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

 

35 thoughts on “Differences Between FX9 and FX6”

    1. Thanks Alister! I have an FX9 and have ordered the FX6. My biggest question, which am sure others are asking is why does Sony allow Pro Res Raw recording without the XDCA in the FX6 and not the FX9? The FX9 will be most people’s A cam in a 2 camera setup and the XDCA is bulky and expensive. Is it technical issue, marketing, or does Sony need people to buy the XDCA unit because of the investment they’ve put into it. I’m truly confused?!

      1. It is almost certainly a hardware limitation. The FX9 is based on the FS7, which is based on the F5/F55. In those cameras the raw comes out of the camera on a data bus similar to a computers PCI bus. On the F5/F55 the dockable Sony recorder took the data direct from the data bus. The FS7 inherited much of the F5/F55 hardware including the raw on the data bus. With the FS7 the XDCA contains the necessary hardware to read the signal on the data bus and convert it to a serial data signal that can be passed over the SDI on the XDCA. The FX9 appears to have inherited this same architecture and thus requires the XDCA to convert the data on the large connector on the rear of the camera to SDI.

        When comparing the raw from the FS5 and the FS7 the raw from the FS7 is better than the raw from the FS5, even though both cameras share the same sensor. This may be because the extra processing power in the XDCA is able to do a better job of re-packaging the sensor data that the circuits inside the FS5. It will be interesting to compare the raw from an FX9 to the raw from the FX6, there may – or may not – be differences.

        1. Thank you for your explanation Alister about RAW and the XLR points. Another question – lenses. I have a set of of Canon CN-E primes via speedboosters which produce a lovely image but no AF capabilities and now also the Sony Gmaster 70-200mm f2.8 and Sony Gmaster 28-135mm f4 which both talk to FX9 and FX6 which i can use for AF where needed. But does the Sigma 24-35mm ff cine zoom e-mount talk to the cameras to get the AF capabilities? It’s cheaper than the new Sony cine zoom (A$11k I was told) being released which is why I’m looking at the Sigma. Also what other new Sony cine zooms are coming out and do you know when?

  1. Hu Aliseter, What is it Clear Image Zoom (1.5x in 4K, 2x in HD)?

    The multiport can you conect a lens motor and use AutoFocus for a manual lens, in Fx6?

    Thanks

    1. It is a digital zoom that allows the you to zoom in to the image to simulate an optical zoom. It uses very sophisticated processing to minimise any loss of image quality and is very effective. But there is still a slight loss of image quality when you zoom in by more than about 1.2x

    2. Multiport is mainly for remote control applications. You cannot connect an external motor to te FX6 for autofocus. The AF of a lens and the camera are very carefully matched as things like focal length, motor speed and rate of focus change all have to be taken into account for the AF to operate successfully.

  2. May I ask why the 2 x XLR outputs were put on the top handle, especially when this could be a great gimbal setup? Limits audio ability if you want to shoot light with no top handle for walking PTCs for example?

    1. I don’t know. But I suspect it because there isn’t space on the body for them without making the camera larger.

      1. Hi Alister can the face/eye AF Function be used on say dogs on the FX9 and or FX6? Filming a couple days where main story is based on a dog so thinking using AF in some way would help with my Sony zooms. Or would I just set a flexible spot say centre screen on the viewfinder and shoot that way? I know some Sony stills cameras have the Animal AF function.

    1. Yes, there is. But I do not know if this suffers from spatial/temporal aliasing that is often caused when a simple conversion from 50p/60p to 50i/60i is performed without the line pair blending that occurs in a true interlace signal.

      1. Thank you for your answer.
        And if we shoot 1080 50p and convert to interlaced (1080 50i) in editing do you think that footage will look as 1080 50i footage ?
        Again Thanks for your answer

          1. Thank you for answer.
            And what if we use an Atomos? We put 1080 50P on FX6 , output at 1080 50i on Fx6 and recording on 1080 50i on the Atomos.
            What do you think?
            Thanks a lot.

  3. Alister , Thanks for that comparison . A little off topic, but I have a couple of A7sIII questions:
    1 – Can the A7siii send an HDMI out to a second monitor while the flip out LCD camera screen remains ON and the touch focus features on the LCD remain useable?

    2- I’ve read that positioning of the LCD flip out screen can be limited by HDMI or headphone out cables. This sounds like a serious problem. Can you still at least still tilt it up so you don’t have to get down to the level of the camera to operate ?

