I was lucky enough to get and test a camera like Sony FX9 for a few days and put it through its paces as with my normal in-depth reviews.
Table of Contents
So now I will be breaking this review into several segments in which you can see timestamps so let’s start looking at the camera body itself.
the Sony FX9 has a ton of buttons on the side so if you need to change the setting there is a button that’s going to save you time from going into the menu whereas on the Blackmagic 6K Pro everything can be controlled by the 5 inch touchscreen on the back of the camera every option that you would probably need is on the screen.
The FX9 has a very similar body to the Sony FS7, but instead of a super 35-millimeter sensor, it has a full-frame sensor. The FX 9 features a gray finish which makes it look more like a Venice than an FS 7. It’s a lot more angular than the FS7 and it’s a little bigger.
The remote control BPU 35 battery SEL p28 135g lens an XQD memory card handle mic holder all attached whereas.
But the FX9 is also a little heavier than the FS7 weighing around four points eight kilograms with the viewfinder eyepiece rip. Therefore seven of those same accessories waiting for around 4.5 kilograms.
I think that’s not a lot but when you’ve got it on your shoulder all day it will make a difference.
So the bottom of the camera has some similarities to the FS 7 but also has some changes it features.
The monitor itself has seen a massive improvement with a resolution of 1280 by 720 instead of the 960 by 540 from the FS7.
the FX9 screen is a detachable 2.4 million dots screen that comes with a viewfinder attachment. The viewfinder is really handy especially in bright days just see exactly what you’re capturing.
the great part is that you can take off that screen and mount a monitor five inch, seven inches or whatever you need and then you can have a live view.
Sony fX9 Specs
- Viewfinder Type: Lcd
- SELP28135G Kit Lens
- Dual Native ISO of 800/4000
- 15+ Stops Dynamic Range
- 4K capturing with oversampled
- 6K Full-frame Exmore R sensor
- Fast Hybrid AF
- Sony E-Mount
- Electronic Variable ND Filter
- AF with face detection and Eye-AF
- 4K 4:2:2 10bit internal recording
- UHD up to 60 fps, HD up to 180 fps
- Four channels of audio
- External 16-bit RAW recording with add-on unit
- 10-bit S35 4K at 120fps to an external recorder
I really like the build quality of the fx9 because feels really solid really nice design it has a locking E-mount which is a little bit controversial but I have come to really like it because its lens isn’t going anywhere.
you’re not getting any lens play you will see pretty much all the buttons you need it has full-size xlrs built into the body, SDI, full-size HDMI.
so all the connections that you could really want and need in a professional camera in a professional setting, the build quality of this camera is phenomenal it definitely does not feel like a toy it feels like a very pro tool.
codecs and formats
I also like codecs and formats because of its 10 bit 422 in both 4k and HD and its long GOP options if you need to compress your file sizes down the 10 bit 422.
very nice to work with the all eye codec easy to edit and very manipulatable I find it works great in VFX environments in just regular environments.
it’s very easy to color grade unless you’ve done something really wrong in shooting the footage comes out pretty clean.
so it’s just great codecs great formats a lot of different options depending on what you need.
So, the FX9 has one of the best autofocus systems in the world its just awesome it has two auto-focusing modes face priority and face only.
it’s working fantastic because when you are moving back and forth right at f 3.2 it works great at f 2.8.
So, what I love about the face-only mode is that if your subject is walking into the frame and then they leave it’ll actually stay on that same plane of focus until the next face walks in and that’s really cinematic.
Now while the auto-focus comes from the Alpha series of cameras, a cinema camera isn’t a cinema camera without proper cinema glass.
the FX9 uses a locking e-mount similar to the one found on the Venice under its PL mount which is a much more secure mount with less play but much harder to use than the regular e-mount.
the Sony FX9 is a full-frame 6K sensor that down samples to 4K in comparison with its competitors like the Blackmagic 6K Pro has a super 35mm 6K sensor.
But the FX9 can shoot 4k DCI up to 60 frames per second and the Pocket 6K Pro can shoot 6k at 50 frames per second in 16×9 and 60 frames per second at 2.4 to 1 aspect ratio.
when it comes to color you can shoot 4k slog3 on the FX9 using the XAVCI codec at 250 megabits per second with 6K Proyou can shot 6k b-raw with absolutely zero scientific with a similar dynamic range
this is a fantastic sensor like slight x-factor but the image just looks absolutely beautiful to my eye even slightly better than the Sony A7S III and Sony FX6.
FX9 sensor captures downsampled 4K which results in a more detailed image and gives you closer to true 4K resolution than the sensor in the Sony FX6 it does a great job in low light with its dual base ISO.
