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Sony Reveals the FX3, an A7S III in a Compact Cinema-Targeted Physique


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Sony has introduced the FX3, the newest member of the Cinema Line of cameras that can be the smallest and most compact of the group. A lot of its options are borrowed from A7S III with the primary variations mendacity within the physique design and advantages to further capturing time due to an inner fan.

The FX3 is powered by a ten.2 megapixel, backside-illuminated full-frame sensor that guarantees low noise and excessive sensitivity as much as 409,600 ISO and 15+ stops of dynamic vary in SLog-3. It contains the S-Cinetone shade matrix discovered on the Venice, FX6, and FX9 to permit it to higher match with footage captured on these cameras. It additionally has eleven selectable image profiles together with S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3 Cinema.

The brand new cinema digicam can seize footage at as much as 600Mbps in All-I, can shoot in both XAVC S/H.264 or MPEG-H HEVC/H.265, and might seize 4K as much as 120 frames per second (with a ten% picture crop from Full Body) and as much as 240 frames per second in Full HD 1080p. Video will be captured in 10-bit depth and 4:2:2 shade sampling in all codecs and it could additionally shoot 16-bit RAW video by way of HDMI out. Lastly, it’ll enable for Proxy Recording in 10-bit and 8-bit XAVC HS in each 1080p and 720p.

FX3 ILME FX3 frontFX3 ILME FX3 front

The FX3 has a 627-point focal-plane phase-detection autofocus system, the identical because the one discovered on the FX6. It options Eye-AF (in video modes, Eye-AF solely helps human eyes) and Actual-Time Monitoring AF which can be found in all video modes. Contact monitoring is integrated into the rear LCD and there are intensive autofocus management parameters that may be custom-made to vary how rapidly the digicam will rack focus between topics.

The physique options 5-axis on-sensor picture stabilization (a primary for the Cinema Line) and for an extra 10% crop, Sony says {that a} digital stabilizer can work in tandem with the on-sensor stabilizer to dramatically enhance it. This characteristic, known as Lively Mode, is just not accessible within the 120 frames per second and better framerate capturing modes.

FX3 ILME FX3 Customisable button R LargeFX3 ILME FX3 Customisable button R Large

If these specs look acquainted, it’s as a result of they’re just about the identical as what the A7S III gives. When requested in regards to the options of the FX3 versus the A7S III, a Sony consultant agreed that it seems very comparable from a sure perspective.

“From the standpoint of the technology, perhaps,” a Sony consultant stated. “From the standpoint of the usability, we think they are very different.”

Sony maintains that with the FX3 and the A7S III it has created a special profit proposition for many who don’t actually need the nonetheless seize functionality of the A7S III however need the video-centric options in a physique designed to work in digicam rigs. That isn’t to say it could’t take images: it could. It has a mechanical focal aircraft shutter similar to the Alpha sequence, however Sony additionally says that its digital shutter ought to be fairly succesful as nicely due to the quick readout pace of the sensor.

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As is straight away noticeable (and certain not a shock given the quite a few leaks that emerged during the last two weeks), the design seems to mix options of the Cinema Line with the Alpha line. Sony says that the digicam is made for solo-shooting consolation and may provide an “extraordinarily different” hand-holding expertise.

The FX3 is probably the most compact Cinema Line digicam from Sony. The highest of the digicam is totally flat, as Sony eliminated the viewfinder and prime dials and it weighs 640 grams (~22.6 ounces) with no card and battery, 715 grams (~25.2 ounces) with a card and battery. Sadly, in contrast to its Cinema Line brethren, it doesn’t have the house for SDI connectors and it additionally was too small to permit for the built-in impartial density filters as nicely. These have been tradeoffs Sony determined to make to maintain the digicam small.

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The result’s a digicam that’s extra compact than an A7S III. It’s the identical width, however shorter. The depth of the digicam is barely much less if you happen to rely the viewfinder eyecup of the A1 or A7S III.

