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Wed, 23 Feb 2022

Sony FX3 - The Best Camera for Single Handed Gimbals?

The Sony FX3 has the smallest footprint in the Sony cinema range, below the (already very small) FX6 and its bigger brother the FX9; making it a real contender for the gimbal camera you’re looking for. No slouch internally, it earns its position within the Sony cinema line. Boasting the staggering low light performance of the A7S III, but in a cinematography-friendly body (including internal fans & optional handle with XLR inputs), there is a very clear use for filmmakers and solo-shooting DoPs with the FX3. 

Beyond the internal 10-bit XAVC recording, there is also the ability to shoot 16 bit RAW over HDMI with a compatible recorder. This is a huge benefit for higher-end shoots and visual effects work, allowing the FX3 to provide a cinema-level image despite its tiny form factor. 

And the tiny form factor is the most important part, making it equally suited to a handheld run and gun cam (with 5 axis sensor stabilisation internally) or even the smallest gimbals for smooth tracking footage. This is ideal when matched with the Sony E mount’s selection of lenses, and the lightning-fast and responsive eye-tracking autofocus of the FX3 allows for huge peace of mind for a solo operator.

Balancing the FX3 is very straightforward, with a design lending itself to being a neutral centre weight even with a long lens on, and no superfluous design features. The highly manoeuvrable screen also allows for ease of monitoring even when not using an external monitor. This adds another string to the FX3’s bow as a gimbal camera for the tightest spaces and fastest set-up, making it ideal for documentary shoots that need fast reactivity.

Ultimately, there are many options now for small cameras for use on gimbals such as the Movi M10. But for operators without an assistant or even just those weight conscious using a single-handed gimbal, the FX3 finally provides a true cinema level camera in a useable size.