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Sony raids Alpha camera tech for FX3 Cinema Line compact

Sony raids Alpha camera tech f...
The FX3 Cinema Line camera is aimed at mobile content creators
The FX3 Cinema Line camera is aimed at mobile content creators
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The FX3 (far right) is the entry level member of Sony's Cinema Line of movie-making cameras
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The FX3 (far right) is the entry level member of Sony's Cinema Line of movie-making cameras
The FX3's dual media slots can accommodate CFExpress or SD cards
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The FX3's dual media slots can accommodate CFExpress or SD cards
The FX3 Cinema Line camera is aimed at mobile content creators
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The FX3 Cinema Line camera is aimed at mobile content creators
The FX3 measures 5.11 x 3.33 x 3.06 inches and weighs 1.58 lb
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The FX3 measures 5.11 x 3.33 x 3.06 inches and weighs 1.58 lb
The FX3 features the same full-frame sensor and processing engine combo as the Alpha 7S
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The FX3 features the same full-frame sensor and processing engine combo as the Alpha 7S
The FX3 comes with a XLR handle that attaches to the shoe mount
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The FX3 comes with a XLR handle that attaches to the shoe mount
The XLR handle is home to two XLR/TRS audio inputs and a 3.5-mm stereo jack
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The XLR handle is home to two XLR/TRS audio inputs and a 3.5-mm stereo jack
Five 0.25-inch thread mounting points are included for attaching accessories
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Five 0.25-inch thread mounting points are included for attaching accessories
The 3-inch 1.44-dot monitor around back caters for touch focus
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The 3-inch 1.44-dot monitor around back caters for touch focus
The vari-angle LCD panel flips out to the side for ease of use with mounted accessories
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The vari-angle LCD panel flips out to the side for ease of use with mounted accessories
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Following a number of online leaks, Sony has now officially announced the FX3 full-frame video camera, which combines technology from the company's cinema shooters with imaging features from the Alpha range of mirrlorless cameras.

The FX3 model takes its place at the entry level of Sony's Cinema Line range of movie-making cameras, but rocks the look of a mirrorless camera rather than a full-blown cinema shooter.

"The FX3 is the perfect tool for content creators looking to enter the world of cinematography," said deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics, Neal Manowitz. "It combines everything our customers love about Sony's video capabilities in our Alpha lineup with a new body optimized for videography. We are excited to add to Sony's Cinema Line and continue to support the world's creators with the best tools possible."

The handheld compact is reckoned to be ideal for one-person content creation operations, and measures 5.11 x 3.33 x 3.06 in (129.7 x 84.5 x 77.7 mm) while tipping the scales at just 1.58 lb (715 g). Five UNC mounting points allow for accessories to be attached directly to the camera's body, and the unit also comes with a XLR handle that mounts to the shoe interface for two balanced XLR/TRS audio inputs to enable four-channel 24-bit audio recording and a 3.5-mm stereo jack too.

The FX3 comes with a XLR handle that attaches to the shoe mount
The FX3 comes with a XLR handle that attaches to the shoe mount

Analog-to-digital conversion and digital signal processing are undertaken by the XLR adaptor integrated into the handle, and it provides three more threaded mounts for even more accessories. The camera itself comes with a built-in stereo microphone, but also features a 3.5-mm audio jack for plugging in an external microphone should the content creator elect not to make use of the XLR handle.

Inside, the FX3 is built around a back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor with 10.2 effective megapixels available for video and 12.1-MP for stills, and a Bionz XR image processing engine. Sony says that this combination, also found in the Alpha 7S III, puts the focus on high sensitivity and low noise, offering a wide dynamic range over more than 15 stops and standard light sensitivity of ISO80 to 102,000, which can be extended to ISO409,600 for video recording.

