Sony’s FX9 will offer oversampled 4K 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording, Dual Base ISO and more

Sony has unveiled the FX9, a new XDCAM camera that features a 6K full-frame sensor, a hybrid autofocus system and, most interestingly, an E-mount for attaching lenses.

The camera is based around a newly-developed 6K Exmor R sensor that features over 15 stops of dynamic range, Dual Base ISO (ISO 800 and 4000 in S-Log 3) taken from Sony’s Venice cameras and internal oversampled 4K 4:2:2 10-bit recording. Sony does note though that the FX9 will only support 3840x2160 recording at launch with full 4096x2160 recording following in a future update. The FX9 is also capable of capturing Full HD at 120 frames per second.

The Fast Hybrid AF system features a 561-point phase-detection AF sensor that covers roughly 94 percent the width and 96 percent the height of the imaging area. Sony has also taken inspiration from its FS7 series and included a continuously variable electronic variable neutral density (ND) filter.

An illustration comparing Sony's Exmor CMOS sensor to its new Exmor R CMOS sensor.

The FX9 is also capable of recording image stabilization metadata that will be able to be imported into Sony’s Catalyst Browse/Prepare software to precisely stabilize footage in post-production via an update expected to be out in December 2019. Sony says other post-production software developers are being encouraged to adding this functionality as well.

A list of selectable framerates on the FX9 in both full-frame and Super 35 modes.

Sony has also made the FX9 compatible with existing and new accessories, including Sony’s UWP-D wireless microphones, the XDCA-FX9 extender kit that enables 10-bit Super35 4K video at 120 fps (as well as 16-bit Raw output in an upcoming update) and additional accessories.

To pair with the FX9, Sony has announced the FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G, an E-mount lens designed to work hand-in-hand with the new E-mount camera system. The lens features two Extreme Aspherical (XA) elements, an 11-blade aperture diaphragm and floating focus groups to offer improved focusing across the entire zoom range.

The FX9 will be available ‘towards the end of 2019’ while the FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G lens is set for a spring 2020 release. Pricing information hasn’t yet been confirmed for either units.

Sony Launches FX9 4K Camera with Newly-Developed Full-frame Sensor, Dual Base ISO and Fast Hybrid Auto Focus System

Next generation camera offers greater flexibility to bring artistic vision to life

SAN DIEGO, CA — SEPTEMBER 13, 2019 — At IBC 2019 in Amsterdam, Sony today unveiled the PXW-FX9, its first XDCAM camera featuring an advanced 6K² full-frame sensor and Fast Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system. The new camera offers content creators greater creative freedom and flexibility to capture stunning images that truly resonate with audiences.

Building on the success of the PXW-FS7 and PXW-FS7M2, the FX9 uniquely combines high mobility with an advanced AF system, impressive bokeh and slow-motion capabilities thanks to its newly-developed sensor. The FX9 also inherits its color science and a Dual Base ISO from the VENICE digital motion picture camera, creating the ultimate tool of choice for documentaries, music videos, drama productions and event shooting.

The FX9 was designed in close collaboration with the creative community and is an example of Sony continuously evolving cameras to innovate for the customer and market needs. The FX9 benefits from the versatility, portability and performance expected of an FS7 series "Run & Gun" style camera, while also offering High Dynamic Range and full-frame shooting features.

“We are always listening to our customer’s voice, pushing to deliver innovation that allows them to realize their full artistic intention,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics. “With the new FX9, we are striking an attractive balance between agility and creative performance. We’ve combined the cinematic appeal of full-frame with advanced professional filmmaking capabilities in a package that’s extremely portable and backed by the extraordinary versatility of Sony E-mount.”

Powerful features

The newly-developed Exmor RTM sensor offers wide dynamic range with high sensitivity, low noise and over 15 stops of latitude that can be recorded internally in 4K³ 4:2:2 10bit. Oversampling of the full-frame 6K sensor’s readout allows professionals to create high-quality 4K footage with impressive bokeh effects through shallow depth of field, while wide-angle shooting opens new possibilities for content creators to express their creativity.

A dual base ISO of 800 and 4000 enables the image sensor’s characteristics to best capture scenes from broad daylight to the middle of the night. With S-CinetoneTM color science, the new sensor can also create soft and alluring facial tones. The camera can also capture content up to five times slow-motion with Full HD 120fps shooting played back at 24p.

The shallow depth of field available with a full-frame image sensor requires precise focus control, and the enhanced Fast Hybrid AF system, with customizable transition speeds and sensitivity settings, combines phase detection AF for fast, accurate subject tracking with contrast AF for exceptional focus accuracy. The dedicated 561-point phase-detection AF sensor covers approximately 94% in width and 96% in height of the imaging area, allowing consistently accurate, responsive tracking – even with fast-moving subjects while maintaining shallow depth of field.

Creative freedom

Inspired by the high mobility "Run & Gun" style approach from the FS7 series of cameras, the FX9 offers content creators shooting flexibility thanks to a continuously variable Electronic Variable ND Filter. This enables instant exposure level changes depending on the filming environment, such as moving from an inside space to outdoors or while filming in changing natural light conditions.

