November 15, 2017

Sony VENICE Will Go Full Frame at Launch

Sony VENICE
Sony heard the outcry and full frame will now be available on VENICE from Day 1.

Back in September when Sony announced its VENICE cinema camera, the marquee feature was the full-frame sensor. Bigger sensors have come along by making a still camera do something it was never intended to do (the Canon 5D), or from RED in their various flavors, or from the Alexa 65 and the Panavision DXL, but the traditional broadcast video giants hadn't really jumped into the full-frame/bigger sensor universe, and Sony coming into the market is welcome. Even if you aren't a Sony fan, VENICE will definitely mean more full-frame cinema lenses will hit the market, and that's a good thing. 

Credit: Sony

Unfortunately, at launch, Sony would only commit to Super35mm being available for users when VENICE hits the streets in February, with full frame coming later, likely summer 2018. While it's not uncommon for features to roll out with a camera over time, it's particularly frustrating when the marque feature isn't included in the initial release. Listening to the reactions from the commentariat, Sony has moved up the support for full frame, which will now be available at the camera's launch in Feburary.

Additionally, every user will get a free six months of the full-frame license. Licensing aspects of a camera is controversial: many buyers feel that artificially limiting what a camera can do just to charge some users more is unfair. However, the reality is that it's likely the price of VENICE is lower by saving full-frame functionality for a license: if FF was always active, Sony would charge more for all VENICE bodies. By making full frame a license, VENICE becomes more accessible for the huge majority of production which will be using standard Super 35mm glass with the body. If you are an owner or rental house with a lot of Super 35mm glass, getting VENICE remains attractive and you can rent the license for FF when you need it. That free six-month FF giveaway in the beginning should be enough to get most people familiar with the full-frame format and might even convince some to buy the license and upgrade all of their glass outright.

Good move, Sony.

Tech Specs:

  • Full-Frame 36x24mm CMOS Sensor
  • 15+ stops Dynamic Range
  • Interchangeable Sensor Block
  • 6K Full-Frame 3:2 mode (6048 x 4032)
  • 4K Anamorphic 4:3 and 6:5 (4096 x 3432)
  • 4K Super 35 mode (window)
  • FF & S35 spherical lens support
  • FF & S35 anamorphic lens support
  • 8-step ND filter
  • PL mount
  • E-mount
  • Exceeds Rec. 2020 color space
  • X-OCN Compressed Raw onto AXS-R7 Raw Recorder, 4K XAVC – Class480/300, ProRes HQ/422/LT, MPEG HD

Your Comment

8 Comments

hummm.... and estimated to be $42,000 USD for the body .... ya ok

November 15, 2017 at 11:43AM

2
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When you price out a similar Alexa Mini or Red package it gets to be somewhere like that. I can't imagine anybody would put up the investment without seeing the if the camera gains any traction in the market but let's see. If I were Sony I would've tried to compete with the Varicam LT on price and tackle the market like that.

November 15, 2017 at 1:22PM

3
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exactly

November 15, 2017 at 1:41PM

0
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This is awesome news!!

November 15, 2017 at 1:40PM, Edited November 15, 1:40PM

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Levi Whitney
Director of Photography
8

For the estimated price of a Sony Venice (over $40,000),
I would take the Arri Alexa Mini. Definitively.

November 15, 2017 at 2:34PM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator
1400

Looking forward to renting this, finally a Sony camera I'm excited to shoot with!

November 15, 2017 at 3:30PM, Edited November 15, 3:30PM

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Zack Wallnau
Cinematographer & Tinkerer
706

I must say...I'm REALLY excited about this camera. Sony has clearly taken a page from Arri and did what Panasonic did with the VariCam (I mean I guess Sony kind of did this already with the F65) - this seems like totally new color science, new texture, and new ergonomics from Sony. The demo footage looked very painterly. I'm genuinely excited for this to hit market and give it a go on a shoot.

November 15, 2017 at 9:42PM

5
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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
978

The first of a new generation of Sony cameras to be exited about. Can't wait until they make that technology available in lower priced cameras.

November 17, 2017 at 10:27AM

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Jan Becker
DP, Director, Producer
32