Published on September 29th, 2022 | by Andrew Bistak
Sony expands Cinema Line with new FX30 4K Super 35 camera for future filmmakers
Sony has announced the newest addition to the brand’s prestigious Cinema Line – the FX30 (model ILME-FX30). The new FX30 is a 4K Super 35 compact cinema camera that offers many professional features of the Cinema Line, such as Dual Base ISO, Log shooting modes, and user-imported LUTs (Look Up Tables) at a price point that appeals to many aspiring filmmakers.
In addition to introducing the new FX30, Sony announced two new CFexpress Type A Memory Cards – CEA-G320T and CEA-G640T. Both are large capacity cards that support high-speed performance with high-speed performance in both reading and writing.
“The launch of the FX30 introduces an exciting new entry point into our Cinema Line range of cameras,” said Jun Yoon, Head of Digital Imaging ANZ. “Whether it is your first dedicated video capture device, or it acts as a subsidiary cam, the FX30 can deliver professional high-end content that will seamlessly fit into your Cinema Line workflow.”
Creating a Cinematic Look
The FX30 offers up-and-coming filmmakers’ cinematic expression with the latest imaging systems. It features a new back-illuminated APS-C Exmor R™ CMOS sensor (Super 35 format) with a dual base ISO (800/2500) to deliver high sensitivity, low noise, and 14+ stops[i] of latitude.
The FX30 supports a variety of video recording codecs. It can shoot 4K Super 35 (16:9) by oversampling from 6K at up to 60fps. The FX30 also features the ability to shoot in high frame rates, including 4K at 120fps and full HD at 240fps. Both 16:9 recording modes can shoot at 10-bit 4:2:2 while an HDMI Type-A connector can be used to output 4K, 16-bit RAW[ii] to an external recorder[iii].
Like the rest of the Cinema Line, the FX30 features Log shooting modes by enabling Cine El, Cine El Quick, and Flexible ISO modes for recording with the S-Log3 gamma curve, which allows more flexibility when colour grading. All three modes allow video shooting while monitoring with an appropriate LUT to preview the final image. In addition, the FX30 includes a selection of built-in cinematic looks, such as Sony’s S-Cinetone™. The camera offers advanced image processing capabilities with the BIONZ XR processing engine for natural gradations and realistic colour reproduction.
Support the Creators’ Needs
The FX30 features Sony’s fast and reliable autofocus, with settings including:
Creatives also have more control when using the Focus Map[vi], which makes it easy to visualise depth of field, and Breathing Compensation[vii] offers a stable angle of view when focusing. The camera also includes effective stabilisation for run and gun shoots using Active Mode[viii] thanks to the optical in-body 5-axis image stabilisation and time code sync[ix].
The FX30 incorporates other features that retain the spirit of the Cinema Line, including:
- New customisable list-style main menu screen which provides quick access to frequently used items
- New standby movie screen that provides an unobstructed view of the subject
- Buttons and dials dedicated to movie shooting
The FX30 also includes added functionality to assist with the creative workflow, such as post-production editing using embedded LUT, and EI metadata.[x] This metadata is available using the latest version of Sony’s Catalyst Prepare[xi] or Catalyst Browse applications. A new “Catalyst Prepare Plugin” for Adobe Premiere Pro was released in August.
Easy Operation and a Compact Form Factor
Compact and lightweight, the FX30 has a flat-top design with threaded accessory attachment points, making it easy to use for shooting handheld, capturing low-angle shots, mounting on a gimbal, or adding accessories. The FX30 also features an XLR handle unit[xii], which can be used to capture low-angle shots and also allows filmmakers to capture crystal clear audio through various audio inputs, including two XLR audio inputs and a 3.5 mm stereo mini jack for 4-channel recording. External microphones can be connected directly to the camera via the Multi Interface Shoe or microphone jack. The FX30 also features an internal stereo microphone for audio recording.
The FX30 is equipped with two memory card slots that are compatible with both CFexpress Type A cards and SDXC/SDHC cards, bringing wide range of shooting experiences to creators. The FX30 is also compatible with the newly announced large capacity CFexpress Type A memory cards.[xiii]
The FX30 offers not only advanced performance but also outstanding reliability. It features an innovative heat dissipation structure for uninterrupted 4K/60p recording, reliable power for extended recording, and a durable magnesium alloy chassis. A comprehensive selection of E-mount lenses, high-performance microphones, and other essential components gives creators extraordinarily flexible systems for a broad range of creative needs.
