Pro Moviemaker October 2022 - Newsletter



Sony’s Super 35 mini cine cam Sony has finally revealed a new Super 35 camera in its cinema line-up: the small, mirrorless-style FX30. It’s largely similar in form to the FX3 with its built-in cooling fan – but where the FX3 uses the sensor from the A7S III, the FX30 has an all-new, 25.6-megapixel version. This comes either

body-only or as a kit including an XLR top-handle. USA pricing was unconfirmed at the time of going to press, but the body only will come in at £2100 in the UK (that’s around $2220 at current rates) – or £2500 with the handle ($2642). Like the FX3, the FX30 uses a back-side illuminated sensor and Bionz XR processor, shooting at 4K/120p and 240fps in HD. Formats include XAVC S, HS and I for All- Intra, in 4:2:2 10-bit Long GOP, H.264 and H.265. There’s an ISO range of 100-32,000 and the sensor is a dual-base model at ISO 800 and 2500. The camera claims 14 stops of dynamic range – and S-Log3, HLG and S-Cinetone gamma are all also included in the feature set. The FX30 can output 16-bit Raw format externally via its full-size HDMI socket. AF is a hybrid system with phase detection and includes Eye AF for humans, animals or birds, plus focus tracking and breathing compensation. There’s five-axis image stabilisation and timecode with an optional adapter, but no genlock. The top handle has full XLR inputs and connects to the camera via the multi-interface shoe, so there’s no cable. A standard 3.5mm mic input is here, though. Recording to two CFexpress Type A or SD cards, the FX30 uses an NP-FZ100 battery. Unlike the FX3, this camera only has an electronic shutter. The body is the size of the FX3’s and has five 1/4in-20 threaded holes for accessories, weighing only 562g/1.24lb. Compatibility with Sony Catalyst Browse and Catalyst Prepare allows metadata in the video files to be used to speed up clip management and workflow.

HANDS-ON WITH THE SONY FX30 Pro Moviemaker was granted an exclusive hands-on test of a pre-production Sony FX30, and it’s an impressive bit of kit. We’re used to Sony mirrorless cameras, but the FX30 body is far better for video – feeling more solid than even the flagship A1. The fan is silent and the mounting points are great for accessories. The handle offers extra mounts, which is where we stuck our Atomos Ninja V. Surprisingly for a Sony mirrorless, there’s no dedicated mode dial. Instead, the mode button on the rear brings up those options. For a camera focused on video, it’s a bit strange that there are four stills modes (the usual PASM), but just one video mode, plus S&Q. You have to select video then dig into the video menu, select a shooting mode, then finally pick P, A, S or M. Video mode is a little strange – if you hit the shutter button, you’re reminded that it doesn’t start video recording. Instead, you have to hit the Rec button on the top plate, right next to the AF selector joypad. Of course, lots of things can be customised. The rest of the menus are very similar to the latest Sony mirrorless cameras, so are much improved over previous-generation models. AF is predictable and snappy, and can be customised in terms of speed. And the tools for manual focusing are good, accessed via dedicated buttons on the rear – a nice touch. One standout feature is the choice of 10-bit 4:2:2 codecs, especially 4K/120p. This gives excellent results, and there is virtually no rolling shutter in any of the settings. We used the camera in low light and bright sunshine, and the results are impressive. But this was just a brief hands-on; in the next issue, we’ll bring a full review after some serious testing.

MIC UP The new Sony FX30 is available with a top handle, allowing use of pro-size XLR microphones. It communicates with the camera via the multi-interface shoe – so it requires no leads whatsoever



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