Sony FX6 E-Mount Reviews
Lives up to the Hype
Rated 5 out of 5
Let me just say we own several camera packages and it is just an amazing camera overall. We were back ordered since October and received in June: So far it has been on two shoots already and has worked flawlessly. The menu takes a minute to get a familiar aside from that no complaints so far. Variable ND is clutch and in auto it is WOW. Superlight even with the tilta cage, still trying to find the perfect balance of lens with Ronin R2 so once we have that squared we might edit the post after. The camera already came with the new firmware installed so the new touch autofocus feature and cache was great to start right out of the box.
Fantastic Video Camera, But Skip the 24-105 f/4
Rated 5 out of 5
I've had this camera for a little over 3 months now. I have covered this camera extensively on my YouTube channel (Muon Video.) Of the things I discuss is how glass makes such a massive difference. Like many others, I used the FX6 along with the 24-105 f/4 and it simply didn't make any sense in that it is NOT a servo video lens, but a stills lens. Cheeky move by Sony perhaps?
So the servo lens you want is not even the more recently released, $5000, 16-35mm servo lens, but instead -- the sub-$3K, 28-135mm f/4. And yes, the 28-135 f/4 power zoom is a seven year old lens, but with autofocus improvement in Sony bodies, it makes entirely more more sense on this camera. Plus, the lens stabilization works fairly well. I would even say better than the 24-105 (perhaps that's also due to the weight.)
So with all this lens talk out of the way, let's get to the camera. Highlight features include 4K 60P, and 4K 120P along with the simply terrific internal ND filter system that works near flawless (save for the auto-ND feature that sometimes exposes for the space, instead of the subject.) In a world where 6K, or 8K resolution video steals headlines the most -- the internal ND filter system has been my favorite feature on this camera.
Filming is easy, and not too complicated apart from the learning curve of the menu system that seems almost intentionally technocratic, and unintuitive.
Things that could be better on the FX6 (mainly hardware issues):
- No XLR input on the body alone. Meaning that you give up audio when you detach the top handle (aside from scratch audio on the body.)
- Also the included monitor isn't the best quality (as is the case with Sonys.)
- The mic holder is limited. Thankfully, I have a Sony mic from the XLR accessory for the FX3 and A7S3 -- that mic fits like a charm. But my other, higher quality mics do not. Also the mic holder could be stronger material-wise (I have a substitute mic holder on order from Sideways to circumvent this.)
Comparing the FX6 and FX9, the FX6 is extraordinarily light (2 lbs), which I find a huge plus versus the FX9's over double the weight (4.4 lbs.) The FX9 does offer 6K, and more detail with broadcast features, for me the FX6 does the job though, and it doesn't require that massive brick on the end of it for RAW. You can attach a Ninja V+ via SDI and do RAW that way on the FX6.
Overall, loving this little cinema camera.
Easily one of the best cameras on the market
Rated 5 out of 5
This camera is an easy buy. compact, built in ND, great dynamic range, price great, this thing is a no brainer for owner operators
Looks awesome but...
Rated 3 out of 5
After waiting 3 months to get this cool camera, I was so excited to open it when it arrived. Unfortunately the handgrip interface to the body caused some intermittent lock-up issues with the camera. This issue requires me to send the camera in for service. Thus, my review is both heartbroken and hopeful. Sad to have to wait even LONGER to get the camera but here's hoping I can improve my viewpoint.
The Perfect Camera For Me
Rated 5 out of 5
This is a phenomenal Camera. The size, the weight, the Ergonomics are perfect for what I bought it for, which is small, one-man-band operation. Once the menus where customized the way I wanted, the camera is easy to operate and beautiful in term of image quality. The fact that I can also record 4k prores Raw straight out of the camera to an Atmos Ninja is incredible. The battery life is good, the autofocus feels very human. The eye tracking and face tracking only feature works great. The Variable ND is a total game-changer. Between that and the fact that the camera virtually sees in the dark is incredible.
I pair it with some vintage Canon FF FD lenses via a simple adaptor and the image is beautiful. Couldn't be happier.
Game changing, incredible; the best there is.
