Guide to Sony FX3 Recording Formats: XAVC HS, S, and S-I Explained | 25HOUR

Explore the Sony FX3's recording formats, including XAVC HS, S, and S-I in 4K and HD. Learn the best settings for your filmmaking needs in this comprehensive guide.
Versatile and Powerful

Understanding Sony FX3 Recording Formats

The Sony FX3 is a versatile and powerful camera designed for professional filmmakers and content creators. One of its key features is the wide range of recording formats it offers, allowing users to choose the best settings for their specific needs. In this blog post, we'll delve into the various recording formats available on the Sony FX3, as illustrated by the images provided.

H.265 - H.264

Overview of Recording Formats

The Sony FX3 supports several recording formats, each tailored for different shooting scenarios and post-production requirements. The primary formats include XAVC HS, XAVC S, and XAVC S-I, available in both 4K and HD resolutions. Here's a detailed breakdown.

    • Standard Recording: Offers high-efficiency compression with 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling at bitrates up to 280 Mbps.
    • S&Q Mode (Slow & Quick): Supports various frame rates from 120p to 1 fps, with bitrates up to 100 Mbps for flexible slow-motion and fast-motion recording.

    • Standard Recording: Provides a balance between quality and file size with 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling, offering bitrates up to 280 Mbps.
    • S&Q Mode: Similar to XAVC HS, it supports a wide range of frame rates, ensuring versatile shooting options.

    • Standard Recording: Delivers the highest quality with All-Intra compression, ensuring each frame is individually compressed for superior editing flexibility. This format supports 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling with bitrates up to 600 Mbps.
    • S&Q Mode: Allows for high-quality slow-motion and fast-motion recording with bitrates up to 240 Mbps.

Detailed Comparison

The table below summarizes the key specifications of these formats:

Choosing the Right Format

Selecting the appropriate recording format depends on your specific needs:

  • For maximum quality and editing flexibility, XAVC S-I 4K is the best choice due to its All-Intra compression.
  • For efficient storage and good quality, XAVC S 4K offers a good balance, especially for longer recording sessions.
  • For high efficiency and smaller file sizes, XAVC HS 4K is ideal, particularly for streaming and quick turnarounds.


The Sony FX3's wide range of recording formats provides filmmakers with the flexibility to capture their vision in the best possible quality. Understanding these options ensures you can choose the right format for your project, balancing quality, file size, and post-production requirements. Whether you're shooting a high-budget film or a quick documentary, the FX3 has the right settings to meet your needs.

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