Back in February 2019, Sony announced the details of their upcoming firmware update 4.0 for the VENICE, and just days ago, the company made the firmware update available to VENICE owners.
As a reminder, the major update in Sony VENICE firmware version 4.0 is the addition of high frame rates, or some sweet slow-motion in 4K up to 120fps and even 6K at up to 60fps. The catch is that in order to get access to these slow-motion frame rates, VENICE users will have to purchase a High Speed License from Sony and also send their cameras to a Sony Service Centre to get the new board upgrade.
The Sony F5, which is now on life support, had a similar fate with some new features that also required a service centre modification, but this was many moons ago and that’s a different camera that was always living in the shadow of the mighty F55. Today, the VENICE is quite the step-up. And while this is most certainly far from ideal, it’s not uncommon for Sony or other competitors in the field such as ARRI.
Teradek Bolt for VENICE/Image by Teradek
Sony have positioned their 6K VENICE cinema camera as the flagship Sony CineAlta camera tailored to meet the increasing needs of cinematographers and production companies working in the field of feature films and commercials looking to future-proof their productions, and as such a $4,000 for the HFR license (CBKZ-3610H at B&H) at least in their mind seems like no big deal.
I tend to think of it as the $1,000 Apple Pro stand, but some of you I am sure will find my logic flawed… But anyway, moving on to what’s new in Firmware Version 4.0.
What’s New in VENICE Firmware version 4.0
- Slow-Motion Frame Rates (with HFR License (CBKZ-3610H):
- 6K (3:2)/26 to 60 fps
- 4K (4:3 Anamorphic)/49 to 60, 66, 72, 75 fps
- 4K (17:9)/66, 72, 75, 88, 90, 96, 100, 110 fps
- 4K (2.39:1)/120 fps
- Support of RM-B170, RCP-1501 or other remote control units for Live Production applications
- Support of Rec.2020/HLG_Rec.2100 combination for HDR productions
- when RM/RCP Paint Control is set to “On”
- Support of Pure-P output via the Monitor output
- Support of extended Metadata
- The following metadata has been added to RAW, X-OCN, and XAVC recording
- Lens distortion and shading metadata compatible with Cooke /i3 and ZEISS eXtended Data Technology
- Support of additional functions for Assign Buttons A/B/C on the DVF-EL200 viewfinder
- Support of selection for either the Top or Side 4pin Lens interface
To get your VENICE upgraded best to get in touch with your Sony rep or Sony authorised dealer. As instructed by Sony, those owners based in Europe can email Sony Prime Support with the camera serial number or call them up using the phone numbers on the Prime Support contact page.
For more details on VENICE firmware ver.4.0 and as well as full release notes and updated operating instructions head over to Sony here.