Common FX6 Questions.

So these are some of the questions I keep being asked about the FX6.

What will be in the box?

I believe the box will contain: Camera, Top Handle, Hand Grip, LCD + LCD Shade, 1x BPU-35 battery, charger, power supply.
You will need to supply: A suitable lens and recording media, either CF Express Type A or SD v30/v60/v90 (I recommend v90). The camera can act as a card reader if you don’t have a reader for the CF Express cards or SD cards, there is a normal USB-C connector on the rear.

Will there be a kit with a lens?
 
I have been led to believe that there won’t be a kit with a bundled lens from Sony. However some dealers may choose to put together a bundle deal or package for you.

What one lens would you recommend?
 
This is a tough one to answer as it depends on what you need. The Sony 28-135mm power zoom is a great lens, but it’s bigger than the camera! The Sony 24-70 f2.8 GM is a beautiful lens and one of the lenses I have on my FX9 almost all the time. But if I had to pick just one lens it would probably be the Sony 24-105mm f4. You get a decent zoom range and good optical quality. f4 on a full frame sensor gives reasonably shallow depth of field.
 
What Cards should I get?
 
See my other post about this by clicking here.
 
Does the Auto Focus work when using S&Q?
 
Yes, in most cases it does, but only when the S&Q frame rate is a neat multiple of the base frame rate. If the cameras base frame rate is set to 23.98p, 30p or 60p then it works at UHD 120fps or HD 240fps, but not at 100 or 200fps. If the camera base rate is set to 25p or 50p then the AF only works at UHD 100fps or HD 200fps but it doesn’t work at UHD 120fps or HD 240fps.

Does the camera reboot when changing frame rates?
 
The FX6 reboots when you switch between base frame rates except when switching between 25p and 50p or between 29.97p and 59.94p. When in S&Q it does not reboot when changing frame rates. It’s only base frame rate changes that cause a reboot (about 3 seconds).
 
How quickly does the FX6 start or reboot?
 
Very quickly. It takes under 3 seconds to start from off. You can actually start recording in around 2 seconds, before some of the LCD overlays have finished coming on.
 
Does it have clear image zoom?
 
Yes it does. I didn’t spot this initially as it’s buried in the technical section of the menus. In UHD it provides a 1.5x zoom, in HD a 2x zoom.
 
Could I use Clear Image Zoom in UHD/4K to work with super 35mm lenses?
 
Short answer is yes, in some modes. The longer answer is maybe. Be aware that as soon as you use Clear Image Zoom you will lose the cameras excellent Face/Eye AF and clear image zoom is not available when shooting above 60fps or when outputting raw. As you need to typically use between 1.4x and 1.5x zoom there is a small but noticeable loss of image quality. It’s slight, but the images are a bit softer and look a touch more processed. Any noise becomes more noticeable as the noise grain gets bigger. It’s not horrid, but the image definitely loses a little of the crispness and clarity that it normally has. This isn’t really a surprise as by the time you have zoomed in by 1.4x you are upscaling around 3.2K to 4K. You could use it if you really need to, but it’s a shame to use it as it just takes the edge off what are otherwise exceptionally good images, it’s definitely not comparable to the FX9’s proper 4K s35 mode.  I will put together some example images soon.

Can you use both the SDI and HDMI at the same time?
 
Absolutely, yes. And you can even have HD on the HDMI and UHD on the SDI if you want.
 
How long do the batteries last?
 
The supplied BP-U35 battery will run the camera for a bit over 90 minutes. A BP-U60 will run it for between 2.5 and 3 hours.
 
Can you use LUT’s when shooting at high frame rates?
 
Yes, LUT’s in CineEI seem to work at all frame rates and resolutions. I have yet to find a case where they do not work, including user LUT’s.
 
Does it have a LANC port?
 
Yes, it has three. One 3.5mm 4 pin mini jack that the handgrip plugs into on the side of the camera, this is different to the FS5/FS7 type connector. On the rear of the camera there is a 2.5mm 3 pin mini jack that is compatible with the FS5 or FS7. Plus the larger USB style multi-port that the FX9 remote handrip uses (but at the time of writing the FX9 grip does not work with the pre-production firmware).
 
Can I see all 4 audio channels on the screen at once?
 
Not normally. Normally only channels 1 and 2 are displayed on the LCD screen. To see channels 3 and 4 you use status page 3 where you can see all 4 channels and use the touch screen to adjust the recording levels for channels 3 and 4. This is also where you will find the volume control.
 
Does it have Clear Scan or ECS shutter?
 
Yes it does, this is very useful for shooting computer monitors or other screens and eliminating any rolling bands that may move up and down the screen. ECS is in the shooting menu under Shutter.


I will add to this list as more questions get asked.

19 thoughts on “Common FX6 Questions.”

  1. Alister,
    Do you think there will be much performance difference in AF when using Sigma Art lenses instead of Sony lenses?
    Thanks,
    Jim

    1. It depends on the lens and if using with an adapter the combination of lens + adapter. In general, while the AF normally does work it isn’t quite as good as with a Sony lens, particularly if it’s a lens + adapter, you really need to test for yourself as there are so many variables it’s impossible to know every combination. The AF assist rarely works with 3rd party lenses.

  2. Is it true that autofocus doesn’t work at all at base frame rate 24? If so, do you think it could be added with a firmware update?

    1. This is not correct. AF does work at 24p. The only times AF doesn’t work is when using S&Q and the S&Q frame rate is not a direct multiple of the base rate, for example when the base rate is 30p AF will not work at S&Q 100fps but does work at 120fps.

      1. Thank you Alister, that is a huge relief. I understood it wrong from several videos, but they were all talking about the S&Q modes then. Thank you so much for being such a patient source of knowledge and inspiration!

        1. That is not correct. AF does work when shooting DCI 4K 24p. If you do however set the base frame rate to 24fps and then turn on S&Q, AF does not then work.

  3. Thanks for this info! Do you plan to come out with a series of instructional videos for this camera as you did for the FS5?

    Thanks!

    1. I hope so. They take a lot of work to do and in the past Sony have been very good and funded them. But this camera comes from a different segment of Sony with different budgets, so we will have to wait and see.

      1. Thanks Alister!

        If it helps any, you can pass along that my choice of camera, and I’m purchasing one in the next month, is completely dependent on the depth and quality of instructional videos I can find for it. I have admired your series on the FS5, and updates for the FS5MkII, and am hoping that such resources will be provided for the new camera such that a neophyte can get up to speed in all aspects of the workflow. There are so many excellent choices in this segment now that the support becomes and important, if not the key differentiator in purchase decisions.

        All best regards, and keep up your excellent educational work.

        Tony

    1. It will usually work with sigma lenses, but not always as well as with Sony lenses. The 20mm Art does not work very well at all. Because there are so many combinations of 3rd party lenses and adapters it is very difficult to be sure which combinations work well and which do not. An example of this is that some lenses will appear to focus on the subject OK but the background out of focus areas will pulse as there may be a small delay between the camera asking the lens to shift and the lens responding. With a Sony lens this is very rare because the camera knows how long Sony lenses take to react.

      My only advice with 3rd party lenses is you must test and try the lens or lens combination you wish to use and asses for yourself whether you are happy with it.

  4. Do you find that the ideal S-Log3 exposure on the FX6 is closer to the base EI or is it still a good idea to have a +1/+1.5 overexposure like the FS7/FS5?

    1. Like the FX9 the FX6 has very low noise so there is no need to expose brighter to overcome the noise as I feel there is with the FS7. But with darker scenes or scenes with limited highlight range it may still be beneficial to expose brighter in some cases.

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