 4k 60p video recording.
The Sony FX3 delivers exceptional video recording thanks to industry-leading 16-bit RAW output in 4264 x 2408 (16:9 aspect ratio) resolution. This output effortlessly supports 4096 x 2048 DCI-4K at frame rates of 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, or 24p. What’s more, the FX3 effectively outputs 16-Bit RAW video while also internally recording proxy files and XAVC HS 4K/ XAVC S 4K / XAVC S-I 4K.
When it comes to accompanying audio, the bundled XLR handle house two XLR audio inputs and a raft of camera function control. The XLR handle is home to controls to manage multiple audio recording formats, including 4-channel 24-bit recording. The Sony FX3 supports audio format including 48 kHz/16 bit/2 channel, 48 kHz/24 bit/2 channel, and 48 kHz/24 bit/ 4 channel.
If you have been looking for an upgrade that’s compatible with your toolset, then the FX3 is the camera for you. While the size is smaller than the powerful FX6, it is its most significant asset – meaning that you can extend your vision to a drone, small rig or gimbal with ease. The Sony FX3 arrives very soon in-store; ensure you place a deposit along with the appropriate memory cards, rigs, gimbal and hard case.