Rated 5 out of 5
So for me this was a huge purchase and I looked long and hard at Blackmagic, Canon and of course the RED Komodo. I needed a video camera that can do everything well - commercial, news, music videos, you name it. I'd owned the brilliant FS5 for years and already knew the advantages of an electronic ND filter, small form factor, recording super slow motion (admittedly with a massive Atomos Shogun attached) etc.
Everyone knows the feature list so let me describe the 'real world' experience of using the FX6.
Straight out of the box you switch it on and point it at something and you are immediately open-mouthed. It is set to S-Cinetone by default and everything you point it at - in my case an apple on a coffee table - looks amazing.
The incredible image in XAVC-I is because of a pretty hefty bitrate, so I bought a very expensive CF Express card to go with three Angelbird AV Pro SD's (300mb/s). For some weird reason, I find the Angelbirds can handle anything I throw at them. Don't ask me why! Shooting for social media in 4K I switch to XAVC-L and can shoot with any of my old Sandisk 170mb/s cards. So I was wrong to think I'd have to buy a load of super-expensive cards to use the camera. I also believe that 3rd party manufacturers are bringing out their own CF Express cards so the price should start falling. Anyway the Angelbirds are my
workhorses, try them and have a CF Express as a backup unless you can throw a fortune at new cards of course.
Anyway, the image is stunning. Get this - you can install your own LUT's that are baked-in to the footage. No more being restricted to things like 'Cine 1 / Pro' if you don't want to shoot in Log. If you have a fast turnaround and need a great image straight out of the camera, experiment with some LUTs and install the ones you like. Personally I have Alistair Chapman's amazing Venice LUT installed, a Kodak film LUT and the installed S-Cinetone - between those three I'm sorted. I was shooting in natural light all day today out on the water in bright sunshine and the footage looks incredible. It's based on Slog3 so if you have older Sony cameras that need to match on a multicam shoot (I currently use an A7III on my gimbal for example), set them to Slog and add the same LUT in your edit.
The camera has two base ISO's. I have assigned the number 3 shortcut button to switch between 'Hi' and 'Lo' base ISO. It's great. Then you tweak if you have to with the 'L/M/H' switch on the side.
I seriously thought long and hard about getting the A7SIII and rigging it out with the extra money I'd save. Two main reasons - an EVF and IBIS. But I love using the electronic ND which I had for years on the FS5, I need good XLR inputs and I can't show up on set with something that looks like a toy. So I've got around this by doing two things.
First of all, I have the Portkeys EVF attached with a SmallRig bracket (see my other reviews). That's powered with a Swit battery / Dtap (get new model 3rd party batteries if you need D-Tap, the FX6 will short-out older ones for the FS5/ 7 for example).
Secondly, that issue of not having IBIS. Sony only stabilise their F4 zooms, which is weird. I discovered that Sigma do a great 24 - 70 f2.8 lens with OS but only for Canon / Nikon. They don't make a Sony version so you get the Sigma adapter and hey-presto - behaves like a stabilised Sony lens with great autofocus. Also having the EVF gives you a second point of contact so manual lenses have a natural, steady look. Last of all, the camera writes gyroscope data when you use manual lenses. If you really need to, you can use the free Sony Catalyst Browse software and stabilise using that data, which works brilliantly (check before your shoot, it doesn't write the info to all codec / frame rate combos I believe). Or you can just buy a monopod.
I don't notice any rolling shutter, a decent battery will go on and on. It takes seconds to power-up. Internal sound recording is very good via the XLR inputs.
Any gripes? Only two really. The main one is that I miss having an S35 mode in 4K. I had my eye on all kinds of wonderful S35 cine lenses and now they are a non-starter. There is a workaround using the clear image zoom but you lose quite a lot of picture quality and I wouldn't want to do that for pro work. I wish there were affordable expanders out there by a company like Metabones. I can still use my S35 lenses in HD of course and my news clients still shoot on HD but it is something I miss.
Oh and for some reason the hideous mic holder from the FS5 remains in existence on this camera. A flimsy, rubber attachment that you will start to tear as soon as a fitted mic pulls against the side of your carry case / bag, or someone brushes past it, or the wind blows slightly in the wrong direction. I can only think Sony are funding their annual Christmas party with the money they make from replacements.
