Sony FX series has always been a reliable option for any filmmaker. Among that lineup, Sony FX6 and Sony FX30 are often the most talked about. They both share a lot of similarities but have some notable differences that are worth exploring. Which one is better?
The Short Answer is – “The Sony FX6 is better for professional filmmakers, offering more advanced features and versatility. The Sony FX30 is a great option for compact and lightweight filmography.”
Sony FX6 vs Sony FX30
Let’s take an in-depth look at both cameras and break down their design, performance, and features. So, whether you’re a professional videographer or an aspiring filmmaker, stay tuned till the end to find out which one suits you best- the Sony FX6 or the Sony FX30.
The Sony FX6 camera body is primarily compact and lightweight until additional components are added. It’s created in a modular design, which allows you to remove each component of the camera and interchange them as per your requirements. This feature also makes the camera more portable, making it an excellent option for filmmakers who frequently travel. An adjustable handle grip screws into the body and houses two XLR inputs and an MI shoe. While the camera provides many customizable buttons, it does not include a viewfinder, but instead, only a monitor screen. The touchscreen on the monitor is of high quality and features buttons to control peaking, zebras, and autofocus point movement, all of which are customizable. Sony’s approach to creating systems tends to be more complex than necessary when compared to other systems. However, once you become familiar with it, you may find that you enjoy it.
In contrast, the Sony FX30 has a nearly identical body to the Sony FX3, which means that any cages or accessories designed for the FX3 can also be used with the FX30. This makes it easy to mount the camera on various gimbals and tripods, despite its small size. The camera body is equipped with customized function buttons and threaded mounting points that are ideal for attaching accessories. The LCD display is fully articulated, and the camera has a built-in fan that ensures uninterrupted video recording. Other notable features include five-axis in-body image stabilization, a dedicated zoom rocker, and dual base ISO. Moreover, the FX30’s body is resistant to both dust and moisture. Although it has fewer mounting holes and six custom buttons, the FX30 is a comfortable fit under the FX3. Also, weighing in at only 562 grams, the FX30 is just as compact as other modern mirrorless cameras.
Well, the FX6 uses the same BSI-CMOS sensor as the Sony A7S III mirrorless camera. The FX6 also shares most of its video features and on-sensor phase detection autofocus with the A7S 3. The FX6 camera can record in up to 10-bit 4:2:2 All-Intra without any time limit on recording, and its advanced hybrid AF functions remain functional. Additionally, both the FX6 and other cameras can capture 120fps in 4K internally and 240fps in HD for up to 10x super slow-motion, with a slight 1.1x crop at frame rates over 60fps. Besides these features, there are many other settings to choose from, including HD and 4K options in 10-bit and 8-bit, 4:2:2, and 4:2:0 versions, All-Intra, and Log-GOP compression. The FX6 camera can record from the whole width of the sensor in 4K at up to 60p. For videographers who want to extend the dynamic range of the 10.2-megapixel BSI sensor, being able to shoot in 4:2:2 10-bit is essential.
On the other hand, the Sony FX30 is equipped with a Super 35 camera that can produce 4K 4:2:2 10bit footage by downscaling from 6K. It features a 26.1 APS-C sensor that is unique to Sony’s lineup. While the camera is capable of capturing still photos without a focal plane shutter, it is not as compatible with strobes as the FX6. It’s worth noting that the camera can’t capture 6K video; however, it does shoot in 6K and there’s a catch, it comes with a substantial 1.56x crop. So, keep that in mind, while going for the FX30. Thanks to this 6K sensor, the camera has the flexibility to crop footage, enabling the use of Sony’s “Breathing compensation” feature with some of the brand’s newer lenses. It can also internally record 4:2:2 10-bit footage and supports various shooting profiles, which doesn’t use line skipping or pixel binning. This results in a beautiful cinematic look with sharp details, film-like color, and pleasing rendering of skin tones.
Feature-wise, Sony FX6 is just stacked. It offers two distinct ISO settings. When S-Log 3 is employed to achieve the utmost dynamic range of up to 15 stops as advertised, the first base ISO is set at 800, while the second, which is High Sensitivity mode, is set at ISO 12,800. As the light levels decrease, and the ISO needs to be increased, the higher setting takes effect and efficiently reduces noise. With the advanced image stabilization data, Sony Catalyst Browse/Catalyst Prepare software can be used during post-production to enhance the appearance of handheld footage. The metadata produced by the FX6’s internal gyroscope enables you to selectively adjust the degree of shake compensation and the resolution, which is not possible with in-camera or lens stabilization. One major advantage of the FX6 is its Electronic ND filter, which permits you to alternate between stepped ND filters or variable ND. Additionally, Auto ND is available, which maintains a constant shutter speed and aperture while adjusting the ND level to obtain the proper exposure.
|Specification||Sony FX6||Sony FX30|
|Sensor||Full-frame CMOS||Super 35 CMOS|
|Autofocus||On-sensor phase detection AF||495-point AF|
|Recording Formats||10-bit 4:2:2 All-Intra, various options||4:2:2 10-bit, various options|
And when we take a deep look into the Sony FX30, it becomes evident that Sony has made significant strides in the color science realm. The camera features S-Cinetone, which is the same color technology found in Sony’s high-end cinema cameras like Venice 2. Additionally, the FX30 offers Cine EL, Cine FL, and quick log mode, which grants users more flexibility in post-production. Sony is renowned for its autofocus system, and the FX30 boasts a powerful autofocus system that spans 90% of the frame and has over 495 points. This system can track human eyes, animals, and birds in real-time. Moreover, the camera has a 5-axis image stabilization system, resulting in smooth footage. Finally, the dual CF Express Card Slots make transferring footage and files a breeze. The only major issue with the FX30 is it lacks an EVF, particularly when filming outside or in fast-paced situations. Viewfinders provide a simpler way to achieve the correct focus and exposure compared to small LCD screens. However, there are several third-party viewfinder loupes available to address this.
The primary differentiation between the FX30 and FX6 lies in usability. The FX30 is a more compact and lightweight camera, making it a better option for on-the-go filmography. It also has an internal 5-axis image stabilization feature, which the FX6 lacks. In contrast, the FX6 is a robust camera with numerous features, including SDI, time code, and an exceptional variable ND that seamlessly adjusts without any visible fl+ip or switch. While the FX6 is pricier, costing an additional $4200 than the FX30, it can produce videos that are somewhat comparable to the FX6. This makes it an excellent alternative to the FX6. If you’re unwilling to invest in the pricier FX6, the FX30 is a fantastic option, but for a more professional grade workload, you should definitely consider the Sony FX6. So, do you agree with our opinion?