The camera boasts a hybrid autofocus setup with 759 phase-detection points available for stills and 627 during movie recording, and is compatible with S-Log3 gamma and S-Gamut3 cine color gamuts, supports internal recording in XAVC S and XAVC S-I formats in both 4K UHD and Full HD, and XAVC HS in 4K only, and can output 10-bit 4:2:2 or 16-bit RAW format 4K/60p video to an external recording device over HDMI.

The 3-inch 1.44-dot monitor around back caters for touch focus
The 3-inch 1.44-dot monitor around back caters for touch focus

There's no viewfinder here, but real-time tracking AF is possible by touching the subject on the 3-inch side-opening vari-angle LCD monitor. Eye AF has also been included, as well as AF features requested by pro users such as AF Transition Speed, AF Subject Shift Sensitivity and AF support while in manual focus. And 5-axis in-body image stabilization is cooked in for up to 5.5 stops of shake compensation.

Dipping into its cinema-grade pool of resources, Sony has included its S-Cinetone color matrix to allow for the production of content with cinema-like natural mid tones, soft colors and smooth highlights, without having to generate such magic in post production.

The FX3 is capable of recording 4K UHD at up to 120 frames per second with autofocus for the promise of smooth-looking slow motion vids, and to keep the camera cool when shoots run hot, the camera has a built-in fan that draws air into the bottom of the body and blows out at the side, which means that 4K/60p recording can go on for longer without causing a thermal shutdown.

The vari-angle LCD panel flips out to the side for ease of use with mounted accessories
The vari-angle LCD panel flips out to the side for ease of use with mounted accessories

Frequently used controls can be found on the ergonomic grip and to the top of the body, and there are 15 custom keys ready for up to 140 assignable functions. A zoom lever on the grip can control compatible powered zoom lenses as well as unpowered zoom and prime lenses for shoot flexibility, and Sony has placed tally lamps to the top, front and back of the camera so that the operator and subject(s) are fully aware of when the device is in record mode.

Elsewhere, the FX3 rocks dual-slot media slots compatible with CFExpress or SD cards, and Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi offer wireless workflow possibilities, though wired LAN is also possible via a USB-to-Ethernet adaptor.

The ILME FX3 camera goes on sale next month for around US$3,900, the video below has more.

Product Announcement of Cinema Line FX3 | Sony | α [Subtitle available in 22 languages]

Product page: FX3 Cinema Line camera

View gallery - 10 images
4 comments
clay
Awesome camera... Too expensive. The body is $4k.. that's a dollar per horizontal pixel ;-P

Who can afford stuff like this, in these times, other than wealthy "individuals". It's not really 'pro' and its certainly not 'am' ... it sits in the Prosumer saddle between those that get paid to shoot and those that don't.

Lots of Wedding Videographers would love to have this, I'm sure... and God bless em, I hope they get to try em out..

Also, I have zero animosity toward those better off than myself, I just do not see the benefit, overall, for sony to pump out what is basically yet another sports car (in camera land) for the select few.
Daishi
@clay they state in the release who it is aimed at (content creators). Gone are the days that creating video content was the role of a few studios and productions. I know there were some Youtubers (MKBHD for instance) that recorded on like RED Epic Dragon ($25k body) and there are less known youtubers I've never even heard of that make $250k/month just like unboxing Pokemon trading cards. The top paid youtuber is a 9 year old that makes $30 million/year opening toys and that's just from youtube before counting sponsorships.
wolf0579
Ask ANY SHOOTER and they'll tell you autofocus is the invention of the devil. I will NEVER buy a camera that does not have MANUAL CONTROL OF BOTH FOCUS AND IRIS!
wolf0579
I should have said "Ask any shooter THAT CARES ABOUT IMAGE QUALITY" about autofocus.

I can't believe I'm seeing out of focus interviewees on NETWORK BROADCASTS with the background on sharp focus, because the autofocus isn't a substitute for an OPERATOR behind the camera. That crap would have NEVER CUT THE MUSTARD twenty years ago, but people have been so dumbed down by society and their expectations so watered down by poor performance, that out of focus shots are seen as normal. A truly sad thing to see.