What's New From the Cinema Line?
This firmware update for the FX-3 cascades down additional Sony Cinema line features from the FX-9 and FX-6, including the following:
- Built-in de-squeeze view for anamorphic lenses (1.3 & 2x) (disables SteadyShot stabilization when activated)
- DCI 4K in true 24p frame rate (4096 x2160)
- True 180-degree shutter support for DCI 4K 24p, at 1/24, 1/48, and 1/96 shutter speeds
- Cam ID, Reel # (for filename usage), and camera position designation (A, B, C, or D) for improved workflow integrations with other Cinema line cameras
Inheriting Popular Alpha Features and New Refinements
Recently, there have been discussions in the community about the lack of firmware updates for flagship Sony cameras. The sentiment has been that useful new features that are released in newer bodies should also trickle up to the higher end bodies that seem capable of offering these software based updates via firmware. The Sony A1, a7S III, and FX-3 have been the topic of much discussion about this sentiment, and this release from Sony is a sign that they are listening to the creative community.
One of the most requested software updates from the community has been focus breathing compensation, and this firmware for the FX-3 finally delivers that update. Creators can now take advantage of the built-in focus breathing compensation, however it's important to note that it's only available on native Sony lenses at this time. Hopefully, we'll see third-party support for it at some point, but this is a great step in the right direction, and hopefully a sign that we'll see some of these popular software updates come to the remaining Sony Alpha flagship cameras.
In addition to the inclusion of focus breathing compensation, this firmware update for the FX-3 also adds some new and convenient features to its S&Q mode. I was able to map S&Q mode to any custom button of my choice for fast access and also discovered new frame rates that play nicely with the new DCI 4K 24p update. There's an option to record in 48p/96p now in S&Q mode, enabling fast and convenient slow motion recordings that will be ready to use straight out of camera with your native DCI 4K 24p footage.
New and Improved Creators' App for Smartphone Control
Sony recently announced a new collaborative platform for creators called Creators' Cloud.
According to Sony: "Creators' Cloud is a platform that supports creative work from shooting to production by combining advanced Sony camera technology with cloud-based AI." It's also a mobile application that now replaces Imaging Edge Mobile for smartphone control with the FX-3. I found it easy to use, and pairing it to the FX-3 was seamless.
I enjoyed using the new Creators'App with the FX-3, and look forward to using it further to take advantage of its collaborative Creators' Cloud features.
Conclusion and Test Results
I came away impressed and inspired after taking the new FX-3 firmware for a spin. Sony has listened to the community, and even taken things a step further by adding new features. We're getting highly requested features like focus breathing compensation, and all-new Cinema line features like true 24p and anamorphic lens support.
I'm personally of the belief that nothing worthwhile comes hastily. This update is a sign that Sony is committed to continual improvement of the tools that power our creative community, and that they're paying attention to our needs and concerns. By making an existing product even better, Sony is focusing on refinement, and empowering the creative community with new tools and features. This update provides even more value for creators who rely on their Sony cameras for their creativity, imagination, and livelihood.
Take a peek at my in-depth overview of the firmware update for the FX-3 by watching the video above! I put it through it's paces at the Museum of Flight in Tukwilla, WA. The shots speak for themselves, and I'm super happy with the results.
What are your thoughts on this update or Sony firmware updates in general? Share your feedback in the comments below!
good news! But as a "flagship" owner Im asking where is the fw upgrade for the A1?!
Gotta agree with you on that one! Hopefully this is a sign of more firmware updates coming our way. Fingers crossed!