Sony Introduces the VENICE 2 Digital Cinema Camera, with 8.6K Full-Frame Image Sensor, 16 Stops of Exposure Latitude to Capture Clean Shadows, Rolling Highlights, and Natural Skin Tones. To further enhance its operability and versatility, the VENICE 2 has a compact body design, internal X-OCN recording, and the flexibility to interchange sensors across models.
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 15, 2021 – Sony Electronics Inc. today announced the VENICE 2, its new flagship model and the newest addition to its high-end digital cinema camera family. The VENICE 2 expands on the original VENICE’s strengths with new features such as a compact design, internal recording, and the choice of two sensors: the newly designed full-frame 8.6K sensor or the classic 6K VENICE sensor. Color science, Dual Base ISO, and 8-stops of built-in ND filters are among the popular features carried over from the original VENICE.
The VENICE 2 features a newly built 8.6 K (8640 x 5760) full-frame CMOS image sensor that captures beautiful photographs with superb color separation and shadow detail. The camera’s color science is inherited from the original VENICE, which is known for its natural skin tones. The VENICE 2 8K CineAlta camera features a unique dual base ISO of 800/3200, allowing filmmakers to create extraordinarily clean, film-like images in a variety of lighting situations.
It supports full-frame, full-frame anamorphic, and Super35 formats, all at a minimum of 4K quality, making it an exceptional and adaptable camera system for cinematographers and productions. Sony collaborated with the industry’s finest cinematographers to test the VENICE 2’s image quality on a few different film productions without using any professional movie lighting to demonstrate the camera’s strength and new 8.6K sensor.
Robert McLachlan ASC, CSC, an award-winning cinematographer who has worked on critically acclaimed films such as Game of Thrones (for which he garnered two Emmy nominations), Westworld, and Lovecraft Country. McLachlan put the new 8.6K full-frame VENICE 2 through its paces in two nations and shared his thoughts.
“I really wish we’d had a large format, 8.6K sensor like Sony VENICE 2 on my past work. It would have made it feel even more epic and, at the same time, more engaging, thanks to the increased resolution, richness, and dimensionality. The increased speed, cleaner highlights, and shadows together with the potential for super-shallow depth of field would have been a huge asset.”
Claudio Miranda ASC, ACC, an Academy Award-winning cinematographer, used the original VENICE and pitted the VENICE 2 against it in the dead of night in the California desert. He made the following assessment:
“The 3200 ASA is incredible. I think how clean it is – is definitely a big deal,” said Miranda. “In the film, there is still fidelity in the shadows, and the wide shots are pretty spectacular. There were no film lights on this shoot at all. There were just headlights of the car, the fire, and that was the point. It was to go to the middle of nowhere and put a big fire and see how far the new sensor could light up the mountain, without noise.”
Rob Hardy, BSC, ASC, the British cinematographer known for his ground-breaking work on Mission Impossible: Fallout, Ex-Machina, and DEVS and winner of the BAFTA for cinematography for Boy A, amongst others also commented:
“I’m used to using the original VENICE and I would say, I am a pretty much an advocate of that camera. The opportunity to use VENICE 2 is actually a really fantastic one. This is the first time I’ve ever used that larger sensor, the 8.6K and we were lucky enough to get some anamorphic lenses that really set for the full cinematic effect and really utilized the whole sensor. The ISOs have been bumped up so that enables me to shoot at a higher speed in the low light levels which is something that wasn’t really an option before, and that’s the big gain for me.”
Images shot with the VENICE 2 will benefit from less noise and enhanced information in a 2K or 4K production thanks to the 8.6K sensor’s sufficient oversampling. It also means that the camera is well-suited for VR, in-camera VFX, and Virtual Production setups, giving an immersive experience and realistic visuals, particularly when used in conjunction with Sony’s high-contrast and large-scale Crystal LED displays.
VENICE has been utilized to shoot over 300 theatrical, broadcast, cable, and streaming releases since its debut in 2017, including the Emmy Award-winning series “The Crown.” Regular firmware and hardware updates to match the most recent creative needs have been critical to VENICE’s widespread acceptance.
“We are so pleased to have seen the success of the original VENICE over the last four years. Based on our conversations with cinematographers and production companies around the world, we recognized an opportunity to improve by leveraging many of our latest imaging and sensor technologies. By doing so, we are taking the VENICE image quality to a new level. We also made the camera smaller and are offering internal recording to enable more creative freedom: whether that means using the camera on drones, Steadicams, aerial gimbals- or underwater housings,” said Neal Manowitz, President and COO, Sony Electronics Inc.
VENICE 2 Digital Cinema Camera Upgrades:
The VENICE 2 has many of the same characteristics as the original VENICE, such as Dual Base ISO, 8-stops of built-in ND filters, and compatibility with a wide range of lenses, including all PL mount and Sony’s native E-mount, which allows adapters for a wide range of lenses.
The VENICE 2 was created with a smaller and lighter body than the first VENICE while maintaining its intuitive operability, thanks to direct feedback from the production community. The VENICE 2 chassis, despite being 44 mm smaller and 10 percent lighter, offers internal recording of X-OCN and Apple 4K ProRes 4444 and 422 HQ without the AXS-R7 recorder, providing improved usability in a compact and lightweight body.
The 8.6K image sensor’s user-selectable capture resolution allows for shooting in a variety of settings, including:
Full information about imager mode can be found HERE.
Interchangeable Sensor Design:
The VENICE 2 chassis adds the unique advantage of being able to replace the image sensor block for even greater flexibility on-site. Both the 8.6K and the original 6K sensor blocks can be used with the camera. v The camera body detects the change instantly and starts up without the need for any firmware updates or re-installations, giving you additional flexibility on-site. Higher frame rates will be possible with the original 6K sensor.
Internal Recording and Smaller Size
The VENICE 2 body is small and light, but it is firmly built, and it uses a new high-speed 6.6 Gbps AXS card, the AXS-A1TS66, providing 8K 60p recording. The new media is compatible with existing AXS Memory Card Readers, including the AXS-AR3 through the ThunderboltTM3vi interface.
Furthermore, the VENICE 2 user interface is identical to the original VENICE, but with enhancements to make it even easier and more intuitive to use.
The camera has a more advanced product design and is compatible with nearly all original VENICE accessories.
Other updates to the VENICE 2 Digital Cinema Camera
- 4K output with LUT applied
- Improved 3D LUT processing to improve picture quality
- EI changes directly applied to S-Log3 outputs
- LUT/ASC-CDL control via Ethernet/Wi-Fi
- Zoom to Fit (Full-Frame recording with 17:9/16:9 monitoring) operation
- Ethernet connector position changed to Camera Assistant side
- Lemo 2pin 12V output connector
- Internal microphone installed
The VENICE 2 camera with an 8.6K image sensor is scheduled to start shipping in February 2022 and VENICE 2 camera with a 6K image sensor in March 2022.
In addition, the VENICE 2 6K can be used with the existing VENICE Extension System and a next-generation Extension System for VENICE 2 8K is planned to be released by early 2023.