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Review Sony FX6


ed here with the digital digest and today i wanted to share my full review the digitally digested segment for the sony fx6 now this cinema camera retails for roughly 6 000 us dollars that is body alone you can opt for the kit which includes uh the g series f4 24 to 105 zoom lens which is not a power zoom lens if you’re looking for a power zoom full frame lens you’ll be looking at this which is the pz 28 to 135 you know historically this has been criticized for not having a wide enough starting point and that may be true of what you’re trying to shoot depending on your personal use case scenario for me i love this lens both of course first and foremost for its video as well as even its still performance but that aside the beauty of the fx6 at its price point is that it is lightweight at under two pounds modular which means that if you want to put this on a gimbal you can of course other sony cameras that are not cinema cameras like the a7s iii or even the fx3 that i’m filming on now are better suited on a gimbal but they are not as feature rich so as many of you already know the variable nd filter is great to have built into this camera definitely more versatile and easy to use than a traditional optical one and the fact that we have an auto mode for the nd filter i think is another huge win in addition to that of course the video modes and color science that the fx6 affords are all excellent i mean the auto focus best in class low light capability also best in class and that’s where sony with this camera at the price point and weight have really put the competition to shame i think that’s really the turning point for a camera like the fx6 where historically sony would have been more hard pressed to win over business from blackmagic users red users this is the camera that can pull them over

and that’s why it’s still sold out back ordered and yes the supply chain as i mentioned in my first look at this is of course part of the constraint with getting these out to consumers that want them really professionals that are using this for whether it’s you know documentary interview news applications um really whatever you plan on shooting if you want to do it in a professional capacity and at a price point that with its form factor is unmatched the fx6 does that so whether we’re talking about tci 4k at 60 frames or you want 16-bit raw recorded externally you have of course hdmi a full-size port as well as sdi so it’s really a matter of how you want to shoot this and capture what you’re doing sony’s codecs are excellent so you know full quality out of this camera either means external recording or the alternative is using sony’s compact flash express type a cards which are very expensive but are best in class in terms of at least sony’s world because well no one else is making them yet but hopefully third party manufacturers will get on board soon which means the incredibly expensive price point of those cfa cards is going to come down now when it comes to usability i think this camera is great i mean no viewfinder obviously you do have of course a display but you know if you want an evf that’s what the a7s iii is for and that’s not a cinema camera it’s a very good video camera but

not a true video camera like the fx6 and as we all know the fx3 that i’m filming on also does not have it’s even more of a gray space because it’s got so much in common with the a7 s3 and the fx6 but doesn’t have the evf but has the styling and of course much of the design language which is also styling of course of the fx6 or the entire fx lineup but you know the tally lights all of those things are important but it’s definitely it favors run and gun more but is lacking again the variable nd filter that this has uh true uh you know dci 4k just to name a few and of course does not have sdi out of course does have full hdmi out but just some things that are i think a point of focus so again when it comes to on focus auto focus and low light and the nd filter the fx6 sort of owns the world right now i feel like after using it for a couple of weeks i do think this would have been a fantastic upgrade for my channel but i also think it wouldn’t have been necessary for what i shoot here on the channel and that’s because if i was doing commercial video work i can see the application i can see why clients would look at something like the fx3 or the a7 s3 and unless you’re sticking that on a gimbal they would say is that what i’m really paying for and this goes back to years ago when sony entered the mirrorless market and so many traditional still photographers would say i cannot show up to a commercial shoot with you know a tiny mirrorless camera clients who know nothing about photography do know at least back then this was the methodology the mentality that if the camera was tiny it wasn’t expensive and if they

were paying they wanted to see expensive gear at the very least until they saw results and the same applies here now while this isn’t a huge camera it does send a very clear message as do its results so important it may seem superficial but unfortunately that’s much of how the world works and while the a7s iii and fx3 produce phenomenal video granted again no nd filter or dci 4k but have the exact same sensor and arguably better autofocus than this even though this has great autofocus for its class they aren’t going to leave an impression on a client the way the fx6 will so with that said i’ve given you a lot of what’s great about it let’s talk about what’s not so great um you know the menu system it leaves some things to be desired especially when i keep mentioning less expensive cameras like the fx3 as well as the a7 s3 both of those cameras actually have better menu systems but that doesn’t make them better it’s just a matter of learning curve and spending time with the fx6 acclimating and then of course you can also customize you have a joystick built into the top handle you also have a joystick built into the side handle if you so choose to use it and that’s part of what i like about this camera if you put it on a gimbal you know get rid of the side handle you don’t need it you don’t even need the top handle but there’s a catch with that get rid of the top handle you no longer have xlr

