Tag Archives: FX9

Atomos Adds Raw Over SDI For The Ninja V via the AtomX.

I know this is something A LOT of people have been asking for. For a long time it has always seemed odd that only the Shogun 7 was capable of recording raw from the FX9 and then the FX6 while the the little Ninja V could record almost exactly the same raw form the A7SIII.

Well the engineers at Atomos have finally figured out how to pass raw via the AtomX SDI adapter to the Ninja V. The big benefit of course being the compact size of the Ninja V.

There are a couple of ways of getting the kit you need to do this.

If you already have a Ninja V (they are GREAT little monitor recorders, I’ve taken mine all over the world, from the arctic to Arabian deserts) you simply need to buy an AtomX SDI adapter and once you have that buy a raw licence from the Atomos website for $99.00.

If you don’t have the Ninja V then you can buy a bundle called the “Pro Kit” that includes everything you need including a Ninja V with the raw licence pre-installed, The AtomX SDI adapter, a D-Tap power adapter cable, a mains power supply and a sun hood. The cost of this kit will be around $950 USD or £850 GBP + tax, which is a great price.

On top of that you will need to buy suitable fast SSD’s.

Like the Shogun 7 the Ninja V can’t record the 16 bit raw from the FX6 or FX9 directly, so Atomos take the 16 bit linear raw and convert it using a visually lossless process to 12 bit log raw. 12 bit log raw is a really nice raw format and the ProResRaw codec helps keep the files sizes nice and manageable.

This is a really great solution for recording raw from the FX6 and FX9. Plus if you already have an A7SIII you can use the Ninja V to record via HDMI from that too.

Here’s the press release from Atomos:

c6c43288-9b4b-4ac7-8889-16c01dbb6300 Atomos Adds Raw Over SDI For The Ninja V via the AtomX.
f8cd773f-872b-4e63-a7f3-a53142662664 Atomos Adds Raw Over SDI For The Ninja V via the AtomX.
The Atomos Ninja V Pro Kit is here to equip you with increased
professional I/O, functionality and accessories.

The Ninja V Pro Kit has been designed to bridge the gap between compact cinema and mirrorless cameras that can output RAW via HDMI or SDI. Pro Kit also pushes these cameras’ limits, recording up to 12-bit RAW externally on the Ninja’s onboard SSD. Additionally, Pro Kit provides the ability to cross covert signals providing a versatile solution for monitoring, play out and review.
 
7ae96b67-7f27-4f54-b637-5bed0cb685d5 Atomos Adds Raw Over SDI For The Ninja V via the AtomX.
What comes in the Pro Kit?
  • Ninja V Monitor-Recorder with pre-activated RAW over SDI
  • AtomX SDI Module
  • Locking DC to D-Tap cable to power from camera battery
  • AtomX 5″ Sunhood
  • DC/Mains power with international adaptor kit
Ninja V Pro Kit offers a monitor and recording package to cover a wide range of workflows.
097d35da-ecfb-4acd-a43f-45a0098e9907 Atomos Adds Raw Over SDI For The Ninja V via the AtomX.

Why choose Ninja V Pro Kit?
  • More powerful and versatile I/O for Ninja V – Expand your Ninja V’s capability with the Pro Kit with the ability to provide recordings in edit-ready codecs or as proxy files from RED or ARRI cameras.
  • Accurate and reliable daylight viewable HDR or SDR – To ensure image integrity, the AtomX 5″ Sunhood is included and increases perceived brightness under challenging conditions or can be used to dial out ambient light to increase the view in HDR
  • HDMI-to-SDI cross conversion – HDMI or SDI connections can be cross converted, 4K to HD down converts RAW to video signals to connect to other systems without the need for additional converters.
  • Record ProRes RAW via SDI to selected cameras*:
a9004691-3a6a-43eb-a2e3-bcced1e9fb74 Atomos Adds Raw Over SDI For The Ninja V via the AtomX.
  • Three ways to power your Ninja:
    – DC power supply – perfect for in the studio.
    – DTap cable – perfect for on-set, meaning your rig can run from a single power source.
    – Optional NPF battery or any four-cell NPF you might have in your kit bag. 
c3522982-3d97-464b-976f-50cdf918f2b9 Atomos Adds Raw Over SDI For The Ninja V via the AtomX.

