Sony FX9 Review: Everything You Need to Know
Learn about the benefits of the Sony FX9 with a legion of advanced features and capabilities.
Top Features of the FX9
Stunning 4K Picture Quality
- Image processing with de-bayering and oversampling
- Back-illuminated CMOS image sensor
- Wide-angle view
- Shallow depth of field
Capturing every last details’ nuance, subtle shadows, highlights, and gorgeous colors.
Film Every Detail
The enhanced fast hybrid autofocus delivers:
- Precise tracking without the loss of depth of field
- Unmatched speed
- Buttery smoothness
- Excellent precision
Designed for Comfort
You can shoot anywhere, anytime:
- Ergonomic design
- Technology made for on-the-go shooting
- Made for variable lighting
Phenomenal 15+ Stops Dynamic Range
The FX9 far outmatches the normal range of human perception:
- 15+ stops of dynamic range
- Color grading freedom
- Nuance and detail
Dual Base ISO Works in any Light
The base sensitivity of ISO 800 allows for the optimal dynamic light range for documentaries, while the high base sensitivity of ISO 4000 is best for slow lenses.
Cinematic Color Science With VENICE Color Science: S-Cinetone
The exceptional S-Cinetone allows for:
- Rich mid-range colors
- Gorgeous facial tones
- Soft tonal looks
- Vivid colors with no correction
Efficient User 3D LUTs and HLG
Customize your FX9 by:
- Importing LUTs files
- Storing 16 files on the internal memory
Selectable Frame Rates in Both Full-Frame and Super 35
You can customize your frame rate to capture images at your desired speed:
- From 1fps to 180fps
- Full frame sensor works with both fast and slow motion
- Maximizes full HD images quality
The 16-bit RAW allows you to go further creatively in post-production.
Face Detection and Face Registration
The autofocus is truly stunning; it allows you to maintain a shallow depth of field while still keeping crystal clear focus on your subject.
Focus Touch Control
With face tracking, the FX9 maintains high-speed and high-precision image processing for superior focus and detail.
Customizable Autofocus Settings
Autofocus helps you focus on your project:
- Seven-level AF transition moves from fast to slow
- Five-level AF subject shift sensitivity moves from locked on to responsive
Auto Focus With Multiple Sony E-Mount Lenses
Choose from an enormous array of compatible Sony E-mount lenses.
The First Electronic Variable ND Filter for Full-Frame Sensor
This first in the field allows you to shoot perfectly exposed images with no impact on the depth of field even as the lighting changes.
Ergonomics and Compatibility
The FX9 is designed for comfort:
- Shoot from any position
- Use FS7 accessories
- Adjust the control arm without tools
- Light body and frame
- Sealed to prevent water damage
Touch Operation Quick Menu Control
Easily change settings like:
- Imager scan mode
- Picture size
- Base ISO and sensitivity
- Shooting mode
- Audio levels
Advanced Image Stabilization
While there’s no IBIS, the innovative advanced image stabilization allows you to smooth out shots in post-production using gyro metadata.
Advanced Wi-Fi features are included:
- Smartphone app for remote operation
- Content Browser Mobile
- FTP transfer
- Trim clips
- Wired LAN port
- Dual Link Cellular
- Sony QoS Streaming to a Network RX station
Choose from a variety of recording formats:
- MPEG HD
Advanced Audio Control
Use both an external and an internal microphone to gather dialogue, ambient noise, and any audio operator notes.
Inputs and Outputs
Inputs and outputs include:
- TC in/out
Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe
This thoughtful MI shoe provides:
- Signal connections
- On and off switching for accessories
The Sony PXW-FX9 E-Mount
This highly flexible camera allows you to shoot a multitude of film types:
- Reality TV
- Corporate productions
Sony’s FX9 Has High-Quality Features
New for 2019, the FX9 is an XDCAM camera with:
- 6K full-frame sensor
- Hybrid autofocus system
- E-mount for attaching lenses
Sony’s FX9 4K Camera Has Impressive Auto Focus and Stabilization
- High mobility
- Advanced AF system
- Slow-motion capabilities
The FX9 has an impressive range of capabilities, such as:
- High sensitivity
- Low noise
- More than 15 stops of latitude
- Oversampling options
- Dual base ISO that allows for filming in all types of light
- Shallow depth of field
Room for Creativity
You can do more with the FX9:
- Continuously variable electronic variable ND filter
- Image stabilization available in post
- Customization options
- Expansion features
Sony’s Full-Frame E-Mount Cinema Lens FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G Is the Perfect Match for the FX9
This high-optical performance lens accompanies the FX9 for superior image captures.
