SONY VENICE 3D Camera to Shoot AVATAR Sequels + VENICE Firmware 2.0 to be Released a Month Earlier

For those of you considering a purchase of the new Sony top CineAlta camera – the 6K Full-Frame Sony VENICE, we have some news for you. Things are moving fast at Sony apparently, as they will bring the upcoming Version 2.0 firmware, which includes Dual Base High ISO 2500 earlier than expected. Plus if you are into the whole 3D thing and want to party like its 2009 – then please do read on.

At Cine Gear 2018 Sony announced new updates and developments for its VENICE CineAlta motion picture camera system including version 2 firmware, which has been advanced and will now be available in the beginning of July 2018.

In addition, Sony also showed off a prototype/one-off/concept development of its new VENICE Extension System designed for expanded flexibility and enhanced ergonomics – ie. they made a custom 3D VENICE camera for James Cameron to shoot his next Avatar sequels on.

Also being announced is Sony’s plan for high frame rate support for the VENICE system.

“VENICE was born from the voice of cinematographers,” said Peter Crithary, marketing manager for motion picture cameras, Sony Electronics. “Their voices continue to fuel the ongoing development of this powerful camera with the mission to make a real difference in their daily work. These new enhancements provide professionals more freedom to hone their craft, and also protects their investment.”


Sony Venice FF

Sony Venice on set of launch promo film

VENICE Version 2.0 Firmware Details

Version 2 adds new features and capabilities specifically requested by production professionals to deliver more recording capability, customizable looks, exposure tools and greater lens freedom. Highlights include:

  • Dual base ISO – With 15+ stops of exposure latitude, VENICE will support high Base ISO of 2500 in addition to existing ISO of 500, taking full advantage of Sony’s unique sensor for superb low light performance with exceptional dynamic range from +6 stops to -9 stops as measured at 18% middle grey. This increases exposure indexes at higher ISOs for night exteriors, dark interiors, working with slower lenses or where content needs to be graded in High Dynamic Range, while maintaining the maximum shadow details.
  • Select FPS (off speed) – in individual frame increments, from 1 to 60.
  • Additional Imager modes– V2.0 newly adds several Imager Modes:
    • 6K Full-Frame 25p
    • 4K 4:3 Anamorphic 25p
    • 6K 17:9, 1.85:1 and 4K 6:5 Anamorphic imager modes.
  • User up-loadable 3D LUTs – users can customize their own looks and save them directly into the camera.
  • Wired LAN remote control – users can remotely control and change key functions, including camera settings, FPS, shutter, EI, iris (Sony E-mount lens), rec start/stop, and built-in optical ND filters.
  • E-mount –users can remove the PL mount and use a wide assortment of native E-mount lenses.

Learn more about the VENICE’s Dual ISO and False Color:

VENICE Extension System

At Cine Gear 2018, Sony showed the VENICE Extension System, a Full-Frame tethered extension system that allows the camera body to detach from the actual image sensor block with no degradation in image quality up to 20 feet apart.  These are the result of Sony’s long-standing collaboration with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment.

“This new tethering system is a perfect example of listening to our customers, gathering strong and consistent feedback, and then building that input into our product development,” added Crithary. “The ‘Avatar’ sequels will be among the first feature films to use the new VENICE Extension System, but it also has tremendous potential for wider use with handheld stabilizers, drones, gimbals, and remote mounting in confined places.”

High Frame Rate

Sony is also announcing the details of a planned optional upgrade to support high frame rate – targeting speeds up to 60 fps in 6K, up to 90 fps in 4K, and up to 120 fps in 2K to be released in North America in the spring of 2019. Key words – optional = paid.

Learn more about VENICE here and read some of our previous posts here and here.

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