Sony FX3 Revealed: Sony’s Smallest & Cheapest Professional Cinema Line Camera
After much deliberation within the regular rumour-mill and a handful of ‘leaks’ about the new model, the Sony FX3 has been officially unveiled.
As we expected, the new Sony FX3 has arrived as the smallest, least expensive camera in the Sony Cinema Line range to date. Further separating Sony from much of its competition, the new camera on the block is something of a monster in terms of its video capabilities; especially at the price point, the FX3 makes real cause for consideration for those buying into the superb Sony A7S III for video.
Both cameras, [the Sony FX3 and Sony A7S III] include some fundamental commonalities, including a 12.1MP full-frame back-illuminated sensor, giving 15 stops of dynamic range and compatibility with Sony’s E-Mount lenses. Both can shoot 4K/60p video, too, but the Sony FX3, which arrives in Sony’s Cinema Line, is specially intended for professional filmmakers and not so much for those who want to switch from stills to video [and back].
As a result, the Sony FX3 drops the built-in electronic viewfinder [EVF] that’s found in the A7S III but does gain a handle accessory [supplied] that promises to improve handling and expands audio options/compatibility. The detachable handle slots into the FX3’s multi-interface shoe and includes twin XLR/TRS terminals, which are the standard for pro audio recording and gives it the same sound options as Sony’s recently launched Sony FX6 camera, which comes with a much heavier price tag. The Sony FX3 comes with Sony’s class-leading autofocus and twin CFexpress Type A/SD card slots.
The Sony FX3 allows shooting slo-mo 4K/120p footage, and the also includes the S-Cinetone colour profile; an update that arrived recently on the A7S III via a firmware upgrade.
Clearly, the new Sony FX3 has been produced for the solo, run-and-gun filmmaker and offers in-body image stabilisation [IBIS] along with an electronic Active Mode, which gives even more effective stabilisation. Bear in mind that this will come at the trade-off of a 10% crop.
The new pro camera weighs just 715g, [including card and battery, that’s only 16g heavier than the A7S III] the Sony FX3 includes some truly powerful features with 4K video, 10-bit 4:2:2 colour sampling internally and 16-bit raw video output to an external recorder via its full-size HDMI port.
On the subject of over-heating, [we hear you ask] thanks to another departure from the Sony A7S III, the FX3 promises an active cooling system with built-in fans. This basically means that Sony promises ‘uninterrupted’ 4K/60p shooting with a continuous recording time of up to 13 hours.
There are no built-in ND filters in the FX3, which is a shame, but these are pretty accessible and many filmmakers carry their favourites int heir kit bags already, so this is unlikely to be a dealbreaker.
Pricing and Availability
The new Sony FX3 full-frame Cinema Line camera will be available in March 2021 and will come in with a price tag of approximately £4,200, so what will it be… FX3 or AS7 III?
See below for Sony’s official reveal videos for the Sony FX3 Cinema Line camera.