First impressions of the new Sony FX30

First impressions of the new Sony FX30

Sony Europe has asked me to join their launch push for the new Sony FX30 Cinema-line camera. They gave me all the freedom a creator could wish for and shoot something I was passionate about. They also interviewed me, which you can read below.

Scroll down to find the original post from the Sony website.

 

Hi! My name is Sjoerd. A typical Dutch name which is impossible to pronounce if you don’t speak our strange language. I started experimenting with film at the age of 12. It took me another 12 years to realise that filmmaking is a fantastic way to express yourself and that it’s possible to make a living. Without any form of film education and knowing where to start, I created a YouTube channel to share my videos. At the same time, I started working on film sets as a PA to gain experience and make some money. Over the last four years, I’ve noticed a strong interest in documentary filmmaking and storytelling through solid visuals.

What was your experience shooting on the Sony FX30?

I work with the Sony FX6 and FX3 a lot. So, working with the FX30 was a blast, as the functionality was the same. I enjoyed the blazing-fast autofocus, which you can rely upon. It worked great even in strange situations – like using it in an underwater housing. The dual-base ISO comes in very handy in most cases. I assigned my Base ISO switch to the ISO button on the top to switch between the two in a second. Lastly, the best thing about the FX30 is that it comes in the same form factor as the FX3. Meaning all your accessories will work, as well as my underwater housing! Oh, one more thing. The size. Since it’s such a small package, travelling with this camera is a dream. 

I do a lot of remote work, such as in the jungles of Indonesia or on a sailing boat in the Fjords of Norway; working fast will either make sure you get the shot or you lose the shot. I am a huge fan of manual focus, but for many shots, the autofocus system of the FX30 outperforms my ability big time. The size also matters to me. Travelling to a deserted island in Indonesia with a giant camera would not have worked. Because the camera is so tiny, the accessories you use for it are too. That made it possible to bring everything we wanted yet pack super light.

This camera closes the gap between photo cameras with some video functionality and a proper cinema camera (that also takes pictures). Having features you find in high-end cinema cameras in such a small and compact body is impressive. Also, the APS-C sensor enables creators to use cheaper glass; this puts this camera in a top spot for many creators wanting to up their game. The image the camera produces is just beautiful. When you’ve exposed your shot correctly, you can make it look like it was shot on the bigger FX cameras.

What lenses and accessories did you use on the shoot?

As mentioned before, I work with the FX6 and the FX3 a lot, so my initial thoughts were to use the FE 16-35mm f/2.8, FE 24-70mm f/2.8 and the FE 70-200mm f/2.8, with a 1.4x extender. For some shots, we’ve used the E 16-55mm f/2.8 and the E 15mm f/1.4. These lenses are incredibly compact, so they’re great when hiking in the jungle. For the water sequences, I’ve been using the Salty Surfhousing for the Sony FX3, which fits the FX30 perfectly! The project is not relying on sound. However, using an onboard mic to record the natural ambience is crucial since it makes sound design much more manageable. Therefore, I used the top handle with the Sony K3M Shotgun microphone.

What advice would you give aspiring filmmakers?

For me, this project was special. 3 Years ago, when I started my journey on YouTube, I could only dream of an opportunity like this. Here I am, filming in one of the most remote locations in the world for Sony. So, if you’re reading this article and have just uploaded your first video (or planning on doing it), keep at it. Expect things to gain traction later. YouTube is a marathon, not a sprint. Next, be okay to experiment. I started my channel out as something different, yet over time it grew into what it is today. All this is no guarantee it will be about cameras and lighting forever as I keep experimenting.

Any last words?

A massive shoutout to my friend and fellow cinematographer, Wouter Boes. He joined me on this crazy adventure to shoot something unique. At the beginning of my career, I tried doing everything by myself, but since I’ve been collaborating and sharing knowledge, my work has gotten a tremendous boost. Filmmaking is a collaborative process; never forget this.

Click here for the original Sony article

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Filmmaker, YouTuber & Founder of Filmmakers Community

Sjoerd Wess is a YouTuber and filmmaker who lives in the Netherlands, one of the flattest countries in the world. He initially studied sports but discovered his passion for filmmaking when he started skateboarding at the age of 13. Nowadays, his primary focus is on creating documentaries, national TV series, and thrilling outdoor projects like snowboarding and surfing.

To give back to the filmmaking community, Sjoerd founded the Filmmakers Community. It's a space where people can come together to learn from each other, share their work, clips, knowledge, and much more!