Sony has announced a firmware update that brings additional professional cinema camera features to the Sony FX3 including additional log shooting modes, LUT importing, and timecode sync.
Sony says the version 2.0 update comes as a result of extensive feedback by industry professionals who have been seeking these features in an effort to streamline their FX3 post-production workflow and improve its on-set performance.
The Sony FX3, which many refer to as a Sony Alpha 7S III in a more cinema-centric body, was released in early 2021. It featuers a 10.2-megapixel backside illuminated full-frame sensor capable of capturing over 15 stops of dynamic range in SLog-3.
Using Sony’s S-Cinetone color science, featured in the higher-end FX6 and FX9 and Venice cinema cameras, the FX3 is also capable of capturing 4K at up to 120 frames per second and offers 10-bit color depth with 4:2:2 sampling. It can also shoot 16-bit RAW through HDMI out.
The camera is very light and compact, weighing about 25 ounces (715 grams) with a battery and media card. This gives it the added ability to use on drones and placed in tight-fitting locations.
But what it has been missing is the ability to import additional LUTs and to offer a wider variety of LOG shooting modes, which is what the version 2.0 firmware update brings to the table. The update brings Cine EI, Cine EI Quick, and Flexible ISO shooting modes when working in SLog3, giving camera operators a wide ISO base to capture from and to change ISO settings while shooting.
Sony says that the new shooting modes can produce footage that can be more easily balanced in post-production, with highlights and shadows taking full advantage of S-Log3’s wide latitude of dynamic range.
Meanwhile, the ability to import LUTs brings Sony’s S709 and other custom options into the FX3 ecosystem. The LUT import feature also enables updates to the existing S-Cinetone picture profile. The FX3 can also embed LUT and EI metadata into the file, giving post-production workflows access to editing and color grading details.
Other new features include a redesigned main menu with a list-style layout, easier access to favorite options, timecode sync with a dedicated VMC-BNCM1 adapter cable, autofocus assist, and a standby movie screen for a clear view of the scene. The FX also gets a new Instant function menu display, which is accessed by swiping up on the camera’s LCD touchscreen for fast access.
The latest version of the update is available to download directly from the Sony FX3 Support Page under the Downloads tab. Users may also want to download the latest update of the Sony Catalyst Browse or Prepare apps for use with the new Metadata function.