FX9 Version 3 Firmware Released.

Sony have today release the version 3 update for the FX9. This is a significant upgrade for the FX9 and I highly recommend all users update their cameras.

The update process is robust and provided you follow the instructions in the PDF guide that is included in the update download package you should not have any problems.

EDIT: I WILL SAY THIS AGAIN – YOU MUST FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS INCLUDED IN THE DOWNLOAD PACKAGE. DO NOT SKIP ANY OF THE STEPS IN THE INSTRUCTIONS. I’m seeing lots of people with failed updates because they are formatting their SD cards on their computer or not turning off the cameras network functions. It’s all in the instructions, the instructions are there to help you, please follow them to the letter. The “root” of a card is the very, very bottom of the cards file structure. It is NOT a folder, anything on the “root” of  a card will not be inside a folder of any sort, the root is the bit of the card where the first folders will be, in the case of an SD card formatted in the FX9 the root is where you will find  the “PRIVATE” folder. The “root” is NOT the XDROOT folder.  And if something does go wrong the instructions tell you how to recover.

Do be aware that when you start the update process the  cameras LCD screen will go blank for around 10 minutes and the only clue that all is good will be a flashing red tally light. Just leave the camera alone, go and do something else and come back an hour later. The upgrade will also appear to stall at around the 80% mark. Again, just be patient and wait for the update complete message before turning off the camera.

There are a lot of new features in version 3 but the three that I think most are going to like the most are the Real-Time tracking AF (aka touch tracking), the Anamorphic monitoring modes and the Super 16mm 2K scan mode.


The Real Time tracking allows you to use the viewfinders  touch screen to touch where you want the camera to focus. A white box will appear where you touch and then the camera will track the touched object while it stays with the frame. To cancel the touch tracking touch on the grey cancel box that appears in the top left of the viewfinder.

touched-book_1.1.3-600x338 FX9 Version 3 Firmware Released.
In the image above the camera is in Face/Eye priority mode. As the real time tracking AF over-rides the other AF modes, by touching on the book on the book shelf (circled in red) the AF is now focussing on the book and will track the book if the camera pans or if the book were to move through the shot. If the book were to move out of the shot the AF will revert to Face/Eye AF.

When used in conjunction with the Face/Eye AF, if you touch on a face the AF will prioritise that face and track it. If the person is facing the camera and can be identified as an individual face, the face gets saved and a “*” will appear next to the Face AF symbol top left of the VF.

If the person turns away from the camera the focus will then track the persons head, if they turn back towards the camera it tracks their face again. It is even possible to start by touching on the back of a persons head and then as they turn towards the camera the face/eye AF takes over.

The way the camera “registers” faces is changed from previous firmware versions. As above, to save a face simply touch on a face. Touch a different face to save a different face. When a face has been saved a * will appear next the the Face/Eye AF symbol.

In the image below the face has been selected by touching on it and is now saved (note the * symbol circled in red). Not also the tracking symbol indicating that BOTH Face/Eye AF and Tracking are in use.
saved-face_1.1.2-600x338 FX9 Version 3 Firmware Released.

Whenever you stop the real time tracking the saved face is removed from the  camera.

If you are using Face/Eye ONLY AF then normally the camera will only focus on faces/eyes, but if you touch on an object that isn’t a face then  the camera will focus on this object. If you touch on a face then the camera will only focus on that particular face and the AF will halt if the camera can’t see that particular face until you stop the real time tracking AF.

As well as the tracking stop button (top left of the VF, look like a grey box) If you have AF assist enabled, turning the focus ring on the lens will stop the tracking AF. Real-time tracking AF will also stop when a touched object that is not a face leaves the frame or when a button assigned with the Push AF/Push MF function is pressed.

Real-time tracking can also be used when the cameras AF switch is set to MF.  If in the menu, under shooting settings, focus, the “Touch Function in MF” setting is set to ON, The real-time touch tracking auto focus will also work when the AF switch on the side of the camera is set to MF. This allows you to use an autofocus lens to focus manually but then instantly switch to real time tracking AF simply by touching the LCD screen. For this to work if the lens has an AF/MF switch the switch on the lens must be set to AF. If using the 28-135mm lense the focus ring must be in the forwards position.