Sony Future Filmmaker Awards
The new FX30 is an ideal choice for filmmakers that are actively working on or considering an entry into the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards, a major new annual awards program for short films. Sponsored by Sony and free to enter, the Awards set out to elevate original voices from around the globe with a fresh perspective on storytelling. For more information, please visit: www.sonyfuturefilmmakerawards.com/
Price and availability
The new FX30 and FX30B will be available in Australia from late October 2022.
FX30 (ILME-FX30 – Camera body with top handle) SRP: $3,699.00
FX30B (ILME-FX30B – Camera body only) SRP: $2,999.00
The FX30 enables ultimate creative freedom and comes with an option to purchase with or without the XLR handle.[xiv]
A product video on the new FX30 can be viewed here.
The FX30 will also be compatible with the new version of Camera Remote SDK (Version 1.06), a development kit for software that enables remote operation and configuration changes.
CFexpress Type A Memory Cards: CEA-G320T and CEA-G640T
The compact and high-performance CFexpress Type A memory card CEA-G320T will be available in October, while the CFexpress Type A memory card CEA-G640T[xv] will be available in December in selected countries in Asia Pacific. In addition to the existing 80GB and 160GB cards, large capacity 320GB and 640GB cards will be added to the series[xvi].
These large capacity cards support high-speed performance with a maximum writing speed of up to 700MB/s and Video Performance Guarantee “VPG400”, which offers sustained writing speeds of up to 400MB/s and enables 4K 120p high bit rate video shooting.
The new large capacity cards have achieved TOUGH specification, which means they have been certified to be waterproof, dustproof, (IP57) and robust enough to support stable long-term shooting in various environments[xvii].
CF Express Type A 320GB SRP: $1,299.00
CF Express Type A 640GB SRP $2,499
[i] S-Log3 movies, Sony tests.
[ii] With a choice of 59.94p / 50p / 29.97p / 25p / 23.98p frame rates and colour spaces
[iii] Supported devices are as follows: as of September 2022, ATOMOS NINJA V and NINJA V+ HDR monitor-recorder support planned. For further details, please contact ATOMOS.
[iv] Accurate focus may not be achieved with certain subjects in certain situations.
[v] Not available when using the SELP1650, SEL18200LE or A-mount lenses.
[vi] The Focus Map function cannot be used in the following conditions: When shooting stills, when the Focus Magnifier function is in use, when using digital zoom, during USB streaming, when no lens is mounted, when an A-mount lens is mounted, or when using the SEL16F28. For other lenses, please use the latest lens software.
[vii] Angle of view and image quality may change slightly when this feature is turned on. Breathing Compensation is not available for unsupported lenses, 120p (100p) movie recording, S&Q recording at 120p (100p), or stills. The compatibility of lenses is limited. Please see Sony support page for lens compatibility. https://www.sony.net/dics/breathing/
[viii] Slight image crop in Active Mode. “Standard” setting is recommended for focal lengths of 200 mm or longer. Active Mode is not available when recording at frame rates of 120 (100) fps or higher, including S&Q.
[ix] VMC-BNCM1 is required for time code synchronisation. VMC-BNCM1 requires the following annotations. The availability of the VMC-BNCM1 (product number: A-5051-506-A) may vary depending on the country or region. Refer to the following support site for inventory confirmation and purchase. https://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/Support/
[x] This metadata includes Embedded LUT, Image stabilisation, Breathing Compensation, Camera rotation and Movie mark
[xii] The FX30B does not include the XLR handle unit. The XLR-handle unit will be available as a stand-alone item as XLR-H1, which will be available in early 2023.
[xiii] The newly announced CEA-G320T and CEA-G640 CFexpress Type A memory cards.
[xiv] FX30B comes without the XLR handle while the FX30 model comes with the XLR handle
[xv] To use CEA-G640T memory card with the following cameras, the camera software version must be as listed below. Alpha 1 (Ver.1.31 or later), Alpha 7S III (Ver.2.11 or later), and FX3 (Ver.2.00 or later).
[xvi] 1 GB = one billion bytes. A portion of this card capacity is used for system files and may vary.
[xvii] Actual performance may vary. Based on environmental conditions and usage. Sony does not guarantee damage to recorded data or card based on every situation or condition.