Sony FX3 and FX30 to get shutter angle via firmware update
Image asset courtesy: Sony

Sony has announced new firmware updates for some of its Cinema Line cameras. The new firmwares for the Sony FX3, FX30 and FX6 will also be showcased at the BSC Expo 2024 in London next month.

Shutter angle for FX3 and FX30

The headline feature from the updates for the Sony FX3 and FX30 cameras is the option to choose shutter angle instead of shutter speed. Shutter angle is a term that stems back to movie film cameras which had a mechanical rotating shutter with an opening measured in degrees. The standard shutter angle is 180 degrees which gives an exposure time equal to half the frame rate. However, you can choose larger angles for slower shutter speeds, or smaller angles for shorter exposures. In addition, as shutter angle describes a ratio, you don’t need to worry about changing shutter speed when changing frame rates, it happens automatically.

Other FX3 / FX30 updates

The new firmware for the X3 and FX30 will add the ability to add clip flags to mark shots. The cameras will also gain SRT/RTMP/RTMPS support for livestreaming via the Creator’s App from Sony. This should make the cameras a great choice for anyone who wants a high quality image with their livestreams.

FX6 version 5.0

The version 5.0 firmware update for the Sony FX6 will add a 1.5x desqueeze function for use when shooting with anamorphic lenses. The FX6 will also gain integrated high-quality 3D LUT processes designed to mirror Sony’s high-end VENICE cinema camera. Sony says that this allows for more accurate color processing. In addition, the update adds focus breathing compensation for more lenses to the FX6. Sony specifically mentioned the 100-400 GM and the 200-600 G lenses in its press release. Finally, the version 5.0 firmware gives the FX6 access to more features in Sony’s Monitor & Control App v2.0.

What we think

For a lot of filmmakers, the option to use shutter angle is an essential feature on a cinema camera. The FX6 and FX9 already offer shutter angle, so it’s good to see the entry level Cinema Line cameras getting the feature as well. For the FX6, it’s interesting to see Sony giving users the tools to match the camera more closely with the Venice. This could afford filmmakers the option to use the more portable FX6 as a B or C camera with the Venice. It’s always good to see Sony continuing to support older cameras with firmware updates. However, there are still features missing, such as false color on the FX3, that have been long requested by users. Hopefully these aren’t the last updates Sony releases for these cameras.

Availability

The version 5.0 firmware updates for the FX6 will be available in May 2024. FX3 and FX30 owners will have to be patient unfortunately, as the updates for those cameras won’t be available until September 2024. However, Sony has confirmed that all the updates will be free of charge.



Image asset courtesy: Sony

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.