Sony VENICE CineAlta Full-Frame 35mm 6K Camera Announced

September 6th, 2017

At events in Pinewood Studios UK, and Hollywood, Sony just announced their long-anticipated high-end full frame CineAlta camera – it will be called “ Sony VENICE”.

I’m here at legendary Pinewood Studios in England right now, and just attended the first hands-on with the exclusive new Sony flagship camera, the VENICE. This is a big step for Sony as it’s going to be the new top model of the CineAlta line, replacing the F65 at the top.

(Watch the video above – Big thanks to our friend Emmanuel Pampuri for operating the camera during the interview!)

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.

Double ND filter wheel – internal workings.

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 use Super35mm (17:9 and 16:9), Full Frame 35mm and Super35 full height 2.0x squeeze anamorphic lenses. Only the Full Frame 35mm will use the full 6K, the Super35 resolutions use 4K. Full-frame recording will not be immediately possible from the time of availability (February 2018), but rather be offered as a paid upgrade approximately in summer 2018.

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.

Claudio Miranda, ASC, on set shooting the demo film “The Dig” with the new Sony VENICE.

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.

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.

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.

Recording formats

The camera has multiple recording formats:

X-OCN (on the external AXS-R7 recorder), Sony’s 16bit eXtended tonal range Original Camera Negative, RAW (on AXS-R7), and XAVC-I and ProRes (only in HD) interally.

 

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.

Pricing, Availability – and full-frame & anamorphic are payable options

The camera is anticipated to start shipping in February 2018. Pricing is not fixed yet. The tentative price for the body only is €37,000. Full frame and anamorphic options will come as payable options, with the full-frame option costing a tentative €4,000 and the anamorphic costing a tentative €6,000. You can also “rent” them on a daily or weekly basis though, pricing unknown.

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 William Sommerwerck
Member
September 11th, 2017

VistaVision lives!

 Misha Engel
Misha Engel
Member
September 8th, 2017

What, it lacks an OLPF that screws up the resolution. It’s between Alexa and Alexa65, also very bad camera’s without OLPF.

Let’s wait for the independent reviews and see how it performs

Peter Kent
Member
September 7th, 2017

4 Years ago I told myself I will only buy another “Full Frame” camera if it has 8K… It isn’t that I am unhappy with 4K or 6K, in fact I am very happy with the Super35 6K cameras of today.

Member
September 8th, 2017
Reply to  Peter Kent

Highly recommend watching Steve Yedlin’s 2-part presentation on resolution: http://yedlin.net/ResDemo/
Might change your mind.

Peter Kent
Member
September 10th, 2017
Reply to  Gleb Volkov

Thanks Gleb but I think you misunderstand, I am in fact quite happy with current resolutions and am not simply pushing for more; what I meant is why go through the trouble and cost of shooting on “Full Frame” when I’ll get the same (or less) resolution as Super35. By not making this Full Frame/Vista Vision sensor 8K they are obviously leaving the door open for future upgrades. Until they upgrade the sensor I don’t think it’s worth the extra cost or trouble.

I find Super35 to be more practical for capturing motion and 6K to be great acquisition for 4K delivery due to oversampling or “pan & scanning”. This is why everyone prefers 4k acquisition for HD delivery which allows even more freedom in post, however to get that same amount of freedom for 4k delivery you would need 8K acquisition which is asking a little too much of Super35, so for the time being 8K is best left to the “Full Frame” format.

Member
September 7th, 2017

This may seem off topic at first, but given how similar the Venus sensor appears to be with the A9, are there any plans to actual test the video capabilities of that camera? Obviously the imaging pipeline (and presumably color science) is different between the two cameras but it might give some insights into what to expect from Venus.

Daniel Fortin
Guest
September 7th, 2017

Paul Neary this will look great beside the ursa

Karthik Nagaraj
Guest
September 7th, 2017

super

Member
September 7th, 2017

37k plus RAW and FF add 10k. Plus R7 Recorder for another 5k. And max Frame rate is 60p? C’mon Sony! At least a 120 Fps windowed S-35 wis be acceptable at that price. VV Red will eat your lunch.

 Misha Engel
Misha Engel
Member
September 11th, 2017
Reply to  Tim Naylor

When will the VV red’s be delivered in higher quantities than 10 a year?. Many people made a deposite more than a year ago and are still waiting to get them. Also the RED’s use OLPF the screws the resolution 6k dragon was measured at 3400 lines with the 6144 lines available. There is more then bayer sensor resolution that makes the picture. A red weapen 8k VV will also set you back $ 80.000(when you can get one) and a Helium $ 65.000.
The Arri Alexa65 is rental only, like the panavision DXL.

Eric Parnell
Guest
September 7th, 2017

Sounds like the camera we’ve been waiting for. Super excited about FF option in this range with this kind of build out. Future proofing with a swappable sensor bay is awesome! 15 stops, and raw capabilities. Darker internal ND is rad. And I’m a fan of the lower native ISO so I don’t have to use so much ND when shooting wide open. ??

Nook Kim
Guest
September 7th, 2017

Price anyone?

Lê Thịnh
Guest
September 7th, 2017

Looks like Alexa XT

Gene Nemetz
Guest
September 7th, 2017

6K is so 5 years ago.

