Sony presented VENICE2, the new modelthe flagship and latest addition to the line-up of high-end digital cinema cameras. VENICE 2 offers all the advantages of the original VENICE model, with the addition of new features that include compact design, internal recording and the ability to use two different sensors: the brand new 8.6K Full-Frame sensor or the original 6K sensor from VENICE. VENICE 2 also includes some popular features from the previous model, such as color science, dual ISO base and integrated 8-step ND filters.
The new sensor offers outstanding image quality and exceptional sensitivity in low light conditions
In addition to the all-new 8.6K Full Frame CMOS sensor (8640 x 5760), VENICE 2 offers excellent image quality with 16 full latitude steps to capture beautiful images with rich shadows and perfect color separation. The camera also embodies the color science of the original VENICE model, much appreciated for the natural rendering of skin tones. The CineAlta VENICE 2 camera boasts a unique dual ISO base of 800/3200 that allows filmmakers to capture incredibly sharp, cinema-style images in a wide range of conditions. It also supports a variety of shooting types, including Full Frame, Anamorphic Full Frame, and Super35mm, all at a minimum resolution of 4K, making it an extraordinarily versatile, high-performance model for cinematographers and productions.
To showcase the strengths of the VENICE 2 and its new 8.6K sensor, Sony partnered with the best cinematographers in the industry to test the camera’s image quality in two separate cinematic takes without using professional lighting.
Successful cinematographer Robert McLachlan ASC, CSC, who worked on the acclaimed Game of Thrones productions (for which he earned two Emmy nominations), Westworld – Where Anything Is Allowed and Lovecraft Country – Land of Demons tested and shot with the new VENICE 2 Full Frame 8.6K in two different countries and shared his impressions.
“I wish I had had a large format 8.6K sensor like the one in Sony VENICE 2 in Game of Thrones as well. It would have made shooting even more epic and, at the same time, more engaging, thanks to the superior resolution, richness of images and sense of depth. The faster speed, brighter highlights and shadows, coupled with the potential of ultra-narrow depth of field, would have been a very valuable asset to us. ”
Rob Hardy, BSC, the British cinematographer best known for his outstanding contributions to Mission Impossible: Fallout, Ex-Machina and DEVS, and BAFTA Award Winner for Cinematography with Boy A, to name but a few hits, commented :
“I’m used to using the original VENICE model and I feel like I’m a big fan of this camera. Being able to use VENICE 2 was a great opportunity for me. This is the first time I have used such a large sensor, that is 8.6K, and we were lucky enough to bring with us some anamorphic lenses suitable for the cinematic effect and which could fully exploit the sensor’s full potential. We raised the ISO to run at a higher speed in low light, something that has never been possible in the past, and it was very useful for me. “
Thanks to the large oversampling offered by the 8.6K sensor, images shot with VENICE 2 have reduced noise and contain more information in 2K or 4K productions. This also means that the camera is suitable for VR, In-Camera VFX and Virtual Production setups, delivering an immersive experience and lifelike images, especially when used in conjunction with Sony’s large, high-contrast Crystal LED displays.
The success of the original VENICE model
Since its launch in 2017, VENICE has been used to shoot more than 300 theatrical, broadcast, cable and streaming productions, including the Emmy-winning series “The Crown”. Regular firmware and hardware updates designed to meet the latest creative needs have been key to the wide adoption of VENICE.
“We are thrilled with the success of VENICE over the past four years. Working with cinematographers and production companies around the world, we have identified opportunities for improvement by making the most of many of our latest imaging and sensor technologies. In this way, we have taken VENICE’s image quality to the next level. In addition, we have made the camera more compact and integrated the recording function to offer greater creative freedom: the camera can be used with drones, steadicams, aerial gimbals or underwater cases, ”commented Hiroshi Kajita, Head of Media Solutions, Sony Professional, Sony Europe.
VENICE 2 packs in many of the most popular features of the original VENICE model, including dual ISO base, integrated 8-step ND filters, compatibility with a wide range of lenses, including Sony’s native PL and E-mount models that support adapters for a wide range of optics.
Thanks to direct feedback received from the manufacturing community, the VENICE 2 has been designed with a lighter and more compact body than the original VENICE model, without sacrificing intuitive operation. While being 44mm smaller and about 10% lighter, the VENICE 2 chassis supports internal X-OCN recording and Apple 4K Pro Res 4444 and 422HQ without the AXS-R7 recorder, offering improved usability in a lightweight body and compact.
Interchangeable sensor design
For added flexibility in the field, the VENICE 2 chassis boasts the unique interchangeable feature of the image sensor block. The camera can be used with both the 8.6K sensor and the original 6K sensor block. The camera body automatically detects the sensor and boots without requiring firmware changes or reinstallations, for greater flexibility in the field. The original 6K sensor supports higher frame rates.
Internal recording and more compact size for optimal usability
Lightweight and compact yet extremely rugged, the VENICE 2 body takes advantage of the new high speed 6.6 Gbps AXS-A1TS66 card for 8K 60p recording. Existing AXS memory card readers, including AXS-AR3 via Thunderbolt ™ 3 interface, are compatible with the new media.
In addition, the VENICE 2 user interface is the same as the original VENICE model, but incorporates some improvements that make its use even easier and more intuitive. The camera boasts a renewed design, without sacrificing compatibility with most VENICE accessories.
Other improvements to VENICE 2 usability based on feedback from current VENICE users include:
- 4K output with LUT applied
- Optimized 3D LUT processing to improve image quality
- EI changes directly when applied to the S-Log3 outputs
- Control of LUT / ASC-CDL via Ethernet / Wi-Fi
- Custom Zoom Operation (Full Frame Recording with 17: 9/16: 9 Display)
- Moved Ethernet connector to the side of the attendant assistant
- 2-pin 12 V Lemo output connector
- Microphone installed internally
The VENICE 2 camera with 8.6K sensor will be distributed starting February 2022 and a version with the pre-installed 6K sensor will be distributed in March 2022. In addition, the VENICE 2 can be used with the VENICE extension system using the existing 6K sensor. while a latest generation extension system for the 8.6K sensor is expected to be released in early 2023.
Exclusive stories and exciting new content shot with the new VENICE 2 and other Sony imaging products are available at www.sonycine.com, a website created to educate and inspire all Sony Cinema Line fans and users.