The ProRes RAW Advantage
ProRes RAW is now firmly established as the new standard for RAW video capture, with an ever-growing number of supported HDMI and SDI cameras. ProRes RAW combines the visual and workflow benefits of RAW video with the incredible real-time performance of ProRes. The format gives filmmakers enormous latitude when adjusting the look of their images and extending brightness and shadow detail, making it ideal for HDR workflows. Both ProRes RAW and the higher bandwidth, less compressed ProRes RAW HQ are supported. Manageable file sizes speed up and simplify file transfer, media management, and archiving. ProRes RAW is fully supported in Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer 2020.10 update, along with a collection of other apps including ASSIMILATE SCRATCH, Colorfront, FilmLight Baselight, and Grass Valley Edius.
 
38031027-d6e9-4d58-b3aa-8672ead94c51 Atomos Adds Raw Over SDI For The Ninja V via the AtomX.

Existing Ninja V and AtomX SDI module owners
While the Pro Kit offers a complete bundle, existing Ninja V owners can enhance their equipment to the same level by purchasing the AtomX SDI module for $199, and the New RAW over SDI and HDMI RAW to SDI video feature can also be added to the Ninja V via separate activation key from the Atomos website for $99. 

Existing AtomX SDI module owners will receive the SDI < > HDMI cross conversion for 422 video inputs in the 10.61 firmware update for Ninja V update. You will also be able to benefit from RAW over SDI recording with the purchase of the SDI RAW activation key. This feature will be available from the Atomos website in February 2021.
 
ecd0a301-71e2-42ac-877a-74b52bea63a0 Atomos Adds Raw Over SDI For The Ninja V via the AtomX.
 
Special Offer for Pro Kit buyers
The first batch of Ninja V Pro Kits will include a FREE Atomos CONNECT in the box.
Connect allows you to start streaming at up to 1080p60 directly from your Ninja V!
Learn more about Connect here.
 

Availability
The Ninja V Pro Kit is available to purchase from your local reseller.
Find your local reseller here.

$949 USD
EX LOCAL TAXES

*Selected cameras only – RAW outputs from Sony’s FS range (FS700, FS5, FS7) are NOT supported on Ninja V with AtomX SDI Module and RAW Upgrade. Support for these cameras is ONLY available on Shogun 7.

FX9 ISO Rating Confirmation Test

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.

FX9-Exposure-Test-800_1.2.1 FX9 ISO Rating Confirmation Test
FX9 Exposure rating test at 800 ISO.
FX9-Exposure-Test-4000_1.1.1 FX9 ISO Rating Confirmation Test
FX9 Exposure ISO rating test at 4000 ISO.

Using 2x Anamorphic lenses with the FX9

peter1_1.19.1-copy-600x338 Using 2x Anamorphic lenses with the FX9
Frame grab from Anamorphic footage from the FX9.

 

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.

And here’s the link to the footage from the lake district.

 

More Anamorphic Options for the FX9 – Sirui 24mm 1.33x Anamorphic.

Here is what could be a nice option for Anamorphic on the FX9 (or any other Super 35mm capable camera. The new Sirui 24mm 1.33x anamorphic lens. I have not tried these yet, but at only $999 or $749 with the early bird offer it’s certainly an affordable way into the world of Anamorphic. 1.33x lenses are designed to provide a final aspect ratio of 2.40:1 when used with a 16:9 sensor. Here’s the info from the press release.

