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Sony FX9 at IBC 2019: new full-frame sensor, dual base ISO and fast hybrid AF

At IBC 2019 in Amsterdam, Sony unveiled the PXW-FX9, its first XDCAM camera featuring an “advanced 6K” full-frame sensor and Fast Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system.

Sony FX9: new full frame sensor, dual base ISO and fast hybrid AF

The new Sony FX9 is a next generation camera that offers greater flexibility to bring artistic vision to life, giving content creators the ability to capture 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. One note to keep in mind: initially supported recording aspect is 16:9; 17:9 (active about 19M pixels) will be supported by future update.

“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.”

Sony FX9: new full frame sensor, dual base ISO and fast hybrid AF

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 4K 4:2:2 10bit (it should be noted that 3840×2160 recording is initially supported; 4096×2160 recording will be supported by future update). Oversampling of the full-frame 6K sensor’s readout  (6K is achieved by oversampling, as the FX9 is not capable of 6K recording) 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-Cinetone 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/Prepare software (planned to be supported by Ver.2019.2 in December 2019), 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 settings. 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.

See the Sony FX9 at IBC 2019

“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.


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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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