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.

53 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!

      2. Other reviewers have mentioned that AF does not work while shooting 24p at DCI 4K . Can you please confirm that?

        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.

  5. How would you rate the quality of the S35 HD compared to an FS7 for instance. And will my (regular) Metabones MIV Canon mount adaptor work on the FX6?
    Any recommendations on how to make this and the FX9 match a Sony FS7 or F5 for S-Log3 2-camera interviews?
    Thank you!

    1. For HD – the FX6’s s35 will to most people look better than the FS7. Mostly simply because of the improved colour and dynamic range. Because of the different sensor the F5/FS7 will look different to the FX6/FX9. You will need to tweak the shots in post production and because of the way the different sensors will respond differently to different light sources you will likely need to adjust the corrections you make depending on the lighting and white balance.

  6. Hi Mr. Chapman,
    First, thank you for your thorough reviews. I already own an FS7 and have the FX6 on pre-order, thinking it would be an excellent B cam. But based on what I’m reading, I would probably want to use the FX6 as the main camera and have the FS7 do B cam duties. Would you say that’d be a better idea? Would I have a hard time matching those two shots?

    1. I think you will end up using the FX6 as the A cam. Matching the two will take a little bit of work as they have very different sensors from different sensor generations.

  7. Hi, I have a question regarding exposing in Cinetone. I had the FS5 mk2 where you had suggested to expose a bit darker. Would that also apply here with the FX6?
    Thanks,
    Ajit

  8. Does it have a port to connect power zoom, such as on Fujinon TV lenses? Also, does it need an expensive adapter to us B4 mount lenses?

    1. No it does not have a lens connector. Yes, it’s a Full Frame camera so it will need an optical adapter to work correctly with B4 lenses.

  9. I wanted to clarify the pixels actually used on FX6 sensor, if I was to attach super16 lens (actually its a B4 + MTF MTB4S16SEM adapter) using center crop/scan mode.
    According to my calculations theoretically only approx 1k of horizontal pixels would be used on FX6 sensor (a resolution of Full HD divided by 2)

    I have created a comparison between FS5/FS7/FX9/FX6, please see it here: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPcZNqBDaXyvmoP0LsFSunTgye48fS6iQ0rB1_MF8BZqyWxrqaoqlKaBd_3kFyFrA/photo/AF1QipMbJmYOFzEAK2zk2ItoAS93qc4qeChBc-MKDeOJ?key=eXNmcEJYR1U1NVpWdDA0TnRQcDVwS3BfWG9Ea0pB

    Would you say that theoretically the red value is correct ?

    1. No, it would be approx 1.5K. The FX6 sensor is 35.7mm wide and 4.2K of pixels across. S16 is 12.5mm across. 35.7/12.5= 2.85. 4.2K/2.85 = 1.47K, so roughly 1.5K depending on the precise area chosen for any theoretical s16mm equivalent. And remember that’s pixels, not resolution, they are two different things, resolution will be lower than the pixel count.

      1. Thanks for the answer.
        Yes, after adding this post I did the same math and saw my error.
        So, if I understand correctly, FX6 ~1500 sensor pixels will be upscaled to 1920 output via SDI at FullHD (and thats assuming FX6 actually has a Super16 mode), which means that Im better off using FS5 with ~2000 sensor pixels.

        1. I very much doubt the FX6 would ever get a s16 mode, the final resolution would be nowhere near HD, barely more than standard definition.

          Yes, the FS5 would be better, but even that isn’t HD resolution, the resolution is only about 2/3rds of HD. A bayer sensor will only ever produce a luma resolution around 70% of the pixel count and chroma is half of that.

          1. Ok, Im lost with the last sentence.
            When you say “the resolution is only about 2/3rds of HD”, which of the following are you reffering to ?
            1. 2/3 to Super16 conversion (using MTB4S16SEM adapter) and the loss of optical quality because of that
            2. how B4 lenses work in general (which means the same would apply for camera with native 2/3 sensor)

            On this note have you tested Sony LA-EB1? MTB4S16SEM has 0.8 loss of light, Sony LA-EB1 has 0.6 (but it costs 5K USD).

          2. The camera uses a bayer sensor. Because of the way bayer sensors work the the maximum luma resolution that can be achieved is around 70% of the horizontal pixel count. So a camera with a 4K bayer sensor can only actually revolve around 2.8K and reading just 2K of pixels you will only get around 1.4K resolution. The colour resolution is even lower. Something the camera manufactures like to ignore.

