Best audio input on the Sony FX3

Which audio input on the Sony FX3 gives the best quality?

When shooting with the Sony Fx3 we have multiple audio input options to work with. On the top audio handle there’s two XLR inputs with a full set of controls as well as a 3.5mm input with a level control. If not using the audio handle there’s a 3.5mm input on the side of the camera body with levels controlled in. cameras menu or you can also connect a microphone or wireless system to the MI (Multi Interface) Shoe on the camera where the levels are controlled within the external device.

Comparing the FX3 Inputs

In an effort to have a better understanding of how all these input options compare I decided to do a controlled test. I created an audio sample using a high quality voiceover from BigFish Media along with a music track from Artlist. This audio was sent via my Sony UWP D-26 Wireless System so that each input would receive exactly the same signal and then compared the results to see which one provides the most accurate recording with the lowest noise floor.

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Sony FX3 / FX30 Audio Input Shootout - Which One Sounds The Best?
Sony FX3 / FX30 Audio Input Shootout - Which One Sounds The Best?

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Table of Contents

These links open the relevant section on YouTube

00:00 – Intro
02:08 – Testing Montage
03:03 – Sound Quality Tests
03:19 – Original Source Audio
04:28 – Audio Handle XLR Input
05:41 – Audio Handle 3.5mm Input
07:05 – Camera Body 3.5mm Input
08:28 – MI Shoe – Analogue
09:54 – MI Shoe – Digital
11:36 – Final Play Through & Thoughts
12:51 – Noise Floor Tests
16:29 – Test Conclusions

Products Shown

The following are affiliate links, if you use these and go on to purchase something then I make a small commission. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Sony FX3
Sony UWP D-26 Wireless System
Sony SMAD P-5 Digital / Analogue Adapter
Sennheiser MKH-416 Shotgun Mic

 

6 Responses

  1. Matthew says:

    Thanks for your tutorials on the audio inputs for FX three, greatly appreciated. Got a quick question I’m using the 3.5 audio input side of the camera using the new DJI Mike, TX. The DGI system has two separate channels, but when I plug it into the 3.5 input at the FX three, I don’t get separate channels. Is there a way to correct that? So I can have separate channels ?

    • Paul Joy says:

      Hi Matthew. The 3.5mm input is a stereo input that is capable of two channels so I expect the reason mu lie with the DJI Mic. I have no experience with that mic system so I can’t give advice other than have a look in the app or on the device and see if there’s a way you can choose between the ways the output is combined at the time it’s sent out by the receiver.

  2. Sam Ibrahim says:

    Paul I returned my FX30 and bought FX3 and when I have my Ninja V Plus connected only with the HDMI no audio at all! But I need to connect a 3.5mm cable from MIC/Audio of the ninja to the Mic input of the camera to be able to get. audio and the cable just annoys me there is a way to use it without but a have tried many setting and none worked Can you please assist me with this issue.
    Regards
    Sam

    • Paul Joy says:

      Hi Sam, sorry for the very late reply, for some reason I wasn’t getting notifications of comments on the blog! I hope you got this sorted as you shouldn’t need to use a separate audio cable. It sounds like you didnt have the audio channels configured correctly on the Ninja.

  3. Tom Jeffers says:

    Hi Paul I’m not sure if you can help me. I work for the broadcasting company and they’re having a load of problems ingesting IPCM tone. Since FX3 update I have a feeling that Sony changed even 2 channel 24 bit sound to IPCM sound.
    Can I record two channel sound in PCM sound with the handle? And how can I check this?. I’ve been using catalyst browse and it’s saying everything is PCM but that’s not true. 🤷🏻

    • Paul Joy says:

      Hi Tom. I think you asked this elsewhere as I recognise the question. As far as I’m aware the FX3 has always recorded sound as LPCM so I don’t think the update changed that. Let me know if you’re still having problems.

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