Who knows what Sony might come up with if they were given all the components from its Venice and A9 cameras and given a challenge? As far as I can tell, it’s in the form of the successor to FS7. And it’s called the Sony FX9
While the new FS9 is based on the same basic run-and-gun design as the preceding FS7 series, it has several noteworthy upgrades because of the use of technology from the VENICE and A9.
Sony also unveiled the Z750, a more TV-oriented model with 12GSDI and WiFi functionality.
Let’s have a look at this.
The FX9 features all the professional settings of a true video camera like XLR audio connectors and high battery life and adds in a full-frame sensor and hybrid AF from the Alpha mirrorless series.
It also blends in the magnificent color science of Sony’s high-end Venice motion picture camera and a dual native ISO sensor for exceptional low-light performance.
Although it boasts a 6K sensor, the FX9 downsamples this data to C4K and does not enable internal Raw recording, unlike its 5.9K opponent, the full-frame Canon EOS C500 Mark II. But the FX9 is substantially cheaper, and unlike the Canon delivers 180fps for extreme slow-motion, although in HD only.
But if you are wanting to step up to a full-frame cinema camera from a Super35mm camcorder, or want the user-friendly features that a mirrorless camera can never give, the Sony FX9 is a remarkable performer.
It may be $11,000 body alone, but it is the cheapest full-frame movie camera you can purchase.
Model number: Sony PXW-FX9
Sensor: 20.5-megapixel full-frame Exmor R backside-illuminated CMOS
Video formats: 4096×2160 C4K, 3840×2160 4K, 2048×1080 2K, 1920×1080 FHD, 1280×720 HD. Codecs: XAVC-I 10-bit 4:2:2 600Mbps, XAVC-L, 8-bit 4:2:0 150Mbps, MPEG 8-bit 4:2:2, 16-bit Raw via XDCA-FX9 and external recorder
Frame Rates: 59.94/50/ 29/.97/ 25/ 23.98fps for C4K, 4K, HD. 120fps/180fps HD and 4K/ 120fps (external)
Gamma curves: S-Cinetone, Std, HLG, S-Log3
ISO: Dual Base ISO 800/4000
Dynamic Range: 15+ stops
Autofocus: Hybrid AF; 561 phase-detection points covering 94% of the sensor. one-shot, continuous, face priority, eye tracking
Lens Mount: Sony E
Controls: Peaking, waveform, zebras, focus assist
Shutter speed: 1sec – 1/8000sec
Filters: Stepless variable ND 1.4 – 1/128
Memory card: 2 x XQD slots, 1x SD data slot
LCD: Fully articulating 3.5in LCD, 2.76 million dots
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, BNC 12G-SDI, BNC 3G-SDI, HDMI-A
Weight: 2kg (body only)
Build And Handling
Sony has enhanced the FX9 from the FS7. Because the FX9 has a locked E-mount, you don’t have to twist the lens to fit it. Two XQD cards and an SD card for proxies or loading settings have been updated. Ten programmable buttons. All auto mode buttons now have LED indicators.
The main menu scroll wheel has been replaced with a touchpad on the camera’s left side. The camera includes a large multi-function knob for navigating menus. The new 720p viewfinder has enhanced color contrast. An MI shoe links the camera to Sony accessories, including the new digital audio system.
The shoe allows you to attach Sony’s wireless audio equipment to the camera. The wireless gadget is powered by the camera’s battery. First full-frame camera with Sony’s Electronic Variable ND filter (step or variable).
To use auto ND, set the shutter speed and aperture to auto. The FX9 has Sony’s advanced AF technology, with 561 points covering 94% of the picture area. This complicated mechanism controls AF transition speed and AF subject shot sensitivity.
The focus zone may be wide or small for best precision. There is no touch-to-focus touchscreen, just a toggle switch. Automatic Face and Eye Detection. The FX9 has improved manual focus features including 3x and 6x focus magnifiers and fully customizable focus peaking.
Using a gyroscope to store information and reduce wobbles in post-production. Picture stabilization may be adjusted using Sony’s Catalyst Browse/Prepare application. Or utilize Sony’s stabilized lenses. Sony’s Content Browser Mobile allows a smartphone to control the FX9.
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The WiFi can also upload files to FTP for news broadcasts. Ethernet supports wired streaming and FTP file transfers. The FX9’s shutter speed is always double the frame rate when set to 180 degrees. Anything to avoid navigating the simplified Sony menus.
The FX9’s high ISO performance is awe-inspiring because of its full-frame sensor, which produces photos with incredible clarity and minimal noise. Even if you underexpose and then ramp up the exposure in post, it’s still extremely excellent.
It’s an excellent sensor. When utilizing the FX9 in terms of color, you have two options – Custom or CineEI. S-Cinetone color technology from Venice is combined with a normal video camera in Custom.
In terms of color, this is a decent compromise between the more conventional and the more cinematic.
The skin tones are more accurate, and the highlights are better preserved. Straight from the camera, it’s usable. In order to avoid the advertisement, you may just ignore it. Color correction and grading in post-production are a breeze with CineEI’s high-resolution file detail.
Instead of using ISO or Gain, you utilize EI ratings, and this enables you to vary the effective ISO without affecting its dynamic range. White balance and tint may also be customized. Although Cine EI has some noise reduction, Custom mode produces clearer high-ISO images.
S-Log3 and HG are also available in CineEI and Custom on the FX9. While S-Log3 gives a more accurate skin tonality, it also has a wider dynamic range and more gorgeous hues. But S-Cinetone isn’t far behind at all in terms of performance and quality.
Price And Availability
The FX9 is expected to start at $’10,999, and the package includes an A-mount 28-135 kit lens for a total of $13,499 when purchased separately. Shipping will begin next summer. For $2499, the XDCA Unit was on the market in January 2020.