Tag Archives: FX30

New Firmware Coming For The FX3, FX30 and FX6 – Shutter Angle for FX3/30.

FX-Firmware-Version5-600x470 New Firmware Coming For The FX3, FX30 and FX6 - Shutter Angle for FX3/30.

Before you get too excited – these firmware updates are not coming just yet. But they are coming.


The FX6 will get an update to Version 5  to quote Sony “in May 2024 or later” which will include:

–  The addition of 1.5x setting to the De-squeeze function

– Monitor & Control app compatibility (ex. Waveform, False colour such as FX3/30 already supported)

–  A new preset 709tone to support to colour match multiple cameras  (I assume this is to match the older Sony Rec-709 look)

– The expansion of supported lenses, such as the SEL100400GM & SEL200600G, for breathing compensation.

FX3 and FX30.

Then later in the year, in September 2024 or later the  FX3 and FX30 will get:

– A Shutter Angle option

– 709tone support

– SRT/RTMP/RTMPS support for Live streaming demand

The addition of shutter angle in the FX3 and FX30 is going to please a lot of owners of these 2 cameras.



How I shoot the Northern Lights

460x150_xdcam_150dpi How I shoot the Northern Lights

Every year as many of my regular readers will know  I run tours to the very north of Norway taking small groups of adventurers well above the arctic circle in the hope of seeing the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. I have been doing this for around 20 years and over the years as cameras have improved it’s become easier and easier to video the Aurora in real time so that what you see in the video matches what you would have seen if you had been there yourself.

In the past Aurora footage was almost always shot using long exposures and time lapse sometimes with photo cameras or with older video cameras like the Sony EX1 or EX3 which resulted in greatly sped up motion and the loss of many of the finer structures seen in the Aurora. I do still shoot time lapse of the Aurora using still photos, but in this video I give you a bit of behind the scenes look at one of my trips with details of how I shoot the Aurora with the Sony FX3 in real time and also with the FX30 using S&Q motion. The video was uploaded in HDR so if you have an HDR display you should see it in HDR, if not it will be streamed to you in normal standard dynamic range. The cameras used are Sony’s FX3 and FX30. The main lenses are the Sony 24mm f1.4 GM and 20mm f1.8 G but when out and about on the snow scooters I use the Sony 18-105 G power zoom on the FX30 for convenience.

I used the Flexible ISO mode in the cameras to shoot S-Log3 with the standard s709 LUT for monitoring. I don’t like going to crazy high ISO values as the images get too noisy, so I tend to stick to 12,800 or 25,600 ISO on the FX3 or a maximum  of 5000 ISO on the FX30 (generally on the FX30 I stay at 2500). If the images are still not bright enough I will use a 1/12th shutter speed at 24fps. This does mean that pairs of frames will be the same, but at least the motion remains real-time and true to life.

If that still isn’t enough rather than raising the ISO still further I will go to the cameras S&Q (slow and quick) mode and drop the frame rate down to perhaps 8fps with a 1/8th shutter, 4fps with a 1/4 shutter or perhaps all the way down to 1fps and a 1 second shutter.  But – once you start shooing at these low frame rates the playback will be sped up and you do start to loose many of the finer, faster moving and more fleeting structures within the aurora because of the extra motion blur. 

So much of all of this will depend on the brightness of the Aurora. Obviously a bright Aurora is easier to shoot in real time than a dim one. This is where patience and perseverance pays off. On a dark arctic night if you are sufficiently far north the Aurora will almost always be there even if very faint. And you can never be sure when it might brighten. It can go from dim and barely visible to bright and dancing all across the sky in seconds – and it can fade away again just as fast. So, you need to stay outside in order to catch the those often brief bright periods. On my trips it is not at all unusual for the group to start the evening outside watching the sky, but after a couple of hours of only a dim display most people head inside to the warm only to miss out when the Aurora brightens. Because of this we do try to have someone on aurora watch.

