The new FX6 completes the trio that is the Cinema Line range of professional cinema cameras by Sony. Here, we dive into its features
A close look at the new Sony FX6
Following the arrivals of the Sony FX9 and the A7S III, rumours began to mount about the unveiling of a suitable successor to the Sony FS5. Now, within the same year, the FX6 has been added to the Cinema Line range, completing Sony’s set of dedicated video cameras.
The Sony FX6 jets into the market with a 4K Exmor R 10.2 MP full-frame sensor, sitting behind Sony’s excellent E Mount. Shooting in 4K (4:2:2 10-bit) at up to 120fps in the Slow & Quick Motion mode, and up to 240fps when shooting in 1080p HD, the FX6 offers a lot for creative video shooters. For those looking to maximise quality straight out of camera, they’ll be happy to hear that the FX6 can output 16-bit RAW video via the SDI. The E Mount opens the way to choosing from a range of 57 native lenses, which makes for excellent pairing with the camera’s 627 points of Phase Detection AF. There are also many other lenses available from third-party manufacturers.
With the improved Sony colour science comes S-Cinetone, a Picture Profile included across the Cinema Line range, well received by professionals working with the Sony Venice and FX9. It makes for cine-like footage ready for broadcast and/or distribution straight out of camera, without the need for colour grading. This is an option available alongside S-Log3, and both of these profiles allow for taking advantage of the FX6’s cinematic, high dynamic range shooting capabilities
The Sony FX6 also comes equipped with a new touchscreen menu system, accessible via a quick press of the menu button. This new menu system lays out many of the settings that video shooters would commonly need access to for various shooting situations. However, for those accustomed to the menu system of the FS5 or FS7 cameras, the previous menu can be accessed via a long press of the menu button.
Fully kitted out with a smart grip and top handle, the Sony FX6 looks the part. These accessories can be detached, reducing the camera’s overall size considerably and allowing for it to fit comfortably on most gimbal stabilisers, as well as large drones. Even with the smart grip and top handle attached, the 3.5” HD 720p LCD touchscreen monitor alone can be mounted on various points of the camera body, helping with flexibility in various shooting situations.
With so many cameras delivering higher bitrates, and therefore consuming more power to run, it may be easy to imagine that the new FX6 has similar demands in terms of resources. However, with its dual card slots which can house either CF Express Type A or SDXC cards, by using only SDXC you can still record in most of the Sony FX6’s record settings. The batteries for the Sony FX6 will also be the same U-Batteries used to power the Sony FS5 and FS7. So, for anyone upgrading from the previous generation of Pro Sony Cameras, there is little in the way of essential accessories that you will need to upgrade along with it.
Overall, the camera is very scalable. It has the codecs to make it suitable for quick-turnaround corporate videos, events highlight packages and newsgathering. Its 10-bit codecs make it suitable for broadcast documentary and actuality, and the RAW output with the full-frame sensor size makes it a compelling compact cinema camera for narrative and commercial work. The Sony FX6 is an all-around stunning piece of kit.
The new FX6 (right) alongside the FX9