Sony announced VENICE 2 – 8.6K Cinema Camera

The newly announced Sony VENICE 2 has a similar body design (but a bit more compact) as the original VENICE with new features such as internal X-OCN recording and the option for two different sensors: a new full-frame 8.6K sensor or the original 6K VENICE sensor. With the new sensor, the dual base ISO is higher at 800/3200 and the recording modes top out at 8.6K 3:2 up to 30fps or 8.2K 17:9 full-frame up to 60fps. 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. The camera will be available from February 2022.
It has already been four years since the announcement of the original Sony VENICE CineAlta 6K full-frame camera. Sony had a whole roadmap of firmware updates going on for the VENICE (the latest one being the firmware v6.0 released nearly a year ago), but it seems the company was lately also working on something new. It turns out the mysterious CineAlta teaser published a few days ago did indeed mean a new high-end cinema camera is coming very soon. Now, it is here – say hi to the new Sony VENICE 2. Let’s take a look at its features and specs.

Visually, the new VENICE 2 looks very similar to the original VENICE. Sony made the new camera lighter and more compact – it is 44mm smaller and approximately 10% lighter (compared to VENICE paired with the AXS-R7 external recorder, which was necessary for X-OCN and raw video). This will be especially beneficial for aerial use.

Additionally, there are a few subtle details that tell us that it is indeed the second-generation VENICE.

The 8.6K version of the camera has 8K written in the top right corner.
The Ethernet connector position changed to Camera Assistant side.
A Lemo 2pin 12V output connector has been added (instead of 4-pin Hirose as with the original VENICE).
The 8-stops of internal ND filters remained the same as with the original VENICE. The camera has interchangeable lens mounts – Sony E lens mount, or PL mount.

new sony venice 2

There will be two sensor options for the new VENICE 2 – either the newly developed 8.6K sensor or the 6K sensor from the original VENICE. The good news is that the camera chassis offers the feature to interchange the image sensor block. The camera body automatically recognizes the change and will start up without any firmware exchanges or re-installs, so the sensor block change can be performed on-site. The original 6K sensor will allow higher frame rates.The new 8.6K full-frame CMOS sensor has a resolution of 8640 x 5760 which is the same size and resolution as the image sensor in the Sony Alpha 1 – I think it might be the same sensor, but, as far as I know, this has not been confirmed by Sony yet. With this new sensor, the VENICE 2 will offer up to 16 stops of total latitude (according to Sony). The camera also inherits its color science from the original VENICE. The new sensor has a dual base ISO of 800 & 3200. It supports everything from full-frame, full-frame anamorphic to Super 35mm all at a minimum of 4K resolution. Please note that for full-frame and anamorphic shooting, an optional license is needed.

For reference, the older 6K sensor used in the first Sony VENICE has a 500 & 2500 dual base ISO with up to 15+ stops of total latitude.

Video modes, codecs, media
With the new 8.6K image sensor, the camera allows for a variety of resolutions and framerates:

8.6K 3:2 full-frame up to 30fps
8.2K 17:9 full-frame up to 60fps
5.8K 6:5 super35 anamorphic up to 48fps
5.8K 17:9 super35 up to 90fps
Further recording modes and full information about image modes can be found on the Sony website.

Unlike the original VENICE, the new VENICE 2 can record the X-OCN (Sony’s 16bit eXtended tonal range Original Camera Negative) video format internally without the need for an external recorder. Furthermore, the camera can internally record Apple ProRes 4444 and 422HQ up to 4K resolution (oversampled from the whole image sensor or in crop mode). Thanks to oversampling, Sony claims that images shot on VENICE 2 will benefit from less noise and enriched information in 2K or 4K productions as well.

sony venice 2 8.6k

The VENICE 2 body leverages new high-speed 6.6 Gbps AXS card AXS-A1TS66 (1TB capacity) for 8K 60p recording. Existing AXS Memory Card Readers including AXS-AR3 via Thunderbolt 3 interface are compatible with the new media.

The VENICE 2 uses S-Gamut3 color space that exceeds the BT.2020 color space, according to Sony. Unlike the first Sony VENICE, the new camera can’t, however, record a high-quality codec and proxy file at the same time. That is one of the reasons why the original Sony VENICE will continue selling and both cameras will co-exist, according to Sony.When it comes to the user interface, the VENICE 2 is the same as the original VENICE but incorporates some improvements to make it easier and even more intuitive to use. Keeping as much of the workflow as possible same as the original VENICE should make the transitions easier for DPs, camera assistants, as well as colorists (the same color science as the VENICE). Additionally, the new camera is compatible with almost all original VENICE accessories.Other updates to the VENICE 2 include:

12G-SDI from SDI1/2 and simultaneous 3G HD-out from SDI3/4
4K output with LUT applied
Improved 3D LUT processing to improve picture quality
EI changes directly applied to S-Log3 outputs (in SDI1/2 and ProRes recording)
LUT/ASC-CDL control via Ethernet/Wi-Fi
Zoom to Fit (Full-Frame recording with 17:9/16:9 monitoring) operation
Internal microphone for scratch audio installed
Price and availability
The VENICE 2 camera with the 8.6K image sensor is scheduled to start shipping in February 2022 and VENICE 2 camera with pre-installed 6K image sensor in March 2022. There is no information on the pricing of the VENICE 2 at the moment, but Sony confirmed to us that the price of the first VENICE will not be reduced.

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