During 2024 we should be at the peak of the suns 11 year solar cycle, so this winter and next winter should present some of the best Aurora viewing conditions for a long time to come. My February 2024 Norway trip is sold out but I can run extra trips or bespoke tours if wanted so do get in touch if you need my help. There is more information on my tours here: https://www.xdcam-user.com/northern-lights-expeditions-to-norway/

Don’t forget I also have information on filming in cold weather here: https://www.xdcam-user.com/2023/12/filming-in-very-cold-weather/

I will be back in Norway from the 1st of February, keep an eye out for any live streams, I will be taking an Accsoon SeeMo to try to live stream the Aurora.

Do I Need To Always Overexpose S-Log3?

This is another one from Social Media and it the same question gets asked a lot. The short answer is…………


Even with Sony’s earlier S-Log3 cameras you didn’t need to ALWAYS over expose. When shooting a very bright well lit scene you could get great results without shooting extra bright. But the previous generations of Sony cameras (FS5/FS7/F5/F55 etc) were much more noisy than the current cameras. So, to get a reasonably noise free image it was normal to expose a bit brighter than the base Sony recommendation, my own preference was to shoot between 1 and 1.5 stops brighter than the Sony recommended levels (click here for the F5/F55, here for the FS7 and here for the FS5).

The latest cameras (FX30, FX3, FX6, FX9 etc) are not nearly as noisy, so for most shots you don’t need to expose extra bright, just expose well (by this I mean exposing correctly for the scene being shot). This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t expose brighter or darker if you understand how to use a brighter/darker exposure to shift your overall range up and down, perhaps exposing brighter when you want more shadow information and les noise at the expense of some highlight range or exposing darker when you must have more highlight information but can live with a bit more noise and less shadow range.

What I would say is that exposure consistency is very important. If you constantly expose to the right so every shot is near to clipping then your exposure becomes driven by the highlights in the shot rather than the all important mid range where faces, skin tones, plants and foliage etc live. As the gap between highlights and the mids varies greatly exposure based on highlights tends to result in footage where the mid range is up and down and all over the place from shot to shot and this makes grading more challenging as every shot needs a unique grade. Base the exposure on the mid range and shot to shot you will be more consistent and grading will be easier.

This is where the CineEI function really comes into its own as by choosing the most appropriate EI for the type of scene you are shooting and the level of noise you are comfortable with and basing the exposure off the image via the built in LUT will help with consistency (you could even use a light meter set to the ISO that matches the EI setting). Lower EI for scenes where you need more shadow range or less noise, higher EI for scenes where you must have a greater highlight range. And there is no -“One Fits All” setting, it depends on what you are shooting. This is the real skill, using the most appropriate exposure for the scene you are shooting (see here for CineEI with the FX6 and with the FX9)

So how do you get that skill? Experiment for yourself. No one was born knowing exactly how to expose Log, it is a skill learnt through practice and experimentation, making mistakes and learning from them. In addition different people and different clients will be happy with different noise levels. There is no right or wrong amount of noise. Footage with no noise often looks very sterile and lifeless, but that might be what is needed for a corporate shoot. A small to medium amount of noise can look great if you want a more film like look. A large amount of noise might give a grungy look for a music video. Grading also plays a part here as how much contrast you push into the grade alters the way the noise looks and how pleasing or objectionable it might be.

All anyone on here can do is provide some guidance, but really you need to determine what works for you, so go out and shoot at different EI’s or ISO’s, different brightness levels, slate each shot so you know what you did. Then grade it, look at it on a decent sized monitor and pick the exposure that works for you and the kinds of things you shoot – but then also remember different scenes may need a different approach.

Sirui Night Walker APS-C/Super35 mm t1.2 Lens review.

