PXW-FX9 Version 3 Firmware Update Latest News

No, it hasn’t been released yet.  And it’s now not expected to arrive before the end of November. But it will be worth the wait.

We already knew about some of the new features but there is much more to this release than first announced. Let’s take a look:

Touch to focus, focus tracking: Yes, you heard it right. You will be able to use the touch sensitive LCD to touch on an object in the shot and then the camera will track that object as it moves around the shot. A box will appear around the touched object and you will be able to monitor what the AF is focussing on by looking at what the tracking box is over. This is a feature available on the A7S3 and FX3 that is VERY useful.

Anamorphic De-Squeeze. It will become much easier to shoot anamorphic with the FX9. When shooting Anamorphic the image produced by the lens is squeezed horizontally, and that’s what you record. But to monitor it correctly you then need to de-squeeze it by squashing it vertically by the correct amount. The V3 firmware update will allow the image to be squashed vertically (de-squeezed) for the LCD viewfinder so you can view with the included VF in the correct widescreen aspect ratio. Do note however that the SDI and HDMI outputs will NOT be de-squeezed, so to monitor externally you will need a monitor with de-squeeze, but most of them have this these days.

Super 16 Scan Modes: The camera will gain a 2K center scan mode that can be used to shoot at up to 180fps in full HD. Using the center scan mode for slow motion above 60fps will eliminate the aliasing issues currently seen when using the 2K FF or 2K S35 scan modes. Additionally you will be able to use Sony’s 2/3″ B4 lens adapter. When using the B4 adapter the camera will support ALAC  which corrects for chromatic aberrations in lenses that support this feature.

Switch Scan Modes via Assignable Button: This has been something on everyone’s wish lists for years. Now at last you will be able to set up an assignable button to switch scan modes. 

Add Camera ID and Reel Numbers to Clip Names: You will be able to use clip names that are prefixed by a camera ID number and a reel number similar to the clip naming system on the FS7.

Modify the Status Page List: This function allows you to remove pages from the status page menu. So you will be able to remove the pages you rarely use.

DC IN Alarm: Don’t get too excited just yet, but in V3 you will be able to set a low voltage alarm for the cameras DC input as well as the extension units DC input. This does NOT mean that there will be a low voltage warning with the current 3rd party V-Lock battery adapters as these convert the battery voltage to a fixed 19.5v supply that never changes. But it does mean that a clever manufacturer could now design a V-Lock adapter that could reduce it’s output voltage when the voltage of the V-Lock battery gets low allowing you to have an alarm in the camera before the battery cuts off.

Proxy Upload while recording: Currently you cannot upload proxies while recording. This will be improved in V3 and the camera will be able to upload proxies in the background while you are recording.

Zero Focus Distance function: When working with a lens that shows the focus distance on the LCD screen you will be able to focus on an object and then “zero” the focus distance. Then as you change the focus distance the the screen will display a +/- value that is how far from zero the focus is. You will be able to use this for a pull focus. Focus on the end object and set the focus distance to zero. Now focus on the start object. To pull focus turn the focus ring so you are back at zero again. Not actually sure how useful this will be, but hey – it isn’t costing us anything.

Change Network Settings via Mobile Phone App: You will be able to use a mobile phone to change the cameras network settings making it easier to enter addresses and passwords of FTP servers etc.

USB Phone tethering: you will be able to connect a couple of mobile phones to the camera via USB to use it them as modems for internet streaming (I believe this is via the USB ports on the top of the XDCA-FX9).

LCD Gamma Adjustments for SR Live: SR live is a type of HDR workflow developed for live productions that will be broadcast in both standard dynamic range and high dynamic range. This setting allows you to change the gamma of the LCD screen between SDR and HDR range when shooting using HLG in the HDR mode. This allows you to preview either what a viewer will see watching in SDR or a good approximation of what a viewer viewing in HDR will see.

S700 Remote Control: The camera will be able to be controlled remotely using s700 protocols (via ethernet).

26 thoughts on “PXW-FX9 Version 3 Firmware Update Latest News”

  1. Hi, I’ve come across some idiosyncrasy of FX9 regarding the AF. At UHD (3840×2160) doesn’t matter what I do I can’t get the AF to enable and an MF icon is shown at the left upper corner. But just changing to 4k DCI (4096×2160) the icon changes to AF and now autofocus and tracking works. I’ve tried to find any setting that could render this behavior without success, any tips? Thanks

  2. Thx for the update on the update Alister!
    As a fx6 owner, I’m just now praying for the focus tracking to be implemented in a future fw update on that camera too. Seems possible, apparently..! ???

  3. Thanks Alister,

    I was wondering if Sony are going to update the stepping iris control for non-iris ring lenses?

    Currently as you know currently it’s very coarse! I think it is in one third stops? This is obviously just a firmware function in the camera as the lenses can step much finer than this.

    1. Yes, you can use any camera to shoot anamorphic. The only thing the firmware adds is a monitoring de-squeeze, but you can can use any camera to shoot anamorphic, provided you don’t mind monitoring the squeezed image.

  4. Ticks most boxes for sure , the final icing on the cake would be step free scroll wheels on the grip and camera body , but this V3 is offering way more than I thought , scan adjust in assign , the wholly grail ! touch tracking , and fixing the Clip naming .. wonderful

  5. I’d really love the double speed option you get on the f5.
    I film a lot of sport and when you are shooting progressive but have the viewfinder set to double speed it really makes the live action easier to follow. It’s so much harder when your seeing a progressive picture with shutter in. Is this something that can be added. It’s so useful for sport filming.

  6. Great updates!

    I usually don’t write this kind of post, but do we know if touch to focus, focus tracking is coming to the FX6? They’re different cameras, but I only ask because the FX3 and now the FX9 will have it. It’s the only feature I’m missing on my FX6.

    1. at least, we already have Touch to focus. 🙂
      But yeah, I wish Sony left a bit of space for the tracking. it’s such a great feature!
      I wouldn’t ask much more of that amazing gear after that.. ! _||_

  7. Thanks, Alister

    If you have time, pls kindly make a video for synchronize between FX9 with others camera, such as: FX9 v Sony cameras, RED, …

    Thank you

    1. Take the HDSDI out from the master camera or sync source and plug it in to the Genlock in on the FX9 with an SDI cable. I don’t think this needs a video.

  8. Is there a link to your recent webinar going through in more detail the FX9 V3 Firmware update that’s due soon?

    I had registered to watch it but was then booked to work that day.

    I’ve had a look online and can’t find anything.

    1. Thats a good question. I expect like so many things it’s been seriously delayed by the pandemic. Sony’s design offices were closed on and off for 18 months.

  9. Hello Alister. I very recently purchased an FX9, with firmware V3 already installed. I noticed there was a V3.01 available on the Sony site, so I installed it. I used the camera on my first shoot last week- it was great to have the dual ISO! Couldn’t have done the shoot with the FS7, honestly.

    However, I had a situation with the Sony 18-110 PZ autofocus lens. After filming for a few hours, the lens stopped behaving as a parfocal lens, and the focus distances displayed in the viewfinder became wildly inaccurate. When I had a few minutes, I turned off the camera, removed the battery, and restarted after 30 seconds. Proper focus operation was restored.

    I’m wondering if this could be related to the new firmware, and if anyone else has experienced this problem. I just wanted to report this to the FX9 user community in case it helps solve the problem eventually. Thanks!

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