ACS Technical Committee Evaluation of the Sony FX9

The ACS Technical Committee recently evaluated the Sony FX9. I moderated a discussion with Tom Gleeson and Ben Allan ACS CSI, both of whom were involved with putting Sony’s new full frame digital cinema camera through its paces.

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The ACS Technical Committee was interested in looking at a few key aspects of the camera and then doing a series of tests to see how the FX9 held up. The committee also wanted to find out what the FX9 offers over the FS7 for owners who are looking to upgrade.

Under/Over Exposure Tests

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One of the key tests was an under/over exposure test comparing the Sony FS7 directly against the FX9.

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In the committees opinion, the FX9 probably has a about a stop to a stop and a half advantage over the FS7 in the shadows.

Skin Tones

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The committee was also impressed by the skin tone rendition of the FX9. They definitely thought that it was quite an improvement over the FS7 in this department. They also liked the S-Cinetone profile and they said that it offered a good compromise if you can’t shoot Log and you need to turn material around quickly.

Auto Focus

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The autofocus system was also tested and again the committee was very impressed with the results they could obtain. They feel that auto focus will eventually find its way into higher priced digital cinema cameras in the future and that cinematographers should be looking to embrace it rather than dismiss it.

Color Science

The biggest surprise came from a test conducted by Pawel Achtel ACS. Pawel has a system where he can measure a cameras sensor response to certain colors.

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This is a very technical test, but it has the ability to map the color gamut that a sensor is producing. What was quite a shock, was that not only did the FX9 outperform the FS7 M2 by a considerable mar gain, but it also produced the best result of any digital cinema camera that has been tested. This includes most of the top tier cinema cameras that are on the market today.

Above you can see the comparison between the FS7 M2 and the FX9. The differences are quite extraordinary. What you do need to take into consideration is this is purely what the cameras sensor is able to see, it isn’t a direct representation of what the cameras processing does after the light hits the sensor.

In summing up

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The Technical Committee was impressed with the Sony FX9 and in their opinion, they believe the camera is significantly better than the FS7 M2. For $10,998 USD it represents excellent value for money.

I haven’t mentioned everything that was discussed or shown in the video. I encourage you all to watch the video in its entirety so you can make your own judgments.

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