Shortly before my annual trip to film the Theatre and Circus fields of the Glastonbury festival I was offered the use of a set of pre-production Sirui  Night Walker lenses. Currently one of my favourite cameras to shoot with is my FX30, so the opportunity to use a set of fast, mini prime lenses, purpose made for APS-C/Super 35 was an offer to good to refuse.

IMG_0481-Large Sirui Night Walker APS-C/Super35 mm t1.2 Lens review.
Sirui Night Walker 55mm t1.2 lens on my FX30


The Night Walkers are small lenses, only 84mm long. But the have a very nice weight and feel to them. They are constructed out of aluminium and feel solid and robust. They have good quality gear rings for a remote follow focus and a pretty decent 270 degree focus throw (although the scale does get a little cramped from 9m to infinity). The drag of the focus ring and iris rings gives a nice feel and for me seems just right. Holding them in your hand they certainly feel like a quality lens. They all have the same front diameter and all take a 67mm filter. 

Currently there are 3 focal lengths, a 24mm, 35mm and a 55mm. It would be nice to have a wider lens in the set at some point but this is a pretty good place to start. 

IMG_0485-Large Sirui Night Walker APS-C/Super35 mm t1.2 Lens review.

I didn’t do any scientific testing, instead I just dived straight in to the shoot. I started by shooting some of the preparations that go on inside the circus big top. We were supplying footage for the BBC to use in a special feature about the circus at Glastonbury and they were very keen to get some behind the scenes footage. During the build it is often very dark inside the big top tent as there is very little external light. So, having very fast lenses was a big help.

I have to admit that I have been shooting a lot with autofocus recently and it took me a little while to get back into the swing of shooting gun with a manual lens. But it really was worth the extra effort and there is something nice about  that very positive connection you get between yourself and the camera when a good quality manual focus cine lens that you just don’t get with most lenses designed primarily for autofocus.

These really are mini cine lenses, designed for video, designed for manual focus.

So, the BIG question – how do they look?

Well, the images they produce looks really nice. At t1.2 they are a touch soft, but not in a nasty way, I think this slight softness actually helps to take the edge off the extreme sharpness of a 4K camera like the FX30. As you stop them down a bit they do get sharper and from around t3.5 they are very sharp. But overall on my FX30 I liked they way they looked wide open. It’s very cliché but I guess I would describe it as a vintage look. I did a lot of pull focusses with them and the breathing is extremely well controlled and barely noticeable across all 3 lenses in the set. 

Flare is also well controlled, although if you really push them shooting directly into the sun or another extremely bright light shadows may become very slightly elevated, but certainly not anything to worry about. Chromatic aberrations are also well minimised. As you would expect there is a bit more when wide open, but stop down a bit and there is barely any CA. 

The bokeh from these lenses is very pleasing. I didn’t notice anything nasty or unpleasant in the out of focus areas, something that often spoils many other budget lenses. The bokeh is smooth and uniform.

Take a look at this video shot entirely with the Night Walkers to get an idea of how they look.

I have to say that shooting with these lenses was a delight. A few years ago I shot in the big top with a Venice and Cooke Anamorphics. Since then I have wanted to get a similar look but without the bulk (or cost). The Night Walkers went a long way towards getting that look.

The best bit about these lenses however is the price.  At the moment  Sirui are offering a very special price of only $309.00 per lens via their Indigogo campaign. After that they will be $349.00. Even at that higher price these lenses are an absolute bargain if you have a camera with an APS-C sensor camera such as the FX30 or a camera with a super 35mm scan mode.

Super simple FX30 time-lapse.

Those of you that follow me on facebook will know that recently I have been travelling a lot. A couple of days ago I arrived in Dubai and I have been staying on a pretty high floor of the  Dusit Thani hotel. I didn’t ask for a room with a view, but I got one. From my bedroom window I could see the iconic Burj Kahlifa tower and parts of one of Dubai’s major roads.  I also had my FX30 with me, so I felt I should take advantage of this view and shoot a time-lapse going from day to night.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

Fortunately this is a pretty easy thing to do with the FX30. I didn’t use the cameras video modes, instead I used it in the “P” program auto photo mode. In this mode the camera automatically sets the aperture and shutter speed to suit the available light levels. As the light level decreases the aperture will open up until it can’t open any more and then the shutter speed will become longer. 

