PXW-FX9 Feature Wish List

While my website is not officially sanctioned or endorsed by Sony, I do know that many Sony people read it. In addition I often meet members of the Sony design team. So I thought I would create a page where I can collate the features and changes that us users would like to see in future firmware updates. 


This will be a wish list. We may not see anything requested come, but then again maybe we will. Who knows. Some of these may  already be in the pipelines, but until we see a roadmap of some form I will include all wishes that have not already been confirmed as features due to come. So just because something is in the list it doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t already planned.

Add a comment if there is a feature you feel this camera should have and I’ll add it to the list. I will try to keep the list in order of popularity with the most requested at the top.

PXW-FX9 Feature Wish List:

LUT’s off for record but on for SDI/HDMI/VF when shooting HD (currently LUT’s can be off for record and on for SDI/HDMI/VF when recording UHD, but not HD).

Make it possible to assign the switching of scan modes to an assignable button.

User 3D LUT’s.

2K Center Scan Mode.

Anamorphic De-Squeeze.

Addition of the the higher quality XAVC Class 480 codec.

Ability to add letter box (black bars) to the recordings at 2.39 aspect ratio.

Full Frame 6K 2.39 aspect ratio shooting mode at 50/60P Similar to the Venice full frame 2.39 aspect ratio mode.

The ability to choose the bit depth of the raw output. Currently we know that Full Frame 16bit 24/25/30p is planned. It would be good if you could also choose 12bit for use with legacy raw recorders.

Alternate viewfinder options. Ability to purchase a higher quality viewfinder, perhaps OLED.

Smaller version of the XDCA-FX9 with just the raw option.

VF Overlays outside of the image area (my comment – this I think is unlikely as you need extra processing power to re-scale the image, in addition the resolution of the image will be reduced making focus harder etc. Really you want a higher resolution VF to do this).

Internal raw recording.

MI-Shoe to XLR breakout cable or alternate handle with 2x extra XLR connectors on the rear of the handle.

Ability to use CFexpress cards (same slot and similar interface as XQD so might be possible).

Menu option to turn off all viewfinder overlays when recording. Currently 2 options for each overlay, on or off. Suggest third option, off in record so the VF is less cluttered while recording.

High/Low Key function for CineEI as on the F5/F55/Venice.

4K 120fps internal recording (lower bit rate acceptable, similar to FS5 or Alpha cameras).

Autofocus at all S&Q frame rates.

Assignable button to switch audio monitoring between 1/2 and 3/4.

Option to format both XQD cards at once (I have added this as it has been requested but personally think this is quite a dangerous option).

 

 

 

 

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29 thoughts on “PXW-FX9 Feature Wish List”

  1. While I have no plans of upgrading from my original Fs7 ( at my age I done with new big boy cameras) but as with the Fs7, I’d like the option to output SD so that legacy devices like my TransVideo video assist and my Sony Glasstron video glasses could be used. And there are other occasions where an SD output would be beneficial.b

  2. Lower bitrate 4K/120p internal recording. Not sure if this is physically impossible, but hopeful since 1080/120p was added to FS5 via firmware. Biggest letdown for me was that the FX9 basically has the same HFR capabilities as the original FS7.

    Also a smaller and simplified extension unit just for raw recording or output.

    1. Added to the list, it could use the new XAVC-L 8 bit 4:2:0 codec that Venice uses. Frankly the image quality of the FS5’s continuous 120fps HD isn’t great. The FX9’s 120fps HD (which will eventually go up to 180fps) is higher quality.

      1. Glad to hear the 120fps HD is improved, but 4K 120p is definitely becoming useful these days with many projects being cropped 9:16 and 4:5 for social media. I love the 4K 120p burst on the FS5>Raw, just wish the FX9 had this capability internally.

  3. A very good initiative Alister! Seeing the start of this list confirms to me what I have felt from the very beginning of this camera. This time Sony went too far in restricting the FX9, trying to avoid it from being to close to Venice. Their fears are both exagerrated and out of time. The main issue is the 10 bit internal codec. That’s just not 2019.

    1. So who other than Arri has a 12 bit or higher internal codec? Not even Venice. At this level there are still people refusing to work with 10 bit UHD because it’s “hard” or needs too much storage. H265 is a non starter as an editing codec for most, ProRes is huge compared to XAVC and an ancient inefficient codec.

      I think you’ll find most of the limitations are due to balancing power consumption/weight with features/cost rather than deliberately crippling anything to protect Venice.

