Sony has launched the new FX3, a compact full-frame camera that is now the most affordable model in the company’s line of cinema. Based on the A7S III, the FX3 features some features found on more expensive cinema cameras in a smaller and lighter case.
It would be insufficient to say that the FX3 is similar to the A7S III. As such, it would be easier to just list the things that differ between the two cameras and just admit that everything else is basically identical.
One of the main differences is in the design. The FX3 has the same camera-style body as the A7S III, but is slightly thicker and shorter. The thickness is the result of turning on a fan that now actively cools the interior during shooting, which should allow the camera to shoot indefinitely even in warmer environments. The shorter height is due to the removal of the electronic viewfinder.
The FX3 is designed to be part of the equipment and as such has five 1 / 4-20 threaded brackets, three of which are on top. They allow the camera to be placed in a cage, on a cardan station or a drone. Sony has made several design changes to the A7S III, including a dedicated backlit shooting button on the top, a joystick on the top, zoom controls around the shutter button, front and rear counters, a power slider, and shortcut keys optimized for video flow.
The FX3 comes with an upper handle as part of the package. The upper handle includes an audio interface similar to the Sony XLR-K3M minus the built-in microphone. The audio interface has three microphone inputs, including two full-size XLRs and one 3.5mm, along with controls for adjusting the microphone inputs. The upper handle uses two of the three upper thread holders 1 / 4-20, but adds three of its own, allowing you to mount other accessories on top, such as an external monitor.
On the software side, the only big change to the FX3 over the A7S III is the inclusion of the S-Cinetone. This video setting is identical to that found on other Sony cinema cameras and is designed to provide a soft, cinematic look to off-camera footage, without having to deal with video grading complications.
This is largely the difference between the FX3 and the A7S III, with everything remaining identical. In terms of price, the price of the FX3 is $ 3,900, $ 400 more than the A7S III. Given that the A7S III is already focused enough on video, the FX3 seems like a weird product in Sony’s line of cameras. But if video will be your only case and if you appreciate features like the S-Cinetone and the supplied audio interface, the FX3 might be a better option.