So, all YOU need to do is determine the ISO at which you want to shoot. I chose 125 ISO (I used picture profile 11 – S-Cinetone) as this will give the lowest possible noise level and in addition for shots at night it will force the shutter speed to become quite long as the light levels fall. The longer shutter will then cause the lights of any cars on the roads to become blurred and form pleasing trails. 

To shoot the sequence of still frames that would ultimately be turned into a video clip I used the FX30’s built in time-lapse photo mode (Menu – Shooting – Drive Mode – Interval Shoot Function). I set the start time to 1 sec which is the minimum and means the the camera will start shooting the sequence 1 second after you press the shutter release. I set the shooting interval to 3 seconds and the number of shots to 3000 as this would cover the full duration of the day to night shot that I wanted (about 2.5 hours).

To power the camera for a couple of hours I used my Macbook Pro’s power supply with a USB-C cable going to the FX30’s USB-C port. As an alternative you could also use a  powerbank that has a USB-C PD port (USB-C Power Deliver). 

To position the camera I used a soft pillow (I didn’t have a tripod with me). I used manual focus and double, triple checked the focus with the lens wide open to ensure it was sharp.

A common issue when shooting through a window is reflections of objects inside the room or light from in the room falling on the often dirty window. Unless the rooms curtains are black, closing the curtains doesn’t help as the outside light tends to reflect back off the curtains onto the window. To prevent this I used a couple of black T-Shirts wrapped around the camera and lens to block any light from reflecting off the window and kept the room lights off.

All that was then left was to press the shutter release and allow the camera to take the  images that would make up the sequence. I shot both raw an jpeg. The jpegs would allow me to very quickly preview the end result (and in fact the jpegs were used for the video linked here). The raw frames can be used when you need the very highest quality and will give you greater grading flexibility compared to the 8 bit jpegs.

Once the sequence was shot I then dropped the jpegs into a DaVinci Resolve project, Resolve will bring in sequentially numbered jpeg and tiff files as a single video clip, so editing and grading is easy. I haven’t yet worked on the raw files, but my workflow with these normally involves using Photoshop to adjust and grade a single frame and then use Adobe Bridge to batch process and then export all the frames as tiff files using the same grading settings.

All in all it took me about 15 to 20 minutes to set the camera up. Most of that was time spent figuring out how to best place the black shirts to prevent reflections. Then I went out for diner while the camera shot the sequence over a couple of hours and finally I spent about 45 minutes doing a bit of an animation and a few colour tweaks in Resolve. Because the FX30 still frames are 6.2K x 4.1K there is plenty of resolution to crop in a bit and create a move within the image, even when delivering in 4K.  So, for very little actual time spent, I got a quite nice little time-lapse sequence.

The Sony FX30 is really growing on me. I also own the FX3, the FX6 and the FX9. But when I am travelling the FX30 is now my go-to camera. When combined with the 18-105 power zoom lens you have a low cost and lightweight package that really does deliver great looking images. The 6K oversampled to 4K recordings have a texture and quality to them that I find really pleasing. In the Venice workshop we did here in Dubai we put my FX30 side by side with the Venice and the audience members were quite shocked by how close they are. But then this is the whole point of the cinema line – to provide a range of cameras to suit all budgets and a vast range of applications that all look more or less the same.

Of course the Venice image is that bit better, the 16 bit encoding and X-OCN makes the footage a delight to grade and the textures in the deepest shadows are clearer and finer. The way Venice handles highlights is just that little bit better. All around there are very subtle things about the Venice image that are better. But the FX30 really does produce a remarkably good image for very little money.