input that is a flaw that i expect sony will remedy in a future revision of this camera down the road will it be the next i don’t know but it’s something that clearly does need to be addressed because right now with the way things are it’s just not something that’s manageable knowing that the modular element is great but this is your audio hub and once it comes off the modular you know bragging rights kind of go out the window unless you’re capturing your audio separately which you may very well be but to me having the xlr inputs on the body even at the expense of it being a little bit heavier would be complementary no question about it now i have this same issue of course with my fx3 but my fx3 is under four grand isn’t aimed at the exact same audience in fact the fx3 is meant to be a b whereas this is meant to be an a cam so you know food for thought on that but uh the internal audio on this even when you’re not using an xlr uh mike or one of the various xlr inputs you can bring into this camera is really good uh but you expect that with a six thousand dollar camera and again you know no touch screen on this menu which means that well you have it in there but i meant when actually shooting so you can navigate the menu system but

when it comes to pulling focus that’s an advantage that my fx3 and a7s3 i don’t own the a7s3 have so while the auto focus on here is great and look some of you are gonna say i don’t even use autofocus that’s fine but i personally would rather and i’m assuming there are many of you that are like-minded would rather have autofocus and not need it then need it and not have it so while this camera does have fantastic autofocus one thing that’s important to note is that in the event you want to hit your subject with the touch of that touch screen it’s not going to happen on this display it just is impossible so that’s one area where i wish you know i i assume sony is going to make a change in the future i don’t think we’re going to be relegated or stuck with what we have right now and look it’s not a bad thing this is a really dynamic camera i think that sony did an excellent job and when you take into account what preceded it the fx6 is pretty amazing but again i think the xlr input being lost with this top handle it’s a blessing and a curse all at the same time and i think in large part most videographers probably have more beefs with the top handle system than praise for it i personally like it but i could see just from the xlr input alone from that stance as well as i don’t think the design of the mic holder here on the right side which i also have on my fx3 is the best in the world i like that we’ve got controls i like the audio quality off of a built-in mic is solid but once that

goes away what are you left with and while we have mounting points here and a hot shoe which is good again there are elements of this top handle that need to live inside the body that’s just really obvious to me now the menu system and that i think are the two most major critiques of this camera some will argue that the nd filter is a little bit noisy the system i think that that’s really nitpicking because i think having an nd filter that now is variable and in addition to that is automatic has an auto mode rather is huge especially this form factor when it comes to stabilization you’re pretty much up the creek um but not really uh because this does like many sony cameras capture uh the gyroscope uh data or gyroscopic data so that in post it can apply uh stabilization so that’s a positive thing something sony’s incorporating again across a lot of their cameras that i think is really smart both in the consumer and prosumer and professional line i think it’s brilliant um another option better to have and you know if you don’t need it great but if you need it it’s really nice to have it there and remember with the menu system even though it’s it’s clunky if you’re not already accustomed to it you’re going to be able to do what you need to when it comes to

custom customizing this and i think that’s what a lot of users are going to do for the most part um you know so that’s another thing to be very much aware of i love the number of record buttons it may seem cheesy but that’s part of why i like my fx3 one of the things that i prefer on my fx3 besides obviously the form factor is the fact that i can shoot stills now the majority of you who are buying this aren’t going to care at all about the fact that this is not going to shoot a still i mean it’s a full-frame video camera but it does have a 10 megapixel sensor that again is essentially the equivalency of what you will find in the a7 s3 and the fx3 which we all know they’re great still cameras in spite of being video cameras at heart so you know had sony enabled this still uh capability in the fx6 i don’t think it would be a bad thing but it’s a clear statement that they’re not going to make a cinema camera a still camera in any way shape or form another thing to note is that those of you have super 35 lenses you’re not going to be using them here because remember this is full frame and i know a lot of users have collections of super 35 that they expect to be able to use i mean sony was really hard on the super 35 push for years and now we’re shooting beautiful video full frame no need for it and that’s just the way things work at this point so you can still use them but you’ll be cropping so much you’ll be

