We've been counting down the days until October. That's when Sony was expected to release Version 2 firmware for the FX9. Good news. You no longer have to wait as the free update is available today.
No Film School highlighted what's packed into this significant update previously, but here's what you should know according to Sony.
5K Full-Frame Crop
A FFcrop 5K option has been added. When the record mode is set to FF 6K, FFcrop 5K, or S35 4K, video formats can now be set at 4096 x 2160 and recorded internally. Additionally, a "24" option has been added as a frequency in the project menu. Sony points out that 4096 x 2160 is supported only when the camera is set to FF 5K, FFcrop 5K or S35 4K modes. So if you plan on shooting in other modes, you won't be able to record 4K DCI.
Autofocus via Touchscreen
Focusing now supports both face detection and eye detection. When a focus area is set to a flexible spot or zone, the focus can be adjusted using the touchscreen. Additionally, AF transition speed and AF subject shift sensitivity can now be assigned to customized buttons. In Cine El mode, face and eye detection AF performance has also been improved when Gamma is set to S-Log 3.
The touchscreen autofocus is the one areas No Film School would like to test further. We previously tested the autofocus of FX9 in very low light conditions, and it performed exceptionally well. Better than we expected. The FX9 was able to keep focus on foreground objects and then adjust focus on the headlights of moving vehicles without fault. Headlights tend to be a little soft when it comes to autofocus, but the FX9 did a great job finding focus. It will be interesting to see how responsive the touchscreen is in comparison.
User 3D LUTs
It is now possible to import own custom 3D LUTS via an SD card directly into the FX9. CUBE files (*.cube) in 17-point or 33-point 3D LUT flavors generated from RAW Viewer or DaVinci Resolve can be imported allowing for simplified workflows on set. It's possible to store over a dozen different LUTs on the camera.
16-bit RAW Output
You can now record 16-bit RAW using the optional XDCA-FX9 extension unit. Technically, 16-bit RAW isn't available yet. The signal is actually converted from 16-bit to 12-bit ProRes RAW when using an Atomos external recorder. No word on when or if Sony will unlock the full 16-bit RAW. That said, the accessory unit is pricey costing around $2,500. But with it comes a 4-pin XLR DC power input, D-Tap, and a 4-pin hirose option for power. There is also a LAN interface and two USB ports that provide live streaming and file transfer.
High Dynamic Range Shooting
Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) is now supported with the two following types of HLG available:
- Natural: Characteristic conforming to ITU-R, BT.2100(HLG)
- Live: Characteristic conforming to ITU-R
According to Sony, when HDR is selected, the color space is expanded to ITU-R BT.2020 equivalent.
When using the High Base ISO setting, the base ISO can now be expanded to 102,400. When the gain setting has been set to dB, values can reach up to 27dB.
Other improvements include 6G SDI output support at 4K/QFHD at 29.97, 25, 24, or 23.98. Improved image quality at S35 2K. You can now record 150fps and 180fps at full-frame 2K. Better audio functionality when paired with the XDCA- FX9, USB tethering support, the iris indicator will now display T stops, and improved security measures for passwords. The firmware can be downloaded on Sony's support page.
Sony already has in the works Version 3.0. So what's the most intriguing part of this update? Let us know in the comments below.