Sony introduced the PXW-FX9 at the IBC 2019 in Amsterdam. The PXW-FX9 uses a 6K full-frame sensor and has a Fast Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system.

We do not currently have much information, but we will update this post with more information as soon as we receive it. We will also have an interview with Sony, in which I will try to answer some questions.

FX9 main features

  • 6K full screen sensor
  • Dual Base ISO 800/4000
  • AF with face detection and Eye-AF
  • 4K 4: 2: 2 10bit internal recording
  • UHD up to 60 fps, HD up to 180 fps
  • External RAW recording
  • 10-bit S35 4K with 120fps to an external recorder

sensor

Nowadays, everyone seems to work with full-screen sensors, so it's not surprising that Sony chose the FX9.

Sony VENICE
Sony VENICE

We're not sure if the FX9 uses the same 24.8 MP 36.2 x 24.1 mm CMOS full-frame sensor as the VENICE. Sony says the newly developed 6K full-frame sensor in the FX9 offers Wide dynamic range with high sensitivity, low noise and over 15 degrees of latitude.

Although the sensor is 6 KB in size, the FX9 can not record at resolutions over 4 KB DCI. The originally supported recording format is 16: 9. 17: 9 (active about 19M pixels) will be supported by a future update.

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Dual ISO

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We have seen how Panasonic Dual successfully implemented ISO in Varicam 35, Varicam LT, EVA1 and S1H. Sony did the same with the VENICE. The VENICE has an ISO base of 500 and an ISO base of 2500.

On the FX9, the dual base is ISO 800 and 4000.

autofocus

Sony a9
Sony a9

The FX9 features the next-generation sensor chipset and offers a much improved AF with face detection and Eye-AF. This technology has been replaced by Sony's Alpha-Series Mirrorless Cameras.

The improved fast hybrid AF system with customizable AF transition speeds and sensitivity settings also combines phase-detection AF for fast and accurate subject tracking with contrast AF for exceptional focus accuracy. According to Sony, the special AF sensor with 561-point phase detection covers about 94% of the width and 96% of the height of the image area Consistently accurate, responsive AF tracking, even on fast-moving subjects with low depth-of-field.

There are AF transition speeds in seven stages, slowing down as fast as possible from fast switching between subjects, reducing the speed to suit a more appropriate shooting style, such as shooting. A historical television drama.

The sensitivity of the five-step AF subject change ranges from activation, ignoring other moving subjects in the image, to activation, where focus is switched from one subject to another – ideal for switching between passing race cars ,

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stabilization

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We are not yet sure how this works. However, according to Sony, content creators can capture incredibly stable graphics even in handheld mode by recording image stabilization information and using it with Catalyst's Browse / Prepare option. Sony also endeavors to encourage other third-party non-linear editing tools to take over this functionality.

TO UPDATE: With advanced image stabilization information, Sony Catalyst Browse / Catalyst Prepare software can also make handheld post-production footage as fluid as a gimbal. Unlike camera or lens stabilization, the metadata generated by the FX9's built-in gyro can creatively balance the balance between blur compensation and the resolution of cropped 4K images. This feature is also compatible with any E-mount lens and allows much faster processing than traditional NLE stabilization workflows.

form factor

The FX9 does not deviate greatly from the form factor of the FS7. It looks very similar in many ways.

The upper handle, the microphone holder and the integrated LCD screen look identical.

Sony FX9

No wonder the new camera has the same e-mount lock as the FS7 M2, which is fully compatible with e-mount lenses and supports all electronic connections. The locking bracket reduces lens play and allows the use of most 35mm lenses, including PL, EF, Leica and Nikon, via optional adapters. This stronger e-mount also lends itself to the use of heavier cine zooms without the need for extra lens support.

If you look closely, there are some differences. for the placement and layout of the buttons. As you can see, the ND knobs have moved from a dial on the FS7 Mark II to a series of buttons on the FX9.

Sony FX9

It is also interesting that the FX9 controls four audio channels. It appears that you can use the camera's MI shoe to feed two audio channels directly into the camera and then use the two XLR channels for the other two channels.