giving up fidelity and i do not think the exchange of using those lenses you have a collection of and giving up video quality is going to make sense to anyone that shoots video for a living but something i needed to make mention of and that’s you know when i did my comparison of uh the pz28 to 135 to uh what is it the 18 uh i’m forgetting what the end of that range is if it’s 118 but the point is is that that was an aps-c you know blends designed to be a super 35 power zoom lens to correct the issues or the critiques of the f4 28 to 135 pc and you know by chance i ended up picking the right lens in the long run because now the glass i have there is adaptable here and fully leverages this system whereas had i purchased the more expensive aps-c super 35 version i would have been up the creek so it just goes to show you that you never know it quite exactly sony themselves even where the tech trail is going to lead when it comes to the end result at least right now here in 2021 battery life on here is excellent this is the smaller u35 bp so you know you’re generally going to get roughly two hours of battery life out of this as opposed to the four hours out of the big boy that i shared in my first look and this this is um you know a very expensive but very good battery if you need the runtime this is another element i really like about the camera because you know my fx3 well it’s a tiny camera compared to this even though this is still really small when you compare it to the balance of cinema cameras it competes with and i didn’t mention this is netflix approved if you want to you know shoot something for netflix you’re good

to go but having that run time without any sort of dtap is a big deal um of course with my fx3 again we’re ruling out we’re forgetting about the fact that it’s not a true cinema camera like this but i you know i have to use a dummy battery and that’s my only route to getting better battery life using traditional fz100 batteries is kind of a joke for still or for mixed i would say still and video use hybrid use perfectly fine but for my channel i’m hardwired i mean that’s the way i have to go now if i had a camera like this and i had battery type like this battery capability like this different story and i think most people who pick up the fx6 you’re going to want to get a couple of batteries at least but again this all really depends on what you’re going to do i do not recommend getting the 24 to 105 kit lens i mean optically it’s good it’s what i’m filming on now i think it does a really good job it’s it’s a good pairing for the autofocus system employed with the fx 3 that i’m shooting on as well as the fx6 and even you know higher end cameras in sony’s lineup i’m not going to say the fx9 just because again if i’m not recommending it here why would i tell you to go get it for the fx9 but part of the reason i’m not recommending it even though it’s optically sound and fine i think f4 is perfectly fine for the majority of applications that a camera like this is going to see on a routine basis the issue is more so it

cannot zoom smoothly at least i you know the first copy that i reviewed that sony sent over and the one i purchased were all sticky on the zoom so from that point of view it’s a good hybrid lens but if i was exclusively shooting video and i needed ever to transition said video and manually zoom and i know some of you are gonna say you’re never gonna manually zoom you know you’re going to have fixed shots and that’s it and that’s fine but for those of you that do care about the transition it’s just not going to go well with that kit lens so i find it odd that sony’s pairing that lens as opposed to the 28 to 135 which i’m going to mount on here right now but i also know why sony isn’t pairing that 28 to 135 with this kit it’s because the beauty of this kit is its form factor and as soon as you put that 28 to 135 on here it becomes a little bit of a monster whereas right now it is very easily manageable and the reason i don’t have the hand grip on it is because frankly the majority of the time that i used this i used the top handle now again it really depends on what you’re shooting but being that you know i feel like you know if you’re going to be using this you know for interviews or on a tripod which is really the way at least i would be looking at this piece of hardware for my own use here on the channel there’s no reason to have the hand grip i’m a one-man show this is a great additional piece of hardware for those that need it i love that all of the controls are here including customizable buttons you can see six is even hidden there on the interior of the grip i dig it i think it’s well made the entire camera exudes

