Sony Electronics today introduced the Venice 2 digital cinema camera, the new flagship model and latest addition to its lineup of high-end digital cinema cameras. The company says the Venice 2 builds upon the strength of the original Venice with new features including a compact design, internal recording, and the option for two different sensors: the newly developed full-frame 8.6K sensor or the original 6K Venice sensor. The Venice 2 also inherits popular features from the original Venice including color science, Dual Base ISO and 8-stops of built-in ND filters.
Paired with a newly developed 8.6 K (8640 x 5760) full-frame CMOS image sensor, the Venice 2 also offers image quality with 16 stops of total latitude to capture images with excellent color separation and shadow detail. The camera also inherits its color science from the original Venice. The Venice 2 8K CineAlta camera has a unique dual base ISO of 800/3200 which allows filmmakers to capture incredibly clean, film-like images under a wide range of lighting conditions. It supports everything from full-frame, full-frame anamorphic to Super35 all at a minimum of 4K resolution, resulting in an outstanding and versatile camera system for cinematographers and productions.
To illustrate the strength of the Venice 2 and its new 8.6K sensor, Sony worked with some of the industry's top cinematographers to test the camera’s image quality on a few separate film shoots without using any professional movie lighting.
Award-winning cinematographer Robert McLachlan ASC, CSC, who has worked on such productions as Game of Thrones (for which he received two Emmy nominations), Westworld, and Lovecraft Country, tested and filmed with the new 8.6K full-frame Venice 2 in two countries and offered his reaction. "I really wish we'd had a large format, 8.6K sensor like Sony Venice 2 on my past work,” McLachlan said. “It would have made it feel even more epic and, at the same time, more engaging, thanks to the increased resolution, richness, and dimensionality. The increased speed, cleaner highlights, and shadows together with the potential for super-shallow depth of field would have been a huge asset."
Academy Award winning cinematographer Claudio Miranda ASC, ACC has used the original Venice and tested the Venice 2 against the original in the pitch darkness of the California desert. He offered this assessment: "The 3200 ASA is incredible. I think how clean it is – definitely, a big deal. In the film, there is still fidelity in the shadows, and the wide shots are pretty spectacular. There were no film lights on this shoot at all. There were just headlights of the car, the fire, and that was the point. It was to go to the middle of nowhere and put a big fire and see how far the new sensor could light up the mountain, without noise."
Rob Hardy, BSC, ASC, the British cinematographer known for his ground-breaking work on Mission Impossible: Fallout, and Ex-Machina and winner of the BAFTA for cinematography for Boy A, said, “I'm used to using the original Venice and I would say, I am a pretty much an advocate of that camera. The opportunity to use Venice 2 is actually a really fantastic one. This is the first time I've ever used that larger sensor, the 8.6K and we were lucky enough to get some anamorphic lenses that really set for the full cinematic effect and really utilized the whole sensor. The ISOs have been bumped up so that enables me to shoot at a higher speed in the low light levels which is something that wasn’t really an option before, and that’s the big gain for me.”
"We are so pleased to have seen the success of the original Venice over the last four years,” said Neal Manowitz, president and COO, Sony Electronics. “Based on our conversations with cinematographers and production companies around the world, we recognized an opportunity to improve by leveraging many of our latest imaging and sensor technologies. By doing so, we are taking the Venice image quality to a new level. We also made the camera smaller and are offering internal recording to enable more creative freedom, whether that means using the camera on drones, Steadicams, aerial gimbals or underwater housings."
The Venice 2 camera with 8.6K image sensor is scheduled to start shipping in February 2022 and the Venice 2 camera with 6K image sensor in March 2022.