SONY FX30 GEAR REVIEW.
What makes the FX3 worth the extra? The Sony FX3 has the same body as the FX30, but packs the 4K sensor from the A7S III. It’s one of the best cameras for controlling noise at any price. Dynamic range is about a stop more, too. There’s no dual base ISO – but as it’s fantastic at high ISO, it isn’t missed. The FX3’s 35mm CMOS can give a shallower depth-of-field, as it employs longer focal length lenses to give the same view when compared to an APS-C sensor camera. But full-frame lenses are larger, heavier and more expensive – especially if you want Sony G Master versions. The FX30 has some new tech compared to the FX3, such as focus mapping and focus breathing compensation. These may appear in an FX3 firmware update but this is unconfirmed. The older camera does offer 4K/60p with no crop and 4K/120p with a 1.1x crop, so it’s much more usable than the FX30 at high frame rates. For spec, the biggest difference is that the FX3 has a mechanical and electronic shutter, opening a range of stills functionality. This includes up to 10fps continuous shooting while AF is working, and you can use a flash on the hotshoe with sync speed of 1/250sec. It may appear odd to praise a video camera for its stills, but for hybrids this can be critical.
NOISE CONTROL Of course, larger sensors – as in the FX3 – give fantastic high-ISO performance, while the smaller Super 35 sensors struggle to keep up. In isolation, the FX30 does very well with noise control in high-ISO situations. But up against the full-frames of the FX3 and A7S III we compared it to, it’s not quite as good. This rears its head when shooting low-light super slow-motion, as 240fps is heavily cropped. But that’s an extreme case. What you would expect a smaller-sensor camera to be better at is rolling shutter and image stabilisation. The rolling shutter is well-controlled, but it’s not the supreme performance found in the stacked-sensor Fujifilm X-H2S, for example. And the five-axis image stabilisation is also very good,
new zebra setting menu means it’s easier to get exposure right when shooting in Log. With the FX30 offering 10-bit 4:2:2 All-Intra in 4K, this gives an immense amount of colour information, making grading far easier than with a less intensive codec like 4:2:0 8-bit. Log shooting is ideal on the FX30, but you can’t adjust the amount of detail. While this isn’t a huge issue, a lower detail setting can fix oversharpness when shooting non-Log gamma. For Log filming, you can always use a mist filter if the oversharp image is too much for your taste. Strangely, there aren’t any anamorphic modes. If you want to shoot Cinemascope, you’ll need an external monitor, offering de- squeeze for accurate framing.
IN FOCUS Class-leading AF with a wide array of settings make the user’s life much easier
59. DECEMBER 2022
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