quality by the way it is weather shield we don’t know to what degree but it is for anyone that’s wondering so while i really do like the hand grip i for me it’s not a necessity but for many of you i’m sure it will be and uh it’s good to have there’s no question about it there’s no argument against having this hand grip it’s really convenient it’s really comfortable and that’s part of what’s awesome about this camera is that it is really flexible and the fact that it’s lightweight enough to one hand like this with a really high quality 16 to 35 g master is already a great starting point now i also tested this out with the 12 to 24 gm also an incredible lens for still and video application and the results are you know equally astounding what you’re going to need is all going to be about your style of shooting but let me go ahead and pop this off because i want to show you um what the uh the kit looks like with the old kit lens which of course um has been done away with don’t freak out about the fact that the sensor is exposed will all survive i’m going to turn it down right now but it is a really nice camera i have to say you know through the course of using this which was only a few weeks i was really tempted to you know and started at first when i started using this i felt like i’d made a huge mistake trying to line this up i felt i’d made a huge mistake

not going with this camera but i also started to realize that any inference i was making about what i could potentially do with this was really overshooting my personal needs uh here with the channel because realistically speaking again if i was doing commercial shoots for clients i think this is a no-brainer i mean it has pretty much every feature and the critiques that i and the majority of people that pick it up are really it’s nitpick special i mean again the low light performance paired with the autofocus system and the nd filter pretty much takes everyone to the woodshed and then the form factor modular even if it’s not perfect the next generation probably will correct sony’s pretty good about listening um the color science being the best it’s ever been from sony right now arguably the best in the game those are the type of things i mean the fact that you can just take this out and shoot with it in auto and get amazing results and then if you care about the s and q it’s there too i just think sony did an excellent job all around now with a lens like this you’re going to get a much better experience than the kit lens that i’ve been talking about the 24 to 105 f4 it’s also f4 better range in my opinion not as wide at 28 versus 24 but to have the power zoom really nice now if you want to spend a lot more

money because this is a 2500 piece of glass you can go a different way i mean sony’s got a nice lineup of cinema lenses that are much more pricey than this i covered the 16 to 35 a while back the power zoom on that that motor is near silent it’s uh the the actual steps for selecting the different zoom speeds are much more finite than this piece of glass so you can tell the difference in quality both optically and in overall performance this doesn’t have that sort of finite control but as a kit lens i think this is a better choice than the 24 to 105 but remember i believe sony has selected the 24 to 105 because this is a little bit slower to focus and again form factor i mean this is a monster compared to the 24 to 105 that i’m filming on now and you might say well you’re filming it on filming on it right now it yeah i am but as i mentioned earlier my shots aren’t transitioning they’re staying in one position if i knew i needed to zoom i would not want to have that lens right there because i wouldn’t be able to create any smooth transitions manually and that’s something you expect out of a cinema lens and it’s just not a cinema lens i don’t know what else to say some people will say this

isn’t a cinema lens but it’s miles better when it comes to that capability than the the good old well much newer 24 to 105 that’s now old in terms of other things you need to know the tally lights of course are a given they’re a good thing to have they function as expected that’s another reason i really love my fx3 but ultimately again if you know you need this you’re not going to be unsatisfied with what it brings together and i didn’t even mention on the the monitor of course applicable expectations are granted between peking zebra and assign you have essentially everything you would expect to get out of this camera all in one package and it’s just it’s really nice i don’t forget the tc it’s just it really is complete so and that’s why i feel like when you do start to pick out the things that bother you the nitpicking has ensued um you’re not gonna have any overheating issues with this granted i didn’t go into 120 degree fahrenheit weather with it i still saw some pretty warm conditions here it did get as warm as about 90 degrees while i was using it again fahrenheit high humidity but this thing didn’t miss a step and again it just would be too much camera for my application but i think for anyone who is doing commercial work again interviews news run and gun this thing is going to work and it’s not going to miss a beat you want to go manual go manual you want to lean on that autofocus and auto nd filter