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The FX3 has what Sony known as “optimally positioned controls.” On the highest are often used buttons positioned on the highest face to allow thumb operation, and together with different controls such because the menu button and focus magnifier which allow handy right-handed operation. As a substitute of an on/off swap, Sony changed that toggle with a zoom rocker for powered zoom lenses. The entrance has a customizable document button, and the again of the digicam options the acquainted (it’s the identical as on the A7S III) 1.44 million-dot til-swivel contact LCD that offers the shooter entry to autofocus management and autofocus choice. Contact monitoring was carried out into the LCD to permit for it to grow to be a real management space. To the appropriate of the display screen, the again of the digicam has ISO and shutter management, and these together with the opposite buttons will be custom-made by the person.

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Sony needed the FX3 to be a digicam that didn’t want a third-party digicam cage and added a number of attachment factors to scale back the system’s dimension and weight. It sports activities 5 1/4-20 inch UNC thread holes on the physique that allow direct mounting of peripherals and three 1/4-20 inc UNC thread holes on the equipped deal with. The threads aren’t simply drilled into the magnesium enable cupboard, however supported by a stainless-steel substructure contained in the physique that Sony says makes it extraordinarily sturdy and supportive.

As talked about, the XLR deal with is included with this digicam which is additional proof of its Cinema Line emphasis. It contains XLR/TRS mixture connectors, a digital audio interface for four-channel 24-bit recording, and a 3.5mm headphone jack (along with the one on the FX3 physique). This deal with doesn’t embrace a microphone although, however the FX3 has a built-in stereo microphone on the physique.

FX3 ILME FX3 rightside handleFX3 ILME FX3 rightside handle

Talking of the FX3 physique ports, it contains two USB-terminals (Sort-C and micro), a headphone jack, and an HDMI Sort-A port (full dimension). Two USB ports have been included for the conditions the place the USB-C port can energy the digicam endlessly (extra on that in s second) whereas the microUSB port can be utilized for management or file switch. Similar to the A7S III, the FX3 has twin CFexpress Sort A and SD reminiscence card slots. Sony says that primarily the identical necessities for reminiscence card writing from the FX3 are shared with the A7S III.

The slight buldge behind the rear LCD is the place Sony has hidden the FX3’s energetic cooling system and built-in fan. The fan will be set to a number of working modes (Auto/Minimal/Off) and works along with the warmth dissipation construction of the digicam to maintain the gadget cool. It takes in air from the underside, strikes it throughout the warmth sink, and blows it out the facet of the unit. The fan is almost silent and in instances the place it’s quiet sufficient to be heard, it could, as talked about, be turned off.

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One of many essential advantages of the aforementioned energetic cooling system is the expanded recording time: the FX3 helps “endless” 4K recording at 60 frames per second when paired with exterior energy. Sony did truly discover the bounds of the recording to be about 13 hours of steady capturing, however for all intents and functions that’s as “endless” as video shooters want.

Regardless of the inclusion of a fan, the FX3 is mud and moisture-proof (although Sony states that’s it not assured to be 100% mud and moisture-proof, and the XLR deal with doesn’t characteristic any type of mud or moisture resistance) due to sealing offered in any respect physique seams, the battery compartment, media slots, and different areas. The FX3 additionally incorporates a mud elimination system by way of a filter on the entrance of the sensor that robotically prompts to take away mud and particles.

The digicam helps the identical battery because the A7S III, however as talked about it may be powered externally by way of USB-C. It additionally differentiates itself from the A7S III (apart from physique design) with the inclusion of S-Cinetone (regardless of rumors that is coming to the A7S III as nicely) and three tally lights (one on the entrance, one across the document button, and one on the again, all of which will be toggled on or off). Sadly, the FX3 doesn’t assist user-installable LUTs and doesn’t have SDI ports or built-in NDs, which differentiates it from the FX6. In a considerably odd selection, Sony doesn’t enable the shutter pace to be adjusted as shutter angle, which can annoy some filmmakers. It additionally doesn’t assist waveform or vectorscopes. Nevertheless, the battery life ought to be higher than the A7S III as a result of it doesn’t need to run the power-hungry EVF.

All these items considered, it’s no surprise that in Sony’s thoughts, these variations completely place it between the Cinema Line and the Alpha Line. It does have sacrifices that come from either side of the aisle, however the finish result’s a really succesful, extraordinarily compact, full-frame, video-focused digicam.

It’s barely costlier than the A7S III, however keep in mind that it does include the included deal with which can clarify the slight value distinction: The Sony FX3 is ready to hit the market in mid-March for $3899.99.

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