  10. Allister, thanks again for all the fantastic info. I just rented the FX6 for a few days and I love it! The pictures I’m getting from it are beautiful. Question about HDMI output. Does the HDMI output a 10 bit 422 signal? (I’ve also bought you a couple of “Lattes” over the years:) Thanks for all the great content!!!

  11. Hi Alister

    On the FX6 can you shoot in Custom mode with SLog3 & S-Gamut3.Cine (with no baked in LUT)?
    I want to shoot log but go higher than 12,800 ISO, for filming nocturnal wildlife.
    But I still want the footage optimised for grading in post production and with full colour space – is this possible in Custom mode?

    Thanks very much
    Sam

    1. You can by using a base look with no added LUT. But if you add gain or shoot at a higher ISO you are throwing away dynamic range and the footage becomes less and less optimised for grading defeating the whole point of shooting with log in the first place. Better to shoot at the base ISO and add the gain in post instead, or use a more appropriate gamma curve.

  12. 2 QUESTIONS from a non-cameraperson: (1) Can THE FX6 be preset to full AUTO mode in every function?; and if so, (2) after the camera is turned OFF and then ON again, will I still have the same full auto function? To be clear: I want to use the camcorder like a video point-and-shoot. BACKGROUND to my question: I have been using a PXW X70 in full auto mode in every way. I videotape myself doing comedy routines on green screen, and sometimes do interviews. I want to step up to 4K 4:2:2 and I want the fast hybrid autofocus. To stay with a dedicated Sony brand camcorder, it appears that the FX6 is the leap I need to make. Any guidance here will be much appreciated.

    1. Yes, each function WB, Iris, Gain, Shutter, Focus can be set to auto and the camera remembers those setting when turned off/on. But really the best way to improve image quality is to not use auto everything and drive the camera manually keeping good control over gain and WB etc.

      1. Alister–many thanks for this forum and all that you do to educate us on this beautiful camera!

        I think what Marc, and possibly other less experienced users (like myself!) would really make use of would be a set of suggested basic settings for a few different scenarios, with variations of these settings to, as you say, improve image quality and “not use auto everything”. I could imagine a ‘decision tree’ kind of flow chart being very helpful. This could cover the basic shooting controls with a few options for each, plus the basic shooting format options and their pros/cons. This could provide a guide to moving out from the basics and experimenting with different settings.

        I realize this is a professional camera, and much of this knowledge is presumed for most users, but there is certainly a segment of us who are moving up from the DSLR world who could really benefit from some learning resources.

        Thanks!

  13. hi alister,

    just got my fx6… is there a way to make one of the assignable buttons toggle the LUT on and off? this seems like such an obvious thing, but i can’t seem to find it anywhere?

    danny b

  14. Hi Alister,

    You’ve probably answered this already but compared to the FS5 which I find the C Scan option highly beneficial does the fx6 have this option?

    Thanks

    1. No, the FX6 does not have a centerscan function. Because it is 4K on a full frame sensor it is not possible to have the equivalent of a s16 sized 2k center scan mode.

  15. Hey Alister, thanks for the great information on here!
    One general question: In order to shoot in 50 fps should I go to S&Q mode (despite sacrificing audio) or simply change the system frequency from 25 to 50? What’s the difference between both methods and which would you recommend?

    1. The only difference apart from audio is the rate each will play back at in post production. 25fps base and 50fps S&Q will result in a 50% slow down but shoot at 50p and it will not be slowed down unless you tell your edit software to slow the clip down.

      1. Correct me if I’m wrong. But from my testings I found out another big difference. When shooting in S&Q mode the option for post stabilization with gyrodata is disabled in Catalyst Browse. That’s one big disadvantage which makes me shoot everything outside of S&Q unless I want to go 100/120 fps.

  16. Hi Alister, Thanks for all years of helpful info!
    I recently upgraded from my fs5/a7sii to fx6/a7siii, which has been exciting. But similar to my prior cameras, I’m still struggling a bit to match fx6 slog and a7siii slog. Do you know of any recommendations to fine tune the Fx6 color matrix for a better match? I know these settings are a slippery slope, so hoping to find legit recommendations (as opposed to me causing trouble). Or, perhaps there’s a lut out there somewhere that will help me match the two cameras?

    Best,
    Brad in Seattle

    1. Leave all the settings as standard and just white balance both off a white card and they will be almost identical.

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