Sony launches FX3

Sony FX3 is a full-frame cine camera, based on a mirrorless body

Sony FX3 handheld low

Sony has announced the third camera in its FX Cinema Line, the FX3.

The new camera uses a full-frame sensor. But it has more in common with the A7S iii than the FX6 or the FX9. The FX3 uses a mirrorless camera style body, but without the A7Siii’s electronic viewfinder. But the new model keeps the rear screen from the A7S series.

Flat top

Sony has designed the FX3 so its housing is largely flat on top, with just the control buttons raised. This allows a range of mounting options – the body has three 14-20” (??mm) mounts on the top, and eight on the body in total.

Two of the mount points are designed to hold the FX3’s top handle and XLR mic adapter, which comes with the camera. This creates a more robust mount than a hotshoe alone. The adapter has two XLR connectors, but the camera does not come with a microphone.

The FX3’s body is magnesium alloy, in the same grey shade as the FX6 and FX9. The camera features a dedicated recording button, with tally light, as well as a stills-mode shutter release in the front grip. Sony has also added buttons for the most common filming controls, including white balance and iris.

Movie mode 

Although the FX3 is part of the Cinema Line, it is still a hybrid, mirrorless camera at heart. In fact, the FX3 has a full stills camera mode, carrying across most of the functions from the manufacturer’s Alpha lineup. The camera also shares the same pair of dual mode, CFexpress and SDXC card slots.

In video mode, the FX3 records up to 4K at 120p, in 10 bit 4:2:2. Sony claims 15+ stops of dynamic range, and sensitivity up to 102,400 ISO (409,600 in expanded range mode). The FX3 records S-log3, outputs 16-bit RAW over HDMI, and internal recording is either Long-GOP or All Intra.

The FX3 also supports S-Cinetone, ensuring compatibility with the FX6 and FX9. Sony has, though, also added S-Cinetone to the A7Siii via a firmware update.

Eye focus

Sony has designed the FX3 around a 35mm, full frame sensor delivering 10.2 effective megapixels for video, and 12.1 megapixels for stills. The camera also has a cooling system – not fitted to the A7Siii – which should give it extended recording times. Sony claims uninterrupted recording in 4K/60p.

But the FX3 retains the auto-focus features of the Alpha series. This includes eye and face tracking AF, as well as touch focus controls. Film makers can set up to seven AF transition speeds, and select focus points using the rear touch screen. There is also five-axis, in body image stabilisation.

The FX3 is expected to sell at £3,500 excluding VAT.