Sony FX3 and FX30 get a major firmware update. Adds Anamorphic and 24p.

Sony have just released new firmware for the Sony FX3 and FX30 cameras  that adds the ability to shoot 24P DCI 4K and in addition adds 1.3x and 2x desqueeze for the LCD screen and HDMI output.

For the FX3 this is firmware version 3.00  and for the FX30 it is version 2.00.

This new firmware also makes some changes to the way the sensor in the FX3 is readout, eliminating the crop that used to occur when shooting using 4K DCI.

I have had a beta copy of the firmware for a few weeks, but unfortunately it came at a time when I have been extremely busy working on some special shooting techniques for a Warner Brothers feature film as well as running Venice workshops across the Middle East. So I didn’t really get as much time as I would have liked to play with it.

What I can say is it is a very welcome update. The 24P 4K DCI mode is a special fixed recoding mode that uses the XAVC-SI codec and the anamorphic desqueeze is found under the monitor options. There are only 1.3x and 2x desqueeze options, so it’s only going to work correctly with lenses designed for these squeeze ratios.  Because the sensor and shooting scan modes remain fixed to 16:9 or 17:9, if you use anything with more squeeze than 1.3x you will end up with an extremely wide final aspect ratio compared to the normal 2.39:1 unless you crop a lot off the sides of the image. Some might like this, but for me it really does seem to be a bit of a waste having an ultra wide aspect ratio with screens and displays that are designed for 16:9.

As well as the above the update includes support for Sony’s new “Creators App” which will replace the Imaging Edge app. In addition you can assign the ability to switch between the normal movie shooting mode and the S&Q mode to one of the custom keys.

You will find the updates here:



DO NOTE FOR THE FX30 that if the camera is on Version 1.02 or earlier that you will first need to update to version 1.05 before doing the version 2 update.

I’ll try to upload some anamorphic footage shot with my FX30 very soon. The older Sirui 1.35x anamorphic lenses are a great match for the FX30’s super35 sized sensor. The cameras 6K down sampled to 4K means that the footage is packed with texture and detail and the 1.3x squeeze gives a 2.39:1 final aspect ratio without needed additional cropping or re-sizing (although if you use the 4K DCI mode you will need to make a very small side crop if you want 2.39:1).

What do the FX3 and FX30 zebras measure when using the Cine EI modes?

This is a question that keeps popping up:

What do the zebras measure when shooting S-Log3 using the CineEI modes in the FX3 and FX30?

The convention for zebras with the majority of cameras is that zebras are a viewfinder applied measurement. As such they almost always measure the “viewfinder” image. As the LCD on the FX series cameras is in effect the viewfinder, the zebras measure what you see on that screen. So, when you have a LUT on, the zebras measure the LUT, not the S-Log3.

Common ways to use the zebras include measuring skin tones, which for the default s709 LUT will be somewhere in the region of 60% depending on the face brightness. You could also use the LUT’s to measure the brightness of a white card or white piece of paper which should be around around 81% for a proper white card or 83% for white paper.  

You could also use Zebras to indicate when you are close to clipping Depending on the LUT that you are using the peak LUT output will typically be at 100%, so a common usage would be to have Zebra 2 (which measures from the zebra point and everything above) set to a touch below 100 to act as a clipping indicator. BUT it must also be remembered that depending on the Exposure Index in most cases the LUT will have a lower highlight range than the S-Log3 recordings. So, when your highlights hit 100% on the LUT there may still be available headroom in the S-Log3 recordings. If you end up backing off your exposure every time the LUT clips you may be missing out on the full recording range and un-necessarily bringing the mids and shadows down. So, my preference is to measure the exposure of a white card or skin tones and to get the mid range and shadows right, rather than obsessing over small amounts clipping.

