Sony Unveils VENICE, Their New 6K Cinema Camera

sony_venice_with_axs-r7By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Sony has a new flagship full-frame cinema camera which can provide just a bit more real estate than its Super 35 F65. Officially dubbed VENICE, the camera sports a 36 x 24mm sensor and will no doubt serve as the workhorse of the CineAlta line.

Capable of recording 10-bit XAVC files internally, or 16-bit RAW X-OCN files via Sony’s optional external recorder, the VENICE will be able to take advantage of the standard CineAlta workflow, but bring a lot more dynamic range to the party. In addition to the larger full-frame sensor, VENICE also has an 8-stage ND filter design, which will serve to provide greater control over exposure. This is for when the lens’ aperture settings will only take you so far.

venice_sony_lens_mounts

Lens mounts

There’s also a standard menu interface that will look familiar to Panasonic VariCam and ARRI ALEXA shooters, making for a seamless transition from project to project. While Sony offers their own E-mount lens system, the VENICE also supports Panavision PL mount lenses, too.

But Sony did something interesting here, making VENICE PL supported out of the box, with the option to swap to their own E-mount lens array with a simple turn of a lever lock, which was first made popular on the FS7 II. The PL mount lenses will also come with /i Lens support, and that may also hold true with eMount lenses, according to No Film School.

And what may be a first, Sony is making the VENICE sensor block completely interchangeable. The sensor block system contains all the electronics required isolated in an interchangeable chassis making future proofing it as Sony works on sensors that will go past 8K and beyond.

sensor-graph-2-640x375-1

Other specs include:

  1. Full-Frame 36x24mm sensor
  2. 15 stops of dynamic range
  3. 10bit XAVC, with 16-bit X-OCN RAW external, Sony’s 16bit eXtended tonal range Original Camera Negative, RAW (on AXS-R7), and XAVC-I and ProRes (only in HD) interally.
  4. Recording to Sony SxS cards
  5. Optional Raw external recording
  6. 4096 x 2160 to 60fps
  7. 6038 x 4032 to 24fps, 4096 x 3432 Anamorphic available by license
  8. Lemo plug for accessories
  9. 24 volt power

VENICE

Though marketed as a full-frame camera, the full-frame license is an additional fee, along with 6K and anamorphic modes, leaving the base model capable of 4K 17:9 and 3.8K 16:9 out of the box. Adding the anamorphic license buys users an additional 4:3 and 6:5 aspect ratio in 4K, plus the full-frame license cracks the 6K barrier starting at 5.7K 16:9, 6K 17:9, 1.85-1, 2.39-1 and 3:2. Cinematographers and Videographers can also shoot natively at up to 60fps, but when you access the anamorphic and full-frame licenses, that drops to 30 fps and 24 fps in 3:2.

Additionally, Sony says that VENICE will be HDR-capable thanks to its broad 15 stops of dynamic range, and a color space that promises to exceed the BT2020 standard.

Sony plans to ship VENICE in early 2018, and although there’s no official pricing information released, experts are predicting the body will run in the neighborhood of $45,000 (€37,000) with its optional licenses tentatively priced at $4,800 (€4,000) for anamorphic, and $7,200 (€6,000) for full frame. So, if you went all-in, you’re looking at around $57,000. Sony will, however, be offering daily, weekly, and monthly rentals of both licenses, but that code price isn’t yet determined.

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.