Anyway, moving on. Phil Bloom rates this as the best low light camera in the world and I'm not going to disagree. I can shoot 120fps in 4K continuously in low light if I have to. This thing is a beast.
For the work I do - just about anything a client can throw at me - there isn't a camera I'd swap it for. Nobody is asking me to shoot the next Marvel movie with this. The RED Komodo and Blackmagic Pro cine cams don't have the same low light or autofocus capabilities (one of my clients has me shooting interviews with three cameras at once, so yes I need good autofocus sometimes). And the XAVC-I codec is fantastically high quality. Zero need for an external recorder, and if I did need to I could shoot a feature in 16 bit raw on to an Atomos with this thing. Just bonkers.
I've been frantically adding new shots from the last 5 months since I've owned it to my showreel and they stand out a mile. Finally a camera that gives me top-grade results that I can actually afford to buy.
The industry hasn't totally cottoned-on to how amazing this camera is. I still occasionally get asked 'can you shoot on a RED' / 'can you hire an FS7 if you needed to'. Give it a couple more years and everyone will be shooting on one of these. Worth every penny and I expect to use it for years.
A camera you'll have probably for the rest of your life
Rated 5 out of 5
This is a long term review. I got my Sony FX6 June 2021, so I have had this camera for almost a year. My previous camera before this was the Sony A7III, so on price and specs alone, this was a massive jump. Most of my income is based around video but I still think it is good to have a photography camera just in case, as this cannot take photos. I'm sure grabbing 4K stills could work but any photo camera is usually a better option.
I believe if you are getting this camera, it's either because, like me, you do video for a living or you just have some serious cash to drop. This camera is an expensive investment. Not just because the body only is six grand but because you need to invest in pro audio to take advantage of the XLR ports. You need to invest in the expensive batteries, which are great btw. You need to invest in CF express cards especially if you want 4K 120fps. They are pricey but the price is worth it. You need to invest in so much gear to really take advantage of this camera. I have not even mentioned lenses haha
I have probably invested $10,000 - $20,000 just for this camera alone. Not many people can do that, but if you can, this camera will literally last you the rest of your life.
Having the ability to capture the gyro data on all frame rates except 4K 120fps, is GAME CHANGING. It literally looks like it was on a gimbal, even if you run. I usually shoot ultra wide if I run without a gimbal. I have the Sony 14mm GM. This is NOT the same as warp stabilizer in Premiere Pro. Catalyst browse will CHANGE THE WAY YOU FILM EVERYTHING. It's literally magic. Not sure if it does work in 1080p 240fps, as I have not tried it yet.
This is another thing I wanted to mention. There are features of this camera I have not even used yet and it has been over a year. The longevity of this camera is insane.
A firmware update came out recently which added some Sony A7 IV features like focus breathing on Sony lenses and touch to focus on the touch screen. All welcomed benefits.
If anyone is wondering, can this be mounted on a gimbal, the answer is yes. I have it balanced very well on the DJI RS2. Highly recommend, but you need to just have the camera body with lens mounted. I take the LCD that comes with it and mount it on a gimbal handle or the best use IMO. The gyro data is great as I previously mentioned but there is just something special about a gimbal, plus you can use it for smooth 4K 120fps.
A big reason to get this camera is the variable ND filters and yes, they are incredible. Going from a dark environment to light environment, the camera exposes in mere seconds and you don't notice a single change, even while recording. It is such an amazing feature. S-Cinetone is amazing. It is always my go to and is very useable in post. The lowlight of this camera is unmatched, but that's Sony for you.
Overall, this camera is amazing. It would have been nice to have XLR on the body or the ability to shoot photos, but those are small inconveniences as everything else is out of this world.
If you can afford this camera and the various accessory investments to use this properly, you will not regret it. This camera is even Netflix approved. I know Sony will continue to support it for years to come, so I am looking forward to what new firmware updates they bring.
Rated 5 out of 5
Love, love love the weight and form factor of the FX6. Mostly used for interviews and it does the job very well. I don't know why people who have not used / owned this camera are giving 1 star reviews because it is backordered. You're giving the camera a 1 star review because you gave up on waiting for it? Makes no sense.