The Sony FX3 and FX30 are two of the most popular cameras in the Cinema Line series, offering compact and versatile solutions for filmmakers. However, some users may find the lack of built-in features such as ND filters, XLR inputs, and timecode frustrating. That’s why Camera Foundry, a new company based in Los Angeles, has launched the CineBack, a custom-made accessory that adds these functionalities and more to the Sony FX3 and FX30.
The CineBack is a device that attaches to the back of the Sony FX3 or FX30 via the Multi Interface Shoe and the HDMI port. It provides a range of features that enhance the usability and performance of the cameras, such as:
- Built-in ND filters: The CineBack has a motorized ND filter wheel that offers four options: clear, 2-stop, 4-stop, and 6-stop. The ND filters can be controlled via a dial on the side of the device, or remotely via a smartphone app. The ND filters are made of high-quality optical glass and have a multilayer coating to reduce reflections and flare.
- XLR inputs: The CineBack has two XLR inputs with phantom power, allowing users to connect professional microphones and audio equipment to the cameras. The audio settings can be adjusted via a menu on the CineBack’s LCD screen, or remotely via a smartphone app. The audio signals are embedded into the HDMI output, so users can record audio and video simultaneously on an external recorder.
- Timecode: The CineBack has a built-in timecode generator that can sync with other devices via a BNC connector. This enables users to easily synchronize multiple cameras and audio sources in post-production. The timecode can be set manually, or automatically via a smartphone app.
- Power options: The CineBack can be powered by a Sony NP-FZ100 battery, the same type used by the FX3 and FX30. It also has a DC input that can accept 7-18V, allowing users to use external power sources such as V-mount batteries or AC adapters. The CineBack can also power the camera via the Multi Interface Shoe, eliminating the need for a separate battery on the camera.
- Additional features: The CineBack has a 3.5-inch LCD screen that displays the camera settings, audio levels, ND filter status, timecode, and battery life. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB-C port for firmware updates, and a 1/4″-20 thread for mounting accessories. The CineBack is made of durable aluminum and has a fanless design for silent operation.
Why use the CineBack?
The CineBack is designed to address some of the limitations and challenges that users may face when using the Sony FX3 or FX30 for filmmaking. By adding features such as ND filters, XLR inputs, and timecode, the CineBack enhances the functionality and versatility of the cameras, making them more suitable for various shooting scenarios and workflows. For example, users can:
- Control the exposure more easily: With the built-in ND filters, users can adjust the exposure without changing the aperture, shutter speed, or ISO, maintaining the desired depth of field and motion blur. This is especially useful when shooting in bright or changing light conditions, or when using fast lenses with wide apertures.
- Capture high-quality audio: With the XLR inputs, users can connect professional microphones and audio equipment to the cameras, improving the sound quality and reducing the noise. This is especially useful when recording dialogue, interviews, or ambient sound, or when using external audio recorders or mixers.
- Sync multiple sources: With the timecode, users can sync multiple cameras and audio sources in post-production, saving time and hassle. This is especially useful when shooting multicam setups, documentaries, or live events, or when using external recorders or monitors.
How to get the CineBack?
The CineBack is currently available for pre-order on the Camera Foundry website, with an expected shipping date of January 2024. The CineBack costs $999 for the FX3 version, and $1,099 for the FX30 version. The CineBack comes with a one-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The CineBack is compatible with the Sony FX3 and FX30 cameras, as well as the Sony a7S III, a7 IV, and a9 II cameras with a firmware update. The CineBack is not compatible with the Sony FX6 or FX9 cameras, as they already have similar features built-in.
The CineBack is a new and innovative accessory that aims to enhance the filmmaking experience with the Sony FX3 and FX30 cameras. By adding features such as ND filters, XLR inputs, and timecode, the CineBack transforms the cameras into more powerful and versatile tools for filmmakers.