Take your filmmaking farther with the Sony Cinema Line FX30

Interested in the latest Sony technology? We’ll be hosting representatives in both Colorado and California this October! Stop in to talk shop, pose your most esoteric questions, and maybe even see some rare, cutting-edge gear.

All visits 10 a.m.–4 p.m. local timeCOCA
Tuesday, Oct. 11thColorado SpringsMill Valley
Wednesday, Oct. 12thWheat RidgeMenlo Park
Thursday, Oct. 13thDenverPleasant Hill
Friday, Oct. 14thLone TreeDublin
Saturday, Oct. 15thBoulderSacramento

While it shares a very similar body with the Cinema Line FX3, the newly-announced Sony Cinema Line FX30 offers some significant upgrades in performance. Read on for the nitty gritty!

The Cinema Line FX30 (body-only or in a kit with the XLR handle) is expected in late October, but you can click the link below or visit a Mike’s Camera near you to reserve yours today. Sony also announced 320 GB and 640 GB Tough CFexpress Type A cards to accommodate all your high-res video needs—add one on for the same October 24th delivery date.

The body

Like the FX3, the FX30 is a Super35 (i.e., APS-C sized sensor) mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with a hybrid form factor and XLR handle. With its compact form factor, this is a high-quality cinema camera designed for on-the-go recording. At only 2.09 pounds even with battery, memory card, and XLR handle, your arms won’t get tired too quickly, and since it’s even lighter without the handle, this camera is an ideal fit for drone photography and compact gimbals.

Five 1/4″-20 UNC threads found on multiple sides of the camera make it super easy to skip the cage without skipping necessary accessories. Of course, there’s plenty of built-in I/O to support those accessories:

  • HDMI type A output
  • USB C (supports power delivery)
  • Multi/Micro USB (supports timecode sync/TC-IN via adapter)
  • 3.5mm microphone
  • 3.5mm headphone
  • Multi-interface shoe (compatible with numerous Sony accessories)
  • 2x card slots which each support SDXC UHS-II and CFexpress Type A
  • On XLR handle: 2x XLR inputs + 3.5mm input (supporting up to four track recording)

You control it all via the generous physical controls (including a power-zoom control with variable rates) and a side-opening, 2.36 million dot vari-angle LCD touch panel. Two tally lamps—well, three if you count the REC button, which also lights up—and a red frame around the LCD monitor ensure you and your talent are always aware when recording is happening.

And, of course, the whole thing is resistant to dust and moisture. It’d have to be, or else you couldn’t enjoy that on-the-go form factor to its fullest extent!

The specs

The Cinema Line FX30 supports a wide variety of recording formats with a high degree of customizability. Here are the highlights of what that 20.1 MP Exmor R APS-C sized sensor can do:

  • 6K oversampling
  • 4k 120p with full autofocus
  • 4K 60p with no time limit thanks to graphite alloy heatsink and as-needed, silent cooling fan
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording
  • 4K 16 bit RAW output to external recorder via HDMI
  • 5-axis IBIS plus IS Active Mode for extreme handheld recording

Focus looks to be good, as we’ve come to expect from Sony: Real-time Eye, Real-time Tracking (human, dog, cat, bird); AF Assist intelligently switches between AF and MF; Focus Map makes depth of field easy to visualize, and more. There’s even a Breathing Compensation feature compatible with select lenses.

Another feature that caught my eye is the ability to simultaneously record low-bitrate HD proxy files in nearly all formats to reduce computer strain and speed up workflow. All that high quality can really slow you down in post sometimes! Sony has redesigned the main menu with the intention of streamlining the workflow as well.

And, yes, it can work as a top-tier streaming camera or webcam.

Color handling and dynamic range

Finally, what about the way the images actually look? Good news there, too, based on the capabilities of previous Cinema Line cameras and the feature set announced for the FX30.

Dual Base ISO (800/2500) with a standard 100-32,000 range. This is the foundation of the Cine EI feature (including Cine EI Quick, which automatically selects base ISO). The very condensed explanation: by changing the base ISO to something higher, less gain is required in low light situations and significantly less grain is produced. This not only makes for higher quality low light footage but, perhaps more importantly, that footage is more consistent with what is captured in bright light. Ultimately we’re looking at an impressive 14 stops of dynamic range or more.

Apply user LUTs to LCD and HDMI output or embed in clips. This neat feature ensures that what you see is not only what you get but what everyone else gets. The FX30 supports LUTs in the .cube format.

A broad selection of color profiles including S-Log3 and S-Gamut3.Cine (for best grade-ability) and S-Cinetone (for in-camera beauty) makes the Cinema Line FX30 compatible with any workflow. A variety of Creative Looks allows even more in-camera experimentation, if you’re so moved.

Product images

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