"Today's content creators need a camcorder that is flexible, versatile, and customizable to their specific creative needs while delivering superior performance and image quality. With the new FX9, we create the perfect balance between agility, ergonomics and powerful features, providing content creators with the complete toolset to realize their full artistic intent. At Sony, we are always listening to our customers, and every product, solution, or service we offer has always been designed with their specific needs in mind. Our latest flagship camcorder is no different, and we're curious how it will help content creators tomorrow. "

Norbert Paquet, Head of Product Management at Sony Professional Solutions Europe

What can it absorb?

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The FX9 can only record internally with resolutions of up to 4K DCI. The camera downsamples from 6K to get a 4K DCI image. Sony would give the FX9 in any case the possibility to record 6K frames internally. Their flagship VENICE requires a paid license upgrade to record 6K in full-screen mode. The permanent CKZ-3610F full-format software license for VENEDIG costs a whopping $ 4,000.

There is nothing particularly exciting here. The FX9 can record UHD 4.2.2 10-bit at up to 60 fps. It can record 120 fps in Full HD.

MPEG HD422 / XAVC-I / XAVC-L 4: 2: 2 10-bit:
4096 x 2160p up to 60 fps
3840 x 2160p up to 60 fps
1920x1080p up to 120 fps

The camera has a stressed dynamic range of 15 stops and records 10-bit 4: 2: 2 data in two XQD media card slots that support simultaneous and forwarded recordings, as well as multiple backup recording modes that use proxy files. The camera can record internal DCI (4096 x 2160), UHD (3840 x 2160) and HD (1920 x 1080) formats with a selectable frame rate of 1 fps to 60 fps in XAVC-I, XAVC-Long and MPEG HD formats. And with a future firmware update, it will be able to record HD at up to 180 fps and output 16-bit raw 4K / 2K footage at up to 120 fps. In addition to its wide dynamic range, it offers a dual ISO 800/4000 base for colors and light. This is useful when there is little light or a slower lens is used. Its 7-level electronic variable-rate HD filter can operate in automatic or manual mode and continuously adjust the density from 1/4 to 1/128. The camera's standard S-Cineton color is designed to deliver the same soft, vivid tone as the Sony VENICE camera.

XAVC Proxy Rec is also available and offers a 9 Mb / s small proxy file that can easily be sent over a network. In addition, a cache record of a maximum of 28 seconds is available to prevent a recording from being missed.

Now it is important to note that the camera can only run 3840 × 2160 recordings at startup. The 4096 × 2160 record will be supported by a future update.

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If you use the optional XDCA-FX9 expansion kit, you can also output 10-bit S35 4K at 120 fps to an external recorder.

By comparison, the Sony FS7 M2 can record footage on XQD media cards in DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) or UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at up to 59.94 fps or HD at up to 180 fps. In XAVC-I 4: 2: 2 10-bit, the camera can perform 3840 x 2160p at 23.98 / 25 / 29.97 / 50 / 59.94 fps (240 to 600 MB / s). The FS7 M2 can also output 4096 x 2160 12-bit and 2048 x 1920 12-bit RAW files to compatible external recorders.

Which media do you use?

Sony FX9

The FX9 has two XQD media slots that support simultaneous or forwarded recordings. We will find out if the camera will support CF Express in the future.

Variable ND

Sony FX9

Just like the FS5, the FS5 Mark II and the FS7 M2, the FX9 uses an electronic variable ND system that provides a clear filter and 3 user-defined presets. The variable ND can be set to allow between 2 and 7 ND stops.

There is also a new ND car button.

External RAW recording

Sony FX9

Due to patent issues that prevent internal compressed RAW recording, the FX9 can only record RAW externally. For this you need an optional module.

Unfortunately, you can not use the existing FS7 / FS7 M2 XDCA FS7 expansion unit, so Sony has developed another module.

The XDCA FX9 Expansion Kit ($ 2,495) lets you output 16-bit RAW files that can be recorded on a compatible external recorder. In this case, it is assumed that this is Sony's external 4K RAW AXS-R7 recorder ($ 6,980.00). , We imagine that, like the FS7 M2, you can record ProRes RAW to a compatible Atomos device via the 12-bit 4K / 2K RAW output.

By adding the XDCA-FX9 expansion unit On the back of your PXW-FX9 camera, you can create a more ENG-like shoulder camera with added I / O and additional power for your camera. The unit has a 4-pin XLR DC input and D-Tap and 4-pin Hirose DC outputs for powering accessories and other equipment. A LAN interface and two USB ports provide live streaming and file transfer capabilities, as well as compatibility with XDCAM Air Streaming playback.

