Sony didn't try to keep the roadmap of the PXW-FX9 a secret. Virtually since it's inception in 2019, the company has shared its plans for the camera which would include 16-bit RAW external recording, internal full-frame 4K DCI, and full HD at 180fps, among others in a future firmware update. Sony has announced firmware 2.0 will be available this fall.
The FX9 is a run-and-gun camera that takes advantage of the strengths behind the FS7 and FS7II and blends them together. But Sony took it a step further and infused a new sensor, a new processor, and color science based on VENICE, Sony's CineAlta flagship camera. On top of that, the FX9 touts the fast autofocus found on its popular Alpha series cameras. It's essentially a hybrid of the best things Sony has to offer – well, almost; depending on your preference.
The FX9 is a full-frame 4K camera that oversamples a 6K (6008 x 3168) Exmor R image sensor to produce its 4K images. It also has a unique color science dubbed S-Cinetone that produces colors similar to VENICE, but with a tad more contrast in comparison to something like s709. The autofocus system is very good, and you can expect exceptional results even in low light.
Firmware version 2.0 will support full-frame and Super 35 4K DCI at 24p, 25p, and 30p. It will also add full-frame 4K DCI and 4K UHD at 50p and 60p. The images will be oversampled from a 5K cropped area of the 6K full-frame sensor. Basically, what Sony is doing here is oversampling 5K to produce 4K 60p and 50p. The same can be said for Super 35 mode. Full HD at 150 and 180p has been added as well.
XDCA-FX9 Extension UnitThe update will also enable 4K 16-bit RAW to an external recorder. The one caveat is that you need the XDCA-FX9 extension unit to output 16-bit RAW to the external recorder. The accessory costs around $2,500. With it, it allows for a shoulder mount to be added to the camera. It also has has additional inputs and outputs and a V-mount battery slot. On the unit is a 4-pin XLR DC power input, D-Tap, and a 4-pin hirose for power. There is also a LAN interface and two USB ports that provide live streaming and file transfer. As of now, only the Atomos Shogun 7 will support the RAW format. This is odd since Sony has its own 4K RAW external recorder, the AXS-R7.
Additionally, Sony says version 2.0 will expand the camera’s Eye AF technology and touchscreen operation for focus control and menu setting on the viewfinder. Adding the ability to control focus by touch screen will make it easier to track and focus on subjects. The firmware will include the ability to load user 3D LUTs as well and a HDR shooting function in Hybrid Log Gamma.
Firmware 2.0 Features
- 16-bit RAW output
- Full-frame 4K DCI / UHD 60p/50p
- Super 35 4K DCI
- FHD 180fps
- Selectable ISO up to 102,400
- Touchscreen focus control
- Face/Eye Only AF
- Face/Eye Priority AF
- Assignable button for Focus transition speed
- 3D Luts
- 6G-SDI support
- DWX wireless audio support via XDCA-FX9
Firmware 2.0 is expected to arrive in October. The update will be available on the FX9 support page.