large-e5f243596bfbebfadb05d80a1c0e418d More Anamorphic Options for the FX9 - Sirui 24mm 1.33x Anamorphic.
large-a0779796aff6c0276f70ae6b5c0c2ecc More Anamorphic Options for the FX9 - Sirui 24mm 1.33x Anamorphic.
large-dc99f9fef16c45ad702d8d811aff5cd7 More Anamorphic Options for the FX9 - Sirui 24mm 1.33x Anamorphic.
The SIRUI 1.33x Anamorphic line-up consists of 24mm, 35mm and 50mm lenses.
  • Focal length: 24mm
  • Maximum aperture: F2.8
  • Minimum aperture: F16
  • Lens structure: 13 elements in 10 groups
  • Aperture blades: 8
  • Maximum support frame: APS-C
  • Shooting distance: 0.6m (2 ft) – infinity
  • Focus method: Manual focusing
  • Maximum magnification: 1:21.99(V),1:29.07 (H)
  • Filter spec: M72 x 0.75
  • Rotation angle of the focus ring: 189.6°
  • Max. diameter: 74mm (2.91 inches)
  • Diameter of focus ring: 64.6mm (2.54 inches)
  • Weight(g/lbs): MFT Mount: 770/1.70; E Mount: 780/1.72; X Mount: 780/1.72; EF-M Mount: 780/1.72; Z Mount: 810/1.79
  • Total length (lens cap not included) (mm/inch): MFT Mount: 124.9/4,92; E Mount: 126.1/4.96; X Mount: 126.4/4.98; EF-M Mount: 126.1/4.96; Z Mount: 128.1/5.04
preview-eb0cf788bc1720d61f3bb2319c6421ab More Anamorphic Options for the FX9 - Sirui 24mm 1.33x Anamorphic.

FX6 Gets NetFlix Approval

FX6_side_44062_02-Mid FX6 Gets NetFlix Approval
Sony ILME FX6 gets Netflix approval.

 

The Sony FX6 joins the FX9 on the Netflix approved list. This makes the FX6 the 10th camera to be added to the list of approved Sony cameras.

Here’s the official list.

Interestingly the FX6 is specifically noted as NOT approved for anamorphic capture. I suspect this is down to the fact that this is a 4K sensor with no oversampling. While the PXW-FX9 is not listed as approved for anamorphic (only Venice is specifically approved) it does not have the anamorphic exclusion that the FX6 has. Perhaps the FX9 can be used on a case by case basis for anamorphic thanks to it’s 6K oversampling when using the Full Frame 6K scan mode?

Anyway, this is more good news for Sony film makers and shooters.

Want to know more about the FX6 – Click here.

Want to know more about the FX9 – Click here.

FX9 Guide Videos

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

https://pro.sony/en_GB/insight/filmmaking-tips/pxw-fx9-tutorial-videos-eye-af

MLUTS and HDR

https://pro.sony/en_GB/insight/filmmaking-tips/pxw-fx9-tutorial-videos-mluts-hdr

Differences Between FX9 and FX6

Here are some of the differences I have so far identified:

FX9 FX6
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.
MpegHD Codec No
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 
Planning metadata No
GPS 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
Aperture Correction 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.
Genlock No
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-log 800/4000

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-Log 800/12,800

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 Introduces Cinema Line and teases the PXW-FX6

FX6_side_44062_02-Mid Sony Introduces Cinema Line and teases the PXW-FX6
Sony are teasing the PXW-FX6.

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!!!

FX9 Green Fringing and White Balance Update From Sony Japan.

I had a long, very in depth and very interesting web meeting with several members of the FX9 engineering team in Japan last week. They have been looking into the green fringing that some FX9 users have been reporting in various user groups. I have to say that this hasn’t been something that I have found to be a problem, but if you keep on reading you’ll find out why that is!

The first thing that became very clear in the discussion was that they take issues like this extremely seriously. The FX9 is their baby and they want end users to be happy with it. I was shown a lot of examples of very carefully executed tests using calibrated light sources, test charts, and various objects with different colours or reflectivity placed in extreme contrast situations.

And yes, in some cases the images would show a green edge around the high contrast edge of an extremely backlit object. Not just with the FX9 but also with the FS7 they were comparing it against.

The cause is Chromatic Aberration in the lens.

In every case the cause of the coloured edge is chromatic aberration. Chromatic aberration is an optical phenomenon cause by the way the glass in a lens will inevitably refract different wavelengths of light (and thus different colours) by different amounts. So when one colour is in precise focus, other colours may be slightly out of focus and this causes blurring of one colour and this typically manifests itself as a blue, green or red fringe – chromatic aberration.

So the root cause of this issue is not the camera, it is the lens and it will vary from lens to lens. But do keep reading – there is more you need to know…….