Real time tracking works across the entire frame regardless of the chosen AF frame area. Any objects being tracked must be distinct from the background. Textured, coloured or detailed objects are tracked more easily than plain objects. When using Face/Eye AF not all faces can be saved. To successfully save a face it needs to be facing the camera directly and sufficiently distinct that the camera can identify the eyes, nose and mouth.


The anamorphic mode is a basic anamorphic monitoring mode for the LCD viewfinder. It has no effect on the recorded files or the SDI/HDMI outputs.
Anamorphic1_1.1.1-600x338 FX9 Version 3 Firmware Released.

It provides a 1.3x or 2x de-squeeze. The 2x desqueeze function is tailored for 2x anamorphic lenses designed to be used with 35mm film. To use these lenses the camera must be set to 6K Full Frame scan to gain the correct sensor height. This means that when you use a 2x 35mm film anamorphic lens the sensor scan is wider than it really needs to be so there will be some vignetting at the sides of the frame. The 2x de-squeeze function takes this into account and not only de-squeezes the image but also crops the sides to emulate how the footage will look after post production.

anamorphic2_1.1-copy-600x338 FX9 Version 3 Firmware Released.

If you are using 1.3x lenses then you can use either the Full Frame 6K scan, the FF 5k crop or the S35 4K scan modes, but for 2x anamorphic lenses you will need to use FF 6K scan.

S16 2K Crop.

The S16 2K crop mode allows you to use just the center Super 16mm sized 2K scan area. This mode is actually very useful for shooting at high frame rates above 60fps because unlike the FF 2K or S35 2K scan modes, this mode is using every single pixel within the scan area. As a result there are none of the image artefacts common when shooting at high frame rates using FF 2K or S35 2K.  The 2.5x crop (compared to FF) does mean that for wide shots you will need a very wide lens. But where you can use it, this mode is great for better quality slow motion.

s16-hfr_1.1.4-600x338 FX9 Version 3 Firmware Released.

The other use for this scan mode is with Super 16mm lenses or with B4 2/3″ ENG lenses via suitable adapters. The image quality in this mode on the FX9 is a little better than the similar mode on the FS7. But you do need to remember that this is a 2K scan, so you will have a little under HD resolution. In addition the cameras noise appears worse in this mode because you are enlarging fewer pixels to fill the screen, so the noise isn’t as fine or refined as in FF 6K or S35 4K. So where possible you want to make sure you use a nice bright exposure for the best results.

The images below were shot with the same 16x ENG zoom lens at its widest and longest focal lengths.

s16-wide_1.1.2-600x338 FX9 Version 3 Firmware Released.S16-zoom_1.1.2-600x338 FX9 Version 3 Firmware Released.

Here is the full list of new features:

  • S700 Protocol over Ethernet
  • B4 lens support
    – S16 scanning mode (up to FHD 180fps)
    – B4 lens control using with LA-EB1
    – ALAC (Auto Lens Aberration Correction) function
  • Assignable Center Scan
  • Anamorphic lens support
  • Clip Naming (Cam ID + Reel#)
  • Real-time Tracking (touch tracking auto focus)
  • Additional items can be modified in the Status Screen
  • SR Live for HDR metadata support
  • Recording Proxy Clip Real-time Transfer
  • Camcorder Network Setup using Smartphone App
  • Remote control using smartphone over USB tethering
  • USB tethering activated using iOS14 iPhone and iPad

*Network feature above also support C3 Portal (only available in specific countries)

You will find the version 3 download files here:  https://pro.sony/en_GB/support-resources/pxw-fx9/software

46 thoughts on “FX9 Version 3 Firmware Released.”

    1. I would be surprised if the FX6 doesn’t get touch tracking at some point. But just because the FX9 now has it there is no guarantee the FX6 will.

  1. Thanks for this information. Unfortunately the assignable butto “Crop Select” doesn’t works in HD only in UHD. You have to go every time into the menu to change the crop. I hope that Sony can correct this!

  2. A little complement to my post:
    The new assignable button “Crop Select” works in HD only in FFcrop5K mode (which is a 20%crop), but unfortunately not in FF2K. So you loose 20% at the wiede range. I hope that Sony can correct this in a future update!

    1. FF 2K and S35 2K scan are not included because these scan modes are specifically intended for use with S&Q and the much reduced image quality is not normally acceptable for most other shooting applications. FF 2K and S35 2K scan should be avoided whenever possible.

      When shooting HD at 24/25/30fps you can select FF 6K, FF5K Crop, S35 4K and S15 2K scan. Above 30fps the FF 6K scan can’t be used, so can’t be selected.

