Sony VENICE comes to Z Systems
It’s specs at a glance are:
- 6K (6048 x 4032) Full Frame Sensor
- PL Mount, and an E-Mount (Lever Lock Type)
- 8 Step Mechanical ND Filters (ND 0.3 to ND 2.4)
- Operator Controls On Both Sides Of Camera
- Compatible With Existing Accessories, Including the AXS-R7 Recorder
- User Interchangeable Sensor Block
Sony has demonstrated in spades with their F5 and F55 program that they are building camera bodies that will last for years and not be obsoleted in months. We are very excited to see this philosophy continue with VENICE. VENICE has already received 2 full version firmware updates that have unlocked a lot of features, and there is another big firmware update scheduled for Summer 2019 with even more features.
Sony focused on naturalistic and “film-like” color reproduction with their new sensor
The full frame 36×24 mm sensor boasts 6K resolution. They call the camera “aspect ratio agnostic”, because the camera can shoot in a wide range of formats on one sensor.
Full Frame recording and anamorphic 4k recording will require a paid license to use. The licenses will be rentable on a daily or weekly basis, or for permanent purchase.
Sony claims 15+ stops of latitude and therefore suitability for HDR production. According to Sony, it exceeds the BT.2020 color space.
Camera Mounts – PL or E-Mount
The Sony VENICE comes with a PL mount, so all S35 mm PL lenses (including anamorphics) and Full-Frame PL lenses work from the start.
However, the mount is switchable to E-mount (lever lock type, like on the FS7 II), which widens the choice of budget or smaller lenses significantly.
Improved On-Set Operability
The camera uses dual displays for camera crews, with a sub display on the assistant side. On the operator side, there is an OLED display with short cuts to ND, shuter, FPS, white balance and other functions. Sony clearly took inspiration from Panasonic’s Varicam 35 here.
The camera also has power options for accessories like a Lemo port and a 24V output.
Interchangeable Sensor Block
For the first time, the sensor block is interchangeable – which is supposed to make the camera future-proof. This has also allowed Sony to come engineer the Rialto extension for the VENICE, which moves the sensor block to a smaller and lighter chassis that is tethered to the rest of the camera by a 9′ or 18′ umbilical. This lets you put the VENICE sensor block onto gimbals, cranes or into places too small for the full camera body.
Sony redesigned the interior of the body – all of the electronics are in an isolated chassis, which means that dust and moisture from outside shouldn’t affect functionality of the camera as much as in the past. The ventilation system was also completely redesigned. Sony says that the VENICE was tested in the toughest conditions and that it’s extremely rugged.
The camera is much more configurable than an F65, for example, and accessories designed for the F55 size will also work on this camera, like the raw recorder.
The DVF-EL200 Viewfinder that was introduced for the F55/F5 as an option, is also the viewfinder that Sony recommends for the VENICE.
8 Steps of ND built-in
For the first time, they put 8 steps of ND right into a CineAlta camera. ND values are between 0.3 (1/2) to 2.4 (1/256) by combining two ND wheels. They are servo-controllable to use remotely.
The camera has multiple recording formats:
Internally the VENICE will record in 4k XAVC-I at both 300Mb/s and 480Mb/s, as well as in HD in both ProRes and MPEG HD422.
With the Sony AXS-R7 recorder attached the VENICE will record 6k X-OCN ST/LT 16-bit, and 4k RAW SQ 16-bit.
Post Production ready for VENICE
Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 14 and other post production packages like FilmLIght (Baselight 5.0 and Daylight 5.0), or the ColorFront Transkoder already support the formats from VENICE right from when it becomes available.
Sony will update their software packages Catalyst Browse and the Sony RAW Viewer to support VENICE from the day it comes out.