The Sony FX6 has been a wild success, so much so that most folks are waiting months and months for the camera to come available and off of backorder. Meanwhile, the Sony FX9 has been quietly shipping to happy cinematographers the world over. When the FX9 came out, I was in the position to move on from my trusty FS7 and the logical next camera seemed like the full frame, feature-heavy FX9.
I am not the type to just buy gear on a whim. For me, all of this stuff is a tool for my job and I loath the idea of investing in a piece of camera gear that is just going to sit in the closet. When I buy something big (like a camera), I need to make sure that it will pay itself off in a reasonable amount of time - usually a year or less.
When I dropped in on the FX9, I had a big project coming up - DP’ing an hour of the long-running Nature strand for PBS. We were going to be shooting lots of days in variable conditions and I needed a burly camera that could hold up to all the abuse I had put my FS7 through. You can watch the full episode here!
What I love about the FX9:
1. The fact that you can switch between full-frame 4K and s35 4K with no loss of resolution basically means this is like two cameras in one. It opens up so many lens options, especially in the cine zoom world. For this show, we were shooting mostly on Sigma Cine Zooms (18-35 and 50-100) which are made for s35, but I also had the Sony 200-600 and Sony 70-200, both of which are beauties on a full frame sensor.
2. Dual-Base ISO. I know other cameras have this functionality, but I must say being able to shoot well after sun down is such a luxury, especially in the nature doc world.
3. Form-factor. It is so close in size/shape to the FS7 that it really felt like nothing had changed when I switched cameras.
I made a little video about shooting on the FX9 out near the Great Salt Lake by my home. Check it out!
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