The s709 LUT does fit the full highlight range of the S-Log3 into it’s output. But as there is only a tiny difference between +5 and +6 stops (approx 1.5%) it is very difficult to determine what is clipped and what is 1 stop below clipping. +4 stops above middle grey is output at 93% and +6 above middle grey is at 98% so it becomes very difficult to see what is really going on in the highlights via the LUT when the top 2 stops are crammed into just 5% of the recording range. Zebra 2 set to 95% (for example) would appear over 1.5 stops below clipping, even if set to 97% zebras will show almost a full stop below clip.

It is one of the frustrations of the FX3/FX30 that there is no way to monitor via the LUT and measure the S-Log3 at the same time.

You Don’t Always Need To Over Expose S-Log3!

For some reason many people now believe that the only way you can shoot with S-Log3 is by “over exposing” and very often by as much as almost 2 stops (1.7 stops is often quoted).

When Sony introduced the original A7S, the FS5, F5, F55 and FS7 shooting S-Log3 with these cameras was a little tricky because the sensors were quite noisy when used at the relatively high base ISO’s of these cameras. When exposed according to Sony’s recommendation of 41% for middle grey and 61% for a white card the end result would be fairly noisy unless you added a good amount of post production noise reduction. As a result of this I typically recommended exposing these particular cameras between 1 and 2 stops brighter than the base level. If using the F5 or FS7 I would normally use 800EI which would lead to an exposure +1.3 stops brighter than base. This worked well with these cameras to help control the noise, but did mean a 1.3 stop loss of highlight range. In other examples I used to recommend exposing a white card at white at 70% which would equate to an exposure a touch over 1 stop brighter than the base level.

With the introduction of the original Venice camera and then the FX9 we got a new generation of much lower noise sensors with dual base ISO’s. It soon became clear to me that these new cameras didn’t  normally need to be exposed more brightly than the Sony recommended levels when using their low base ISO’s and even at their high base ISO’s you can typically get perfectly acceptable results without shooting brighter, although sometimes a small amount of over exposure or a touch of noise reduction in pots might be beneficial. No longer needing to expose more brightly brought with it a useful increase in the usable highlight range, something the earlier cameras could struggle with.

Then the A7S3, FX6 and FX3 came along and again at the lower of their base ISO’s I don’t feel it is necessary to shoot extra bright. However at the 12,800 high base ISO there is a fair bit more noise. So I will typically shoot between 1 and 2 stops brighter at the high base ISO to help deal with the extra noise. On the FX6 and FX3 this normally means using between 6400 and 3200 EI depending on the scene being shot.

Even though I and many others no longer advocate the use of extra bright exposures at the lower base ISO’s with these newer cameras it really does surprise me how many people believe it is still necessary to shoot up to 2 stops over. It’s really important to understand that shooting S-Log3 up to 2 stops over isn’t normal. It was just a way to get around the noise in the previous cameras and in most cases it is not necessary with the newer cameras. 

Not having to shoot brighter means that you can now use the Viewfinder Display Gamma Assist function in the A7S3, A1 or the FX9 (for those times you can’t use a LUT) to judge your exposure with confidence that if it looks right, it most likely will be right. It also means that there is no longer any need to worry about offset LUT’s or trying to correct exposure in post before applying a LUT.

Of course, you can still expose brighter if you wish. Exposing brighter may still be beneficial in scenes with very large shadow areas or if you will be doing a lot of effects work. Or perhaps simply want an ultra low noise end result. But you shouldn’t be terrified of image noise. A little bit of noise is after all perfectly normal.

And one last thing: I don’t like the use of the term “over exposing” to describe shooting a bit brighter to help eliminate noise. If you have deliberately chosen to use a low EI value to obtain a brighter exposure or have decided to expose 1 stop brighter because you feel this will get you the end result you desire this is not (in my opinion) “over exposure”. Over exposure generally means an exposure that is too bright, perhaps a mistake. But when you deliberately shoot a bit brighter because this gets you to where you want to be this isn’t a mistake and it isn’t excessive, it is in fact the correct exposure choice.