Other Factors.

However there are other factors at play. One is the way a bayer sensor works. There is a huge resolution difference between the green channel and the red and blue channels. A lot of complex processing is used to compensate for this and that processing is optimised for what you might call “normal” or “typical” scenes. So when presented with a shot that has extreme contrast and a lot of optical chromatic aberration sometimes this processing isn’t going to deliver a fully optimised image and it may reveal the differences in resolution between the 3 colour channels. This is particularly the case with green CA as the green channel has much greater resolution than the others. 

But the FS7 doesn’t do it….

But this bayer/processing issue will be broadly similar between the FX9 and FS7, so why are more FX9 owners reporting a problem than FS7 owners?

The answer it seems is white balance!

All the  reports of this issue have occured when the camera has been set to a daylight white balance, most of the time it has been when the camera has been set to it’s default 5500K daylight preset.

When comparing the FX9 with the FS7 with both set to 5500K the FX9 has a small but noticeable bias towards green. I and many others have been aware of this from the launch of the camera, especially when you use the camera in the CineEI mode and use the standard s709 LUT from Sony. The images are distinctly more green than any other Sony camera and a fair bit more green than the FS7, FS5 and Alphas.

It’s not that white objects won’t be white, it’s just that overall the image looks a bit green. This is easily dialed out by adding a +20 offset to the cameras tint control and that is how I have been using my camera pretty much from day one.

When you think about it – or when you analyse the situation carefully as Sony have, if the camera has more green, what will happen if you have green CA? Well it’s going to be much more pronounced.  And that is what we are seeing. The way the colours in the FX9 are tuned has an unfortunate side effect of making green CA much more obvious.

This explains why I have never really had an issue with green CA. I’m normally running a +20 tint offset which reduces the green in the camera plus I tend to use my own less green versions of the s709 LUT or I use ACES which is also less green than Sony’s own s709 LUT. So overall I have already dialed out the green and unknowingly fixed an issue I didn’t know I had.

So the engineers in Japan are currently recommending adding a +20 tint to the camera when shooting daylight. In particular instead of using a preset of 5500K to use 5000K and +20 tint to achieve the same white balance but a less green image. They are also assessing whether the camera needs to have it’s processing adjusted so that it is less green when using the 5500K preset. At warmer colour temperatures this issue does not seem to ever be a problem, it’s only with daylight.

Push Auto White Balance.

Further to this it’s also worth noting that if you use the cameras Push Auto white balance to set the white balance with a white or grey card then this will normally deliver the optimum white balance for the scene you are shooting and it won’t be biased towards green. And we should remember that Push Auto white balance works correctly in both the CineEI mode and Custom mode. If you use Push Auto WB there is no need to add a +20 Tint and the pictures should look natural and well balanced. Having become used to using preset white balance values when shooting S-Log with Sony cameras for so many years I keep forgetting that you can now do this. 

Another benefit of Push Auto WB is that as it balances the camera correctly it also helps bring the FS5, FS7, F55 etc and FX9 closer together if you are using a mix of different cameras. I was recently shooting with a Venice and FX9 side by side and by using the Push Auto WB on both Venice and the FX9 it became extremely hard to tell one from the other. Previously when using the presets the FX9 always looked a touch green.

Also – if you are using daylight balanced LED or fluorescent lights using Push Auto white balance will help correct out any tendency towards green that the lights may have. So really Push Auto White Balance is a win-win situation and let’s face it a lot of you have been asking for it in CineEI for a long time – so now we have it, let’s use it.

What about Aperture Correction?

In my own experiments I found that in Custom Mode turning off the cameras Aperture correction (http://www.xdcam-user.com/2020/07/reducing-ca-artefacts-in-the-sony-fx9/) can help reduce the visibility of the CA. As CA is an optical edge effect, anything that enhances edges will also enhance the CA and turning off aperture correction prevents the CA from being boosted by the aperture correction. Overall I personally prefer the images you get from the FX9 with aperture correction off anyway, they are a little bit less sharp and more rounded. 

