Sony Unveils Compact FX6 4K/HDR Cinema Camera
Advanced and professional cinematographers have a new 4K compact cinema camera option available from Sony in the FX6 featuring a 10.2 megapixel full-frame back-illuminated CMOS Exmor R sensor capable of capturing 15+ stops of dynamic range.
In tandem with the FX6 cinema camera Sony also announced the new FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G E-mount Cinema Lens.
The Sony FX6 Cinema Line camera will be available in December at a $5,999.99 suggested retail price ($8,048.99 Canadian) for the body only, at Sony authorized dealers throughout North America. At the same time, Sony will also make available a kit option featuring the FX6 full-frame Cinema Line camera body bundled with a FE 24-105mm F4 G E-mount lens at a $7,199.99 suggested retail ($9,658.99 Canadian).
The new FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G lens being introduced at the same time will be available in December for a $5,499.99 suggested retail, $7,199.99 Canadian.
The Sony FX6 is positioned as a compact, lightweight and ruggedly built video camera designed for on-the-go shooting. It is also an ultra low-light shooter, offering an expandable ISO range of up to 409,600, and provides 15+ stops of dynamic range for HDR work.
Other features include an S-Cinetone look profile that is also used in the model FX9 and inspired by Venice colorimetry; Sony’s BIONZ XR image processing engine, first used in Alpha 7S III; a fast hybrid auto focus system; support for up to 4K/120p or HD 240p high resolution, fast action images; 10-bit 4:2:2 color depth in full-frame; support for up to 12G-SDI and 4K at up to 60p 16-bit SDI RAW output.
The Sony FX6 is compatible with more than 50 native E-mount lenses is the Sony arsenal. Sony’s Cinema Line, which also includes the Venice and FX9 camera models, was developed to present a filmic look cultivated from extensive experience in digital cinema production, as well as enhanced operability thanks to an innovative body design, extensive durability and intuitive customization, Sony said.
“The new FX6 is the latest example of Sony’s drive to continuously push the boundaries of imaging technology based on the needs of our customers,” stated Neal Manowitz, Sony Electronics deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions Americas. “With the advancement of our Cinema Line, we are dedicated to enabling the extraordinary skills and talent of today’s content creators and cinematographers. The FX6 leverages technology from Sony’s industry-leading Venice cinema camera and marries it with the best of Sony’s innovative Alpha mirrorless camera technology.”
For flexibility in varying light conditions, the FX6’s base sensitivity is ISO 800 with an enhanced sensitivity setting of ISO 12,800, expandable up to 409,600. This is said to allow for shooting in low and very low natural light conditions. The camera is capable of recording in XAVC All Intra 4:2:2 10-bit depth with image resolution quality of DCI 4K (4096×2160 – up to 60p), QFHD 4K (3840×2160 – up to 120p) and FHD (1920×1080 – up to 240p), allowing for high quality slow motion results.
The FX6 can also record in more conventional XAVC Long GOP 4:2:0 8-bit QFHD 4K (3840 x 2160 – up to 120p) and 4:2:2 10-bit FHD (1920×1080 – up to 240p).
The Cinema Camera’s BIONZ XR image processing engine is the same as that used in Sony’s acclaimed Sony Alpha 7S III mirrorless DSLR camera, and provides up to four times faster processing performance compared to the FS5 II.
Advanced cinematic color science is employed through the S-Cinetone for richer tonal reproduction out of the box as well as S-Log3, S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine for post-production. FX6’s cinematic color science is optimized for premium applications by capturing the maximum dynamic range from the sensor and providing creative freedom.
The FX6 color capabilities also allows for easily matching footage with other cameras in the Cinema Line.
The FX6 taps the Fast Hybrid AF technology from Sony’s advanced hybrid Alpha camera line by combining 627-point focal plane phase-detection AF with advanced Face Detection and Real-time Eye AF in high frame rates with continuous AF. This allows camera operators to track fast-moving subjects in slow motion without losing focus.
Fast Hybrid AF works with over 50 native E-mount lenses. The camera can also capture up to five times slow-motion with 4K (QFHD) 120fps.
The new FX6 also offers internal electronic variable ND filters to conveniently control the camera’s filter density. Variable ND can be set to auto or can be adjusted manually in smooth increments from 1/4 to 1/128 for optimally exposed images without affecting the depth of field or shutter angle, even during changing lighting conditions.
When this is combined with the camera’s ultra-high sensitivity, the electronic variable ND filter provides extensive creative control in almost any shooting environment, Sony said.
The FX6 was designed for use in rugged outdoor conditions. It is made with a durable magnesium alloy chassis, measuring 4.6 inches x 6 inches x 4.5 inches and weighing 1.96 pounds. The FX6’s compact and lightweight design makes it easy to grab and go anytime.
The new camera includes a heat dissipating structure to keep components within normal operating ranges to prevent overheating, even during extended recording times. FX6 also features a modular design allowing users to easily pair accessories, such as grips and viewfinders, or attach the camera to other mechanisms, such as gimbals and drones.
The FX6’s 3.5-inch LCD viewfinder can be attached on multiple locations of the camera body for added freedom and easy menu control with touch operation. Using a quick access control menu for commonly accessed features, camera operators can change key settings with a single touch – including Codec, Imager Scan Mode, Picture Size and Frequency, Base ISO and Sensitivity, Shooting Mode and Audio Levels.
For work with professional workflows, the FX6 includes a 12G-SDI output that supporting 16-bit RAW, HDMI output, timecode in/out, built-in Wi-Fi and four channel audio recording (via XLR Interface, Multi-Interface Shoe and built-in Stereo Mic).
The new camera also features two media slots compatible with CFexpress Type A cards for higher overall capacity and faster read and write speeds in addition to SDXC UHS-II/UHS-I cards.
For post production work, Sony said its Catalyst Browse/Prepare software enables fast and easy editing. Users can import FX6’s image stabilization metadata into Catalyst Browse/Prepare to transform handheld footage into smooth and stable visuals.
The FX6 also has a dedicated Clip Flag button to easily filter and locate preferred takes using Catalyst Browse/Prepare. The software reflects metadata indicating when FX6 is rotated or in its normal position, eliminating the need to rotate footage beforehand. FX6 is also compatible with Sony’s Content Browser Mobile App to easily monitor and control focus, iris, and zoom remotely.
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By Greg Tarr
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