Sony has confirmed that its latest cinema camera, the Sony FX3, will be the ideal filmmaking partner for its incoming Sony Airpeak drone – although the combination will likely be a seriously pricey aerial tag-team.
We asked if the FX3 had been specifically designed to work with the Airpeak drone, a Sony spokesperson told us: "The FX3 is the perfect format to be paired with a drone including the Airpeak drone, but we are not able to comment on specifics".
This isn't a huge surprise, given the Airpeak has been optimized to work with Sony Alpha cameras. The early press shots for Airpeak, which is due to be fully announced sometime between March and May, also show its gimbal holding a Sony A7S III, which is the camera the FX3 is heavily based on.
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But it does also confirm that the FX3 hasn't just been designed for run-and-gun filmmakers, some of whom might have already splashed out on the very similar A7S III. Sony's new cinema camera sits in between its Cinema and Alpha lines and has clearly been built as a versatile body for a variety of environments – including shooting aerial footage in the sky.
While the FX3 and A7S III are nigh-on identical in terms of weight (715g and 699 respectively, with a battery) the FX3's lack of a viewfinder makes it look more ideally suited to being mounted in a drone.
The only thing the FX3 doesn't have is built-in ND filters, which are handy in bright conditions or for long exposures. But this could be mitigated to an extent by using external filters, which is something DJI drone pilots are used to doing.
Open for orders
Of course, the combination of a high-end compact cinema camera and professional drone isn't going to be easy on your bank balance.
Sony hasn't announced the price of its Airpeak drone yet, so it's not possible to put a precise figure on how much the two would cost.
But the Sony FX3, which is now open for pre-orders, costs $3,899 / £4,200 / AU$6,699. And with professional drones like the DJI Inspire 2 going for around $3,299 / £3,059 / AU$4,699, it's fair to say that an FX3-Airpeak combination will likely come with a car-sized price tag.
Looking to snap up a Sony FX3 on its own? Here are the best places in the US and UK to pre-order the full-frame camera, which will ship in mid-March.
Where to pre-order the Sony FX3 (US)
Sony FX3 $3,899 at Best Buy
Best Buy is offering $20 off the annual Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan, and other Adobe software, when you pre-order the FX3 cinema camera through its online store.
Sony FX3 $3,899 at B&H
If you're looking to get a Sony FX3 as soon as possible, B&H appears to be your best bet – it's promising that shipping for the full-frame cinema camera will start from March 2.
Where to pre-order the Sony FX3 (UK)
Sony FX3 £4,199 at Park Cameras
One of the better UK stores for offers on Sony FX3 pre-orders, Park Cameras has a half deal on selected microphones including the Rode NTG2, along with a £300 discount on selected Sony lenses, when you order the camera through its online store.
Sony FX3 £4,199 at Jessops
Like Park Cameras, Jessops is offering a £300 discount on a few choice Sony lenses, including the new Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens, when you pre-order through the store.