Future firmware updates will enable the output of 16-bit raw 4K / 2K recordings to compatible external recorders as well as the provision of integrated wireless audio slot capabilities for DWX / UWP radio receivers.

  • Activates the ENG-style shoulder attachment
  • Attachment for powering the camera via a V-mount battery
  • 4-pin XLR DC input
  • D-Tap output
  • 4-pin Hirose power output
  • A LAN and two USB ports for live streaming and XDCAM Air capability

With the XDCA-FX9 Expansion Kit, you can also output 10-bit S35-4K recordings at 120 fps. Currently, it is not clear if this can only be recorded on the AXS-R7.

As with 4K DCI capture, the RAW output will not be activated at startup and will be included in a future update.

No anamorphic

The FX9 can not record in any anamorphic mode. This is reserved for the VENICE.

Timecode & Genlock

One of the main reasons for FS7 users was the lack of timecode synchronization options that were available to the camera. To get timecode, the optional XDCA-FS7 ($ 1,998.00) had to be purchased. This also enabled RAW and ProRes recordings with optional recorders.

Well, it looks like Sony has been listening and the FX9 has a timecode input.

Firmware roadmap

After release, the FX9 will release a number of firmware updates that add:

  • 16bit RAW output (with XDCA-FX9)
  • 4K 60p / 50p full-frame recording with oversampling (scan size of the image sensor approx. 5K)
  • Shoot FHD 180fps
  • DCI 4K recording
  • Supports DWX Digital Wireless Audio Receiver (with XDCA-FX9)

No data was provided for the features.

Compatible accessories

Sony URX-P03D Portable 2-channel receiver for UWP-D systems
Sony URX-P03D Portable 2-channel receiver for UWP-D systems

The FX9 comes with a number of customization and expansion features. These include compatibility with the new UWP-D series wireless microphones via multi-interface shoe (MI Shoe) with digital audio interface, compatibility with BP-GL and BP-FL series batteries from Sony, D- Tap, RJ-45 interface and stable "Dual Link" streaming over two carrier lines.

It is also compatible with digital wireless DWX plug-in receivers commonly used in broadcast settings.

The FX9 also works with the newly introduced E-Mount FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G e-mount lens, which uniquely balances the full manual handling of filming and automatic control functions.

It is not a FS7 replacement

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Although you may think the FX9 is an FS7 alternative, Sony will tell you that is not. Sony will not be discontinuing the FS7 M2 soon. Both the FX9 and the FS7 M2 will be part of the Sony product range in the future.

Price & Availability

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Priced at $ 10,998, the FX9 is competitive compared to its main competitors, the Varicam LT and the Canon C300 Mark II. The C500 Mark II could also be regarded as a competitor, but is much more expensive.

The FX9 is expected to ship in December with pre-orders starting at 3pm on Monday, September 16th.

Sony PXW-FX9 XDCAM 6K Full Frame Camera System (Enclosures Only) – $ 10,998

Sony PXW-FX9K XDCAM 6K full-frame camera system with 28-35mm 1: 4G OSS lens – 13,498 USD

Sony XDCA-FX9 Expansion Unit – 2,498 USD

Where is this camera sitting?

Whether you love or hate Sony cameras, the Japanese company has always offered its cameras at aggressive prices. As I mentioned in recent articles, the camera market has begun to divide into two key sectors. the under $ 10K category and the high-end. In between is really not much. I am not sure if they have achieved the right prices with the FX9.

Sony almost always seems to have the right camera settings (at least for digital cinema cameras). Half the battle is to be the first to market and offer something that your competitors do not offer. Just look at the models F5, F55, FS5 and FS7. All of these cameras were released at a time when they had no direct competition.

Following in those footsteps, the FX9 is announced at a time when no one else has digital cinema camera full screen bids under $ 10,000. The question that turns in my head is: "Did Sony offer enough with FX9?".

The FS7 is the best-selling S35 digital camera ever. It was a complete success for Sony. As the old saying goes, "If it is not broken, do not fix it, "Sony did not have to reinvent the wheel with the FX9. They just had to provide a solid upgrade for users who want to upgrade to a full-screen version of the FS7.

People may ask, "Why is not 6K shooting?" In my personal opinion, it does not have to. A large proportion of professionals who buy and use cameras in the $ 10,000 price range are not asked to shoot in 6,000 or RAW. 4K is still perfectly acceptable and will be around for a while.

