Sony PMW-FX9 gets additional capabilities with Firmware Update V2.0. The download will be available later this year.
Key features include:
- Additional Frame Rates for Full Frame and Super 35 internal recording—especially DCI 4K 4096 x 2160. See tables that follow.
- 16-bit RAW Output when using a Sony XDCA-FX9 Extension Unit.
- Record Apple ProRes RAW from the FX9 and XDCA-FX9 Extension Unit’s SDI output with frame rates up to DCI 4K 60 fps andDCI 2K 180 fps.
- Create your own 3D LUTs and import up to 16 of them from an SD card. This is recommended when shooting in S-Log3.
- Improved Auto Focus. V2.0 now inherits Eye AF from Sony’s alpha series cameras. The FX9 will track focus on the subject’s eye. This is amazing if you are shooting solo, without a focus puller, and you are Full Frame at T1.3, wide-open with a wrench.
- FX9 now gets touchscreen focus control in V2.0. Touch the camera’s onboard 1280×720 LCD Montor/Viewfinder to define your focus area. In V1.0, you had to use the joystick.
- Assign Auto Focus transition speed to a User Button. Press the button and use the jog dial to adjust the amount of time that Auto Focus will shift, for example, from a foreground to a background object.
- Project>Base Setting>Shooting Mode offered the choice of Cine EI and Custom in Firmware V1.0. In V2.0, Custom is renamed SDR. You’ll find S-Cinetone in the SDR submenu.
- HDR mode has been added. Submenus let you choose HLG Natural (BT.2100) or HLG Live (Sony HLG).
- Menu settings on the LCD Monitor/Viewfinder can now be set with the touchscreen. This is more intuitive and VENICE-like.
- Base ISO upper limits have been increased when shooting in HDR/SDR mode. (In Cine EI, ISO ranges remain the same as they were in V1.0.). So the new Base ISO ranges are:
- Base ISO-High is increased from 1600-25,600 to 1600-102,400 ISO. This is almost night vision territory.
- Base ISO-Low is increased from 320-2,500 to 320-12,800.
- 6G-SDI output from camera for 4K 23.98 – 30p. 12G-SDI is availble only for 4K 59.94/50p.
- A Sony DXW and URX wireless audio receiver is supported in the XDCA-FX9 slot.
- The Sony XLR-K3M audio adapter now supports digital input on the FX9. (V1.0 only supported analog audio input.)
A quick review of the Sony FX9
The Sony PXW-FX9 is an affordable, compact, lightweight Full-Frame and Super35 cine camera. With its companion Full-Frame zoom lens, this system is about the same size and weight as Super35 predecessors and still shoots both formats.
The 19 Megapixel sensor is an all-new design. It’s not a VENICE sensor. The FX9 inherits very fast hybrid phase-detection and contrast Auto Focus from the latest Sony a7 and a9 camera series. Artificial intelligence keeps focus sharp in Face Priority AF, Face Only AF and Face Registration (multiple faces).
The FX9’s Autofocus capabilities have been described as “persistent focus tracking.” With firmware version 2.0, Eye AF adds another adjective: “tenacious.”
Sony PMW-FX9 Specs
- New Full-Frame 19MP CMOS 6K Sensor
- E-mount (18mm FFD and 46.1 mm Inside Diameter)
- XAVC Intra/Long, MPEG HD422 Internal Recording
- 4K 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording
- 16-bit RAW Output via XDCA-FX9 Extension Unit
- XQD cards in 2 slots for internal recording
- Fast Hybrid AF
- Dual base ISO: 800 and 4000
- S-Log3 gamma and S-Gamut3, S-Gamut3.Cine color space
- S-Cinetone color science
- 15+ stops of dynamic range
- 1x 12 SDI BNC output on camera body
- 1x BNC RAW output connector on XDCA-FX9
- VENICE-like color science
- Electronic Variable ND filter: 1/4 ND (2 stops) – 1/128 ND (7 stops) equivalent to ND.6 – ND2.1
- PXW-FX9 Body only: $10,999
- XDCA-FX9 Extension Unit: $2,499
- PXW-FX9K Kit with SELP28135G 28-135mm FF zoom: $13,499
- Available now.
- Version 2.0 firmware update available around October 2020.
Sony FX9 V2.0 Full Frame and S35 Sensor
Sony FX9 V2.0 Internal and External RAW Recording
RAW Recording to Atomos Shogun 7
With Sony’s FX9 V2.0 update, Atomos announced Apple ProRes RAW recording via the XDCA-FX9 Extension Unit’s SDI output onto the Shogun 7. This will be enabled with a free firmware update in Atomos Shogun 7 monitor/recorders around the same time as Sony’s FX9 V2.0 update in October 2020. FX9 frame rates up to DCI 4K 60 fps andDCI 2K 180 fps will be recorded in Apple ProRes RAW.
See separate FDTimes post that follows this one.
Sony FX9 V2.0 Image Areas
This is Sony’s official diagram of Image sensor modes. The solid lines are 17:9 aspect ratio. The dotted lines are 16:9 aspect ratio.
Sony XDCA-FX9 Extension Unit
Thanks to Sam Fares for his great help in preparing this article, answering questions and providing technical insight late at night—24/7—even at 2am New York Time, 3pm Tokyo Time, 11pm LA Time.
Samuel Fares started at Sony Pictures Entertainment in International Tech Support in 2003. He was promoted to Global Training Specialist in in 2005. In 2009 he moved to Sony Latin America in Miami as Product Manager and Sales Support Engineer for Cinealta, XDCAM, NXCAM, Pro Audio as well as Sony software.
In January 2020, Sam moved with his family to Los Angeles to head up Sony’s DMPC (Digital Media Production Center) for camera training, lens testing, demos, events, workshops with DPs, Colorists, DITs and ACs.
Born in Brazil, he moved to the US at age 5. He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and gets by in Italian and Japanese. His passion for photography and filmmaking began when his father gave him an old Sony video camera when he was 10 years old. Sam graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a B.A. in TV/Film Production and started shooting film and digital.