IBC 2019: Sony unveils new FX9 Camera and 16-35 cine lens
At IBC 2019, Sony (stand 13.A10) unveiled the PXW-FX9, its first XDCAM camera featuring an advanced 6K full-frame sensor and Fast Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system. The new camera offers content creators greater creative freedom and flexibility to capture stunning images that truly resonate with audiences. In addition, Sony also introduced a new full-frame E-mount, 16-35mm lens. The lens offers high optical performance, reliable operability, intelligent shooting functions for cinematographers, and compatibility with the full range of Sony’s E-mount cameras – from Alpha interchangeable lens cameras to the VENICE digital cinema camera – bringing unprecedented creative flexibility for all content creators.
FX9 4K Camera
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.
“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.”
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. Oversampling of the full-frame 6K sensor’s readout 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-CinetoneTM 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.
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, 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.
“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 Manowitz.
E-Mount Cinema Lens
“The performance of our new E-mount Cinema Lens series offers filmmakers greater creative freedom and helps them concentrate on their artistic vision. Encompassing the full range of Sony E-mount cameras, our “One Mount” solution is the most powerful system designed for today and for the future,” comments Manowitz.
The new lens is compatible with the intelligent shooting functions of E-mount. Paired with the new full-frame FX9 camera, it supports fast and accurate auto focus, making it possible to track quick-moving subjects while maintaining a shallow depth of field.
The two XA (Extreme Aspherical) elements with extreme surface precision of 0.01-micron, together with circular 11-blade apertures, deliver beautifully smooth bokeh in every frame. The two XA elements and three aspheric lenses are positioned in a way that effectively reduces field curvature, astigmatism and, in combination with two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glasses, reduces color distortion. Additionally, floating focus employs two focusing groups, providing outstanding resolution at every zoom position. Nano AR (Anti Reflection) coating drastically reduces flare and ghost phenomenon.
Excellent operability with three independent rings, remote control from the camera, and a detachable servo zoom
The new E-mount lens further offers accurate and precise operability thanks to three independent rings for focus, zoom and iris that content creators can manipulate to get the exact results they desire. The linear response Manual Focus (MF) feature provides direct adjustment for precise and repeatable manual focusing. The focus ring with a large rotation angle also includes a distance scale, which makes it possible to quickly and easily set the same focus position during scenes that need to be shot repeatedly.
The new range also supports a number of lens accessories to facilitate a variety of different shooting styles. The industry standard 0.8mm pitch gear on each lens ring provides the option to use follow focus and remote actuators. Equally, the widely-available 115mm diameter matte box and lens support can be used to aid accurate, responsive and precise operability. Additional functions include a de-clickable iris ring that prevents unintended iris change during shooting, the option to reverse the rotation direction of the zoom ring to be fitted with user’s preference and detachable servo zoom that provides smooth zooming expression.
The new 16-35mm (FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G) will be available in Spring 2020.