Sony officially announced the FX6 camera, the latest addition to Sony’s Cinema Line, which also includes the VENICE and FX9 cameras, delivers a coveted filmic look cultivated from extensive experience in digital cinema production, as well as enhanced operability thanks to an innovative body design, extensive durability and intuitive customizability.
As part of the Cinema Line, the all-new FX6 incorporates Sony’s core technologies of image sensor, processing engine, and AF (autofocus) performance. FX6 is also compatible with the wide range of Sony E-mount lenses for creative flexibility.
“The new FX6 is the latest example of Sony’s drive to continuously push the boundaries of imaging technology based on the needs of our customers,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions Americas, Sony Electronics. “With the advancement of our Cinema Line, we are dedicated to enabling the extraordinary skills and talent of today’s content creators and cinematographers. The FX6 leverages technology from Sony’s industry-leading VENICE cinema camera and marries it with the best of Sony’s innovative Alpha mirrorless camera technology.”
The new camera features a 10.2 MP full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor that delivers a 15+ stop wide dynamic range with high sensitivity and low noise. FX6’s base sensitivity is ISO 800 with an enhanced sensitivity setting of ISO 12,800 – expandable up to 409,600 – for shooting in low and very low light conditions. It is capable of recording in XAVC All Intra 4:2:2 10-bit depth with stunning image quality in DCI 4K (4096 x 2160 – up to 60p), QFHD 4K (3840 x 2160 – up to 120p) and FHD (1920×1080 – up to 240p) for incredibly detailed slow motion. When more convenient file sizes are needed, FX6 can record in XAVC Long GOP 4:2:0 8-bit QFHD 4K (3840 x 2160 – up to 120p) and 4:2:2 10-bit FHD (1920×1080 – up to 240p). FX6 also includes a BIONZ XR image processing engine, first used in the new Sony Alpha 7S III camera, providing up to four times faster processing performance compared to the FS5 II.
Developed with the same expertise as Sony’s world-leading VENICE cinema camera, FX6 offers advanced cinematic color science including S-Cinetone for richer tonal reproduction right out of the box as well as S-Log3, S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine for post-production flexibility. FX6’s cinematic color science is optimized for premium applications by capturing the maximum dynamic range from the sensor and providing creative freedom. Leveraging the color science of VENICE, FX6 also allows productions to easily match footage with other cameras in the Cinema Line.
Pulling from Sony Alpha’s impressive AF features, FX6 offers Fast Hybrid AF by combining 627-point focal-plane phase-detection AF with advanced Face Detection and Real-time Eye AF in high frame rates with continuous AF, allowing camera operators to effortlessly and precisely track fast-moving subjects in slow motion without losing focus. Fast Hybrid AF works with over 50 native E-mount lenses. The camera can also capture up to five times slow-motion with 4K (QFHD) 120fps.
The new FX6 also offers internal electronic variable ND filters for easy and seamless control of the camera’s filter density. Users can set variable ND to auto or adjust the filter density manually in smooth increments from 1/4 to 1/128 for perfectly exposed images without affecting the depth of field or shutter angle, even during changing lighting conditions. Combined with the camera’s ultra-high sensitivity, the electronic variable ND filter provides users with outstanding creative control in almost any shooting environment.
Built with a durable magnesium alloy chassis, measuring just 4.6 inches x 6 inches x 4.5 inches (116 millimeters x 153 millimeters x 114 millimeters) and weighing just 1.96 pounds (0.89 kilograms), FX6 has a compact and lightweight design making it easy for users to grab and shoot at any time. The new camera includes a heat-dissipating structure to keep the camera’s components within their normal operating ranges to prevent overheating, even during extended recording times. FX6 also features a modular design allowing users to easily pair accessories, such as grips and viewfinders, or attach the camera to other mechanisms, such as gimbals and drones.
FX6’s 3.5-inch LCD Viewfinder can be attached on multiple locations of the camera body for added freedom and easy menu control with touch operation. Using a quick-access control menu for commonly accessed features, camera operators can change key settings with a single touch – including Codec, Imager Scan Mode, Picture Size and Frequency, Base ISO and Sensitivity, Shooting Mode and Audio Levels.
In line with professional workflows, FX6 includes a 12G-SDI output that also supports 16-bit RAW, HDMI output, timecode in/out, built-in Wi-Fi and four-channel audio recording (via XLR Interface, Multi-Interface Shoe and built-in Stereo Mic). The new camera also features two media slots compatible with CFexpress Type A cards for higher overall capacity and faster read and write speeds in addition to SDXC UHS-II/UHS-I cards.
Additionally, Sony’s Catalyst Browse/Prepare software facilitates fast and easy editing. Users can import FX6’s image stabilization metadata into Catalyst Browse/Prepare to transform handheld footage into incredibly smooth and stable visuals. FX6 also has a dedicated Clip Flag button to easily filter and locate preferred takes using Catalyst Browse/Prepare. This software also reflects metadata indicating when FX6 is rotated or in its normal position, eliminating the need to rotate footage beforehand. FX6 is also compatible with Sony’s Content Browser Mobile App to easily monitor and control focus, iris, and zoom remotely.
The FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G (model SELC1635G) lens, announced at IBC 2019, will be available in December 2020 to pair with FX6, FX9 and other full-frame Sony cameras. This new lens supports intelligent shooting functions unique to E-mount cameras – such as fast and accurate AF within shallow depth of field – while also offering manual focus options in a form factor familiar to professional cinema creators.
The FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G delivers stunning bokeh and corner-to-corner resolution thanks to two XA (Extreme Aspherical) elements with extreme surface precision of 0.01-micron, circular 11-blade apertures in addition to three aspheric lenses that are positioned in a way that effectively reduces field curvature, astigmatism and, in combination with two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements, reduces color distortion. Additionally, floating focus provides outstanding resolution at every zoom position. The new lens also features Nano AR (Anti Reflection) coating, to reduce flare.
The focus ring offers a 140-degree large angle of rotation for fine control, with distance scale markers for consistent focus reset during multiple takes. Linear Response MF enables smooth manual focus, allowing users to adjust focus accurately and intuitively. Three independent rings for focus, iris and zoom enable users to get the exact creative results they desire. Each ring has the industry-standard 0.8mm pitch gear for use of follow focus accessories, and the 114mm barrel diameter is compatible with industry-standard matte box accessories. A two-speed servo provides smooth, accurate control of focal length and can be activated from a switch on the lens or a lever on the FX6 Smart Grip.
The FX6 full-frame cinema camera from Sony will be available for $6,000 in December through Sony and authorized retailers. The new FE C 16–35mm T3.1 G lens will be released in December for $5,500.
More info on Sony’s website.