The FX9 will not step on any Sony camera shoe. It is not a direct threat to VENICE and Sony has already sold so many FS7 and FS7-M2 models that they will hardly worry that the FX9 is affecting the sale of these cameras.

Sony has also built a loyal customer base with the F5 and F55. There is no reason to replace one of these cameras. Even 7 years after their first announcement, they are still widely used and accepted. Sony already has the VENICE, so the F5 or F55 did not necessarily have to be replaced.

Sony does not tend to cannibalize the line-up. One could argue that the FX9 can exploit the FS7 M2, but the price for this camera should be lowered.

Who was targeted?

The FX9 is aimed primarily at the same target group, which looks at a FS7. The FS7 is and remains a working camera for professional users who record news, events, documentaries and corporate productions. It is probably the most sought after camera of production houses and broadcasters, which costs under $ 10,000.

It is debatable whether people who shoot news, events, documentaries, and corporate productions actually want frames or not. That's why Sony will continue to sell the FS7 M2. Although, in this sense, many people who use speed boosters on FS7s clearly have a demand for full-frame aesthetics.

A little trivia

This is not the first time that Sony offers a product called FX9. Already in 1998 Sony released the SLV-FX9. It was a VHS player / recorder.

Sony PXW-FX9 E-Mount

image sensor

Image Sensor Size 35.7 x 18.8 mm (full screen)
Sensor CMOS
sensor resolution Effective: 4096 x 2160

camera

lens Mounting Sony E-mount
Built-in LP filter 4 to 128 Stop electronic ND filter
recording media 2 x XQD card slots
1 x SDHC card slot

Internal recording

shooting MPEG HD422 / XAVC-I / XAVC-L 4: 2: 2 10-bit:
4096 x 2160p up to 60 fps
3840 x 2160p up to 60 fps
1920x1080p up to 120 fps
Gamma curve Sony S-Log 3
Audio recording 4-channel

interfaces

video connections 1 x BNC output (12G-SDI)
1 x BNC output (3G-SDI)
1 x HDMI (HDMI 2.0) output
Audio Connections 2 x 3-pin XLR microphone / line level input (+48 V phantom power)
1 x 3.5mm stereo headphone output
Other I / O 1 x BNC Genlock input data
1 x BNC timecode data input / output

EVF

EVF Optional, not included

power

battery type Sony BP-U series
power connectors 1 x Barrel input

environment

operating temperatur 32 to 104 ° F / 0 to 40 ° C
storage temperature -4 to 140 ° F / -20 to 60 ° C

General

Accessory storage 1 x Multi-interface shoe
1 x 1/4 "-20 female
Dimensions 9.02 x 5.75 x 5.61 inches / 22.91 x 14.61 x 14.25 inches
mass 4.4 lb / 2 kg

First thoughts

As I mentioned earlier, if it is not broken, do not fix it. The popularity of the FS7 speaks for itself, and Sony has announced today essentially a full-screen version of a FS7. Yes, it's a bit overwhelming and I'm sure we expected a camera that can record in 6K. Did we expect too much? Could be.

Does it have stunning specifications? No, that's not the case. On paper, it is remarkably better than other options? Not really. The thing is, none of that is likely to matter. If you already own a FS7 and only wanted a full-screen version with better autofocus, Sony offers exactly what you want.

We generally expect a lot with camera releases, but if you look at the market, this is the first digital full-screen cinema camera that is under $ 10,000. There is not much to complain about in view of the seemingly huge improvement in autofocus functions in terms of videos and the additional stabilization in the body.

People are probably still complaining that there is no internal RAW recording, there are no anamorphic modes, and they can not record in 6K, but as I mentioned, most potential buyers of this camera need most of these things Not .

Although I am not a fan of the FS7 personally, it is a popular camera and I receive many requests from customers, whether I have one or if I could take a picture.

The only worry I see here is that there is now much more competition in the sub $ 10K category. When the FS7 came out 5 years ago, he actually had no competition. At this time, this certainly helped with sales and early introduction. Now there are a lot of other options, and if you do not really need fullscreen, is it worthwhile upgrading to this camera if you already have one of those other options? Only you can answer this question.

What is your reaction to this announcement? Is the FX9 the camera you've been waiting for? Let us know in the comments below.