Category Archives: FX6

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.

Which Cards Actually Work with the FX6?

The FX6 takes both SDXC cards and CF Express Type A cards.

Sony recommend using a CF Express Type A for the UHD 120fps. For 4K. The CF Express card support all frame rates, but they are expensive, as is the card reader.

For UHD XAVC-I up to 60fps Sony say you can use v90 SD cards, for some of the XAVC-L UHD frame rates Sony support v60 SD cards and for HD you can use a v60 or v30.
 
The camera won’t stop you from trying to use a v90 (or even a v30) SD card at all frame rates and with all codecs. But if using a card outside of the Sony recommendations you get a “not guaranteed media” warning.
 
For example when trying to use a v60 to record XAVC-I at 60p or a v90 to record 100/120fps the camera will try to record but if the card can’t keep up you will get flashing tally lights followed by the camera dropping out of record and a “Recording Halted” message. In my testing most of the time the camera just displays the recording halted message and you have to press the menu button or OK button to remove the message, then you can try to record again. But around 30 to 40% of times, especially if it is a second attempt to record on a card that is not fast enough, after the recording halted message the card capacity will go to zero and the record tally lights will continue to flash until you remove the card.  You will not then be able to use that card until it has been restored and in most cases you will lose the last clip shot as well as other clips where the recording was halted. In some cases you can lose everything on the card.

As a card fills up it becomes significantly slower. So a card that is fine when only partially used may cause problems as it fills up. In addition as cards get older they slow down as the memory cell wear leveling has to skip extra blocks or cells. So a card that works today may not work tomorrow.
 
My advice: Use the cards Sony recommends. You are playing with fire trying to get away with other cards. The big risks are a: losing footage and b: ending up with no media as the capacity has gone to zero.

Get a CF Express Type A if you want to shoot UHD 120fps. For everything else SD v90 will work fine.

Thoughts on the FX6

I’ve written a review of the FX6 that you can read here.

https://sonycine.com/articles/the-new-sony-fx6—the-definitive-review-by-alister-chapman/

But I thought I would also write more of an opinion piece here. What do I really think about the FX6 and also where does it fit in the grand scheme of things.

Sony_FX6_side_44062_02-Mid-1024x994 Thoughts on the FX6
Sony FX6 4K Camcorder

 

First off, it is a brilliant little camcorder. But it has to be. There is huge pressure from ever better mirrorless cameras and ever better larger cameras. Red’s Komodo is similarly priced and offers an interesting option if you are a film maker that doesn’t mind adding your own viewfinder etc..

Sony really have packed an amazing set of features into the FX6, S-Cinetone, LUT’s, CineEI all make it a very, very interesting camera for film makers and corporate video producers alike. But the FX6 hasn’t been aimed at broadcasters, the lack of interlace recording and the lack of a streaming function make it less desirable for news and current affairs. That’s more of the realm of the FX9.

The FX6 is likely to be a huge success. I know I will be getting one. It will be fantastic for my trips overseas where size and weight are important, and I can’t wait to try to shoot the Northern Lights with it. The low light performance is indeed very impressive but this could become a problem area for it.

When you have a camera with a base ISO of 12,800 I think there will be an expectation that you won’t need to light, that it will produce brilliant pictures no matter how dark it is. But you have to remember that one of the keys to getting good results in any light level is not the amount of light but the amount of contrast. You will still need to think about how you add or control the light in your scenes and it will be all too easy to blame the camera when you don’t get great looking pictures on a pitch dark night shoot with no light to add some contrast.

I also think that the gap between 800 ISO and 12,800 ISO is too big. At 12,800 ISO there is so little light that something called Photon Shot Noise becomes an issue. It can make the mid range noisier than you would like it to be, even when you are correctly exposed. And ND filters won’t help as they reduce the light hitting the sensor and the relative photon shot noise increases. But if you do want to shoot in very dark conditions, then the FX6 performance is indeed impressive.

