Sony FX3 Flexible Exposure Mode Explained

In this post I’m going to explain the Sony FX3 Flexible Exposure Mode.

Sony FX3 / FX30 Flexible Exposure Mode Explained

Sony FX3 / FX30 Flexible Exposure Mode Explained


I’ve been using the Sony FX3 for a few weeks now and one of the things i really love about using this camera is the way Sony have designed the Flexible Exposure Mode.  Flexible Exposure Mode is the default setting in the camera so someone like me who came from a Sony A7s2 might not realise that exposure controls are slightly different on the FX3.

Buttons & Controls

The main controls for flexible exposure mode are the IRIS & ISO buttons on top of the camera and the shutter button which is on the back at on the bottom of the of the rear dial. In flexible exposure mode each of these three buttons have two functions.

Sony FX3 Top Controls

Sony FX3 Top Controls


Sony FX3 Shutter Control

Sony FX3 Shutter Control

Control Locking

The first flexible exposure mode function is control locking. A short press of any of the three main exposure control buttons will toggle between locking and unlocking that setting. This can be useful if you want to make sure a setting doesn’t get changed by accident.

FX3 Flexible Exposure Mode - Lock Symbol

FX3 Flexible Exposure Mode – Lock Symbol

As you lock and unlock each control a graphic is shown on the display showing which input dials are current locked or unlocked.

Auto Exposure

Pressing and holding any of the three flexible exposure mode buttons will toggle that setting between manual and automatic exposure. When in automatic expose an ‘A’ symbol is shown beside the relative setting on the display to signify it is being automatically controlled by the camera.

FX3 Flexible Exposure Mode - Auto Symbol

FX3 Flexible Exposure Mode – Auto Symbol

In flexible exposure mode you can mix and match which of the three controls are automatically controlled.  You could for instance just have ISO on auto with IRIS and SHUTTER set to manual or set all three to be automatically controlled.

Auto ISO Settings

When using automatic ISO you can set the minimum and maximum ISO value you would like the camera to use. This is set by going to the ISO main menu, selecting AUTO and then setting the values shown on the right of the same page.

Sony FX3 ISO Limit Settings

Sony FX3 ISO Limit Settings

Full Auto Exposure

One thing I found with the Sony FX3 is that when setting all three flexible exposure mode controls to automatic the camera does a good job of prioritising exposure changes. When the scene is darkened for instance the camera will first open the iris as far as possible, then increase iso to the maximum level set and then finally reduce shutter speed as much as possible.

The reverse is also true, when entering a bright scene the camera will first decrease ISO to minimum and then choose a balance of mid range IRIS whilst increasing the shutter speed if necessary.

I wouldn’t recommend full auto over a more controlled exposure method, however it’s good to know the FX3 can manage that situation should the need arise.


Both of the control options in Flexible Exposure Mode really appeal to me. The ability to lock the input dials as required is an essential part of my shooting now and I would really miss this function in another camera.

Having the ability to quickly mix and match auto iris, ISO and shutter depending on the situation is also super useful. I don’t often use auto settings but when I do having this flexibility and ease of use is huge!

You can also view this video on my YouTube channel


Kit shown in the video

The following are affiliate links. If you use these links to purchase products then I will make a small commission on the sale which is used to fund the production of these posts. Thanks for your support.

Camera: Sony FX3
Lens: Sony 50mm GM
Mic: Sennheiser MKH416
Cage: SmallRig 3278 Half Cage
FX3 Handle extension: SmallRig MD3490 Handle Extension
4″ Rod: SmallRig 1871 4″ Rod
6″ Rod: SmallRig 1872 6″ Rod
Rod Clamp: SmallRig 942 Rod Clamp
Monitor mount: Nitze N54-F5
Monitor: Atomos Shinobi
ND: Polar pro PMVND II 2-5



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1 Response

  1. fred kirby says:

    I think a long time ago some how I turned off flexible exposure mode on my fx3. I now get the screen warning “This operation or setting not available as follows P/A/S/M Mode”. How can I get the camera back to flexible exposure mode?

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