Sony FX30: This cheap cinema camera could challenge Blackmagic's grip on young filmmakers

Sony launches FX30 cinema camera aimed at young filmmakers
(Image credit: Sony)

Earlier today, Sony launched its new FX30 super 4K 35mm cinema camera aimed at young filmmakers and content creators, and we're very excited. The Sony FX30 cinema camera looks like the maker's FX3 with its clean design and simple yet elegant aesthetic.

The FX30 arrives with a brand new back-illuminated 26.1 megapixel APS-C Exmor R CMOS sensor (Super 35 format) with a dual base ISO (800/2500) meant to deliver high sensitivity, low noise, and 14+1 stops of latitude. Sony's new Super 35mm sensor is capable of timecode support and S-Log3, and you must be thinking, it's going to be super expensive.

Sony FX30 cinema camera

(Image credit: Sony )

The FX30 (supplied with the XLR handle) will be available in late October for approximately $2,200, which places it in the range of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6k lineup. Is a war brewing in the affordable cinema camera market, it sure looks that way. 

Sony FX30 Specs

Price: $2,200

APS-C/Super 35mm sensor 

UHD 4K at up to 120p

In-body image stabilization

Fast Hybrid AF, including 4K 120p

Active cooling

10-bit internal recording

S-Log3/S-Gamut3

16-bit raw output

Standard ISO Range of 100-32000

Dual Base ISO (800 / 2500)

14 + stops of dynamic range

User LUT support

Cine EI and other log shooting modes

Those are just some of the specs, and just be aware there is some cropping beyond the native 35mm crop, but it should be almost unnoticeable at just 1.04x due to the FX30 using 6K oversampling from its sensor. 

When recording at 120 fps, there is a 1.6x crop of the Super 35mm area. This is on top of the system’s standard APS-C/Super 35mm crop, so you will need to take note of that when selecting the lens you to shoot your slow-motion footage. You can even push your slow motion further by recording at 240fps in FHD resolution.

Sony FX30 cinema camera

(Image credit: Sony)

The FX30 comes with built-in 5-axis in-body stabilization, Real-time Eye AF (human, animal, or bird), Real-time Tracking, Detailed AF settings, and AF Assist to keep what you're filming in focus. 

SonyFX30 cinema camera

(Image credit: Sony)

The FX30 provides creators with several options to record audio through various audio inputs, including two XLR audio inputs and a 3.5 mm stereo mini jack for 4-channel recording. 

Sony FX30 cinema camera

(Image credit: Sony)

The FX30 is equipped with two memory card slots compatible with CFexpress Type A cards and SDXC/SDHC cards. There's also a 3-inch flip-out touch screen and access to the extensive collection of Sony E mount lenses. 

Sony's FX30 cinema camera looks to be a serious contender for best small cinema camera will cause some to question Blackmagic's Pocket Cinema line of cameras' lack of AF tracking. Sony is making a statement with all the features it is bringing at this price point and we'll be covering this camera with interest.

Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.