I have a love-hate relationship with the Sony FX30. There is a lot to love about the Sony FX30, no camera is perfect and the more I use the Sony FX30, the more I’m annoyed with certain aspects of this camera.
My name is keith, and I’m a designer and videographer from Cleveland, Ohio. If you’re into either of those things, check out some of my other content after this one.
My first Love for the Sony FX30 is the price and features. I still cant believe all of these features are packed into this camera for the price, given that this camera has features that other more expensive cameras dont have. I feel like I’m getting away with something here.
However, one small hate is that there is no shutter angle, false color or other cinema camera tools on this camera.
My next hate is the low light, but hear me out here.
The Sony FX30 has 2 different base ISOs, and with Cine EI it’s easy to switch between them, but they’re still pretty close together. After using full-frame cameras where the base iso give you a very noticeable bump in exposure, the fx30 isn’t quite as big of a jump.
This was more pronounced when I was out filming in New York, testing out the DCI 4K, and filming at night was noticeably more difficult when walking around and capturing what was happening around me. I went to times square at night, and this camera thrived with all the lights. Then took it to the Brooklyn bridge, where there is much less light and realized how much light this camera actually requires.
I know this is one of the reasons the Sony FX30 is the price that it is, but once you’ve been used to the FX3 or A7S III, the FX30 feels very light-hungry, especially in 4k 120. It’s more of an issue when trying to match exposure to one of those full-frame cameras. Your life will be much easier if you have proper lighting kit, as this is less of an issue. However, if you film in unpredictable lighting scenarios, the low light performance of this camera will be difficult to work with. Not impossible, but difficult.
My next love is the internal LUTs on the Sony FX30. I absolutely love recording in S-log 3 S.gamut.cine, and on my A7S III, I have to use a combination of zebras and gamma display assist. It’s exhausting to have to think about that while you're out in the world filming. I got around this by using a monitor, and adding a preview LUT, but if I want to add a monitor to a camera, you're adding more batteries and weight to your setup so I would sometimes just shoot in picture profile off. Having LUTs directly on the camera at this price point is a huge plus for me, and if you're a beginner wanting to get the most dynamic range out of your camera, you’ll love this feature.
My next hate for the FX30 is the rolling shutter. The sensor readout isn't as fast as the a7siii, and feels similar to the A7 IV. If you're filming talking heads or scenes with minimal movement, you won't notice this at all. However, if your shots have moderate to fast action, the rolling shutter is noticeable. For example, in this clip of my wife standing in front of the subway, you can see the rolling shutter issues. For this price point is this an acceptable level of rolling shutter? Thats for you to decide, but it’s all I see when I watch clips with movement in them.
My next hate is the crop, and yes, this is a controversial one. But my other Sony cameras are full frame, and I’ve bought lenses that make sense to have with my full frame lenses. However, when coming to the Sony FX30, I have to select slightly wider lenses, and if I were going to vlog with this camera, I’d pick up something like the Sony 11mm or Sony 15mm. I’m used to using my 20mm 1.8 on my full frame cameras and after the active stabilization and lens breathing compensation, it’s a great vlogging focal length. The 11mm would be a great wide angle option, I have videos about the Sony 11mm and Sony 15mm if you're interested.
However, and this is probably how most people are going to use this camera, coming from another APSC camera where you already have crop glass, this is a huge plus. Or love I guess in the scope of this video.
One plus for the Sony FX30 though, is that if youre filming up to 60p, there is no crop on topof the apsc crop. The only crop will be when youre filming at 4k 120, which is about a 1.5 times crop. Which is a lot, but only when youre filming in 120. I like that 60p doesn't have a crop, like my A7R V has.
My next love for the Sony FX30 is the form factor. I love the button layout, recording lamps, the mounting points. The similarity to the FX3 makes buying a cage and accessories very easy if you want to upgrade in the future. And you’ll already know how to use it. It does take a little getting used to, but with a few days of tinkering you can figure it out pretty easy. Just go out and shoot with it and you’ll figure it out.
My next hate is no internal NDs. I know at this price point this isn’t even worth mentioning so I wont spend much time on it, but I’d love to see a small form factor camera with internal NDs. Even if stabilization was moved to post production with catalyst browse like the FX6. In my opinion, auto ND would be worth it.
My next love for the FX30 is just going to be a list of all of the things that I take for granted while using this camera.
When it comes to my love hate relationship with the Sony FX30, it’s much more love than hate for this camera. Especially at this price point. I love that the features that transfer over from more expensive camera are making their way to Sony’s APSC cameras, and I will continue to use this camera as my B or C camera.
I'm a designer from Cleveland, Ohio and love to shoot photos & videos. I made my first website in 2004 to show friends photos & videos (before YouTube/Flickr/Instagram were things) and have been shooting and designing ever since! I have a deep passion for making and helping others create.
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