THE EXCITING NEW SONY PXW-FX9 HAS LANDED!

Recently AVC Immedia decided to upgrade their filming equipment. A part of this investment was the purchase of a brand-new Sony PXW-FX9 camera. The FX9 camera is aimed for those who are after the highest quality camera but with a rugged and robust build quality that can be used in many run and gun situations. The camera is also aimed at those who want to transition upwards from the PXW-FS7 predecessor; its core physical design has not changed dramatically meaning anyone heavily invested in third party components such as rigs, batteries and memory cards can smoothly transition over to this newer model. 

 We spoke to our creative director, Richard Baron, to get his views on the camera after recently transitioning over to it from the Sony PXW-FS7. Richard explained to us about the main new features of this camera, which he said are “the new full frame sensor, the variable ND and the super-fast auto focus system.  These 3 features over the PXW-FS7 make a big difference in the quality of the images captured and open up a new creative ability that the previous camera didn’t have. Although older cameras have had auto focus in the past, they never really matched accuracy over manual focusing. The face detection technology that has been adopted from the Sony mirrorless camera line really helps when you need to quickly focus on your subject fast and is especially more useful when it comes to a person’s face. This mapped to customised buttons really helps catch the shots in focus much faster than beforeAuto focus is great for gimbal work also, especially when your subject is walking and taking. The variable ND which was introduced with the PXW-FS5 cameras helps you expose seamlessly which can be great when you want to shoot wide open. It’s a great little feature and one that I had plenty experience with my own PXW-FS5.   

Richard went on to further explain to us about how the camera handles and its overall performance whilst he was using it “The camera handles pretty much the same in terms of ergonomic and designOne small but big improvement is the speed the camera turns on and be ready to record, essential when things happen fast. Pressing record should always feel instant, often I found the FS7 sluggish on this. One negative point is that I do wish they could have made the camera more balanced overall, but I guess that is where third-party rigs would help. After using the camera for a couple of weeks, I have found that it eats through battery power far quicker than our previous Sony PXW-FS7 would. We use a couple of Hawk-Woods BP-60U batteries and find that the battery time that is displayed on the camera isn’t the time they seem to last.  In fact, I have recently noticed the camera can give a false reading of 10 minutes battery remaining and when it hits that point, it will actually stop recording and will just go on standby mode until you swap to a fully charged battery. This issue isn’t ideal when you need those 10 minutes to record & capture THAT perfect moment! Something you should always take note of is your limit with any camera. 

Reflecting back on Richard’s use of the camera so far, and when asked if he would recommend the camera from his experience he explained “We were due for this upgrade since we only had one main camera (the Sony PXW-FS7) and when looking around for our next camera, the Sony PXW-FX9 was an obvious upgrade that would sit nicely into our workflow as it would still be able to use all the existing lenses and attachments, we had already invested in. Overall, the camera has been an easy transition from the Sony PXW-FS7 – with all the little extras that help give us the best image possible. Having a highly reliable camera that you can trust and use during a shoot is a huge MUST and having used our Sony PXW-FS7 on many different jobs, including in some extreme weather conditions, you can only expect the Sony PXW-FX9 to be just as solid & reliable a camera.

Overall, our creative director would recommend the model and continues to film incredible content for our clients with it. Here are his final pros and cons of the camera:  

Pro's:

  • Great quality pictures 
  • Accurate and fast auto focus 
  • Great low light performance with the new Full-frame sensor. 
  • Easy choice for existing Sony PXW-FS7 camera users to progress on to. 

Con's:

  • Expensive 
  • Could have been better balanced no design improvements. 
  • the view finder is an afterthought and falls off easily.  
  • Battery life is shorter and has issues with estimated time remaining.