Digital cinema wouldn’t be where it is today without Sony, who was the first to deliver a 24p digital camera for high-end productions. This is why B&H is very happy to announce that we will be partnering with Sony to offer the VENICE Digital Motion Picture Camera. This is the next generation in digital filmmaking from Sony, and brings the company into large-format production, since the VENICE uses a specially developed full-frame image sensor to capture stunning footage.
Truly, the heart of the VENICE is a 24.8MP 36.2 x 24.1mm full-frame CMOS sensor. Sony is a leader in sensor development, this chip promises outstanding image quality, able to capture ultra-high resolutions, up to 6048 x 4032, using the entire sensor—when the camera is upgraded with an optional CBKZ-3610F Full-Frame Permanent License. Super35 shooting is natively supported at up to 4096 x 3024 (4:3) from 1-48 fps or 4096 x 2160 (17:9) from 1-60 fps. The sensor is optimized for video and has a high-speed readout that minimizes rolling shutter. Another aspect of this imaging system is a wide dynamic range of greater than 15 stops, making it perfect for HDR projects. VENICE can even exceed the BT-2020 color space and offers S-Log3 and S-Gamut3, making it possible to reproduce extremely accurate colors in many common motion picture color spaces, including DCI-P3.
Cinematographers will be able to optimize dynamic range via the VENICE’s Dual Base ISO configuration. It offers a base ISO of 500 for maximum capabilities, as well as a High Base ISO of 2500 for low-light shooting, while still offering 15 stops of dynamic range. Completing the imaging pipeline is a versatile lens mount. The VENICE comes with a standard PL mount with Cooke/I Technology for recording metadata. Underneath the PL mount is a native lever-lock-type E-mount that offers support for electronically controlled lenses. Anamorphic shooting modes are available for 2x squeeze with a separate CBKZ-3610A Anamorphic Permanent License.
Designed for high-end productions, the VENICE benefits from a robust build that will stand up to demanding conditions and operators. A silent-running fan ensures no issues on set and keeps the camera operating smoothly. Being fully modular makes it useful for a wide range of applications. Also, a servo-controlled 8-step mechanical ND filter mechanism is implemented to eliminate the need to swap out external filters. Control displays are available on both sides of the camera, so current settings are easily seen by operators and assistant. Additionally, the sensor block can be swapped out for potential future upgrades, and the design supports the same base plates as the F55.
In terms of upgrades, the CBK-3610XS Rialto Extension System is compatible as of firmware Version 3.0. Users will be able to detach the sensor block and wire it to the main camera body via 9' or 18' of cable, opening the door for other shooting opportunities. Also brought out by accessories and firmware Version 3.0 is the Sony 16-bit Extended Tonal Range—Original Camera Negative, or X-OCN format. This setup requires the AXS-R7 External Recorder and unlocks 16-bit footage with full dynamic range and resolutions up to 6K. Compared to many other formats, including Sony RAW, which is included, as well, X-OCN is able to record maximum data with a reduced bit rate. Multiple options of the format are available to optimize aspects of recording for different productions. Another accessory many VENICE operators will consider is the DVF-EL200 OLED Viewfinder. This large, comfortable EVF offers a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution for clear viewing, adjustable diopter settings, and has tool-free attachment/detachment.
Going forward, Sony is ensuring a long life for the VENICE system by providing a roadmap for future firmware updates. Each update also brings some quite significant enhancements. Currently, the system is on Version 3.0, bringing X-OCN XT, 5.7K (16:9) and 6K (2.39:1), and various other functions. Scheduled for June 2019 is Version 4.0. High Frame Rate recording is the highlight here, with 4K (2.39:1) able to be recorded at up to 120 fps, DCI 4K available at 110 fps, 4K (4:3) can now hit 72 fps, and full 6K recording will reach 60 fps. Stay tuned for more news.
If you are looking to purchase a VENICE Digital Motion Picture Camera, it will be available to B&H Studio Professional Customers. You can contact the Studio by calling at 212-506-6356 or emailing [email protected] to inquire about purchasing this item. Purchase options include the base camera; a VENICE Lite Camera Package that includes the DVF-EL200 OLED Viewfinder; and a VENICE Camera Package that packages the DVF-EL200 OLED Viewfinder, Full-Frame Permanent License, Anamorphic Permanent License, and AXS-R7 External Recorder with the camera. You can find more details on these cameras and their accessories on the B&H Website.