What I really like about the affordable cinema cameras of the 2020s is that they offer anyone an entry to the performance and features of digital cinema cameras of 2005-2010ish. And, with editing software so accessible and easy, there really isn’t any excuse not to make a movie if you really want to. The Sony FX3/FX30 line are cameras that enable anyone to make a cinema quality film.
Sony has announced the newest addition to the brand’s prestigious Cinema Line – the FX30 (model ILME-FX30). The new FX30 is a 4K Super 35 compact cinema camera that offers many professional features of the Cinema Line, such as Dual Base ISO, Log shooting modes, and user-imported LUTs (Look Up Tables) at a price point that appeals to many aspiring filmmakers.
In addition to introducing the new FX30, Sony announced two new CFexpress Type A Memory Cards – CEA-G320T and CEA-G640T. Both are large capacity cards that support high-speed performance with high-speed performance in both reading and writing.
“The launch of the FX30 introduces an exciting new entry point into our Cinema Line range of cameras,” said Jun Yoon, Head of Digital Imaging ANZ. “Whether it is your first dedicated video capture device, or it acts as a subsidiary cam, the FX30 can deliver professional high-end content that will seamlessly fit into your Cinema Line workflow.”
Creating a Cinematic Look
The FX30 offers up-and-coming filmmakers’ cinematic expression with the latest imaging systems. It features a new back-illuminated APS-C Exmor R™ CMOS sensor (Super 35 format) with a dual base ISO (800/2500) to deliver high sensitivity, low noise, and 14+ stops of latitude.
The FX30 supports a variety of video recording codecs. It can shoot 4K Super 35 (16:9) by oversampling from 6K at up to 60fps. The FX30 also features the ability to shoot in high frame rates, including 4K at 120fps and full HD at 240fps. Both 16:9 recording modes can shoot at 10-bit 4:2:2 while an HDMI Type-A connector can be used to output 4K, 16-bit RAW to an external recorder.
Like the rest of the Cinema Line, the FX30 features Log shooting modes by enabling Cine El, Cine El Quick, and Flexible ISO modes for recording with the S-Log3 gamma curve, which allows more flexibility when colour grading. All three modes allow video shooting while monitoring with an appropriate LUT to preview the final image. In addition, the FX30 includes a selection of built-in cinematic looks, such as Sony’s S-Cinetone™. The camera offers advanced image processing capabilities with the BIONZ XR processing engine for natural gradations and realistic colour reproduction.
Designed to Support the Creators’ Needs
The FX30 features Sony’s fast and reliable autofocus, with settings including:
- Real-time Eye AF (human, animal, or bird[iv])
- Real-time Tracking
- Detailed AF settings
- AF Assist
Creatives also have more control when using the Focus Map, which makes it easy to visualise depth of field, and Breathing Compensation offers a stable angle of view when focusing. The camera also includes effective stabilisation for run and gun shoots using Active Mode thanks to the optical in-body 5-axis image stabilisation and time code sync.
The FX30 incorporates other features that retain the spirit of the Cinema Line, including:
- New customisable list-style main menu screen which provides quick access to frequently used items
- New standby movie screen that provides an unobstructed view of the subject
- Buttons and dials dedicated to movie shooting
The FX30 also includes added functionality to assist with the creative workflow, such as post-production editing using embedded LUT, and EI metadata. This metadata is available using the latest version of Sony’s Catalyst Prepare or Catalyst Browse applications. A new “Catalyst Prepare Plugin” for Adobe Premiere Pro was released in August.
Easy Operation and a Compact Form Factor
Compact and lightweight, the FX30 has a flat-top design with threaded accessory attachment points, making it easy to use for shooting handheld, capturing low-angle shots, mounting on a gimbal, or adding accessories. The FX30 also features an XLR handle unit, which can be used to capture low-angle shots and also allows filmmakers to capture crystal clear audio through various audio inputs, including two XLR audio inputs and a 3.5 mm stereo mini jack for 4-channel recording. External microphones can be connected directly to the camera via the Multi Interface Shoe or microphone jack. The FX30 also features an internal stereo microphone for audio recording.
The FX30 is equipped with two memory card slots that are compatible with both CFexpress Type A cards and SDXC/SDHC cards, bringing wide range of shooting experiences to creators. The FX30 is also compatible with the newly announced large capacity CFexpress Type A memory cards.
The FX30 offers not only advanced performance but also outstanding reliability. It features an innovative heat dissipation structure for uninterrupted 4K/60p recording, reliable power for extended recording, and a durable magnesium alloy chassis. A comprehensive selection of E-mount lenses, high-performance microphones, and other essential components gives creators extraordinarily flexible systems for a broad range of creative needs.