And slightly off topic, what about image quality at FF and S35 2K scan? This was discussed as well, the engineers want people to be happy with the camera. The issue is that this is a camera with a 6K sensor and an optical system designed around that 6K sensor. So if you then reduce the resolution of the sensor readout the optics are no longer optimised (mainly the Optical Low Pass Filter). As a result there is an inevitable increase in aliasing and moire. Unfortunately this is just the way the physics works and there is not much that can be done about it. But the engineers know that the FX9 will be compared with the FS7 – which also has similar issues in it’s S35 2K scan modes. The goal of the engineers is that the FX9 should not be worse than the FS7 and there are some tweaks in the pipelines to the image processing that will bring some improvements to the FX9 when using 2K scan. But let’s be realistic, this will always be a camera with a 6K sensor and a 6K OLPF, so the Full Frame and Super 35mm 2K scan modes will never match the quality of the 6K and 4K scan modes, it just isn’t possible so don’t expect miracles. These tweaks may take a bit of time to be finalised, so I’m not sure when we will see them. I think what we should see however is the 2K scan from an FX9 being indistinguishable from the 2K scan of an FS7.

Don’t Panic! The A7S III didn’t just make your big pro camera obsolete.

Screenshot-2020-07-31-at-10.07.40 Don't Panic! The A7S III didn't just make your big pro camera obsolete.
Sony’s new A7S III video centric mirrorless camera.

So Sony have just launched the A7S III. And very impressive it is. Amazing low light performance, great dynamic range and lots of nice 10 bit codecs. You can even get a 16 bit raw output if you want. I can’t wait to get one. But I really don’t see the A7S III as a threat to or replacement of my FX9 or any other 4K professional video camera.

All the same discussions took place when the original A7S was launched. Sony F5 owners looked at the A7S and said – heck how can that little camera shoot full frame 4K while my camera can’t even shoot s35 4K. Why can the A7S have AF when my F3/F5 doesn’t. How can a camera that produces such beautiful images only cost 1/5th of what my F5 costs. But here we are 6 years on and the A7S and A7S II didn’t replace any of the bigger cameras and when the FS5 was launched people snapped up the FS5, often to replace an A7.

Why? Ergonomics.
 
I don’t ever want to go back to having to carry and use a big box of different ND filters for different light levels. I find the small LCD screen on the back of a DSLR to be of very limited use and while the A7S III does have a very good EVF it’s placement makes it hard to use it on a tripod or in anything other than a simple hand hold with the camera up against your face.
If you want to shoot log then you really want built in LUTs. There are the battery and power questions. How do you power the camera and accessories without needing two or more power systems or a rig to take a big external battery and a bunch of adapters? Then there’s having buttons and switches for all the frequently accessed functions. I could go on but you only have to look at the many franken-rigs that end up built around DSLR type cameras just to make them usable to see the problems. Almost always the first purchase to go with a DSLR is a cage. Why do you need a cage? Because you know your going to have to bolt a ton of stuff to that once small, portable camera to turn it into a professional video making tool.

 

Sure, I will almost certainly get an A7S III and it will be a great camera to compliment my FX9. And yes, there may even be some projects where I only take the A7S III, just as there have been shoots where I have used just my A7S. But it won’t ever replace my FX9, they are two very different tools, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

 

The image quality gap between traditional large professional video cameras and handheld stills type cameras will continue to get smaller and smaller as electronics continue to be further miniaturised, that is inevitable, but the cameras form factor will still be important.
 
The small cars of today often have all the same bells and whistles as a large luxury car of 10 years ago. Let’s say you’ve gone on vacation (remember those?) and it’s a road trip. You get to the car rental office and you have a choice between a large, spacious, stable, less stressed car or a small car that has to work a bit harder to get you to the same place. Both will get you there, but which do you choose? There might be some instances where the small car is preferrable, perhaps you will be in a lot of narrow city streets a lot. But for most road trips I suspect most people will opt for the big comfy cruiser most of the time.

For me the A7S III will be that nippy little car, a camera that I can pop in a pocket to grab beautiful images where I can’t use a bigger camera. But for my main workhorse I don’t want fiddly, I don’t want a ton of accessories hanging off it just to make it workable. I want the luxury cruiser that will just take it all in it’s stride and get on with the job and right now that’s my FX9.