shoot in bright sunlight you’re going to get phenomenal results and that’s the cool part about it is because whether you’re in bright sunlight or it’s nighttime this thing is going to put out some amazing video and um yeah there’s not much else to tell other than that sony hit it out of the park with the fx6 and i think this might be the best cinema camera here in 2021 at its price point but even if we take price aside i think the camera is just between build quality performance it gets expensive i don’t think the starting price is bad i think 6000 is reasonable in the cinema camera world but you know i said in my first look the whole premise of me reviewing this checking it out would be to determine whether or not i made the wrong choice i think i made the right choice and that’s even with the fx6 being a phenomenal piece of hardware it’s just more camcorder and i called it that that i need this is a video camera that you know steps its game up to another level that my channel doesn’t require now down the road might i want to pick one of these up when the market isn’t quite so strangled and they’ve depreciated some definitely because i’ve got the glass you know other lenses i tested on this camera are like you know the old zeiss the zoni f4 16 to 35 which i don’t know how much longer i’m going to keep that piece of glass but it is really small i’m going to show you what that looks

like also while we’re here because this is the biggest uh that this rig ever got i mean i didn’t end up putting my 200 to 600 on here i did throw on my 100 to 400 that’s a really nice pairing on this as well that i think shouldn’t be overlooked because it’s just a phenomenal lens but when we’re talking about really compact form factor throwing on one of these guys is pretty sweet i mean the smaller the full-frame lens as long as you’re not throwing away quality that you can get onto this body that’s kind of what makes this really unique not kind of it is i mean this thing just keeps shrinking right and get rid of the top handle and you’ve got as long as you’re not going to cry about the loss of the actual viewfinder and the xlr audio by viewfinder i meant display you know now you’re in a whole nother world and this is the trend we’ve got going right is that panasonic just launched um recently their box cinema camera and you know sony when they first previewed um what the future of their cinema cameras and mirrorless business would be they were essentially the fx6 that’s what it looked like you know it was just a metal cage with a full frame sensor and now it’s been fully flushed out and it’s pretty amazing i remember you know 10 years ago where we were at i remember my first hd camcorder consumer model which was really

expensive back in the day i remember my first 4k camcorder and i’m not a filmmaker but i can appreciate extreme progress and sony’s made a lot of it so while this is still not perfect i think it’s perfect for the majority of users in terms of checking off every box they could possibly want especially again at that 600 price point and remember you don’t have to use the compact flash express type a cards i think the money is frankly better spent for many of you in an external recorder but that does undo this form factor but remember we’ve also lost our xlr already with this form factor so that’s another issue let me grab the 100 to 400 g master because as i said i feel like that’s another really nice lens to have on here and that’s probably where i’m going to wrap things up i mean i just wanted everyone to have a good idea of at least my impressions again i’m not a filmmaker this is a prosumer’s view really at the end of the day as i open up my travel bag from taking this out to shoot and i think that that’s important to get you know there you want a deep dive on all of the capabilities there are a lot of youtubers that will walk you through that and they are filmmakers unlike myself and they do pride themselves on focusing solely on video production i also think the new 70 to 200 that’s rumored the refresh that’s coming out

of the f280 g master i think that’s going to be a really interesting camera or excuse me lens to use with this camera i think it’s going to be more popular obviously than the 100 to 400 that i’m about to put on it but this is still one of my favorites because it’s incredibly versatile it’s compact it is smooth uh through the entire range unlike the 24 to 105 infamous lens i’m filming on now so you know it’s really a matter of what you’re after i mean that’s what i feel like is the most important thing with this cinema camera and if you know what you need which most of you i think do you’re not going to be unhappy with this little guy that happens to be one of the strongest performers on the market and that is why it is um on extreme backorder you know i keep mentioning that it has a lot to do with you know supply chain being basically strangled because you have to remember where um most processors are being manufactured and components for cameras like this and the one i’m filming on which is also permanently out of stock pretty much the fx3 is constantly in and out those countries don’t have access to vaccines like the us so you know if these cameras were being made in the

u.s it would be a different story they are not they’re being manufactured in countries like thailand and you know if things are being made in countries where you know the the factory’s got to get shut down once there is you know a rampant uh case of covid that’s making its way through the factory and the only way to essentially save lives is to shut down production stops for two weeks production stops for a month and then this you know creates a ripple effect through the entire industry so it’s not just photographic equipment it’s pc components automotive components it’s so many different things that rely on modern uh you know processors and just components that are associated with said processors and then all of a sudden the supply chain you know has to come to a full stop because at the end of the day human life is more important than whether or not uh uri gets our latest and greatest piece of gear so that is where things are at and i think once this comes back into stock it’s still going to be um one of the most coveted cameras on the market because it’s got everything it really does and there you have it again just broken down and i mean there’s no way to preview what you’re shooting right now unless you’re using a