  4. I would love to have a nicer layout of viewfinder overlays, something similar to Venice, Red or Alexa, where they don’t overlay the image or at least cover much less space than now. I’m ok with a smaller font and narrow strip on top and bottom, but don’t want any numbers and letters on the left and right of the frame.

    Second, would be great to have an assignable button to switch between full frame/S35 in a second without going into menu settings. Double click to go into S16 mode?

    Third, I would like to see simple Tint adjustments, something like Alexa has where you go up or down in stops +1, +2, -1, -2 etc. Maybe it could be double click on white balance button to adjust green/pink cast. And would be good to have it in CineEI mode too. What it’s right now in FS7/FX9 it is very confusing, I can’t understand how it works. You change green channel, but then the other ones are get changed too. Mirrorless Sony have a way better interface to change tint.

    1. The FX9 already has a dedicated +/- tint adjustment in both CineEI and Custom modes.

      I’ve added the others to the list, but the resolution of the VF makes putting the overlays outside the picture area difficult. The Venice and Red viewfinders are higher resolution so it’s less of a problem. It would also need another image processor to re-scale the image and this would put up the power requirements still further.

      1. Didn’t know about the tint, that’s good news! I asked Sony representative about it on an even where was FX9, they told me changing tint is not possible in CineEI, and I couldn’t find it myself on camera either. So I guess they didn’t know about the feature.

        1. The tint control is in the “Shooting” “White” settings. It is a separate +/- setting to white balance and available in both custom and CineEI.

  5. +1 on the user selectable bit rates on raw for legacy recorders. The benefit of 12 bit raw strikes a great middle ground for size of file/ease of use for so many users. If they really wanted to make this a home run they would enable the lower bit depths to be output via HDMI like the FS5ii does. To be honest it is very surprising to me, that this feature wasn’t enabled for day 1 of the camera since the far less expensive camera in their lineup does. It would make for a better gimbal setup for sure. Maybe this is the best path for them? Lower bit rates with no extension and 16 bit with the extension. Alister any thoughts or insight? Thanks for all your helpful info.

    1. Frankly the difference between 12 bit linear raw and 10 bit log is very, very small. 10 bit log will actually have more data in the shadows and lower mid range than 12 bit linear. Strictly speaking 12 bit linear is impossible for a camera that captures more than 11 stops. There just aren’t enough code values. So it gets fudged with floating point maths to make it work. It’s only the linear raw highlights where linear has more data. But people want raw because raw has become a catch-all buzz word for better. 16 bit linear is where you will really see a clear difference between 10 bit log. This is why Arri use log raw, not linear, they know that 12 bit linear raw would not bring any significant advantage over 10 bit log ProRes.

      I wouldn’t want raw over HDMI. HDMI sucks, it just isn’t a reliable connector for a professional product.

      I feel that the sweet spot for many FX9 users looking for the very best image quality they can get will be to output 10 bit 4:2:2 S-log3 over HDMI or SDI and record it using conventional ProRes (of course 16 bit linear will be the very very best). Unless we can persuade Sony to add XAVC class 480 which would bring virtually the same quality as possible via the 12 bit linear raw.

      1. Alister. Thanks for the quick reply. I was not at all aware that there was that small of a difference between linear 12 bit and log 10 bit. This certainly takes it off the table as an option for us and makes us look to the future abilities the extension may enable. So there is no benefit at all to linear 12 bit?

        I’m primarily a director but do some of our grades for our music video work. So I am not totally the best informed on the tech side of 10 bit 12 bit. Linear log etc… I know what I need to know to be creative with color and have found slog to be one of my prefered log curves to work with.

        HDMI does suck… Period…

        And absolutely would love 480 enabled. I’m not sure we would shoot on any other format if that was an option.

          1. Then lets change my +1 on the selectable raw bit depths and at it to the +1 on the 480 variant of the codec. This in general will make it a much more solid companion to the venice so that they may be capturing at the same data rate. Alister do you notice a huge improvement with the Atomos recorder over the internal codec? on our A7iii it is a night and day improvement, but I would expect it to be far less of a benefit on FX9. We have use A7iii in evenvironments with Venice to great success as long as we had a recorder attached. 8 bit though can be a pain in color though..

  6. +1 for the ability to plug in audio for ch. 3/4 without using the multipurpose shoe on the front handle where any box would get smashed off. This is needed for stereo camera mic…a small breakout box that sits at the back of an optional Sony Handle perhaps?

