Get More from your Sony FX9 and Venice Cameras with New Firmware Updates09/10/2020
Version 2.0 of the camera’s firmware will greatly expand the FX9’s already-impressive capabilities.
UPDATE: Sony has officially released version 2.0 for the FX9. It is available for download on Sony's Support Page.
DCI 4K and RAW Recording
With this update, DCI 4K will be supported in Full Frame and Super 35mm, including 60, 50, 30, 25, and 24p. This is for the cinema purists, as well as anyone who has been asking for DCI support since before the FX9 was even released. You can also shoot 1920 x 1080p at 150/180 fps, in Full Frame, for creating even more dramatic cinematic effects. Firmware V 2.0 also brings the promised 16-bit RAW recording functionality, although it does require the addition of the XDCA-FX9 Extension Unit, but if you want or need RAW, this is the firmware update for you.
While the FX-9 originally supported 4K 59.94/50p over its 12G SDI connection, the new firmware will add 6G support, which in turns adds 30/23.98p output via a single SDI cable.
LUTs, HDR, and Expanded ISO Range
Create your own 3D LUTs in the .cube format, or upload them from an SD card, because the V 2.0 firmware enables your camera to store up to 16 LUTs to work with. Along with LUT support, the firmware delivers HDR support for HLG (in-camera HDR). Expanded ISO ranges in both Base ISO and High ISO settings allow the camera to see even farther into the shadows, for improved low-light performance.
Need more reasons for adding the XDCA-FX9 to your shooting arsenal than just the RAW output? Figure this into your gear purchase equations: The XDCA-FX9 will support DWX and URX slot-in wireless receivers when your camera has the V 2.0 firmware installed. And if you are using the XLR-K3M to bring in analog audio through the Multi-Interface Shoe, the firmware update will also allow for digital I/F.
Autofocus and Improved Touch Menu
With the V 2.0 firmware, your camera will support Sony's eye-tracking technology, which keeps your focus locked on your subject's eye and is especially useful in intimate interview situations. Focus Touch Control will allow you to lock in a specific area and keep that in focus, without deactivating autofocus; this is in addition to the current Touch AF feature. You can also assign AF Speed/Sens to a function button of your choice, allowing you to tune the AF settings without having to go back into the AF menu.
Touch screen control has been made for faster adjustments, and the new firmware expands the touch menu operation. It will highlight in orange all the features that are touch-control adjustable, and the FPS, ISO, Shutter, ND, LUT, and WB menu layout is now similar to the Venice menu layout, for simpler operation when switching between cameras.
The Version 5.0 firmware (already released earlier this year) brought many improvements to the Venice’s capabilities. These included High Frame Rates when shooting at 6K, up to 90 fps at 2.39:1, and 72 fps at either 17:9 or 1.85:1, useful for general filmmaking when you don’t need a dedicated high-speed camera for ultra-high-speed filming. Version 5.0 also brought the ability to capture HD ProRes 4444 at up to 30 fps onto SxS Pro+ cards, and compatibility with the Cooke/i2 lens information system. In addition to improved monitoring function, including marker settings, V 5.0 activated the camera’s gyro sensor. These are the most recent improvements, and if you don’t have V 5.0, you should probably think about downloading it. But hold onto your hat, because come November, Sony will be releasing V 6.0 of the Sony Venice firmware.
The Version 6.0 firmware update will bring even more HFR capabilities, up to 72 fps at 5.7k 16:9 and also at 4K 6:5, as well as allow a blazing 110 fps at 3.8K 16:9 capture. Pretty decent for a Full-Frame camera that isn’t dedicated to high-speed filmmaking.
Improvements will include gyro information embedded in the Metadata, and the camera will add support for the Fujinon Premista series Zeiss eXtended Data. Personally, I love it when manufacturers play nice with each other; it really allows us to use the tools we want for each situation, opening up more possibilities.
The 6.0 firmware allows you to use 3D LUTs on the camera’s viewfinder, for instant feedback on how you expect the shot to look. This goes hand in hand with the new .ART (Advanced Rendering Transform) file import, which provides smoother rending of areas that used to suffer from banding artifacts, providing a less distracting image and removing unnecessary concern when monitoring from the viewfinder.
Shooting Assist Functions
Rounding out this update for the Venice are the addition of a second User Frame Line, as well as both 9:16 and 1:1 Frame lines presets (9:16, it’s here, might as well be able to frame it up properly). Some small tweaks to the camera’s functionality will include individual adjustment of the REC beep and alarm volume, and the CamID+Reel# won’t be lost when loading ALL File. The firmware 6.0 update will also allow you to display Genlock and TC status on the OSD screen, and De-Squeeze On/Off is now available by a User button.
Virtually New Cameras
With an expected release in November 2020, these firmware updates will unleash more performance and more functionality from your cameras, essentially giving you a new camera.
For more information on Sony professional video cameras, visit the B&H Photo Website.