    1. Alister , the FS6 connection on the above questions , is it is the outstanding issue for me about whether to get an FS6 or A7Siii as a second camera.

  4. I can see this camera being actually being pretty fantastic on the conference circuit, at first glance the FF seems to put it on the backfoot but being able to use that 12’800 iso on say a 300mm+ lens on a 2x extender could make filming from huge distances in dark venues a very real possibility.

    If Metabones / sigma could get the af to play ball there could be some great options.

  5. Thanks Alister to explain us the details of this cam.
    I thing in row of Fx6 in AF you are write “Always wide area” I rode in manual you can choose: Wide / Zone / Flexible Spot.

    Thanks ??

    1. On the FX9 the Face Detection AF only works within the selected focus zone, so you could for example restrict the face detection and face af to just one part of a shot using either zone or flexible spot. But with the firmware in the FX6 that I have been using the face AF always works whether the face is inside or outside of the zone.

  6. Hi Alister,

    I was wondering how the file naming system in the FX6 is designed and if it is to be updated in coming firmwares?

    In the FS7 for example you can have Camera ID + Reel + shot number + randomized string (like with ARRI), and from my understanding the VENICE features something similar. This is a standard naming system for professional cinema systems, but I am a bit unsure how the FX9 handles it? And even more unsure of how the FX6 works? From what I have seen the FX9 features an auto naming system (but is it “the real thing”?), the FX6 though seems to only support a simple title prefix system. At least in the current firmware.

    Since you have good knowledge of and access to all the cameras mentioned above, could you enlighten us on this issue? My opinion is that if Sony wants to call a number of cameras their “cinema line”, all of them should have the sophisticated and standardized naming system used in the professional cinema environment.

    All the best! 🙂

    1. Both the FX6 and FX9 use the same prefix + suffix.

      The prefix is made up of the last 3 characters of the cameras serial number followed by a minimum of 4 user defined characters. The suffix is a a 4 digit number that can be preset and then counts up each time a new clip is recorded.

      The FX9 is the same as the FX6 unless the FX9 is set to use forward planning metadata where the suffix number can be up to 5 digits and the prefix+suffix are set by the forward planning metadata file.

      Venice clip naming is much more advanced and based on the cameras allocated ID number plus reel number. Whenever you insert new empty media the reel number automatically increases by 1. If you insert media that already has clips on it, new recordings inherit the same reel number and clip name but with the ID changed to that of the camera.

  7. Hi Alister!
    I noticed that the FX6 doesn´t have cache rec.
    The most underrated feature in my opinion, perhaps only for my type of work.
    Will there be a firmware update in the future to add this function?
    Thanks!

    1. Only Sony know for sure, but I think it is extremely unlikely. The FX6 is based on the Alpha 7S III and none of the Alphas have ever had cache record.

    2. This is a dealbreaker for many. I can’t believe it doesn’t have the cache record feature. Any updates if this will be added? Thanks

      1. I think it’s unlikely as I doubt the camera has the internal memory space. Sony are unlikely to put all the features of a higher end camera into a much cheaper one.

  8. Hi! I’m strongly debating between buying a fx9 or a fx6 for TV/DOC use strictly shot in HD. About 98% of productions around my area happen in Full HD max. So my question, what is the noticeable quality difference between the two cameras in HD? I’m not talking about frame rates , but mainly image quality and megapixel use in HD 23.98p. Does the 6k over sampling apply ton4k footage only or does it inplement HD as well? Thanks.

    1. HD is oversampled by both the FX6 and FX9.

      The big question is whether the HD TV and Doc work that you do requires interlace or not. If you don’t need interlace or the other more broadcast oriented functions then the FX6 will probably fit your needs.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply Alister! Much appreciated. When you mention ‘needing interlaced’ it brings a follow up question: We never shoot anything other than Progressive in camera, but I know TV broadcast is still interlaced (720i). So, is there anything I don’t know about codecs and output from the fx6 that i wouldn’t be able to convert from 1080p to interlaced for broadcast? Thanks!

  9. The above chart is very helpful. Thank you for putting it together Alister.

    I’m struggling with one issue. I want to use aspect ratio markers and center marker on the FX6’s LCD monitor but as soon as I hit the “Display” button everything including these markers goes away. I can’t seem to be able to find a setting which allows keeping just the markers on the LCD. If this is indeed not possible, I find it to be very strange. Is that the case? Thanks!

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