Massive Sony FX9 Presentation by Alister Chapman

Amsterdam-based pro camera accessories maker and pro camera dealer Vocas recently held at their HQ a massive and very detailed 3+ hours presentation by renowned Sony ICE (Sony Independent Certified Expert) Alister Chapman on the upcoming Sony FX9.

The Sony FX9 may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the camera has a huge potential to be a massive success for Sony. Time will tell if it will sell like crazy as the FS7 did (Sony say it’s currently the most popular and most sold Sony large sensor camera ever), but so far it is gathering significant speed and interest from industry professionals.

Sony knows that this will be the next generation workhorse for corporate video, documentaries and all mid-tier work that does not require a huge crew and Alexa/RED/Venice style cine camera, and as such has given the FX9 some significant improvements over the FS7, while keeping the form-factor, recording media and other things unchanged. Think of it as a sort of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of approach.

Sony full frame FX9

Images by Sony

Sony authorised dealers and Sony themselves are putting together lots of events, road-shows and presentations on the new Sony FX9, some of which, when you sift through the marketing fluff, can actually be quite useful and informative, not to mention give you a chance to get your hands on the camera.

So, if you are like me and you have a few questions about the FX9, but have not yet had the chance to get your hands on the camera, or attend any of these presentations, then the Vocas Sony FX9 presentation by Alister, which you can watch in full a bit further down below in this post, may just be the next best thing.

sony pxw-fx9 full frame 6k

Images by Sony

Sony FX9 Features

  • 19MP 6K Full-Frame Exmor R CMOS Sensor
    • 15 stops DR
    • Exmor R Back Illuminated
    • New sensor design
    • Not a VENICE sensor
  • Locking type E-mount
  • 4K/30p in Full-Frame 6K mode (down-sampled to 4K)
  • 4K/60p in S35 crop
  • 1080/120fps slow motion (180fps in future firmware update)
  • Dual Native ISO – 800/4000
  • Fast Hybrid AutoFocus with Face Tracking
  • S-Cinetone / Venice-like Colour Science
    • New Picture Profile for better skin tones
    • Designed to work in Custom Mode
  • Custom White Balance in Cine EI/Slog3
  • Same XAVC-I codecs as on the FS7
  • Similar body to FS7
  • Dual XQD cards, same as on the FS7
  • Same Sony BPU style batteries as for the FS7
  • Optional XDCA-FX9 Extension Unit:
    • 16bit RAW output
    • RJ-45 Ethernet
    • V-mount battery bracket
    • USB/D-Tap
    • DWX slot-in audio
    • 4-channel audio
  • Pre-order:

Grabs some tea or coffee, and watch the full 3.5 hours Sony FX9 presentation by Alister Chapman held at Vocas below:

Here’s a brief summary of some key Sony FX9 points made in the presentation above:

  • 19MP 6K Full-Frame Exmor R Back Illuminated Sensor
    • new sensor design for FX9
    • not a VENICE sensor
  • 4K output from a 6K sensor for better image quality
    • FX9 cannot record 6K (and probably never will)
    • Actual 4K resolution from a FF 6K sensor (post de-bayer)
    • Currently UHD only (4K DCI to be available via firmware update)
  • Locking E-mount (same as on FS7 II) designed
    • for accommodating larger cine lenses
  • AF performance with 3rd party lenses via Adapter not good
    • future firmware may improve AF behaviour
    • Sigma 20mm E mount Art lens – not good AF on FX9
    • non-native E mount lenses from 3rd parties
      • when using a lens adapter
  • Variable ND Filter for Full-Frame has Clear Glass Filter
    • this helps maintain back focus for PL and full-frame lenses
    • this is a different design compared to the FS5 II and FS7 II
  • S-Cinetone in Custom Mode 
    • designed to emulate VENICE colour science
    • not exact match, but very similar to VENICE colours
    • great for out-of-the-box workflow
    • designed for fast turnaround
    • It’s has a unique gamma curve and colour matrix
    • does not allow plenty of room in post
  • Sony FX9 has only Slog3, no Slog2 as latter is limited in DR
  • In-Camera LUTs still have some limitations
    • SDI 1 and SDI 2 outputs:
      • they output the same LUT
      • can’t have Log on one and LUT on the other
    • Viewfinder Gamma Assist available even on playback
  • Other LUT notes:
    • Can record UHD in Log internally
    • and Full HD proxies with LUT burned for proxy workflow
  • Future RAW output will be available
    • Not many things are known about it
    • No fixed RAW roadmap
    • Will require XDCA-FX9 expansion unit
    • External 3rd party recorder by Atomos to be available in future

There are loads of really useful technical bits in the presentation above, I highly recommend you watch it in full if you are interested in buying a Sony FX9. Huge thanks to Vocas for filming this presentation for all those who did not have a chance to attend, or go to similar FX9 events.

Explore the Sony FX9, other pro cameras and accessories at Vocas here.

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