Member
September 7th, 2017

No 444 internal. Adding the R7 and batt makes it too big for gimbal work. 500 base ISO. Extra 15k for Full Frame, Raw and licenses. Why would I take this over Red VV ?

Aakash Prashanth
Guest
September 7th, 2017

“spotlight feature: weighs less than 30 kilos”

Gianfranco Mancusi
Guest
September 7th, 2017

500 EI?

Dan Thompson
Guest
September 6th, 2017

Andrew White new upgrade?

Andrew White
Guest
September 7th, 2017
Reply to  Dan Thompson

ARRI or die bitch

Martyn Ward
Guest
September 6th, 2017

Y U DO DIS 2 MEH!?!?!

Sam Snell
Guest
September 6th, 2017

16bit raw external recording? nice! hahahaha

Bernard Baird
Guest
September 6th, 2017

O M G

Jon Venusti
Guest
September 6th, 2017

It’s 45k a RED scarlet w or even the epic w seems like a better value. A red being a better value is a scary thought

Gene Nemetz
Guest
September 7th, 2017
Reply to  Jon Venusti

Why not go a little higher and get the best camera in the world, the Red Helium?

Marco Kessler
Guest
September 6th, 2017

Patrik Naumann jetzt gibt es kein zurück mehr….

Nathan Ivor Scott Barlow
Guest
September 6th, 2017

Oh my god ….

Fernando Luis Jimenez
Guest
September 6th, 2017

Meh

 Mario Mele
Member
September 6th, 2017

what a big time! welcome Venice!
Good FullFrame + internal NDs + Form factor + e-mont/pl-mount
but NO internal RAW (maybe compressed) & No High FPS
and price, with license and raw recorder is 50% more than EPIC-W nonetheless this is 6k vs 8k

Derek Sexton Horani
Guest
September 6th, 2017

Nice to see people complaining as usual

Oscar Stegland
Guest
September 6th, 2017

ProRes HD!? Take my fucking money!

Member
September 6th, 2017

Why only 60 fps? Not even in 1080p something like 120fps?

Ruairi Abrahams
Guest
September 6th, 2017

Venice.. Rhymes with penis in some accents

Ruairi Abrahams
Guest
September 6th, 2017

I’m still trying to figure out how to select 180fps on my GH5

Christopher Grant Harvey
Guest
September 6th, 2017

“Full-frame recording will not be immediately possible from the time of availability (February 2018), but rather be offered as a paid upgrade approximately in summer 2018.”

“Paid upgrade” typical Sony garbage.

Stefan Tasic
Guest
September 6th, 2017

Because no other camera company does paid upgrades (even for fucking LOG profiles)?

Christopher Grant Harvey
Guest
September 6th, 2017

I’m talking about the ability to shoot FF. That’s such an incredibly ridiculous thing to be forced to pay for. NO OTHER company does that. Even Panasonic gave GH5 firmware away for free.

Stefan Tasic
Guest
September 6th, 2017

Yes, Panasonic also gives V-Log for free…oh wait. :) I don’t know if Venice upgrade is software or hardware based (hence the cost), they have that modular system so anything is possible. All other firmware Sony used for their cameras is generally free.

 Keith Testerman
Keith Testerman
Member
September 6th, 2017

A camera that is advertised as full frame, but doesn’t use the whole sensor unless you pay an extra $4000+ (I’m American, sorry for the funny symbol)…Also, red has been recording compressed raw internally for quite a while now. Once you buy the external raw recorder, the camera, and the full frame license, you may as well buy a red. Biggest difference being that this will be too big for a gimbal…kind of sad and disappointing. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that the new FS Cameras won’t get some form of raw format internally as a response to the c200…

Rafael Molina
Guest
September 6th, 2017

Y don’t get it, tentative price is £41,000???

Oscar Stegland
Guest
September 7th, 2017
Reply to  Rafael Molina

It’s cheaper than the F65 but more expensive than any other camera they’ve put to market in the past 7 years. The F55 wasn’t far off from this price when it launched though. On the other hand it didn’t need £10k in licenses to use the advertised features…

Zhen Jie Ho
Guest
September 6th, 2017

Sounds like Borat saying “Very nice”, which is how I would describe this camera.

Hnrch Mck Ibñz Escn
Guest
September 6th, 2017

The F65 is now under of the VENICE.

Jeremy Woods
Guest
September 6th, 2017

But it looks like a Red.

Joelle Mcneil
Guest
September 6th, 2017
Reply to  Jeremy Woods

Not really, looks like an Arri

 Technology Analyst
Technology Analyst
Member
September 7th, 2017
Reply to  Joelle Mcneil

Arri knows cinematographers want bigger sensors, hence the Arri 65.

Sony is now joining the large sensor race, but betting that full-frame will provide an easier way to do it.

We can kiss Super 35 goodbye for big budget cinema cameras, and hello full-frame.

 Joe Ogiba
Joe Ogiba
Member
September 11th, 2017

Sony should come out with a pro 4K 60p version of the old full frame VG900 using the a7s II sensor since the a7 bodies are too small.

Jeremy Woods
Guest
September 6th, 2017
Reply to  Jeremy Woods

Basically. Yeah

Donagh McSharry
Guest
September 6th, 2017

It would take me half an hour just to find the on button!

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