Leaked Sony FX3 Could Pose Big Threat to Canon and Black Magic

Illustration for article titled Leaked Sony FX3 Could Pose Big Threat to Canon and Black Magic
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Sony’s camera division has been on a warpath lately with the recently announced Alpha 1 serving as a direct response to Canon’s EOS R5. But now info has leaked about a new Sony cinema cam that could pose a serious threat to both Canon and Black Magic.

Based on a tweet from respected leaker Nokishita, the new Sony FX3 has a few interesting things going on. That’s because even though it carries the FX tag like Sony’s high-end cinema cams, it also sports Alpha branding from Sony’s consumer mirrorless camera segment, which suggests that Sony may position the FX3 as an option for both pros and more advanced home users.

And while there aren’t any detailed specs available for the FX3 just yet, MirrorlessRumors.com claims people are speculating that the FX3 could support video capture at 8K, UHD 8K, oversampled DCI 4K, and high frame rate UHD 4K. If true, that would land it right in the sweet spot for a lot of experienced content creators looking for a powerful but still relatively portable dedicated video cam.

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Additionally, the positioning of what looks like an AF joystick on the top side of the camera (instead of in the back where it would usually be), suggests that the FX3 might have a huge built-in screen to better monitor footage, similar to what you get on a Black Magic Pocket Cinema cam. Elsewhere, the inclusion of multiple mounting threads should make the FX3 easy to slip into a cage, giving users extra flexibility for tacking on additional components and accessories.

Either way, the big picture is that with the FX3, it looks like Sony is specifically targeting competing video cameras like Canon’s EOS C70 and the Black Magic’s range of dedicated cinecams, as it looks to gobble up even more of the mirrorless camera market share.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on pricing just yet, but current rumors say Sony is expected to officially announce the FX3 prior to the CP+ show, which is slated to take place virtually starting on Feb. 24.

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Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.

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DISCUSSION

Brutalitarian
Brutalitarian

Not sure who this is aimed at. Broadcast wise, almost no one uses any black magic cameras, and the only small form I’ve seen in 6 years on location shoots has been a7x’s anyhow and then only as a backup.

Here’s the thing, for pro use I’m much more concerned about codecs, battery life, colour sensitivities, internal neutral density filters, and ISO’s than I am about frame size at the moment. In fact considering this is likely to use the same 35mm format sensor the pixel size on the sensor means its going to be fucking awful in all but the brightest of lit rooms. At a certain point, the number of photons per pixel is the problem, not cramming more discrete sensors onto the chip.

If pixel density was so important all cinemas would be IMAX by now. Broadcasters don’t really care all that much about HD (it takes up 4 channels worth of bandwidth) most people are happy with standard def with decent on board up scaling in the TV. Internet streaming renders anything above 1080 pointless as the compression ruins any gains you might get from a higher resolution. Only cinema screens need higher pixes counts and by that time you’re not going to be shooting on a small format camera but on Arri’s with prime glass on the front.

Finally this is a god awful time to launch a new camera to pros. Covid has fucked our industry for the last year or so. Very few of us have the scratch to blow on an new camera for now. We’re just gonna run with what we’ve got for a couple of years until things settle down and get back to normal.