Published Feb 23, 2021
Sony has formally announced the much-leaked FX3 full-frame video camera. The FX3 marks the entry point to the Cinema Line of video cameras, and wears Alpha branding, setting it between the FX6 and the a7S III.
It’s built around the same 12MP full-frame BSI-CMOS sensor as the a7S III and promises the same UHD 4K capabilities, including 60p capture from the full sensor width and 4K/120p with a slight crop. It offers the same choice of bitrates and codecs as the a7S III, meaning 10-bit 4:2:2 in a choice of XAVC HS (H.265) or XAVC S (H.264) with matching bitrates. It can also shoot XAVC S-I, an All-I H.264 format. It doesn’t have the DCI (1.89:1 ratio) options of the FX6.
The FX3 has a compact, dust and moisture sealed body with a cooling fan mounted outside the sealed area, immediately next to the sensor and processor, allowing longer recording times than the a7S III. Like the a7S III it includes both on-sensor phase detection and an image stabilization mechanism for the sensor, reinforcing its run-and-gun credentials.
Unlike its stills/video sibling, the FX3 has no viewfinder and features an array of tripod mount style 1/4-20 UNC connectors along its top-plate and sides, allowing accessories to be directly mounted to the camera with the need for a cage.
Included with the camera is a top-mounting handle with built-in XLR / 1/4″ TRS adapter. This also allows up to four-channel audio to be fed into the camera.
This adapter, the camera’s tally lights and more video-focused ergonomics set it apart from the a7S III and go towards justifying a $400 premium in its list price, compared to that of the existing camera.
The a7S III will be available from mid March 2021 with a recommended selling price of $3899.