  3. Thanks Alister for your answer! So that will say that you always shoot in HD with a 1.2 Crop (FF 5K) to have a better image quality than with FF2K? So yoy loose a lot on the wide end of the lens…

    1. The image quality when using the FF 2K and S35 2K scan modes is much, much lower than when using any of the other scan modes. There is significant aliasing, the noise levels are higher and the resolution only around 1.5K so not even full HD. These modes are only suitable for using with S&Q motion above 60fps. I would never use these modes unless there was absolutely no other choice. The quality obtained using FF 5K Crop is significantly higher and I would rather sacrifice 20% of the field of view than have poor image quality.

    1. But that should not be a surprise. You are reading a smaller part of the sensor and using fewer pixels and then expanding this to fill the screen so the noise will not be as fine or refined as the other modes where more of the sensor and a lot more pixels are used. More noise is to be expected.

  4. you are right thanks! I hoped to use this mode regularly as a telezoom-function also with ff-Lenses, but that would not be a good idea, unless you have no other possibility to do the shot.

      1. I’m getting vignetting with the MTF adapter. I am using a B4 lens with the 3.0 update in Super 16 2K.
        What am I doing wrong?

          1. If the B4 adapter includes an optical expander (typically 1.3 to 1.4x) then no, you don’t have to use the extender. If the adapter is a straight through adapter (no lens in the adapter) then you have to use the 2x extender and the image quality may be slightly degraded as a result.

        1. Which B4 adapter are you using? There is one that has no optical correction and one that includes an optical expander. Because 2/3″ is smaller than S16 not all B4 lenses will cover the S16 area without optical correction. If you have the cheaper adapter without the optics then you need to use a lens with a 2x extender and engage the extender. If you have the more expensive adapter with the correction lens in it you can use any B4 lens, with or without the extender. I have a B4 lens and have used it on my FX9 with the MTF adapter with the optical correction and it is fine.

    1. As per the instructions included in the download package it goes in the root folder. You must follow every step in the instructions, do not skip any of the steps, use a good quality SD card, the card MUST be formatted in the camera, the file placed in the root folder, the cameras networking functions turned off.

      Please read the instructions again which also tell you what to do if you have a black screen.

      1. Hey Bud Alister, it took the update after I put the firmware in the top folder, Copy and Paste. Thanks for the help.
        I think Sony made sure that it would take the update, even if there was some of us not reading the instruction correctly.
        I thought I had it in the right folder and all the networks had been off as I don’t use them and to save battery.
        I didn’t check to see if they were off before I started. So others make sure you follow the instructions. I had no status on my screen.
        I went back to check on it and the camera shut off and turn back on just as I was about to try and shut it off. Thankfully Sony is smart enough to make this firmware update a success and not a brick.

  5. Hi
    6.8.21 update
    Fx9. V2.1. To. 2.11
    Xdca. V2.16. To. 2.20

    Fx9. V2.11. To. 3.00
    Xdca. V2.20. To 2.20

    But not Xdca v 3.00
    Is it OK or there is the mistake ?
    Thank you for your answer

  6. Help!
    I followed the upgrade instructions to the letter and my screen just went completely blank. I waited over an hour. The flashing light had gone away and everything. I did what was asked which was to turn off the camera and unplug the adaptor and then plug it back in. Before I had the chance to turn it on again the Rec/lamps were already flashing and the screen is completely black. The on off switch is no longer functional and I do t have a display. I’m worried that my camera bricked!
    Sony pro staff are on holidays. Does anybody here have any suggestions? Is there a factory reset that I can do?

    1. Just leave the camera alone with the SD card with the update file on it. It may take many hours, but it will normally come back.

  7. A question about audio. I realize that this is not specific to this update but generic in nature to all Sony cameras (FS7-FX, etc.)

    Is there any way of turning off (in camera) the audio channels 5-8? There is no way of recording anything on those channels in the field anyway and their existence is a pain in the neck in the post. I realize that it’s probably a part of the structure but wouldn’t it be nice if it was user-controllable?

    Thank you.

  8. I updated my FX9 to v3.0 and now I have no sound at all from my headphone jack. I used the updated camera for the first time today and had no way to monitor my interview audio. It was definitely there, just not coming out of the headphone jack. I used the volume buttons, set the output of the camera to 1/2 mono, 1/2 stereo, 1 only, 2 only, nothing. Headphones work fine in my MacBook Pro and I have used these same headphones with this camera for the last two years. I’m at a loss.

