Pro Moviemaker November 2022 - Web


S-Log3. The images are sharp and detailed, with typical Sony colours: good, if not spectacular. The new FX30 seems to perform better with greens, which is often a chink in the Sony armour. To make the camera fit in with the rest of the Cinema Line, there are three new modes when shooting in S-Log3. These include Cine EI, which lets you switch between the two different base ISO settings. It’s a choice you make largely when shooting in bright or low light, and has been a mainstay of Sony pro cameras for many years. There’s also Cine EI Quick for simpler set- ups, automatically switching base ISO. The FX30 also has flexible ISO, where you can set your own actual ISO level, and the camera switches base settings automatically. This is the most manageable mode, but different ISO settings can mean different noise levels, so footage might need more work in post. A new zebra setting menu means it’s easier to get exposure right when shooting in Log. With the FX30 offering things like 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. Although 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. Noise control Of course, larger sensors – as found 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 in high-ISO situations, with decent control of noise. But up against the full-frame sensor 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 the 240fps footage is heavily cropped. But that’s an extreme case, really. 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, but again not as rock solid as rivals from Fujifilm or Panasonic. Across the board, Sony has decent IBIS but can’t ever seem to outperform rivals. The FX30 does offer active stabilisation to make things less wobbly, but there’s a crop and you can’t use it in 4K/120p. This camera is fully compatible with Sony Catalyst Browse software and Catalyst Prepare plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro. By using metadata stored in the video files, image stabilisation can be improved significantly, although there is a slight crop. Whether you can put up with yet another step in your workflow is up to you. It is nice to know it’s there for when you really need it though, rather than being a default option for every shot. When it comes to class-leading autofocus, the FX30 delivers with performance that feels every bit as good as the A7S III and FX3. AF is a hybrid system with 495 phase- detection points and includes eye AF for humans, animals and birds, plus focus tracking. It’s a predictable and very quick AF, which can be customised in terms of response. There are decent tools for manual focusing, such as the customisable focus magnification. One new feature is the Focus Map that debuted on the A7 IV. It’s similar to false colour, except anything in focus or within your depth-of-field is shown normally and anything in front is coloured

SCREEN TIME With no EVF, using the EVA1 on the shoulder is not the best experience. It’s better to rig up with an aftermarket viewfinder compared to the older FX3, such as focus mapping and focus breathing compensation. This may come to the FX3 in a future firmware update, but that is unconfirmed. The older camera does offer 4K/60p with no crop and 4K/120p with a slight 1.1x crop, so it’s much more usable than the FX30 at higher frame rates. Perhaps the biggest difference in terms of spec is that the FX3 has a mechanical shutter along with the electronic one, which opens up a vast range of stills photo 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 might seem odd to praise a higher-end video camera for its stills use, but as a hybrid this can be important. expensive – especially if you want Sony G Master versions, for the best quality and focusing performance as well as metadata support. The FX30 actually has some newer technology The Sony FX3 uses the same body style as the FX30, but packs in the 4K sensor from the mirrorless A7S III, making it one of the best cameras for controlling noise at any price. Dynamic range is about a stop more, too. But there’s no dual base ISO, just a high sensitivity mode – that isn’t the same. But as it’s fantastic at high ISO, it isn’t missed. The FX3’s 35mm CMOS can also 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 WHAT MAKES THE FX3 WORTH THE EXTRA?

WORKHORSE The FX30 is a great pro camera for location shoots, with a fan and top-quality venting to keep the sensor cool



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