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LEAKED: Upcoming Sony FX3 Cinema Camera First Images

Sony to add a fourth and most compact camera to their Cinema Lineup

sony fx3 announcement feb 23 2021
Sony FX3 - Image by Sony

First leaked images from the upcoming Sony FX3 cinema camera appear and the Internet does not really know what to make of it…

While certainly unexpected, I can’t say that I am all that surprised to see Sony expand their Cinema Line-up, which is still in its infancy. Already sporting heavy hitters like the VENICE and Sony FX9, the line-up also includes the more recent Sony FX6, which arrived to much fanfare. 

Sony FX3 Rumored Specs

However, no specs have been confirmed at this stage, but as usual various rumour sites are reporting a few possible specifications:

  • 8K recording (initially reported by SonyAlphaRumors, later rescinded)
  • 4K DCI 
  • 4K/120fps 
  • Records onto CF-Express Type A cards
  • Price: 3,795 Euro (something like $3,800 USD / 3,699 GBP, but that’s in the air)

And judging by the leaked images, we can see a sticking resemblance to the Sony a7C. However, looking at the design it appears there are a few notable differences and possible surprises. 

Sony FX3

First, the lack of an EVF is obvious. Furthermore, it also appears that the FX3 has a much beefier body design with at least 4 x 1/4-20 threaded holes – three directly on top and one on the left side above the mic input cover.

Is the Sony FX3 a drone camera for the upcoming Sony Airpeak drone project? Well, this is certainly possible. Sony even demoed recently the Airpeak with an a7sIII, so I see no reason why this new, more rugged and “dedicated” compact Cinema Camera can’t be mounted on that drone. Or other third party drones.  

Dedicated 4K Video Camera in a Mirrorless Body?

2nd, we also see a dedicated REC button on top, as well as 6 assignable buttons. A flip-out screen design much like on the a7s III is also present. And third, we can see on the image below – what appears to be an exhaust vent behind the media card slots. 

This is very good news indeed. It appears the FX3 has active cooling and it won’t overheat in high-frame rates or resolutions when recording for extended periods of time like the 8K capable Sony alpha 1 or sometimes the a7sIII.

sony fx3 front
Image by Nokishita

My take on the upcoming Sony FX3

I am not sure how I feel about this camera… It will most likely have a full-frame sensor, but not the 50 megapixel one from the A1 – more like a stripped down 12MP or even less dedicated video sensor. There is a possibility that it may “re-use” the a7sIII sensor, but with the “dual native ISO” or crazy low-light performance? 

It’s a strange form-factor too. Sony could have easily made it in a cube-shape just like the Z-CAM E2 style cameras. As in – remove the back screen and make it much easier to rig with a cage and external monitor. This would have been much more practical. 

What does the “Cinema Camera” logo mean anyway if you are going to reuse a mirrorless form-factor? Can it take professional audio via XLR inputs? I guess not, the body design just won’t allow it. So that’s no longer a differentiation factor at least in the Sony camera world. 

And there’s still lots of unanswered questions – will it have IBIS? Will it have built-in Variable ND filters like the Sony FX6? 

How will compare to the A7sIII? What does this mean for those who’ve just bought an FX6? I guess we’ll all have to wait and see… 

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