While I had the light meter and exposure test chart out for the FX6 I decided to do the same exposure level confirmation test for the FX9. No nasty surprises, the FX9’s ISO ratings certainly appear to be correct. Again using a DSC Labs exposure reference chart with 18% middle grey and 90% white plus my trusty Sekonic I tested the FX9 at both 800 ISO and 4000 ISO and my light meter and the camera were in good agreement. At 800 ISO the light meter was saying f4.01 while the camera was at f4, I suspect this tiny difference is probably down to transmission losses in the lens.
Here are some links to a couple of videos and some information on shooting Anamorphic with the PXW-FX9 that I prepared for Sony. The first video is a guide to how to shoot Anamorphic with the FX9 and then the second video is a short example video of som 2x Anamorphic content that I shot in some pretty grim weather conditions in the UK’s Lake District.
Here’s the link to the “How To” guide to anamorphic with the FX9.
Here’s a new LUT for you, inspired by a the look of the Netfix show “the Queen’s Gambit. I’ve called the LUT “Chess”. It’s designed for use with S-Log3 and SGamut3.cine and I think it works really well with most Sony S-Log3 capable cameras including the FX6, FX9, FS7, FS5, F5 and F55 etc. As well as Sony’s video cameras it will also work with the A7SIII and other Sony Alpha cameras.
In the download you will find 2 LUTs. The 65x version is for post production and grading, the 33x version is for use as a camera LUT. While I have aimed to replicate much of the look of the TV series it must be noted that grading is only a small part of the look. Set design, the colour of the sets and costume also play a significant roll.
If you find this LUT useful please consider buying me a cocktail or other beverage. Thank you! It does take a while to develop these LUT’s and contributions are a good incentive for me to create more!
Timed to coincide with the release of the ILME-FX6 camcorder Sony have updated both Catalyst Browse and Catalyst Prepare. These new and long awaited versions add support for the FX6’s rotation metadata and clip flag metadata as well as numerous bug fixes. It should be noted that for the correct operation that a GPU that supports OpenGL is required. Also while the new versions support MacOS Catalina there is no official support for Big Sur. Catalyst Browse is free while Catalyst Prepare is not free. Prepare can perform more complex batch processing of files, checksum and file verification, per-clip adjustments as well as other additional features.
For more information go to the Sony Creative Software website.
The Sony FX6 does not have the same Hypergammas or Cinegammas as found in many other Sony camcorders. However you can load a LUT as a base look in the cameras Custom Mode. See this post for details about this.
So I have prepared a set of LUTs that mimic the Sony Hypergammas with rec709 colour. These LUTs are for S-Log3/SGamut3.cine as used as the base input in the FX6. HG1 and HG2 are broadcast safe so these give you a broadcast ready option for the FX6.
In addition to the Hypergamma LUT’s there is an additional ACBCST LUT. This is a broadcast safe version of the Sony s709 LUT with added contrast and saturation, suitable for broadcast and other direct to air applications.
As well as the FX6 these LUT’s will also work with any Sony camera that accepts LUTs and has S-Log3 and SGamut3.cine. They can also be used in post production.
If you find these LUT’s useful please consider buying me a coffee. Thank you!
Here are the guide videos I produced for Sony about the FX9. These videos cover most of the key features of the camera whether that’s shooting using S-Cinetone or S-log3 and Cine EI, farme rates and scan modes. Each video includes instructions on how to use the different modes as well as some guidance on things to watch out for. Some of the videos were produced with version 1 firmware so there are now some changes to the base modes, previously you had Custom Mode and Cine EI, now you have SDR – HDR – CineEI where SDR mode is the same as what was previously called custom mode. Also don’t miss the two videos linked at the end which cover most of the new features added in the version 2 firmware.
Touch Screen and Eye AF
MLUTS and HDR
Here are some of the differences I have so far identified:
|6K Full Frame Sensor (20.5 megapixels)||4K Full Frame Sensor (10.2 megapixels, large pixels)|
6K Oversampled Full Frame 4K recording, max 30fps. 5K up to 60fps, 4K up to 60fps
More rolling shutter when using 6K FF (more pixels to read).
4K Scan for Full Frame UHD recording upto 60fps.
Compared to the above:-
10% crop when recording UHD above 60fps.
5% crop if recording or outputting DCI 4K.