It has 800 and 4000 at instant ei mode and 320 and 1600 in ascent tone mode as a dual native isos they look absolutely fantastic.
I was able to push this camera up quite a bit in cine ei I’ve even pushed it up to 20 000 a couple of times when I’ve had a really really dark wedding receptions.
the fx9 has a dual base iso of 800-4000 whereas the fx6’s is 800 to 12,800 according to Sony the fx9 has a door-based iso sensor whereas the fx6 is not marketed
Internal variable ND
One of my favorite things about FX9 is its new electronic ND variable it’s not like those typical variable ND’s where you rotate and it can kind of mess with your image because there are polarizers in there.
It’s electronic some electric current goes through it and some science stuff and it’s a very nice consistent even level of neutral density.
there is no degradation to the image quality which is fantastic obviously you’ll get that sometimes with the little circular nds that you’ll put on your lenses with mirrorless cameras, especially variable nds.
I get a lot of issues with weird patterns and strange polarization and things like that so having this built-in electronic nd that just works does not degrade.
With this, they have also improved the color and contrast of the screen and this was one thing that stood out to me.
When you’re using it more as a viewfinder it’s so obvious how much better the screen is.
FX9 has an asana button on the side of the screen also instead of the contrast dial on the FS7.
Moving on to the front features the same locking email as the FS 7 mark with which I have a love-hate relationship with.
I was able to change and shoot in a range of different gammas and color matrix.
The proxy and sub record modes are pretty handy you can be shooting a full x a VCI or el UHD out to 60 frames a second.
While recording a 1080p MPEG HD 42 at the same frame rate you are recording your master app as a proxy.
The FX 9 features a picture cache record this is a buffer pre-record mode in this. You can define how long before you hit the record button the camera records. And then saves this would be perfect for a range of different productions.
One of the cool things about having a full-frame sensor is the fact that you’re going to have larger photosites on the sensor itself.
That means that you’re going to have higher sensitivity in low light and better dynamic range.
Now, you may feel cheated by only recording at 4K but there are actually several major benefits in doing this downsampling from the 6K to the 4K.
Number one, the noise floor actually is reduced, so if you’re shooting in low light and you have a lot of noise in the image when you’re downscaling from 6K to 4K, that noise pattern becomes a lot smaller and less visible.
Additionally, edges start to look a little bit sharper and detail becomes a little bit clearer.
Probably the biggest benefit is that when you’re downscaling from 6K to 4K, you actually get a lot more in the way of color accuracy, especially when working with the CMOS bayer pattern sensor.
That’s because out of four photo sites on a bayer sensor, two are green, one is red, and one is blue.
So, when you are starting with 6K and you’re downscaling to 4K, you have a lot more photo sites to generate the color information of every pixel within that 4K result.
That means that you’re significantly increasing the color accuracy of every pixel.
One of the big focuses that Sony had with the FX9 was moving away from dependence on camera menus.
In terms of ND filters both of these cameras have built-in ND filters from 2 to 6 stops the Blackmagic has three hard stop settings for the ND filters at 2,4 and 6 stops but the FX9 has a variable ND.
We see this with the multi-function dial that gives us control over white balance and over the internal variable ND, and we have controls for all of our audio on the outside of the camera.
Previously, on the FS5 and the FS7, you had to have an additional module to be able to do time code in and out, along with Genlock.
Now with the FX9, you have Genlock and time code in and out, built right into the back of the camera.
Along with the FX9, Sony has announced its new color science called S-Cinetone.
S-Cinetone is aimed specifically at people who need to get their edits out quickly with minimal color grading.
So, if you’re in a bind and you need to get things done as quickly as possible, while still maintaining a cinematic look, S-Cinetone is the tool for you.
the FX9 has two BNC video outs in comparison to the FX6 only has one the FX9 also features better crop modes and results because of the increased sensor resolution
FX9 has 15 stop dynamic range the FX6 produces the same dynamic range of 15 stops both can produce great-looking images both perform really well one difference between them is the FX6 doesn’t hold color quite as well as the FX9.
the FX9 uses natively the bp 30 to 70 batteries and you can last about 3 to 4 hours whereas the Blackmagic uses the NPF 550 batteries internally and that only lasts for around 25 to 40 minutes a part where FX9 wins.
So, both of these cameras can be powered externally with v-mount or gold mount batteries using a d-tap straight into the camera.
the FX6 and FX9 use the same battery the FX9 has a much higher power draw of 35.2 watts wereas the 18 watts of the FX6.
One of the major benefits that we got from the Sony Alpha series is its amazing auto-focus.
the FX9 has the Sony E-mount and Pocket 6K Pro uses the Canon EF mount that’s the opposite and there are a ton of good lenses made for the EF mount.
