Reasons Why You Need To Sell Your FS7 And Pick Up The Sony FX9

By | Published March 16th, 2020 | in Gear, Production

Reasons Why You Need To Sell Your FS7 And Pick Up The Sony FX9

Many Sony FS7 owners have been dreading the day when their camera would be labeled obsolete — And that day is fastly approaching.

It’s never fun to watch your camera investment lose money, so hopefully you’ve gotten enough work to pay it off and then some. The technology the FS7 offered at the time of it’s release coupled with it’s low cost were hard to pass up. 

When the FS7 Mii was released a couple years ago, owners found little to no reason to invest in the upgraded version because there were hardly any internal upgrades that would justify selling and replacing the original FS7 Mi. 

Fast-forward to 2019.

With the release of the Sony FX9 came legitimate reasons why owners should finally take the leap and invest in the new camera.

Let’s take a look!

Sensor Size

The Sony FS7 sensor (24.0mm x 12.7mm) is significantly smaller than the FX9’s new large sensor (35.7mm x 18.8mm) that covers more than twice the surface area and makes for a wider angle of view and shallower depth of field. This gives you more fall off in unfocused areas and creates a more ‘cinematic’ look overall. With improved sensitivity and superior noise reduction with the back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, you can expect to find way less undesirable grain in the shadows when shooting in low lit situations. The notorious shadow noise present in the FS7 imagery was always a problem talked about amongst shooters everywhere. Now you can throw on your ND filters, keep the lens wide open and expect to find clean shadow detail without having to crush your blacks. 

Recording Formats

With the FX9’s quality priority setting you’re able to utilize the full-frame 6K scan mode with advanced oversampling technology that records in QFHD 3840×2160 up to 1-30 fps. I know some of you are coughing at the 1-30 fps, but with future firmware updates, you’ll be able to record DCI 4K 4096×2160 up to 60fps internally with a scanning area that crops around 83% of the full-frame and is 122% larger than S35. In S35 mode, you’ll be able to record RAW QFHD 3840×2160 up to 1-120 fps with future firmware updates and an external XDCA-FX9 extension unit with a single BNC cable connection to compatible external RAW recorders.

Dynamic Range & Dual base ISO 

The 15+ stops of dynamic range is no joke. You get seriously vibrant colors that are claimed to be beyond the range of human perception (with a grain of salt). The creative freedom you get in post is unreal and is an incredible improvement from what the FS7 offered. Even in custom mode, they offer new cinematic color science with S-Cinetone, which gives you much more latitude than in the past. 

The dual base ISO offers low and high base sensitivity for well lit and low lit situations. At 800 base sensitivity, you can dial in perfect exposure with ideal lighting and expect to see absolutely no noise. At 4000 base sensitivity, you now have the ability to shoot in extremely low lit settings and expose correctly with little to no noise in your shadow and mid tone areas. This gives you extreme control in any lighting situation. Dual base ISO is meant to be used in S-Log3, Cine EI mode.

 

Ergonomics

Just at a first glance, you can tell that they superbly refined the FS7 design with the FX9 chassis. The best part is, you can keep some of your accessories from your FS7 package and utilize them with the FX9 like the U-series batteries, chargers, E-mount lenses, plus arms and lens adapters. No need for tools anymore to adjust the arm, that means you can easily rearrange your position to your preferred desire in no time. The button placement seems to be improved greatly from the FS7 and is easier to access the menu and other key features without hassle and with haste. 

Are you convinced that you need to upgrade?

Check out this in-depth discussion about the FX9 to gain more insight into the power this affordable camera provides. 

Sony FX9 camera review

Naysayers will always come with the negative takeaways and present those first, but make no mistake, many things were improved upon with the design of the FX9 and this is definitely worth upgrading as soon as you can. Who knows, it’s possible that with a future firmware update, you may be able to record RAW 6K with an external recorder, but we’re not there yet. Currently, most productions still finish in HD (1920×1080) or UHD (3840×2160). The oversampled 4K imagery is gorgeous and is all you’ll need for many years to come.

Sony PXW-FX9 E-Mount Specs

Image Sensor

Image Sensor Size

35.7 x 18.8 mm (Full-Frame)

Sensor Type

CMOS

Sensor Resolution

Effective: 3840 x 2160

ISO

800 to 4000 (Native)

Gain

-3 to 18 dB

Advertised Dynamic Range

15 Stops

Signal-to-Noise Ratio

57 dB

Camera

Lens Mount

Sony E-Mount

Shutter Speed

1/1 to 1/8000 sec

Built-In ND Filter

4 to 128 Stop Electronic ND Filter

Built-In Microphone Type

Mono

Recording Media

2 x XQD Card Slots

1 x SDXC/Memory Stick PRO Duo Hybrid Card Slot

Internal Recording

Recording Modes

XAVC-I 4:2:2 10-Bit:

3840 x 2160p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps (240 to 600 Mb/s) 

1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94/100/120 fps (89 to 222 Mb/s) 

1920 x 1080i at 50/59.94 fps (112 Mb/s) 

XAVC-L 4:2:2 10-Bit:

3840 x 2160p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps (100 to 150 Mb/s) 

1920 x 1080p at 25/29.97/50/59.94/100/120 fps (25 to 50 Mb/s) 

1920 x 1080i at 50/59.94 fps (50 Mb/s) 

MPEG HD422 4:2:2 10-Bit:

1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97 fps (50 Mb/s) 

1920 x 1080i at 25/50/59.94 fps (50 Mb/s) 

XAVC Proxy 4:2:0 10-Bit:

1920 x 1080p (9 Mb/s) 

1280 x 720p (6 to 9 Mb/s) 

640 x 360p (3 Mb/s) 

Gamma Curve

Sony S-Log 3

Audio Recording

XAVC: 4-Channel 24-Bit 48 kHz LPCM Audio

Proxy: 2-Channel AAC Audio

Interfaces

Video Connectors

1 x BNC (12G-SDI) Output

1 x BNC (3G-SDI) Output

1 x HDMI (HDMI 2.0) Output

Audio Connectors

2 x 3-Pin XLR Mic/Line Level (+48 V Phantom Power) Input

1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm Stereo Headphone Output

Other I/O

1 x BNC Genlock Data Input

1 x BNC Timecode Data Input/Output

1 x 2.5 mm LANC Control

1 x USB Micro-B USB 3.1 Gen 1 Data

Wireless Interfaces

2.4 GHz, 5 GHz Wi-Fi

EVF

EVF

Included

EVF Display Type

LCD

Screen Size

3.5″

EVF Resolution

2,760,000 Dots

Power

Battery Type

Sony BP-U Series

Power Connectors

1 x Barrel (19.5 VDC) Input

Power Consumption

35.2 W

Environmental

Operating Temperature

32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C

Storage Temperature

-4 to 140°F / -20 to 60°C

General

Accessory Mount

1 x Multi-Interface Shoe

1 x 1/4″-20 Female

Dimensions

5.75 x 5.61 x 9.02″ / 146 x 142.5 x 229 mm (Without Protrusions)

Weight

4.4 lb / 2 kg

Packaging Info

Package Weight

18 lb

Box Dimensions (LxWxH)

60 x 20 x 13″

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Ambient Skies is a full service entertainment production company focused on creative storytelling for commercials, documentaries, and narratives.

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About The Author:

Trenton Massey