10% crop if outputting UHD raw.
|FF Crop 5K Scan max 60fps.||No|
|4K Super 35mm Scan max 60fps.||HD Super 35mm Scan max 120fps (the camera can go to 240fps using S&Q but the quality is slightly reduce above 120fps).|
|2K Full Frame Scan max 180fps (IQ reduced).||No|
|2K Super 35mm Scan max 120fps (IQ reduced)||No|
|2K Super 16mm Scan ( coming in v3 firmware)||No|
|No||Clear Image Zoom (1.5x in 4K, 2x in HD) But not available above 60fps or when outputting raw. Also Face/Eye AF disabled when using CIZ.|
|Interlace recording and output, full 50i/60i support using FF crop 5K scan or s35 4K scan. Can use FF 2K scan but IQ is reduced.||No internal interlace recording (interlace output is possible when recording 50p/60p)|
|No||UHD 100/120fps internal recording.|
|Shooting above 60fps requires reduced quality 2K scan mode (currently waiting for s35 scan 120fps UHD raw to be released).||Shooting up to 60fps uses full sensor scan. 60 to 120fps 1:1 sensor scan (10% crop).120 to 240fps HD uses reduced quality sensor scan.|
|Highest frame rate that can be recorded internally 180fps.||Highest frame rate that can be recorded internally 240fps.|
|Highest frame rate that can be recorded via raw 180fps (optional XDCA-FX9 required)||Highest frame rate that can be recorded via raw 60fps.|
|No Auto Focus in S&Q||Auto Focus works in S&Q when the S&Q frame rate is a direct multiple of the base rate. So base rate 23.98/30/60fps AF works at 23.98/30/60/120fps. Base rate 25/50fps AF works at 25/50/100fps.
If base rate is 24fps then AF does not work in S&Q.
|Can record 4K/UHD plus broadcast quality HD at the same time via sub record and MpegHD. Possible to record 4k/UHD S-Log3 plus broadcast quality MpegHD (or Proxy) with LUT added at same time.||Can record 4K/UHD plus HD proxy (not broadcast quality) at same time. Possible to record 4K/UHD S-Log3 and proxy with LUT added at same time.|
|1x 12G SDI + 1 x 3G SDI + 1 x HDMI||1x 12G SDI and 1x HDMI|
|LUT’s independent of recording when recording UHD and outputting HD.||LUT’s independent of recording in all modes/frame rates|
|XDCA Adapter required for raw out.||No adapter required for raw out.|
|Can output raw + 2x SDI + HDMI out (with XDCA)||Can output raw + HDMI out.|
|Can output 4K raw + record HD internally||Can output 4K raw + record 4K/UHD internally (internal format follows raw format)|
|No. SDI/HDMI are either 4K/UHD or HD but not both at same time.||Can output 4k/UHD on SDI and HD on HDMI at the same time.|
|UHD 120fps raw out (expected, not yet released, via optional XDCA-FX9)||Max raw UHD raw frame rate is 60fps.|
|35 watts, BP-U batteries||18 watts, BP-U batteries|
|QoS Streaming||No streaming|
|4x Audio control dials, 2 x XLR on body||2x Audio control dials for ch1 and 2. Ch3 & 4 controlled via touch menu or main menu. 2x XLR on handle.|
|Radio mic slot in XDCA option||No radio mic slot|
|2.5mm Lanc (same as FS5/FS7 etc) plus Sony USB style Multi connector for handgrip.||3.5mm 4 pole Lanc for handgrip, not the same as FS5/FS7 etc + Sony USB style Multi connector + 2.5mm lanc (as FS5/FS7) on rear – however using FX9 grip via the FX6 Multi connector results in “unsupported device” message, this may be a firmware limitation in the pre-production beta firmware, but not sure.|
|Standard USB 3 port for media offload.||USB-C port for card offload and expansion options (tethering to phone and wired LAN expansion possible at time of writing).|
|XQD Cards||CF Express Type A or SD v30/v60/v90 depending on codec/frame rate. CF Express Type A required for UHD 100,120fps, SD v90 specified for UHD/4K. upto 60fps.|
|Heavy duty locking E-mount||Standard bayonet E-mount|
|Picture Cache Record||No|
|Proxy recording 1080p 30p/25p/23.98p 9Mbps, 1080p 60i/50i 9Mbps, 720p 9Mbps, 720p 6Mbps, 360p 3Mbp||Proxy recording 1080p 60p/50p 9Mbps|
|Dual slot simul recording HD only||Dual slot recording 4K/UHD/HD|
|4K and HD sub recording (Mpeg HD 422)||No|
|Gammas: S-Cinetone, Standard 1 to 6, Hypergamma 1 to 4, 7&8, S-Log3, HLG(live), HLG(natural).||Gammas: S-Cinetone, Standard, Still, ITU-709, S-Log3, HLG(Live), HLG(natural).
Custom base looks in custom mode via a user LUT.
|Matrix: S-Cinetone, Standard, FL Light, Cinema, BT.709, BT.2020 – All fully adjustable.||Matrix is tied to the selected scene file/gamma curve. It is adjustable but the type cannot be changed independently of the scene file.