Of course, the FX9 works with any number of Sony E-Mount lenses and can be adapted to work with EF, PL, or Nikon F-Mount lenses.
So we are lucky that Sony has introduced a brand new 28 to 135 millimeter cinema lens. This new lens gives you the ability to use all of the auto-focus features of the FX9.
In addition to the FX9, Sony announced a new module called XDCA-FX9. This module gives you the ability to use V-Mount batteries.
It gives you a RJ-45 port for live streaming and uploading of FTP, and it gives you the ability to output 16-bit Linear RAW over SDI.
One of the major benefits of shooting in RAW is the fact that you can get all of that photo site information directly from the sensor.
Right out of the box the FX9 will be able to record in Sony’s XAVC codec. Now you may be worried about losing some of the color information going from 16-bit Linear to 10-bit Log.
However, XAVC in S-Log still has 15 plus stops of dynamic range on the FX9.
there are two xlr ports built into the body not onto the handle like the fx6 you can remove the handle and still get audio into the camera
you can also adjust four channels of audio on the side of the fx9 whereas you only have the option to control two channels on the fx6 body
Sony FX9 Price
So, the FX6 is smaller it costs Around $6000 it has more high frame rates and a better raw workflow, the FX9 cost $11,000 but there are really important advantages for the FX9 the speed and flexibility that the crop mode gives the on shoulder design plus work better with broadcast requirements.
if you’ve used the Sony FS7 before the FX9 will be the easiest camera to get used FX9 shares so many features physically.
the FX9 features all of the fantastic inputs and outputs for this level of camera and supports gen lock and RCP support.
the FX9 though is based on a very different core system to the FX6 it’s a camera that’s based around two core concepts firstly the on-shoulder design just like the FS7 and a higher resolution 6k sensor which gives you down-sampled 4k images.
it doesn’t let you record in a higher resolution it has to down back to 4k but the resulting 4k has a lower noise floor at regular iso values and is more detailed than the native 4k footage from the fx6.
The Sony FX9 gives you control over the speed and sensitivity of your auto-focus in this way it becomes one of the best cinema cameras to buy.
Maybe FX6 is better than FX9 in its raw output capabilities but not in body quality so both use the same system of sending 4k 16-bit raw over 12g SDI ports.
FX6 and FX9 feature the same ND system, the FX9 also features 1.3 and two times in camera an anamorphic-squeeze support which the FX6 does not.
The FX6 is slightly better in autofocus than FX9 so, the FX9 can also shoot interlaced and features compatibility with xd cam air which the FX6 does not.
the difference is that the FX6 can do it using the camera’s port straight from the camera to the atomos while the fx9 needs the very large and quite expensive xdca back in order to output raw.
the FX9 uses xqd media type whereas the FX6 uses cf express type A and sd xqd is an older media type than type A.
the difference between those type is off load times is much faster with type A cards than xqd due to the increased read and write speeds.
|Release Date||September 2019|
|Lens||Sony E Mount|
|Lens Communication||Autofocus support|
|Sensor Type||Full frame CMOS|
|Sensor Size||35.7 x 18.8 mm|
|Build in ND Filter||4 to 128 stop electronic ND filter|
|Capture type||Video only|
|Shutter type||Electronic rolling shutter|
|Shutter speed||1/8000 to 1 second|
|Gain||-3 to 18 db|
|Shutter Angle||6 to 360|
|Dynamic Range||15 stops|
|White Balance||Kelvin Setting(setting range 2000K to 15000K) Presets ATW, Set A, Set B|
|Recording Modes||External Recorder In Raw Mode:|
4096 x 2160 16-Bit at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97 fps
3840 x 2196 16-Bit at 100/119.88 fps
3840 x 2160 16-Bit at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
2048 x 1080 16-Bit at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94/100/119.88/150/179.82 fps
|Gamma Curve||HDR-HLG, S Cinetone, Sony S-Log 3, Standard|
|Audio recording||4-Channel 24-Bit 48 kHz LPCM Audio|
|Aspect ratio||16 : 9|
|File format||XAVC-I 4K, XAVC-I QFHD or XAVC-I HD|
|Bit Depth||10 Bit|
|Storage type||Slot 1 XQD|
Slot 2 XQD
SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory stick duo hybrid
|Video I/O||1 x BNC (12G-SDI) Output|
1 x BNC (3G-SDI) Output
1 x HDMI (HDMI 2.0) Output
|Audio I/O||2 x XLR 3-Pin Mic/Line (+48 V Phantom Power) Input|
1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Headphone Output
|Screen Type||External Touchscreen LCD|
|Screen Resolution||2,760,000 dots|
|Focus Type||Auto & Manual|
|Dimensions||146 x 142.5 x 229 mm|
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