Sony FX6 – a Baby FX9 or a Beefed up A7S III? Is Sony's newly announced FX6 compact video body has more in common with the A7S III or the pro FX9

Earlier today Sony introduced a new video full-frame interchangeable lens camera – the compact but highly capable FX6 camera. Alongside the camera, the company also finally announced the availability of its FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G lens designed specifically to work with the new generation of Sony video cameras with advanced AF motors and precise manual focus capabilities.

We shall start with the FX6 which as our title suggests borrows some technologies and features from the newly released A7S III but especially in terms of design and form factor could be considered a baby sister to the high-end professional FX9 (and can be used in conjunction with the Venice and FX9 as a B or C camera on larger productions).

The target market for the FX6 is somewhat different than that of the FX9 aiming towards run and gun shooters, documentary and interview video shooters as well as the fast-growing online broadcasting segment. According to Sony, the FX6 is the direct replacement to the FS5 II (which will no longer be available – interestingly some sites report the exact opposite so we need to double-check that with Sony) but it sits on a slightly higher level than that camera based on Sony’s own marketing material.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the main features of the FX6 and where it might be more similar to the A7S III and where it might resemble a higher-end video camera like the FX9:

  • 12MP Full-Frame back-illuminated CMOS Exmor R sensor (10MP effective capable of 4K DCI).
  • 15+ stops of dynamic range.
  • 4K 120p / HD 240p, 10 bit 4:2:2 color depth in full-frame.
  • Sensitivity up to 409,600 ISO (with 800 and 12,800 as the dual ISO numbers – on the A7S III Sony was not willing to comment on the ISO steps but testings showed a lower 640 ISO as the first step).
  • Memory cards – dual-slot SD and CFexpress Type A slots (similar to the A7S III).
  • BIONZ XR image processing engine (again similar to the A7S III).
  • Advanced AF system with 627 points and 89% frame coverage (similar but with a few differences from both the A7S III and the FX9).
  • Electronic variable ND filter – 4 to 128 Stop.
  • Connections – HDMI 2.0/12G/6H/3G-SDi, 2 XLR (in the handle only, no mic input in the body), BNC Timecode Data,  Input/Output, LANC USB-C (FTP connection option).
  • Sony BPU-35 series batteries (with DC in option).
  • Optional LUTs (showed on the screen and imported from the Sony website).
  • S-Cinetone support (existing in the FX9 and inspired by VENICE colorimetry).
  • Non-locking E-mount (like the A7S III and unlike the FX9).
  • Post stabilization (no IBIS like the A7S III but with support for gyro metadata using the Sony Catalyst Browse software (you should turn off the IS on the lens if it has one).
  • Weight – 890 grams (clean body) and compact body – 153mm/116mm/114mm (L/W/D).
  • 3.5″ touch removable display with 1280x720p resolution (menu system is new and easier to use).
  • Pricing and availability – $6000  starting from December 2020.

A few more official pictures of the FX6

Before we move over to FX6 reviews just a few words on the newly released FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G lens (the lens was actually announced last year but for some reason, it did not reach the market until now). This lens is a special Cinema/video lens with built-in gears but unlike most other Cinema lenses it does support both AF workflows and MF workflows (Sony actually emphasizes how good the MF system works with hard stops and very precise and repeatable turns). B&H posted a quick look at some of the features of the FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G that will start selling soon for $5500.

The FX6 with the top handle and monitor

B&H on the Sony FE C 16-35mm T/3.1 G

We have quite a few videos demonstrating and looking at the FX6. Above is one posted by B&H and below you can find several early hand on reviews by different creators and photographers who got their hands on pre-production samples of the FX6.

Gerald Undone with a very in-depth look of a pre-production unit of the FX6

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Nino from CineD on using the FX6

Potato Jet playing with the FX6 with some comparisons to the Canon C70

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