Custom base look LUTs can be modified by matrix.
|Skin Detail Correction||No|
|Adaptive Matrix (helps with LED lights)||No|
|Separate HD Detail correction||No|
|User Adjustable White Clip Level||No – and all the gammas exceed broadcast safe and will go “out of gamut”, so beware! You would need to use either Standard, Still or ITU709 and adjust the knee for broadcast safe (With Standard – turn auto knee off, set knee point to 85 and knee slope to +70 to stay below 105%).|
|User adjustable frame area markers.||User adjustable frame area markers plus direct entry of any user aspect ratio.|
|No||Body rotation metadata (landscape/portrait shooting)|
|Clip flag metadata OK/Keep/NG by assignable button.||Clip flag metadata OK/Keep/NG dedicated button.|
|Volume Control Buttons||Volume control in menu|
|Face/Eye AF controlled by AF zone selection.||Face/Eye AF controlled by AF zone selection.|
|Media Format||Media Full Format + Media Quick Format.|
|No||Zebra levels indicated on waveform display.|
|Highly adjustable peaking controls||Peaking Hi/Mid/Low|
|Top Handle: Zoom + Rec button||Top Handle: Zoom + Rec button + Assignable dial + 2x Assignable buttons + thumb stick|
|10 assignable buttons||9 assignable buttons|
|2 assignable dials (MFD + grip).||3 assignable dials (MFD + grip + top handle).|
Dual Base ISO:
S-Cinetone 320/1600 (0dB) In dB mode can also go to -3dB but in ISO mode does not go below 0dB.
Low/High Base ISO
S-Cinetone 320/5000 (0dB) In dB mode can also go to -3dB but in ISO mode does not go below 0dB.
|Max 102,400 ISO||Max 409,600 ISO|
|S700PTP remote Control (coming in V3 firmware)||No|
|B4 ENG lens support via adapter (coming in V3 firmware) Includes ALAC.||No|
Sony will launch a new small 4K handheld camcorder – the FX6 on Tuesday the 17th of November.
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.
Maybe it’s just because I’m getting old, but I do like to have a label to remind me of what I have assigned to the assignable buttons on my cameras.
There are lot’s of ways you can make a label from a post-it-note to camera tape. But I recently got a new label printer from Dymo and with the right tape it will print white text on clear tape. The printers are around $40 so they are not too expensive. If you’re anything like me once you get one you will find yourself labelling everything, so a worthwhile investment.
For the labels on my FX9 I used the smallest “8” point text size and you will need to trim the labels down with a sharp pair of scissors. They need to be very small to fit in the gaps between the buttons. I found a pair of tweezers really helps to hold the label while you cut it and peel of the backing. Then you can use the tweezers to place your swanky new label exactly where you want it.
I think they look pretty good and are worth the effort. The printer I used is a Dymo Label Manager 160 and the tape is a Office Depot white on clear 12mm plastic tape. There are lots of colour choices if you don’t want clear tape. Looking at the pictures of the camera I now realise I should have taken a bit more time to get the labels straight! Fortunately you can peel them off without leaving any nasty residue or damaging the paint.
So there is no IBC show this year and instead Sony are doing various online sessions with the latest news as well as guides to some of the most recent products and firmware.
Today’s news is of new branding for Sony most recent digital cinema cameras, Vence and the PXW-FX9. These cameras are now members of what Sony are calling “Cinema Line” and in addition there are pictures of a smaller camera not surprisingly called the FX6 that looks like – well – what you would expect an FS5 replacement to look like.
In the past Sony’s digital cinematography cameras were denoted by their “Cinealta” badges. But to some extent this became somewhat confused as all sorts of cameras like the Sony EX1 and Venice were classed as Cinealta. So what exactly is the new Cinema Line?
To quote from the Sony Press Release:
“At Sony, we celebrate and have the deepest respect for filmmakers, cinematographers, and storytellers. With Cinema Line, we’re tapping into our DNA from both the film industry and digital imaging prosumer market and combining it to develop new creative tools. This line of products will enable creators to push their creative boundaries further and capture the emotion in each and every frame.” says Claus Pfeifer, Head of Connected Content Acquisition, Media Solutions, Sony Professional Europe.
So, I’m not really sure! My guess is it’s a set of products, not just cameras aimed at what we now tend to call Cinematography rather than broadcast television or industrial video applications. Of course there is a huge amount of cross-over between all these different genres these days, so I’m sure the Cinema Line products will be used all over the place.
My main hope from this is a more unified look from any cameras in the Cinema Line. My big hope is that the FX6 will have S-Cinetone and that when you shoot S-Log3 with the FX6 that it will look like the S-log3 from the FX9 or Venice. This will make grading and post production easier where you mix and match cameras.
What about the FX6?
I don’t have any more solid information than you right now. We can expect it to be Full Frame, to shoot 10 bit 4:2:2 4K using S-Log3 and to probably have a raw output. As the FS5 is based on the A7S hardware with an F5 sensor it wouldn’t surprise me if the FX6 was based on the A7SIII hardware with the FX9 sensor perhaps. So it might have 4K at 120fps. From the pictures it appears to only have 2 channels of audio and the cover for the card slots (there must be 2 as there is a slot select switch) doesn’t look big enough for two XQD or CF Express Type B, so I would guess that like the A7SIII it’s SD cards or perhaps CF Express Type A. Another thing I notice in the pictures is a lack of an AF/MF focus switch and in particular no menu navigation controls, so I will guess the LCD is a touch screen and it will rely on this for a lot of function control and menu navigation. But this is just speculation, so don’t hold me to any of it!!!