wireless adapter which is ideal obviously this is the type of situation where you want one of those wireless transmitters that you can just throw on and if you have this on a gimbal you can easily preview what you’re shooting you know and use a compact flash express type a or a traditional sdxc card just remember you’ve got to get the right speed for the footage you’re recording in the codec you’re recording again i don’t think i’ve i stressed enough what a great job sony’s done with the codex you know years ago sony was ridiculed for their codex now their codecs are best in class so it’s just they’ve come a really long way and i’m glad that i’ve been along for the ride granted i wasn’t you know on the cinema tip but now this sort of tech being part of sony’s library or catalog of capability is just really impressive stuff and i didn’t intend for this video to run this long people will be complaining about where the video samples are youtube is filled with them folks you can get as many video samples as you want i have said over and over again i am not a filmmaker i shall not pretend to be one i have a limited range of knowledge when it comes to this what i know is that in the real world this thing is fantastic and what i’ve shot with it makes me feel like a filmmaker and i’m not one so that really tells you a lot about what the fx6 is capable of um you know one uh transmitter that i’m getting ready to unbox soon is this right here the uh zolink 600s but i’ve covered a lot of holy land products as well you know the the mars 400 pro is a really nice piece of kit

that i think is a good fit for this um so there are a lot of different options you know once you rig it out this is just a little cinema box i mean this is what a cinema camera should be and remember with the top handle that gets all the flack you can you know bring in eight channels of audio um so i mean while this gets a rough you know rough reputation for being like a proprietary forced on you system i don’t think it’s as bad as people think granted i’m not using it on my fx3 right now and it’s not identical but it’s very similar it borrows the exact same design um i’m happy with it i wish that my top handle was a little more like this one but uh you know it’s okay that it’s not again for me the fx3 was the right way to go i love that i’ve got the ability to shoot a still when i want one it’s a little it’s more of a hybrid obviously it’s missing quite a bit of the capability that this has that’s like an understatement but it still has such phenomenal video capability paired with fantastic ergonomics build quality and it emulates so much of this in terms of you know the cageless design even though i do feel like you still will end up with a cage just like here you will be apt to end up with a cage in spite of the fact that we have so many quarter 20 mounts i mean

especially once the top handle comes off it’s quarter 20 city but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to want to rig it out i think you should rig it out i think it’s still meant to be even though it’s under two pounds so hopefully this gives everyone a pretty good idea that i think the fx6 is probably the best cinema camera best video camera on the market here in 2021 not just for sony e-mount users but for just about anyone and if you’re a prosumer and you’ve got the budget for it i don’t see why not i think you will be better served by the fx3 or the a7 s3 just like i’m using right now but if you really want you know the cream of the the crop without jumping up to the fx9 sony has given you an option and um i didn’t mention the cooling on the bottom as well but it’s obvious i mean they’ve made sure that this thing is not going to overheat and it’s a pretty amazing piece of kit anyway that wraps things up at least in terms of what i have to say about this camera which has been really nothing but good things very few gripes with the fx6 at six thousand dollars if you can find it in stock i do not think you will feel that you have made a mistake it’s just a matter of figuring out the

accessories and the glass good thing is years ago the complaint used to be there wasn’t enough glass now there’s a ton of high quality native e-mount glass and you’re not going to have a problem when it comes to figuring out what you want to pair with this and if you want to adapt stuff you can also of course but you will always do best especially now with that wide array of native e-mount full-frame glass you’re going to do best going with sony it’s also going to complement this auto focus system the best so if you care about that don’t neglect it spend the extra cash and get yourself some nice e-mount modern glass to go with it super 35 you already know you’re going to deal with crop factor and i don’t recommend that i think that’s a bad um i think it’s just a it’s the wrong way to go um and if you’re that married to them you probably should consider something else which i think would be a mistake because the fx6 is all that when it comes to the modern video camera here in 2021 at the right price right size and right feature set not perfect but still fantastic any questions or comments please feel free to post them hit that like button and as usual please feel free to subscribe and please stay safe later

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