External Recording Options On The FX9.

There are a lot of people discussing the raw output option for the FX9. In particular the need to use the XDCA-FX9 adapter. First I do understand where those that think the XDCA is big, bulky and ugly are coming from. It certainly won’t win any design awards! And I also understand that we would all probably prefer to have the raw out direct from the camera body, but that’s not going to happen.

Besides which, the raw option won’t get enabled until some time next year in a firmware update. So in the meantime what are the alternatives?

Up to 30fps the FX9 can output UHD in 10 bit 4:2:2 over HDMI. At 60fps I’m led to believe that you can output 10 bit 4:2:2 UHD over the 12G SDI, but I have yet to actually test this.  The ability to output 30fps UHD over SDI requires 6G SDI and the standards for 6G SDI are still all over the place, but once the standards settle I am led to believe that 6G SDI should be added via a firmware update.

What this means is that it will be possible to output 10 bit 4:2:2 to an external recorder from launch at 24fps all the way to 60fps using either HDMI, SDI or a combination of the two. So I will be looking at using an Atomos Ninja V with the AtomX 12G SDI adapter to record the 10 bit output using ProResHQ for those projects where I really want to squeeze every last bit of image quality out of the camera.

Don’t get me wrong, XAVC-I is a great codec, especially if you want compact files, but ProRes HQ will give me just a tiny bit less compression for those really demanding projects that I get involved in (for example shooting demo content for some of the TV manufacturers).

DSC_0281-1024x576 External Recording Options On The FX9.
Atomos Ninja V on an A6300. This diminutive little recorder will be a great option for conventional video recording from the FX9


10 bit S-Log3 is very gradable. Because the FX9 has much less noise than the F5, FS7 or FS5 there will be no need to offset the exposure as I feel that you need to do with those cameras. So ProResHQ from an FX9 will be very, very nice to work with and the Ninja V is small, compact and uses less power than the larger Shogun models, great for when I will be travelling with the camera.

So while the camera won’t have raw for a while and perhaps even when the raw option does become available there are other ways to get some really great, highly gradable material from the FX9. Internal XAVC being one, but if you need ProRes you have some good options.

So What Does the XDCA-FX9 add?

I do suspect that the XDCA-FX9 is more than just a pass through for the raw data from the camera to the raw out SDI. To get 16 bit raw out of a camera is far more challenging than the 12 bit that the FS7 and FS5 produce. There must be some clever processing going on somewhere to squeeze 16 bit raw down a single SDI cable and I suspect that processing will be done in the XDCA-FX9 unit. The XDCA-FX9 obviously does contain a lot of processing power as it has it’s own fan cooling system. It does help balance the camera and the FX9 with XDCA-FX9 and a V-lock battery does sit very nicely on your shoulder.

In addition the XDCA adds a whole host of streaming and internet connectivity functions allowing the FX9 to be used for live news via 4G dongles without the need for a Live-U or satellite truck. Plus it has  handy switched D-Tap and Hirose power outputs.

I do look forward to getting an XDCA-FX9 for my FX9 and look forward to the raw being enabled. But even so there will also be many cases where I suspect the convenience of the compact Ninja V with the AtomX SDI adapter will be the perfect fit. It’s always good to have multiple options.

Just to make it clear – The Ninja V cannot and almost certainly never will be able to record raw from an FS5/FS7 or FX9, only conventional component video.


13 thoughts on “External Recording Options On The FX9.”

  1. Great article as always, Alister. Just curious, will the video output via SDI and HDMI on the FX9 bypass any noise reduction? Or is there an option to include noise reduction when using the SDI or HDMI to output to an external recorder? Would be great if it was switchable, and even better if you could choose how much NR was applied. Thanks!

    1. I hope so. That would really make the FX9 an amazing camera. But I don’t know. I’ve asked and got the stock non-committal “we will consider” answer.

  2. Thanks Alister,

    Will the Shogun Inferno be compatible with the FX9’s SDI outputs and able to record a prores file to an SSD?


    1. Yes for conventional component video it will be fine. But I don’t know whether it will be able to support any of the FX9’s raw modes.It certainly won’t be able to do 16 bit raw.

  3. Hi Alister,
    Hello from Sydney, Australia! Thank you so much for all your educational content on line, it has been absolutely invaluable for me and I’m sure for countless others. Your Kodakish2 luts for slog3 are awesome – and I did make a beverage contribution to you as a way of thanks!
    Just received the FX9 (what a dream camera!!) and I have a Ninja V that I’ve connected to it.
    Pressing record on the FX9 does not trigger record on the NinjaV (I have the NinjaV on autotrigger from camera.
    Also, when i just press record on the NinjaV – it records all the overlay info from the viewfinder like WB etc. I then turn ‘display off’ on the camera but can only get a clean image when on wide focus not zone or flexible spot otherwise the small square corner points of focus area are also recorded to the NinjaV video file.
    Have you worked out a work around for this, so just the clean slog3 image is recorded by the NinjaV or perhaps i need to read the manual in more detail! I’m using an HDMI cable. Or does there need to be some sort of update on the FX9 to allow a clean video signal to be recorded? Thanks for any response you can give.
    Cheers, Ed

      1. Thanks Alister,
        I found your article straight after I posted :), so felt a bit silly! I followed the instructions and fX9 now triggers the record on the ninja V which is great. However, i’m still recording the viewfinder overlays…. I switch off display overlay but the focus corners for zone and flexible spot still get baked into the image recorded on the ninja V Prores file.
        I’m probably not doing something very simple no doubt!!

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