    1. I doubt this is a result of the update. Audio monitoring works for everyone else that’s done the update.

        1. When stuff doesn’t work with a digital device a reset is normally the very first thing to try as it will eliminate an spurious or odd camera settings.

          1. Yeah, not when you’re in the middle of a shoot though. I lost most of my settings, and things that I had turned off were back on again. I got it all working again after a few hours of quality time in the garage.

  9. I just bought a new FX9 after years with an F55, and wanted to install the V3 right away.. I followed the .pdf to a tee:
    -) AC power
    -) downloaded V3.dat on SD card of its root file.
    -) turned off all the networks
    still Version Up will not highlight.

    1. Most likely you have placed the update file inside a folder on the card. “Root” means the very bottom level of the cards file structure and NOT inside any other folder.

      1. Good idea.. but it is an isolated file –

        -) FirmwareData_FX9V300.dat

        alphabetically dropped on the card between Clip and General

        here’s another idea..

        my NETWORK settings:
        -) Wireless LAN – OFF
        -) Wired LAN – will not highlight – but under settings it says OFF
        -) Modem – also will not highlight – but under settings it says OFF..
        is that an issue if they will not highlight? and how would I activate those if I need to?

        1. Clip and General are inside a folder called XDROOT, this is not the root of the card, this is a folder, it’s called XDROOT but has nothing to do with the “root” of the card.

          The only folder visible on the root of a freshly in camera formatted SD card is one called “Private” – Don’t put the update inside ANY folder.

          The “root” of a card or disk is the very bottom level, where you can’t go any lower, it is NOT a folder.

          1. Boom! downloading now..
            my bad on the root confusion..
            I am sure that is a tree or hair growth joke in there somewhere, but for now.. I am good.. Appreciate it!

  10. I installed V3 and after that, I got an error E91-185
    Tried different battery brands, same problem.
    But it dissapeared when I plugged in the power adapter.
    Need to fix this…
    Anyone ??

    1. Does this include Sony batteries?

      Have you done a full reset of the camera and removed any lens adapters?

      1. Hi Alister.
        I did a full reset, and removed everything. I was able to shoot, but I must admit that I was a little worried..
        So, I just got home, and now I’ve tried all kinds of batteries and everything works. Typical ?
        Do you know what the error E91-185 means ??
        I couldn’t find anything online….


        1. E91-185 is an error code associated with the communication between the DPR-394 board which is the cameras main processing board and the VIO-38 board. The VIO-38 board controls the LCD and powers the LCD. Is the LCD screen plugged in properly?

          1. So.., I guess it was a coincidence… had it checked now.., and they need to change the board..
            Thank you Alister.
            I’m glad your’e there…

  11. Alister , Are there significant quality differences between FF 6K , FF 5K , S35 and S16 – 2K ?
    As I understand it S35 is more like the resolution of an FS7 , but what about FF 5K and especially S16 2K ? Is S16 resolution, artifacting and image size the same as Center Crop on FS7 ?
    I’m wondering mainly about an upcoming HD shoot that needs a 400mm lens and I have a choice of renting a 100-400 and shooting FF or S35 ( there will also be FS7’s on the show ) or just using my 18-200 or 70-200 and going to S16 – 2K .

    1. There are quality differences. The higher the sampling resolution the better the final image, sample higher and noise is reduced, clarity and resolution improved. FF5K is marginally better than S35 4K and S35 4K is quite a bit better than S16 2K. Consider that the luma resolution delivered by a bayer sensor is approx 70% of the pixel count. So the luma resolution when using 2K S16 will be less than HD, approx 1.5K (and chroma resolution is even lower). But sample at S35 4K and both the HD luma and chroma resolution will be full HD and there will be less noise. The only modes with real artefact issues are the sub sampled FF 2K and S35 2K scan modes.

  12. Hi Alister, I’ve just come across your video about shooting anamorphic on FX9 which was incredibly helpful thank you. I was wondering though whether it would be possible in any way to shoot 100fps in S&Q mode while using a 2x Anamorphic lens (Atlas Orion)?


    1. I wouldn’t recommend going above 60fps with the FX9 due to the reduced image quality which is going to look pretty bad with anamorphic.

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