So Sony give a camera a name – Sony VENICE – rather than a series of letters and numbers! That’s news in itself !!!
By Mike Thomas – Sales Director
The immediate response for the Sony VENICE has been very good with a lot of people placing early orders with Top Teks. People are looking for alternatives to Red in the UHD/4K market with Arri unable to meet the Specifications for UHD.
The Sony VENICE is obviously Sony’s attempt to reclaim the market sector that Arri have been dominating the last few years. The Sony badge may not be as sought after as the Arri, but Sony’s trump card is their ability to design and manufacture state of the art high resolution sensors, something Arri seem unable to do.
A 6K 3:2 Full Frame (36 x 24mm ) Image Sensor boasting a maximum image resolution of 6048 x 4032. The unit utilises some of the technology seen in the A9 earlier this year (as guessed in April in a previous blog) to draw the data off the sensor quickly negating the need for an additional shutter to get rid of rolling shutter / jello effect.
The Sony Venice sensor is described as format agnostic, i.e. it is capable of capture in many Aspect Ratios.
The VENICE boasts 15+ Stops of latitude with low noise and exceeds BT2020 Colour Space. In a recent Sony presentation, it was stated that the VENICE’s accurate colour reproduction exceeded that of the F65. A Native ISO of 500 makes the camera extremely sensitive.
One of the key USP’s of the VENICE is its ability to shoot 4:3 Anamorphic in 4K. It will also be possible to use the whole 3:2 sensor in 6K.
So that’s all the sensor information, what about the camera, what’s new?
One of the real innovative things in the VENICE is the amazing new ND Filter system utilising two filter wheels, allowing 0 to 8 stops of ND in 1 stop increments. The sensor and filter array is in a sealed unit to prevent dust contamination. It is easily detached from the main body and Sony have hinted that they will produce an umbilical cable to allow a very small image capture block away from the main body of the camera.
A feature of recent cameras from the likes of Panasonic and Arri is the interchangeable lens mount. Pana and Arri are restricted to PL and EF whereas the VENICE is PL and E Mount. The significance of this is that as we all know, the E Mount can get you just about anywhere lens wise with an adaptor. The minimal flange back distance a significant benefit of E Mount.
VENICE has the standard Sony recording formats which I’m reliably informed includes XAVC HD although it’s not included in the literature. RAW and XOCN are via the optional R7 recorder. VENICE will have HD ProRes in addition to support those workflows.
Physically the VENICE is a little shorter than the Arri Mini, but a little taller and wider. Takes both 12V and 24V power, with both available as auxiliary power for accessories.
So, the Elephants in the Room!
At delivery stage in February the Sony VENICE is not scheduled to have HD recording. It is scheduled for August in the first major upgrade. This means the camera is for 4K and above customers initially. Sony are hinting they will bring forward HD if they can, and this may be why XDCam HD is now going to be included although not in the first brochures. Frame Rates. Currently the Sony Venice Max’s out at 60P. As a Features / Drama camera this is fine as the max they probably want is 24/25P; to be honest Doco is probably fine, the only genre who will have a real issue is Nat Hist. Again watch this space.
Deliveries start in February. If you’re tempted, get your order in quick; this camera will fly and the back order list is growing every day!
Mike Thomas – Sales Director
Sony Venice Full Frame (FF) Anamorphic, 35mm, 6K, XOCN, Cine, Motion Picture, Camera.