Sony has used the occasion of IBC 2019 to unveil the PXW-FX9, their first small form factor camera to feature a 6K full-frame sensor and Fast Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system. Sony has recently combined their professional camera divisions handling higher end Cine Alta Digital Cinema cameras such as the Venice, with groups handling the more budget sensitive, small form factor models such as the FS7, along with their professional mirrorless cameras like the A7 line. This new camera seems to be a result of mixing some of this DNA. It combines the high mobility of the FS7, with an advanced AF system you might expect to see on a stills camera, along with a sensor size, color science, and Dual Base ISO inherited from the VENICE motion picture camera. The combination offers a unique choice for documentaries, music videos, and dramas, (a B-camera on a Venice shoot?).
The newly-developed Exmor RTM sensor is said to offer wide dynamic range with high sensitivity, low noise, and over 15 stops of latitude, which can be recorded internally in 4K 4:2:2 10bit. Oversampling of the full-frame 6K sensor’s readout allows for higher quality downsampled 4K footage with shallower depth of field. Features like a dual base ISO of 800 and 4000 with S-CinetoneTM color science, and the ability to shoot up to 120fps in HD make for a very versatile camera. Of course, the shallow depth of field available with a full-frame image sensor requires precise focus control, so the Fast Hybrid AF system has been enhanced with customizable transition speeds and sensitivity settings, that combine phase detection AF with contrast AF for focus accuracy.
The FX9 comes with a wide range of customizations and expansion features including on-board wireless digital audio via Multi Interface Shoe™ and an 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, along with RJ-45 interface and stable “Dual Link” for streaming by using two carrier lines, as well as DWX slot-in type digital wireless receiver commonly used in broadcasting settings. The FX9 will be available towards the end of 2019 at a price I’m told will be much closer to the FS7 than the Venice: $10,999.00US