Sony has announced a new major firmware release for their VENICE cinema camera. What’s worth noting that version 4.0 is yet to be released (scheduled for June 2019) but that doesn’t stop Sony to tease even more features for v5.0!
If you are new to the Sony VENICE and the firmware 4.0 features, read our article here as a primer. Version 4.0, due next month, also adds support for an additional paid license that will enable the VENICE to capture 120 fps @ 4K 2.39:1 among other HFR options. Version 5.0, which is scheduled for a January 2020 release, will raise that bar even higher!
Sony VENICE Firmware 5.0
According to Neal Manowitz, deputy president for imaging product and solutions Americas at Sony Electronics, the VENICE keeps evolving thanks to its powerful platform and ongoing development through firmware upgrades.
Through an ongoing dialogue with cinematographers, we have continued to evolve VENICE to meet the needs of top talent. To date, more than 100 features and episodic productions have been shot on VENICE. The new Version 5.0 firmware will allow the camera to be even more flexible, ultimately increasing its benefit and versatility to all cinematographers.
Firmware version 5.0 will offer the following enhancements:
- Up to 90fps at 6K 2.39:1 and 72fps at 6K 17:9
- Apple ProRes 4444 – Record HD videos in high picture quality with SxS PRO+, without Sony’s AXS-R7 recorder
- 180 Degree Rotation Monitor Out – Flip and flop images via viewfinder and SDI
- High Resolution Magnification via HD Monitor Out – Existing advanced viewfinder technology for clearer magnification is now extended to HD Monitor Out
- Improved User Marker Settings – Menu updates for easier selection of frame lines on viewfinder
- ACES Support – VENICE has joined Sony’s F65, F55 and F5 in earning the ACES logo, meeting the specifications laid out in the ACES Product Partner Logo Program
Firmware 4.0 already sports quite impressive high frame rate modes such as 120fps at 4K 2.39:1, 60fps at 6K 3:2 or 110fps at 4K 17:9 but FW 5.0 will trump these. This is particularly interesting since only software is being upgraded here, the underlying hardware remains the same. Sony seem to have build their VENICE camera on a very solid hardware platform which is of course gratifying for the filmmaking community.
It seems that firmware 5.0, including its HFR capabilities, will be free of charge and available as a “normal” firmware upgrade for existing users. In contrast, the firmware 4.0 upgrade itself, due next month, will be free of charge but the optional HFR modes will be a paid upgrade.
If you want to check out the VENICE without having to pay its asking price, you can head over to Sony’s VENICE menu simulator here. You can get a glimpse of what this camera is capable of but actually shooting with it is a different thing, of course. In the end this is a camera meant for serious high-level productions and its specs look amazing. But it’s not just the camera itself that makes a good movie… happy shooting!
Links: Sony Product Page
What do you think of this very future-proof camera? Share your thoughts in the comments below!