Sony FX9 review

The Sony FX9 cinema camera has a full frame sensor, advanced AF borrowed from the Alpha mirrorless cameras but no internal Raw shooting

Sony FX9 review
(Image: © Adam Duckworth/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

If you love the form factor and usability of a real cinema camera for shooting video but have stuck with mirrorless due to the full-frame sensors and advanced AF, then Sony now has the camera for you. The FX9 has all the professional controls of a real video camera such as XLR audio inputs and large battery life, and adds in a full-frame sensor and hybrid AF from the Alpha mirrorless series. It also mixes in the glorious color science of Sony’s high-end Venice motion picture camera and a dual native ISO sensor for amazing low light performance. Although it has a 6K sensor, the FX9 downsamples this signal to C4K and does not offer internal Raw recording, unlike its 5.9K rival, the full-frame Canon EOS C500 Mark II. But the FX9 is significantly cheaper, and unlike the Canon offers 180fps for super slow-motion, albeit in HD only. But if you are looking to move up to a full-frame cinema camera from a Super35mm camcorder, or want the user-friendly features that a mirrorless camera can never offer, the Sony FX9 is a stunning performer. It might be $11,000 body only, but is the cheapest full-frame cinema camera you can buy.


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    Most affordable full-frame cinema camera

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    Fast 180fps for slow motion in HD

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    Advanced hybrid AF and digital audio


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    No internal Raw recording

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    No touch-to-focus screen

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    XQD cards can be pricey

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The Sony PXW-FX9, or the Sony FX9, for short is a serious full-frame video camera that, despite its price, offers great value for serious videographers. Sony, of course, knows a lot about what serious filmmakers need – as proven by the popularity of its FS7 camera that has been a smash hit since its launch. It’s been the mainstay of many independent production companies all over the world, thanks to its Super35mm sensor, fast frame rates and great image quality. But time and technology has moved on, and the most discerning cinematographers now want a full-frame sensor ideal for high ISO performance and shallow depth of field, along with a useable AF system that uses phase detection and is hugely customizable. Live streaming is also far more important than ever, and for those who want to grade the footage to within an inch of its life, internal Raw recording is the way to go.

Sony’s answer is to make a super-advanced version of the FS7 with its stepless built-in ND filters, long battery life, professional connections such as SDI and XLR audio inputs and great ergonomics. Then use a backside-illuminated, full-frame sensor and the super-advanced hybrid autofocus system from the Alpha mirrorless cameras. 

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Adam Duckworth

Adam Duckworth is an award-winning professional photographer and videographer based in the UK. He has worked for many top magazines, newspapers and corporate clients for more than 25 years. He was named SWPP UK Commercial Photographer of the Year, and is an Associate of the British Institute of Professional Photography. He has also worked for international publications like Motor Cycle News, Racer X, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, ZOO, Golf World, Today's Golfer, and Mountain Bike Action, among others.