When I had the pre-production FX6 I took it up to the Lake District, shot interiors at home and spent a couple of days examining the images with charts and test scenes. What I learnt was that it is a very easy camera to work with. Changing settings via the touch screen is quick and simple. The single menu button that first brings up what are referred to as status pages on the FX9 and then with a long push brings up the main menus is brilliant. One button for both. No fumbling around going from the status button to the menu button as on the FX9. The auto focus works brilliantly, and I love having a waveform display with the zebra levels clearly indicated on it. It makes judging exposure easy and reliable. Set the zebras to 61% and if you toggle the s709 LUT on and off you can check the brightness of a white card when looking at the S-Log3 or skin tones when looking at the s709.

waveform-s709-lines_1.2.1-1024x576 Thoughts on the FX6

Going back to the Auto Focus for a moment – Yes, it does work in S&Q and even when shooting UHD 100 or 120fps. BUT I did find it less responsive and slower to respond when shooting at 120fps, it definitely didn’t seem as good as when shooting at normal frame rates. And there are actually a few limitations, AF only works when the shooting frame rate is a direct multiple of the base frame rate.

it also has some other oddities, like the field of view when shooting 17:9  4K DCI is narrower than when shooting ordinary 16:9 UHD because of the way the scan modes work. If you want to output raw the FOV is narrower than when recording UHD internally.

I’m really looking forward to using it on gimbals, lighter weight sliders etc. For those on a tight budget having a lighter camera means you can also save money on your support gear compared to a heavier camera. I think I’m going to enjoy shooting with the FX6 and I’m sure many others will enjoy it to.

And that’s the thing. It’s an easy camera to use, it delivers a beautiful image with very little effort. This is one of it’s big strengths and why I believe it will convert a lot of mirrorless DSLR shooters over to a “proper” video camera. It brings the ease of a built in variable ND filter, LUT’s and other great exposure tools for shooting log, good battery life and pro audio all together in an easy to use package at a good price. At the same time it isn’t so big that you need huge pro tripods and expensive heavy duty support equipment.

It will also appeal to users of Sony’s Venice digital cinema camera to get into places you simply can’t get the bulk of a Venice or as a crash camera for high risk shots. The pictures match close enough that it won’t stand out in a finished production as an obviously different camera.

One issue is the lack of audio inputs when the top handle is removed. This does seem to be an oversight. Gimbal users will find it frustrating I’m sure. Time to break out the external audio recorders, at least the built in scratch mic will help with audio sync. Maybe someone will figure out a way to get audio into the camera body via the connector that the top handle plugs into. The other alternative is to take the video out of the FX6 to an external recorder that also has an audio input such as many of the Atomos recorders.

So where does this leave the FX9? The FX9 is a great camera. It is worth remembering that the FX6 really is Full Frame only (unless you are happy shooting HD in it’s super 35mm mode). So users of normal 35mm PL lenses or APSC lenses will be better off with the FX9 with it’s greater choice of scan modes including 6K FF, 5K crop FF and 4K s35. In the next firmware update the FX9 will also get a 2K s16 center scan mode and it will be able to use the Sony B4 lens adapter with 2/3″ ENG zoom lenses. I still love shooting with my super 35mm Fujinon MK’s on the FX9, it’s a great combination. The FX9 also has no issues with interlace, so news shooters that still need 1080i will want the FX9 and not the FX6. I have every intention of getting an FX6 but I have no plans on parting with my FX9. Because the images from the two cameras look virtually identical they will compliment each other nicely (anyone want to buy my FS5??). 

And that for me is the thing: Two cameras for two different types of shoots, but both look the same, so I can just use whichever is the most appropriate for the job without any concern. 


Sony FX6 Launch

Sony will launch a new small 4K handheld camcorder – the FX6 on Tuesday the 17th of November.

