First Announced last fall, Sony hits its ship date with the Full Frame VENICE, no definite article needed.
After a week full of big camera announcements as Panavision revises the DXL2 and ARRI releases the Alexa LF, Sony has announced that it is officially shipping its full frame cinema offering, VENICE. While the marquee feature of VENICE is the Full Frame sensor, it originally was going to ship without FF support. By November, Sony changed its mind and is now going to offer FF support from the start, which means if you get your hands on VENICE today, the camera will be full frame capable.
Capturing full frame, as opposed to Super35mm, is an optional license cost over and above the purchase price, though, frankly, that feels like the right choice. Most of the time, no matter how exciting FF capture is, this will be a Super35mm camera simply because there are so many more Super35mm lens options available than FF that also have the other features cinematographers desire. The ability to rent the license for the occasional FF job, but not have to buy it outright, is a smart pricing strategy on Sony's part and saves Super35mm users from having to pay for a feature they frankly might not use that often, at least initially.
With a 36mm x 24mm sensor, VENICE is also perfectly designed to work with traditional still photo lenses, which—conveniently—Sony has been making a lot of in its still photo division. VENICE has a swappable lens mount with a minimum focal distance of 18mm, which should make it easier to use still photo lenses if you desire. It will ship by default with a PL mount to make traditional cinematographers happy, though it will limit the number of full frame lens options available.
While the camera ships now, some features, like High Frame Rate, won't be available until Firmware 2.0 ships this summer. If nothing else, it's always nice when a vendor announces a ship date and actually hits it. It's especially exciting when that ship date is "February" and they start shipping February 2nd.
- Full Frame 36x24mm sensor
- 15 stops of dynamic range, 6 over/9 under
- Dual Base ISO mode, with High Base ISO 2500
- 10bit XAVC, with 16bit X-OCN RAW external
- 24volt power
- Lemo plug for accessories
- 4096x2160 to 60fps
- 6038x4032 Full Frame to 24fps, 4096x3432 Anamorphic available by license