Additionally, the FX9’s image stabilization metadata can be imported to Sony’s Catalyst Browse/Prepare⁴ software, to create incredibly stable visuals even in handheld mode. Sony is also working to encourage third-party non-linear editing tools to adopt this functionality.

The FX9 comes with a wide range of customizations and expansion features. These include compatibility with the new UWP-D series of wireless microphones via Multi Interface Shoe™ (MI Shoe) with digital audio interface, the XDCA-FX9 extender kit enabling 10bit Super35 4K 120fps and 16bit RAW output in a future update, compatibility with Sony BP-GL and BP-FL series batteries, D-Tap, RJ-45 interface and stable “Dual Link” streaming by using two carrier lines, as well as DWX slot-in type digital wireless receiver commonly used in broadcasting settings⁵. The FX9 will also be compatible with the newly launched E-mount lens FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G, which uniquely balances full manual operability for professional cinema shooting and auto-control functions.

“What narrative cinematographers, documentary filmmakers, music video directors and broadcasters have in common is a need for a flexible camera that allows them to tell unique stories, no matter the environment in which they operate. As a next-generation professional camera, the FX9 captures stunning visuals with the lifelike image quality available from a full-frame sensor, while adding the benefits of advanced auto focus features and customization. This makes it the ultimate creative tool for modern storytellers,” concludes Neal Manowitz.

The FX9 will be available towards the end of 2019 and on display at the Sony stand (A10, Hall 13) at IBC 2019 September 13th- 17th. For more information, please visit www.pro.sony/ibc.

A variety of additional content related to Sony’s cinema imaging products, including articles, videos and events, can be found at www.sonycine.com.

¹Initially supported recoding aspect is 16:9; 17:9 (active about 19M pixels) will be supported by future update.

²6K Oversampling; not capable of 6K recording.

³3840x2160 recording is initially supported; 4096x2160 recording will be supported by future update.

⁴Planned to be supported by Ver.2019.2 in December 2019.

A future update will be scheduled sequentially for summer 2020. Further details will be announced.

Sony Unveils Full-frame E-Mount Cinema Lens FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G, Designed for High Optical Performance and Reliable Operability

Lens offers greater flexibility for video content creation, with servo zoom and autofocus/autoexposure system

SAN DIEGO, CA — SEPTEMBER 13, 2019 — At IBC 2019 in Amsterdam, Sony today introduced a new full-frame E-mount, 16-35mm lens (FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G) to accompany the newly announced FX9 full-frame camera. The lens offers high optical performance, reliable operability and intelligent shooting functions for cinematographers. It is compatible with the full range of Sony’s E-mount cameras - from Alpha™ interchangeable lens cameras to the VENICE digital cinema camera - bringing unprecedented creative flexibility for all content creators. Sony also announced their intention to expand the FE C Cinema Lens line-up going forward.

"The performance of our new E-mount Cinema Lens series offers filmmakers greater creative freedom and helps them concentrate on their artistic vision. Encompassing the full range of Sony E-mount cameras, our “One Mount” solution is the most powerful system designed for today and for the future," comments Neal Manowitz, deputy president for Imaging Products and Solutions Americas at Sony Electronics.

Lens for a new age of full-frame video shooting

The new lens is compatible with the intelligent shooting functions of E-mount. Paired with the new full-frame FX9 camera, it supports fast and accurate auto focus, making it possible to track quick-moving subjects while maintaining a shallow depth of field.

Stunning bokeh and corner-to-corner resolution

The two XA (Extreme Aspherical) elements with extreme surface precision of 0.01-micron, together with circular 11-blade apertures, deliver beautifully smooth bokeh in every frame. The two XA elements and three aspheric lenses are positioned in a way that effectively reduces field curvature, astigmatism and, in combination with two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glasses, reduces color distortion. Additionally, floating focus employs two focusing groups, providing outstanding resolution at every zoom position. Nano AR (Anti Reflection) coating drastically reduces flare and ghost phenomenon.

Excellent operability with three independent rings, remote control from the camera, and a detachable servo zoom

The new E-mount lens further offers accurate and precise operability thanks to three independent rings for focus, zoom and iris that content creators can manipulate to get the exact results they desire. The linear response Manual Focus (MF) feature provides direct adjustment for precise and repeatable manual focusing. The focus ring with a large rotation angle also includes a distance scale, which makes it possible to quickly and easily set the same focus position during scenes that need to be shot repeatedly.

The new range also supports a number of lens accessories to facilitate a variety of different shooting styles. The industry standard 0.8mm pitch gear on each lens ring provides the option to use follow focus and remote actuators. Equally, the widely-available 115mm diameter matte box and lens support can be used to aid accurate, responsive and precise operability. Additional functions include a de-clickable iris ring that prevents unintended iris change during shooting, the option to reverse the rotation direction of the zoom ring to be fitted with user’s preference and detachable servo zoom that provides smooth zooming expression.

The new 16-35mm (FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G) will be available in Spring 2020.

To learn more about the new cinema lens, visit Sony stand (A10, Hall 13) at IBC 2019 September 13th-17th. For more information please visit www.pro.sony/ibc.

A variety of additional content related to Sony’s cinema imaging products, including articles, videos and events, can be found at www.sonycine.com.