The Sony FX3 Cinema Camera Review... Worth It Years Later?

The decision to switch from Canon to Sony has never been easier.

To be real off the bat — the Sony FX3 is my favorite cinema camera I've ever used or owned. Yeah. I’m not kidding.

But why?

To make this interesting, it is important to note this camera was my official https://geni.us/XQD9q. I had a C200 and though I loved the camera, there was something about the FX3 that really piqued my interest. And I’ve been a loyal Canon shooter since 2014.

But now I’m officially a Sony boy.

With this being said, the camera still isn’t perfect. If you’re interested in buying the Sony FX3, I’m going to show you my pros and cons, what I love and don’t love, as well as my honest thoughts on who this camera is truly for. This is my 1-year review, let’s get into it.

 

To Know:

The Sony FX3 Cinema Line camera brings the visions of passionate content creators to life. Cinematic expression is matched with reliable performance and streamlined operation to serve the needs of today's creative community. Compact and lightweight, it's easy to carry and handle. The FX3's full-frame image sensor is coupled with innovative light-gathering techniques to let you capture clear and usable images even in dim light. The standard ISO sensitivity of 80–102400 for movies is expandable all the way up to 409600.

What We Love:

Full-Frame Image Capture Even In Dim Light

The FX3's full-frame image sensor is coupled with innovative light-gathering techniques to let you capture clear and usable images even in dim light. The standard ISO sensitivity of 80–102400 for movies is expandable all the way up to 409600.

4K 120fps With Every Frame In Focus

Even at high frame rates, detailed 4K imagery is captured thanks to the FX3's high-precision AF and high-speed readout capabilities. Slow and Quick (S&Q) mode gives you full control over the shooting frame rate, for beautiful motion sequences at up to 5x slow motion (with 24p output).

Sony FX3 Full frame Cinema Line camera thumbnail

Sony

FX3 Full-Frame Cinema Camera Body

The new YouTuber dream camera could be the Sony FX3 Cinema Line camera. Compact and lightweight, easy to carry and handle is cinema power in your hand.

Buy for $3,898.00

Why I Love the FX3 So Much…

To discuss what I love about this camera, I'll do so by comparing it to the Canon C200, alongside other compact cinema cameras one might buy for less than the cost of an FX3.

Image quality is the most important feature to your camera. Overall, how the footage actually presents itself is stunning on the FX3. Sony’s color science used to create that unwarranted yellow hue to certain skin tones, but now they’re just as smooth and true-to-life as Canon’s. After converting to REC709 and tossing on a grade, the footage looks absolutely seamless when the 4K 10bit footage is at XAVC S-I.

On the C200, I had to either shoot 4K at 8 bit or 4K RAW and 12 bit; there was never a proper middle ground. Additionally, the cheaper mirrorless cameras wont have as nice of quality across all frame rates that the FX3 boasts. For reference — 10 bit saves 64x the color information as 8 bit. That's a significant number! This allows the filmmaker a ton more flexibility in post for creative color grading.

Finally, the slog 3 performs beautifully, as this camera received 15= stops of dynamic range which then maximizes a boot load of data.That couples with the fact Sony has a free-to-download conversion LUT I can grade on top of that? Workflow, perfected.

The Best Sony Mirrorless Cameras

The Best Sony Mirrorless Cameras

Ranging from mirrorless to DSLR-like camera bodies, there’s a little something for everyone made to expand their horizons with Sony's ever-so beloved line.

Usability

You can’t beat the size of this camera. The image quality to size ratio offers offers punches well above its weight and makes life on the road much, much easier.

The body has 1/4 20’s screw holes for mounting motions which is fantastic. You can attach accessories to this thing directly and efficiently.

Build a full rig without issue — throw on a top handle, matte box, V-mount batteries, or even a shotgun mic. All of those accessories don't change the image either, leaving you infinite possibilities for quality, cinema level footage.

A quick, digestible list of some things I don’t love as much…

  • Battery Life is 💩

  • No Built In NDs

  • No Shutter Angle

  • S-Cinetone

  • Top Handle

  • Menu Systems

Who’s this camera for?

This camera is for beginner to advanced filmmakers who want to craft short films, YouTube videos, and short form videos with extremely lovely quality. You can virutall create anything you want with this camera, making it worth the extra penny for its versatility. I’ll definitely use the FX3 for everything from home videos of family trips to short films for clients.

That being said, if you are on set with a crew that requires multiple added features — like a directors' monitors or a various plugins for audio syncing — I’d make the jump up to an FX6, FX9, or a Canon C500 Mark II. Though, the FX3 will get the job done adequately. And the best part!? It’s under $5k. Plus, you can truly take this thing anywhere.

What It Does:

  • 15+ Stops Dynamic Range

  • Phase Detection AF/Face Tracking/Eye AF

  • Full-Frame Image Capture Even In Dim Light

  • 4K 120fps With Every Frame In Focus

What It Has:

  • Sony E Mount

  • 10.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Exmor R Sensor

  • 80 to 409,600 Expanded ISO Range

  • UHD 4K up to 120 | 1080p up to 240

  • Compact Form for Cage-Free Operation

  • 10-Bit 4:2:2 XAVC S-I,16-Bit Raw Output

  • Dual CFexpress Type A/SDXC Card Slots

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 129.7 x 77.8 x 84.5mm

  • Weight: 640g

Overall, I love this damn thing and I'm certain you will too. Be sure to watch the YouTube video above for a better feel of the footage to understand what I’m talking about.