There were tons of cameras released this year with one of the most important ones being the Sony FX9. As with practically every cinema camera released ever, the camera benefits greatly from the addition of some key accessories.
Filmmaker Brian Hunt describes what he finds to be must-have items for his FX9 kit as he shows off his custom camera setup with all the bits and pieces you’ll need to build this combo from scratch.
No camera comes from the manufacturer perfect and I would challenge anyone to tell me otherwise. That’s why the accessory market is so strong for cinema, as every shooter needs their own unique tweak to get it rolling for them.
1. Shape FX9 Remote Extension Handle
Speaking of nothing is perfect. Sony cameras like the FS7 and now FX9 have less-than-ideal extension handles for handheld operation. SHAPE makes a solid replacement with their FX9 Remote Extension Kit.
Compared to the Sony handle, the SHAPE allows for adjustments that let the camera lay flat when not in use, and this alone could be enough of a value for people on the move.
2. Zacuto Z-Finder and Mount
Sure, the upgraded viewfinder on the FX9 is nice, but we can do better. The recommendation from Hunt is to go with the Zacuto Z-Finder. It’s brighter and sharper with overall better build quality.
You don’t have touch, but it is a better view. Helping with this is the Wooden Camera UVF Mount. This allows for faster, easier positioning of the Z-Finder when you need it.
3. SmallHD FOCUS 7
On top of the camera to help with composition is a large, daylight-viewable SmallHD FOCUS 7 monitor. This is a solid way to check focus and exposure when you aren’t operating handheld with the viewfinder.
One thing Hunt does note is that when raw output becomes available he will likely upgrade this to an Atomos recorder to get ProRes RAW. Mount it on your top handle using the SmallRig Swivel and Tilt Monitor Mount for smooth movements.
4. Top Cheeseplate
To mount all your accessories you’ll need some more threads and mounting points. One way to do this is with a cheesplate. Finding one specific to the FX9, such as the SmallRig 1974 Integrated Top Plate gives a nice, clean look to your setup and allows for the use of original accessories.
5. Upgraded Top Handle
After you add a top plate, you might as well upgrade the top handle for a more secure fit that adds new features. The SmallRig 1979 Closed Top Handle is the choice here and adds some solid mounting points for accessories while being a very secure rig. It is also adjustable so you can get perfect placement and balance.
6. Tentacle Sync E Timecode Generator
Getting matched up timecode between your various devices can be tricky, that’s what the Tentacle Sync System fixes. It’s small, easily mounted via a cold shoe, and plugs right into the FX9 for accurate syncing between your cameras.
7. Hollyland Mars 400S Wireless Video Transmission System
Another nice tool is the Hollyland Mars 400S, which will send a beautiful Full HD signal wirelessly to your monitor of choice. It’s a great option for setting up a larger director’s monitor or for working with clients.
8. Upgraded Shoulder Pad
Finally, this isn’t a small system, so if you are going handheld you’ll want a bit of extra comfort for longer shoots. The SmallRig Sony VCT-14 Shoulder Plate helps in multiple ways. It has a shoulder pad for extra comfort and can still be quickly mounted to the VCT system for use on a tripod without needing to remove it every time.
It’s a solid list and I would probably have a very similar list if I had an FX9. Anything in particular catches your eye? Or do you think something is missing? Let us know in the comments below.
[source: Brian Hunt]
- Sony PXW-FX9 XDCAM Cinema Camera (B&H, Amazon)
- SHAPE FX9 Remote Extension Kit (B&H)
- Zacuto Z-Finder for FX9, FS7 II, & FS7 (B&H)
- SmallHD FOCUS 7 Monitor (B&H, Amazon)
- Hollyland Mars 400S SDI/HDMI System (B&H, Amazon)
- Atomos Shogun 7 Recorder/Monitor (B&H, Amazon)
- SmallRig 1974 Integrated Top Plate (B&H, Amazon)
- SmallRig 1979 Closed Top Handle (B&H, Amazon)
- Wooden Camera UVF Mount for Sony (B&H, Amazon)
- SmallRig Swivel and Tilt Monitor Mount (B&H, Amazon)
- Tentacle Sync E Timecode Generator (B&H, Amazon)
- SmallRig Sony VCT-14 Shoulder Plate (B&H, Amazon)
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