    +1 for LUTS OFF internal ON SDI 2/EVF in 1080 surely the camera will ship with that otherwise its a deal breaker.

    +1 Assignable switch for S35/full frame.

    +1 User LUTs plus legacy LUTS such as LC709 Type A

    I played around with the FX9 for a few hours at an event in DC and was impressed that as far a I could tell there was no image degradation when going to S35.

    1. Have you seen the XLR-K3M which comes with an extension cable to you can mount it elsewhere on the camera body? There are also a couple of small MIShoe stereo mics from Sony’s consumer side that can be fitted to the MIShoe. But a simple breakout cable to a couple of XLR’s would be good.

      When you shoot s35 there is a little more noise than when shooting FF. The downsampling is a very effective way of reducing noise.

      1. Hi Alister,

        Yes I’ve seen the K3M, I think it’s just too big and vulnerable to being damaged and that extension is not long enough.

        I didn’t know that there are MI Shoe stereo mics. However I’m using a $2,000 CMS-10 mic, not sure if Sony makes something that good?

        The best result but that ship has sailed would have been four inputs on the camera body, two full size and two mini XLRs would have been fine.

        1. Would be great if 3rd party will make a V-Mount/AB-mount battery plate that connects to pins on the back of the camera and add 2 XLR inputs to the plate. Since original Sony ugly monster back has a drop in slot for mics, there is are pins on camera are dedicated for sound input. I don’t know if Sony makes it easy to access the pins for 3rd party.

          1. Not sure it’s that easy. The connector on the back of the camera is a data bus that hooks into the cameras main bus (I believe it may be PCI based). So any adapter may need to take the audio, convert it to digital and then insert the data in the correct format on the the bus. I know that the FX9 will need some firmware changes to make the audio from the XDCA-FX9 to work, which suggests there may not be an analog connection (or perhaps there is I don’t know for sure).

            It would be much easier to add extra XLR’s to the top handle as there are certainly analog connection inside the handle.

  7. Even though I’ve already ordered mine, things i would love to see in future firmware updates:

    * Assignable button- for different crop modes.
    We’ve been asking Sony for years for this, on the F55 and the FS7ii. Not sure why its so hard to do this as i know its a well requested feature. If its doable on the Alpha cameras why not these larger cinema cameras

    * Assignable button- To toggle audio monitoring channels (Like the Canon C300) Hate having to dig into the menu to listen to channel 1 only or channel 2 only or stereo mix etc. One button toggle would be great.

    *And yes a smaller rear end for drop in receiver would be great. Without the usb dongles for streaming feature. Would be great to Utilize channel 3 and 4 with my Dual wireless receiver.
    And on the subject of that. Dont just make it compatible with Sony mic receivers. I want it to work with my lectrosonics. (I know this will never happen as sony want to sell mics…but try and take a page out of Panasonic book) I dont want to go out and spend more money on sony mics when my Lectronics are great. I have the ENG Dock on my f55 and love this feature, Having 4 usable audio channels is awesome.

    *And yes…Optional upgraded viewfinder would be nice too. Id go for that.

    *Also the option of putting the on screen display info around the edge rather than on the image would be nice. Even if it makes the viewable image smaller. Love how canon and arri get this right.

    1. I’ve added the assignable button to switch the audio monitoring, that’s a good idea.

      Don’t know why switching scan mode is not assignable. I did hear some discussion that it was to do with the camera needed to halt the codec and some other functions before it can switch, so they don’t want people trying to switch to quickly, because the camera can’t.

      I believe the XDCA-FX9 audio slot is also compatible with some 3rd party radio mics, but I can’t remember which ones.

  8. Most of the features I’d like to see already on the list. One thing that the CVP review mentioned, which is a good point, is that the ability to + – the tint is buried in a menu and not easily accessible after white balancing. It would be great to have that adjustment available instantly to tweak right after doing your wb. On fast productions I have had it happen where some ambient light is spilling on to my subject and no matter how many times I WB they remain green. Being able to instantly reduce the green after an auto WB would be great to avoid producer sighs while you dig through the menu to find tint adjustments.

  9. My top ones:

    50/60p from full 6K scan (VENICE frame rates increased quite a bit over time from what was initially announced, so I hope they manage to do it. At least 50p!)

    +1 on internal raw! (Or a smaller XDCA or Output raw via 12G SDI)

    +1 on 480 XAVC!

    +1 on User 3D LUTS

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