From anamorphic and shutter angle options to expanded breathing compensation, there are plenty of additions and improvements coming to Sony's cinema cameras.
First up, the Sony FX6 ver.5.0 firmware is planned to roll out in May 2024 – although there are already mentions that this could be pushed a little later in the year if not completely finalized.
This is still quite a way in the future, but this update has a significant list of improvements. So, Sony filmmakers, take note of the date as you are going to want this upgrade.
Firstly, anamorphic cinematography is getting shown some love, with Sony including a 1.5x de-squeeze function on anamorphic lenses. For those unfamiliar with the term, an anamorphic lens is a cinematic tool that squeezes a widescreen image onto a camera sensor, which is later stretched back to its original proportions, giving it a more distinctive cinematic look and widescreen aspect ratio.
Also scheduled in the update, and drawing inspiration from the renowned Venice cinema cameras, the FX series will get Integrated 3D LUT processes that promise more accurate color processing.
There will also be upgrades to the Monitor & Control App v2.0, which will bring a host of cool features like Waveform and False color. These additions should make your filmmaking smoother by adding more visual displays to how you are capturing your footage, and helping to identify any issues before the editing room.
Last, but certainly not least, Breathing Compensation Expansion is on the horizon, with Sony adding more lens support – in particular, the Sony FE 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS and the Sony FE 200-600 f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lenses are highlighted. There is no official list yet that I can find just, but expect more confirmation on other lenses nearer the time.
FX3 & FX30 firmware
But wait, there's more! Sony also has a second firmware update planned for the FX3 and FX30 which should be dropping around September 2024. Even longer to wait, but kudos to Sony here for letting fans know that ongoing support has not been forgotten.
First off in this update, just like the FX6, the FX3 and FX30 will have the option to choose between 'shutter speed' and 'shutter angle'.
Shutter speed and shutter angle are fundamentally the same thing. Shutter speed is usually more known by those who started in stills photography, and shutter angle has always been the go-to term for cinematic moviemakers, originating from the now-defunct use of rotary shutters. But, with shutter angle still widely used by those in cinema, seems an obvious addition to Sony's FX cinema lineup.
Other improvements include clip flags to mark your shots for easier organization when it comes to editing. Based on the current Sony FX6 options, you can likely expect OK, NG, and KEEP as the main three flags.
And finally, the Sony Creator's App will add support for steaming in SRT / RTMP / RTMPS, which are all different steaming protocols depending on what latency and bandwidth you are using.