A DP for a Miami video production company with over 30 years of experience gives his input on the Sony FX9s and if they are worth the upgrade:
The FX9 if You’ve Used a Sony FS7
FS7 users will feel comfortable with the FX9. Some elements remain the same or similar. The body, button placement and switches are roughly in the same place. The menu will feel familiar as well.
Updates in the Sony FX9
The first thing I noticed is the viewfinder is all new. It has a much sturdier feel to it. Which is good for us, as we have broken a few FS7 diopters over the years. The viewfinder is updated and looks great. That is until you go outside.
It is high gloss and this makes it difficult to view outside. Not ideal. But I’d still argue, overall, it’s a vast improvement to its predecessor.
The extension unit allows the use of vmount brick batteries. The use of professional power supplies. Which we use quite a lot. There is also an ethernet connection as well as a usb for streaming and file transfer directly from the camera, D-Tap and 4pin Hirose.
Eventually, through firmware releases, this unit will allow 16-bit raw recording to external devices.
Sony FX9 and Power
The FX9 uses 19.5 volts, so none of your old sony power supplies will work. When its out with the old in with the new they really want you to throw out ALL old so you buy ALL new.
But- you can use your old 12volt 4 pin xlr supplies with the XDCA extension unit. This camera uses much more power and goes through batteries faster than we are used to. Be prepared to carry a few extras for the same shooting time. This may not seem like a big deal for local shoots, or shoots where you’re staying in one place. This may pose more of a problem when you’re traveling and on the go. Currently, we travel with one giant, heavy backpack filled with our batteries. The switch two could make whoever’s on utility upset.
When turning the Sony FX9 on, it powers up quickly. This is a big improvement.
It also has a true full-frame sensor. This is where you find out what kind of lenses you have. If you have a full-frame glass you will finally use all of it. If you don’t you can’t take advantage of the full 6K sensor and will have to shoot super 35. This also means the PZ 18-110 G OSS lens you may have on your FS7 won’t work in the 6K space. You must have the PZ 28-136 G OSS that is specifically made for a full-frame sensor.
The Sony FX9 shares S-Cinetone from the Sony Venice. This is a nice upgrade. This allows plenty of room for color correction. High base sensitivity combined with our Carl Zeiss super speeds allows this camera to practically see in the dark. I have never been a fan of auto focus. The autofocus is fast, smooth and accurate. I wouldn’t use it all the time but definitely see how useful it is when shooting fast-moving shots with cars and motorcycles. Which we do quite a lot on It’s How You Get There.
Say Goodbye to your Teradeks
You can create a direct wifi connection to handheld devices. This can save valuable real estate on your camera cage. We have lost True 4K recording(4096×2160) and ProRes but gained proxy recording.
Appreciation for the Sony FS7
The FS7 has been a tried and true workhorse. Over the last several years we have broken them down, packed them up and flown to hundreds of locations and our FS7’s never let us down. We have used it on everything from studio shoots with prime lenses, corporate meetings to reality TV shows. They are solid machines and have helped us produce great work.
The FX9 has many improvements and is definitely worth the investment. I just hope it is as tough as its older brother. We will certainly find out soon enough.
If you want your next project to be shot with an FX9, Give us a call. We’ve got the goods.