Sony FX30 ($1,798) leverages the power of a newly-developed 26MP APS-C Exmor R CMOS sensor to provide content creators and aspiring filmmakers with a powerful, yet accessible cinema camera to push their cinematic journey to new heights. It blends an imaging pipeline designed for cinematic capture with a comprehensive feature set and intuitive operation to create a complete system for all levels of filmmaking. The most notable improvement over existing 24mp Sony a6000 series cameras is not the added two megapixels – but rather faster sensor readout speed coupled with a BIONZ XR processor for much better performance.
26MP APS-C/Super 35mm Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
The FX30’s advanced imaging system is on par with other options in Sony’s Cinema Line-capturing detailed 10-bit UHD 4K imagery at up to 120 fps-giving it specs fitting a true cinema camera. The newly-developed 26MP APS-C Exmor R CMOS sensor and BIONZ XR processor are able to create high-quality 4K images with the Super 35mm (16:9) area. This system is capable of capturing 14+ stops of dynamic range and benefits from Dual Base ISO architecture to improve low-light performance.
• High-sensitivity recording at up to ISO 32000 and Dual Base ISO (800/2500).
• When using S-Log3, the FX30 can capture 14+ stops of dynamic range.
• Record in 10-bit 4:2:2 using advanced XAVC HS and XAVC S-I formats.
• Full pixel readout from the 6K sensor creates high-quality UHD 4K video at up to 60 fps.
• High-speed shooting is possible in 4K at up to 120 fps with a 1.6x crop and in Full HD up to 240 fps.
• The HDMI output supports 16-bit raw video to select, separately available recorders.
Professional Picture Control
Filmmakers will be able to capture images that are immediately ready to publish for projects with fast turnarounds or opt for maximum quality and flexibility in post thanks to a wide array of picture control options:
• S-Cinetone uses the same color science as Sony’s advanced cinema cameras, including the VENICE line, with natural midtones, soft colors, and smooth highlight rolloff.
• Picture Profiles, such as S-Log3 and HLG, will capture images with expanded dynamic range and flexibility for editors.
• Creative Looks can be baked into the recorded footage to create a specific mood during recording and minimize the need for editing.
• Up to 16 user-created LUTs and three presets can be set for accurately monitoring footage or previewing a specific look during shooting. These can be applied to the camera’s monitor or EVF as well as the HDMI output.
Operation for All Levels
Professional features will help ensure beginners to professionals can make the most of the FX30. This includes three log shooting modes:
• Flexible ISO uses standard ISO settings for simple operation and the greatest flexibility.
• Cine EI ensures maximum dynamic range capture by recording at a manually selected base ISO setting and applying adjustments to metadata for monitoring and post-production.
• Cine EI quick will automatically switch between the two base ISO settings for easier operation and great quality.
Fast Hybrid AF
Enjoy high-speed and highly accurate autofocus performance in every mode, including 4K up to 120 fps, using an advanced Fast Hybrid AF system that uses 495 points spread across 90% of the image sensor.
• Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking will track the eyes of humans and animals.
• AF Assist function will automatically switch to manual focus with a turn of the lens’ focus ring.
• Focus Map makes it easier to visualize the region of focus in your scene
5-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization
Sony has equipped the FX30 with a 5-axis in-body image stabilization system that will help create smooth imagery even when working handheld. An Active Mode is available that blends optical systems with digital optimizations to capture ultra-smooth footage. The FX30 can also record gyro movement when the optical stabilizers are turned off which can be used in post to create a stable shot.
Comprehensive Feature Set
Plenty of Sony’s cinema features have found their way into the FX30:
• Breathing compensation works with select lenses in 4K up to 60p in camera or up to 120p using Catalyst software after recording.
• Timecode sync input with optional VMC-BNCM1 Timecode Adapter Cable
• Tally lights for easy indication that camera is recording.
Catalyst Browse and Prepare Integration
The FX30 records a comprehensive array of metadata that can be read and used for advanced post-production work using Sony’s Catalyst Browse and Prepare software.
Metadata recorded includes:
• Embedded LUT and Exposure Index (EI) data.
• Gyro and lens stabilization metadata to further reduce camera shake.
• Breathing compensation can be manually controlled and adjusted.
• Camera rotation metadata will ensure the footage is displayed as intended.
• Shot marks can be added to clips during or after recording for reference
Ergonomic Form for Solo Operation
Lightweight and compact, the FX30 (in a design that matches the FX3) offers users the ability to shoot without needing a cage. Users can also enjoy smooth handheld footage thanks to a 5-axis in-body image stabilization system.
The body features multiple threaded mounting points that are ideal for accessories and a Multi Interface Shoe that supports advanced accessories. Additionally, an integrated fan ensures reliable performance during extended takes.
• Lightweight body weighs just 1.2 lb.
• Dedicated zoom rocker.
• Fully customizable button layout.
• Five 1/4″-20 threaded mounting points for accessories.
• Multi Interface Shoe supports advanced accessories.
• Active cooling fan permits uninterrupted shooting during extended takes.
• Sporting a matching design to the FX3, the FX30 can use many of the same accessories, such as cages, without any modifications required.
A Plethora of Connectivity Options
The FX30 is equipped with a wide array of connections to ensure maximum customization and flexibility on set:
• Full-size HDMI output features clean output up to 4K 60p as well as 16-bit raw video.
• Audio is supported on the body with a 3.5mm headphone output and a 3.5mm microphone input.
• USB-C connection can be used for high-speed data transfer or for powering the camera.
• Multi-Terminal (Micro-USB) supports various accessories, such as remotes, for expanded functionality.
• Timecode sync is available through the use of the separately available VMC-BNCM1 Timecode Adapter Cable.
• Multi Interface Shoe supports advanced accessories, including the optional XLR Handle Unit.
For recording high-bitrate footage at high frame rates the FX30 uses an advanced, versatile set of media slots. The camera features dual CFexpress Type A/SD card slots, allowing users to select between different media types for different situations. CFexpress Type A has ultra-fast speeds that can be used for the FX30’s most advanced recording functions while SD cards are often more common and still have great speed and high capacities.
Updated Menu System
The FX30 benefits from a tweaked control menu that makes it more intuitive to operate:
• The main menu provides a quick view of all your most important video settings, including Picture Profile, recording format, white balance, aperture, ISO, and more.
• The shooting screen relocates the information on settings and status icons to the edges of the screen so that the image remains clear.
In the Box
Sony FX30 Digital Cinema Camera
Sony NP-FZ100 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (2280mAh)
Sony BC-QZ1 Battery Charger
Sony Multi Interface Shoe Cap
Sony ALC-B1EM Body Cap for E-Mount Cameras
Limited 1-Year Warranty
Order Sony FX30 Cinema Line Camera from B&H Photo | Amazon | Adorama
3 thoughts on “Sony Announces FX30 4K Super 35 Cinema Line Camera for Future Filmmakers”
I appreciate all the information that you convey so well. And did I say I really appreciate the images you have taken? They (and you) are an inspiration.
Brian please ask your Sony contacts if its possible that a firmware update could add Flash capabilities and more “stills” settings.
I’m sure this is not the answer you were hoping to hear, but FX30 was designed as a Digital Cinema Camera and since there’s no mention of Flash Settings in the specs, that means it’s not designed for flash photography or advanced still photography. Sony a6600 remains the best APS-C option for hybrid shooting