Sony almost silently released major firmware versions for the FX3, FX6, and FX30 – these would be V4.0, V3.0, and V3.0, respectively – which offer a new way to remotely monitor and control your camera.
This allows for all three Cinema Line cameras to use the Monitor & Control app for iOS/iPadOS and Android. This could be the advanced monitoring app you have always wanted.
If you want a rundown on how you can use this app to control your cameras from an iPhone or iPad then you should listen to filmmaker Chris Brockhurst who has already tested it out. Even if you don’t normally do apps, this one can do a surprising number of things.
Chris jumps right into using the Monitor & Control app with the FX6. Looking at the view from the app you can see there are a lot of options. He starts in the basic control menu but you can change to focus control, assign, and playback menus.
In basic control you’ll see all the core camera settings. You can just tap on the different settings, like shutter speed or white balance, and change them.
Accessing a lot of these settings with a nice large iPad is a much nicer experience than diving into the menus on the camera’s smaller screen.
There is a touch of delay with the app, so maybe not for real-time focus pulling, but getting a shot ready and changing settings should be great.
Record format is the only thing you can’t change with the app since it can require a reset to activate. So make sure you have the right codec, frame rate, and resolution before you get started.
In the focus control menu, you’ll have to tap to focus. This is really easy when it comes to changing focus. You can adjust sensitivity, speed, tracking, area, and more. You can even change the min and max points for more precise control over your focus.
The controls can become incredibly precise for manual control. You can still change some camera settings, too.
The assign menu is for setting up all your custom buttons. This is so much easier than using the camera’s menus. Just tap them and select the function you want it to have.
Playback is probably the simplest as it just gives you the option to watch your clips. Chris also hasn’t found a way to transfer all the files from the FX6. It could be the format type he is using since he has seen it work with the FX3.
The big deal is that you have a big monitor with full control over the camera.
To connect to the app with the FX6 you’ll need to go down to the AP Mode Settings and change the channel to Auto (5GHz). With this done you can find the Wi-Fi name and password.
Connect to this network with your iPad/iPhone. Then you can go back to the Setup for Mobile App and get it working. You should only need to do this once.
With the FX3 you’ll see a lot of similar controls to the FX6. You can actually change format as long as you aren’t recording since the camera doesn’t reset.
There are a couple more features available here as well. You can adjust the display speed priority to reduce the amount of lag or ensure higher quality preview. There are also D-range optimizer, digital zoom, and a few other options.
The biggest upgrade for the FX3 is that the app offers assist tools that the camera doesn’t have natively. This includes waveforms and false color. These are immensely helpful and are still a common complaint from FX3 users.
Focus control on the FX3 is practically the same as on the FX6. And, the FX30 is going to be the same as the FX3.
What do you think about Sony’s new app? Are you going to try it out?
[source: Chris Brockhurst]
- Sony FX3 Cinema Camera (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony FX6 Cinema Camera (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony FX30 Cinema Camera (B&H, Amazon)
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