Offers Futuristic Full-Frame Filming
The FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G supports:
- Intelligent shooting with the E-mount
- Accurate and quick autofocus
- Tracking subjects while maintaining a shallow depth of field
Gorgeous Bokeh and Resolution
This lens offers beautiful bokeh in every frame:
- Reduces field curvature
- Limits astigmatism
- Mitigates color distortion
- Excellent resolution
- Very little flare and ghost phenomenon
Easy To Operate
Three separate rings allow the operator to manage focus, zoom, and iris.
Customize your FX9 with a host of useful accessories for comfort and aesthetics.
Excellent Cinema Lens Series for E-Mount
Choose from a number of accessories designed to enhance your filming, like a collection of lenses, leading with the FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G.
Optional Extension Unit for Shoulder-Style Operation
With the XDCA-FX9 extension unit, you can comfortably shoot from the shoulder.
Sony FX9 vs. FS7
The FS7 had five years of exceptional success and fandom. Now, the FX9 capitalizes on its excellent design. Sony has made something even better than the FS7.
Sony plans to update the exclusive 16:9 ratio later to include:
- UHD 4K and 1080p
- 4K DCI
- 2K DCI
- 5K crop mode
The control screen is similar to the FS7 in that there’s still no touch capability, but it does have an upgrade to 720p resolution.
You have to put the camera on a tripod to change lenses, but the design itself is sophisticated and supports many lenses.
Timecode and Genlock Ports
These updates make keeping the timecode much easier.
The FX9 maintains the look of the FS7, but with a slightly longer body and different color.
Loupe, Arm, and Grip
The loupe and arm remain the same from the FS7, but the added grip belt increases security when handling the camera.
You can still use your FE PZ 28-135mm f/4 on the FX9 with higher functionality than it had on the FS7.
The FX9 is incredibly similar to the beloved FS7, but with some key upgrades that make it an even more formidable camera.
Sony FX9 vs. A7 III
The new FX9 and the A7 III shoot in much the same way:
- 4K video
- Full-frame sensor
- E-mount lens system
- Similar final images
Is It Worth the Cost To Upgrade From the A7 III to the FX9?
1. Brand Compatibility
Sony’s E-mount system makes it easy — and cheaper in the long-term — to upgrade cameras.
Consider what codecs your work requires:
- FX9: XAVC-I 4:2:2, 10-bit in UHD 4K at 240Mb/s
- A7 III: XAVC S/H.264 4:2:0, 8-bit in UHD 4K at 100Mb/s
- FX9: Two XLR inputs with +48v Phantom power and professional pre-amps
- A7 III: One stereo 1/8-inch input jack
4. Video and Data
Video and data options:
- FX9: Multiple options, including 3G, 12G, and HDMI output
- A7 III: single 1x mini HDMI output, 1x 1/8-inch audio input, and a headphone jack
5. Colors and Latitude
It’s easy to make corrections in post using the FX9 and not so easy to do using the A7 III.
6. Built-In Variable ND
The FX9 has a built-in variable ND while the A7 III does not.
The FX9 appears more professional to some people than the A7 III based on its size.
The going rate for renting these cameras are:
- FX9: At least $190 a day
- A7 III: At least $24 a day
9. Long Term Investment
The FX9 carries on the legacy of the well-loved FS7, while the A7 III seems more at risk to fade into obscurity.
10. Battery Life
The FX9’s battery life is far superior to that of the A7 III’s.
11. Design and Weight
The FX9 is much larger and heavier than the A7 III, which can be a pro or a con depending on your shooting situation.
The FX9 costs over five times as much as the A7 III.
The FX9 has some extraordinary features and compatibility but at a steep cost. Consider the type of film work you’re doing and your specific needs before investing.