Maybe not a camera that you would immediately think needs to be rigged up, but the Sony FX6 can enjoy better ergonomics and usability with a few upgrades. Classed as a compact cinema camera, there is room for expansion. The boxy form factor even lends itself to being built up as you see fit. And sometimes you just need a few more “full-size” cinema camera features for a particular shoot.
For a ton of potential components or pieces to upgrade the potential of your FX6 the guys at CVP put together a video with a ton of their recommendations. It covers rigging, audio, power, monitors, lenses, supports, and more.
Rigging is essentially user’s choice. All the major brands have gotten other there with their own cages, baseplates, top plates, hand grips, and more. There are almost too many options.
Audio is an interesting consideration. The top handle actually offers two full-size XLR inputs—not too bad. However, if you opt to remove this grip for whatever reason you don’t have any inputs on the body itself to make up for it. Not great. Your only real solution is to go with external recording and syncing it up later.
One way to do this right is with the Tentacle SYNC E and TRACK E. You’ll be able to get high-quality 32-bit float audio. You will use the SYNC E with a BNC to Tentacle SYNC cable to input timecode into the FX6. Then, you can use the sync’d up TRACK E recorder to record. In post, you will have no problem putting these two together. The pieces are tiny and should be easy to mount.
Some actual mic systems you can go with some smaller shotguns, like the Rode VideoMic NTG or the Deity V-Mic D3 Pro with XLR Adapter. A slightly longer mic could be the Sennheiser MKE 600. There’s also the Sony ECM-MS2 for stereo use.
Just make sure you have the spacer for the mic mount for anything not made by Sony. For wireless systems, a good pick is the UWP since you can pick up an adapter to mount it directly to the Multi Interface Shoe and eliminate some cables.
Monitoring, while decent with the included display, nearly always benefits from an aftermarket monitor. Getting something bigger and brighter is nice. For the FX6 in particular the recommendations are the Atomos Ninja V+ Pro Kit and Shinobi as well as the Portkeys BM5 III.
The Ninja V+ Pro Kit will offer you recording which could be very useful. Otherwise, the other monitors are going to be lighter and cheaper. Make sure you get a mount that prevents rotation.
Power is easy as it uses the Sony BP-U series which has been around for a while. Since there are some third-party options, like the Hawk Woods BP-75UX, BP-98UX, and Core SWX Nano-U98. They have some extra power outputs and come in at a better price than the stock batteries. If you want to go with V-mount batteries – not recommended as the FX6 is still a compact camera – there are some plates you can pick up to handle it.
Shoulder mounting is a common thought for the FX6. You’ll want to find an adjustable mount and shoulder pad with the ability to adjust the balance of the camera. If it isn’t balanced it’ll be uncomfortable.
SmallRig is a good budget option though Zacuto makes CVP’s recommended list. You can also move the grip to a more comfortable position with some optional arms. When you go this route you may want to pick up an EVF. You can adapt the kit in plenty of ways or pick up a third-party EVF.
As for lenses, you can go with all your E-mount solutions. There are plenty of adapters out there too, but for AF the native mount is the best bet.
If you need a more traditional support, say a tripod, you have a wide-open world of possibilities. Anything targeting video with fluid movements and good load capacity will work. CVP’s favorite is the Sachtler aktiv6 or aktiv8. It’s pricey, but tripods are where you get your money’s worth since they should last for a long time.
Gimbals are possible with the FX6 thanks to its size, and the DJI RS 2 is a hard one to beat. You’ll just need a little extension plate to get it to balance right.
Even if you just go with a couple of the pieces here you’ll probably find you enjoy shooting just a tad more than before. Rigging up a camera like the FX6 isn’t absolutely necessary, but it will make life a little better.
Are there any accessories for cinema cameras that you can’t live without?
- Sony FX6 Cinema Camera (B&H, Amazon)
- Tentacle SYNC E Timecode Generator (B&H)
- Tentacle TRACK E Pocket Audio Recorder (B&H, Amazon)
- Rode VideoMic NTG Shotgun Microphone (B&H, Amazon)
- Deity V-Mic D3 Pro Shotgun Microphone (B&H, Amazon)
- Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Microphone (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony ECM-MS2 Stereo Microphone (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony UWP Wireless System (B&H, Amazon)
- Atomos Ninja V+ Pro Kit (B&H, Amazon)
- Atomos Shinobi Monitor (B&H, Amazon)
- Atomos Shinobi 7 Monitor (B&H, Amazon)
- Portkeys BM5 III Monitor (B&H)
- Hawk Woods BP-75UX Battery Pack (B&H)
- Hawk Woods BP-98UX Battery Pack (B&H)
- Core SWX Nano-U98 Battery Pack (B&H, Amazon)
- Sachtler aktiv6 flowtech75 MS Tripod System (B&H, Amazon)
- Sachtler aktiv8 flowtech75 MS Tripod System (B&H, Amazon)
- DJI RS 2 Gimbal Stabilizer (B&H, Amazon)