Image: Sony

Since they were released in 2021 and 2022, respectively, Sony's two more affordable alpha-branded Cinema Line cameras, the FX3 and FX30, have been missing an exceedingly valuable creature comfort possessed by the more premium FX6: the ability to set exposure using shutter angle. Now, Sony has announced a firmware update that will bring that feature to both cameras in September of 2024.

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For the uninitiated, the ability to specify shutter angle spares videographers the trouble of doing a bunch of basic (but irritating) shutter speed arithmetic to dial in the degree of motion blur that creates natural-looking footage.

The cost of doing that math wrong (or forgetting) is winding up with undesirably dreamlike or hyperrealistic footage. And it's a mistake that only gets more likely if you switch between various framerates at a given shoot.

With a dedicated shutter angle setting, you don't have to adjust shutter when you switch between frame rates, because the set exposure stays relative to the frame rate. That's why we've always liked to see it as an option in mirrorless cameras designed with video in mind.

Until now, the only companies providing shutter angle in cameras around this price point have been Panasonic and Blackmagic, so it's great to see Sony getting on board as well. Hopefully it's only the beginning of bringing this very useful feature to the rest of its mirrorless lineup, or at the very least, cameras that are focused on video, like the a7S III.

The updates will be available for free, along with some updates for the FX6, and are scheduled to land in May 2024.

Sony Electronics Announces New Firmware Updates to Cinema Line Cameras

Plans Include Updates to Cinema Line Cameras: FX30, FX3 and FX6

SAN DIEGO – Jan. 17, 2024 – Sony Electronics announces upcoming updates for the FX6, FX3 and FX30 cinema cameras at the BSC Expo 2024 in London, exhibiting its extensive range of filmmaking technology. The new firmware updates showcase Sony’s commitment to its cinema line.

The ILME-FX6 ver.5.0 firmware update is expected from May 2024 or later and will include:

  • The addition of 1.5x de-squeeze function for anamorphic lenses
  • Integrated high-quality 3D LUT processes inspired by the VENICE cinema camera, which allows for more accurate color processing
  • Monitor & Control App v2.0 features (ex. Waveform, False color)
  • Breathing Compensation Expansion: More lenses will be supported including 100-400 GM and the 200-600 G lenses

The firmware update for FX3 and FX30 is expected from September 2024 or later and will include:

  • Addition of Shutter Angle: Users will be able to choose from both Shutter Speed/Shutter Angle similar to what is available with the FX6
  • Ability to add clip flags to mark shots
  • SRT/RTMP/RTMPS support for live streaming via the Creator’s App

The firmware updates will be available free of charge starting in May 2024 for the FX6 ver.5.0 and the FX30/FX3 updates will be available starting in about September 2024.