Sony_FX6_side_44062_02-Mid-1024x994 Sony FX6 Launch
Sony FX6 4K Camcorder

To find out more about this new and very exciting camcorder you can watch the launch event via Instagram. After the launch event I am hosting a Q and A on Instagram. I’ve been lucky enough to have shot with the camera and have extensively tested it, so tune in to the Q&A to learn more. There is a lot to like and I am certain this camcorder will prove to be extremely popular. The Instagram session will be here: https://www.instagram.com/sonyprofilmmaking/

Then on Wednesday the 18th I will be presenting a webinar on the FX6 for Visual Impact in the UK at 11.00 GMT: https://www.visuals.co.uk/events/events.php?event=eid1748059180-892

 

 

 

Then once the initial launch dust settles I will bring you more information about this exciting new camera including tutorials and guides.

New s709 LUT For The FX6 and FX9 That’s Less Green Than The Sony LUT.

Many users of the FX9 that have been shooting S-Log3 are finding that when they add the standard Sony version of the s709 LUT that their pictures have a slight green tint. I believe that this is because originally the s709 LUT was designed for the Sony Venice camera and the FX9 is very slightly different.  I recently created an experimental LUT to minimise this tint but some people found this tended to push some images slightly magenta.

So I now have a new version of the LUT which really does help combat the green tint. The difference between this LUT and Sony’s original s709 LUT is very small. The idea isn’t to create a new look, just to help get rid of the tint. So you won’t see a big difference, it’s subtle, but I think it really is better.

Click Here to download the ACs709 For FX9 LUT set.

Note: These LUTs are for S-Log3 and SGamut3.cine from the FX9. As usual I have include different versions of the LUT. There are 65x LUT’s suitable for grading as well as 33x LUT’s for monitors or grading software that doesn’t support the higher quality 65x LUTs. There are also minus1 and minus2 LUTS that have 1 and 2 stop exposure shifts for footage that has been shot brighter than the base exposure. In addition I have include the same LUTs but with Legal range input levels for use on Atomos and other recorders that record ProRes in using Legal Range.

Please feel free to share a link to this page if you wish to share these LUT’s with anyone else or anywhere else. But only share via a link to this page please.

If you find these LUT’s useful please consider buying me a coffee or other drink. To make a contribution please use the drop down menu here, there are several contribution levels to choose from.


Your choice:



pixel New s709 LUT For The FX6 and FX9 That's Less Green Than The Sony LUT.

Film Emulation LUT’s for S-Log3 and S-Log2.

I’ve uploaded these LUT’s before, but they are tucked away under a slightly obscure heading, so here they are again!

There are 4 different LUTs in this set. A basic 709 LUT which is really good for checking exposure etc. It won’t give the best image, but it’s really good for getting your exposure just right. Diffuse white should be 85%, middle grey 43% and skin tones 65-70%.

Then there are 3 film emulation LUT’s that mimic 3 different types of film stock form different manufacturers. These are primarily designed for post production or for use on a client monitor on set. My recommendation is to use the 709 LUT for your viewfinder and exposure and then add the film emulation LUT later in post.

As always (to date at least) I offer these as a free download available by clicking on the links below. However a lot of work goes into creating and hosting these. I feel that this LUT set is worth $25.00 and would really appreciate that being paid if you find the LUT’s useful. Try them before you decide then pay what you feel is fair. All contributions are greatly appreciated and it really does help keep this website up and running. If you can’t afford to pay, then just download the LUT’s and enjoy using them, tell your friends and send them here. If in the future you should choose to use them on a paying project, please remember where you got them and come back and make a contribution. More contributions means more LUT offerings in the future.

Click here for the Slog3_cine-film-look-luts

Click here for the S-Log2  filmic look luts – Alisters A7S Filmic LUTS set1

Download the S-Log3/SGamut3.cine to 709(800) and S709 Legal Input Range LUTS for external ProRes recorders.

Please feel free to share a link to this page if you wish to share these LUT’s with anyone else or anywhere else.

To make a contribution please use the drop down menu here, there are several contribution levels to choose from.


Your choice:



pixel Film Emulation LUT's for S-Log3 and S-Log2.