FX30 V1.02 Firmware update and FX3 V2.02 Update.

Sony have now released new firmware updates for both the FX3 and FX30. The FX3 now goes to firmware version 2.02 and the FX30 to firmware version 1.02

FX3: https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/support/camcorders-and-video-cameras-interchangeable-lens-camcorders/ilme-fx3/downloads

FX30: https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/support/interchangeable-lens-camcorders-ilme-series/ilme-fx30/software/00287331?sf174456632=1

These are mainly stability releases that fix some minor bugs, but if you have an FX3 on the original version 1 firmware then this version adds the CineEI mode and LUTs. It is a major update that is well worth having.

Before attempting to update the camera you should insert a fully charged battery

The FX3 is updated via a computer application. While there is a Mac application it is a complete pain in the rear end to get it to work and I would urge you to find a windows PC to do the update, it is far simpler and far more likely to be successful. The good news is that once you have updated to version 2.02 future updates can be done by uploading the update file to an SD card and initiating the update from the camera like the FX30.

The FX30 is updated by placing the downloaded BODYDATA.DAT file on to an SD card that was previously formatted in the camera. Then place the card in the camera and go down to the SETUP – SETUP OPTION – VERSION page of the menu. Here you should see the cameras current firmware version plus a “SOFTWARE UPDATE” button. Press (select) the software update button.

On the next page it will say “Update ?” and show the old firmware version and the new firmware version. Then just below this is a box where it says “Please follow these precautions until the very end”. 

What isn’t clear at this step is that you need to scroll down inside that box and read the full list of precautions before the camera will allow you to do the update.

Scroll down until you get to “This update may take several minutes, device automatically reboots when complete”.  If you don’t scroll down and just press the “Execute” button you get a large popup telling you to “Follow the precautions to the very end” and pressing “OK” simply takes you will go back to the previous page. So do make sure you scroll down through the full list of precautions before you press execute. Once the update starts the screen will go blank, the only clue that the update is happening will be the slow flash of the media LED on the back of the camera. The update takes about 10 minutes to complete and the camera will reboot when it’s done.

Northern Lights 13-14 January 2023

I’ve just return from the arctic cabins that I use for my Northern Lights Aurora tours following a great trip where the group got to see the Aurora on 3 nights. In this video there is footage from two nights, the 13th and 14th of January.


I recommend watching the video direct on YouTube and on a nice big screen in 4K if you can.

Most of it is real time video,  not the time-lapse that is so often used to shoot the Aurora. The Sony FX3 (like the A7S3) is sensitive enough to video a bright Aurora with a fast lens without needing to use time lapse. On the FX3 I used a Sony 24mm f1.4 GM lens, this is a great lens for astro photography as stars are very sharp even in the corners of the frame. The Aurora isn’t something that is ever dazzlingly bright, so you do need to use a long shutter opening. So, often I am shooting with a 1/15th or 1/12th shutter. I have been using the CineEI mode at 12,800 ISO and also using the S-Log3 flexible ISO mode to shoot at 25600 ISO. This isn’t something I would normally do – add gain while shooting S-Log3, but in this particular case it is working well as the Aurora will never exceed the dynamic range of the camera, but the footage does need extensive noise reduction in post production (I use the NR tools built into DaVinci Resolve).

I also shot time lapse with my FX30 using a DJI RS2 gimbal. On the FX30 I had a Sigma 20mm f1.4 with a metabones speedbooster. I shot using S&Q motion at 8 frames per second, this gives only a slight speed up and a more natural motion that time lapse shot at longer intervals. By shooting at 8 frames per second I can use a 1/4 of second shutter and this combined with the FX30’s high base ISO of 2500 (for S-Log3) produces a good result even with quite dim Auroras.

By shooting with S-Log3 you can still grade the footage and this is a quick way to get a time-lapse sequence without having to process thousands of still frames. It also needs only a fraction of the storage space.