Sony this week introduced its Venice 2 flagship cinema cameras capable of recording 8.6K full-frame video with up to 16 stops of dynamic range.

The cinema camera is offered in a pair of resolution/frame rate options and feature more compact body designs. The camera pair of have different sensor block options — a full-frame 8.6K (8640 x 5760 pixel) 50MP 3:2 sensor and a 6K 24.8MP Venice sensor. The blocks are interchangeable inside the new more compact body design.

The body measures 44 mm smaller and approximately 10% lighter than the previous Venice camera, Sony said. The Venice 2 chassis allows internal recording of X-OCN and Apple 4K ProRes 4444 and 422 HQ without the AXS-R7 recorder, offering advanced usability from the more compact apparatus.

The new 8K sensor can capture up to 16 stops of dynamic range compared to 15 stops in the 6K model and includes the same color system as the original Venice camera. The new version carries over the dual base ISO but now it measures 800/3200 on the 8.6K version, up from 500/2500 on the original Venice. The camera will also support various resolutions and crop ratios, including full-frame 4K anamorphic, 4K Super35 and others.

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The camera also features and interchangeable image sensor block allowing changing between the two sensor versions using a few tools and no necessary firmware updates.

The Venice 2 uses Sony’s new AXS memory cards, which can transfer data at up to 6.6Gbps—more than enough for 8K/60p recording. Other features include 4K output with LUT applied, improved 3D LUT processing, LUT/ASC-CDL control over Ethernet and Wi-Fi, the addition of a Lemo 2pin 12V output connector, an internal microphone and more.

The Venice 2 camera with the new 8.6K sensor will ship in February 2022, followed by the 6K version in March. Pricing was not available. The cameras will be available with PL and Sony E lens mount options.
Sony said the 8.6K sensor offers “ample oversampling,” such that images shot on Venice 2 will have less noise and enriched information in 2K or 4K productions. The camera is well suited for VR, in camera VFX and Virtual Production setups, for strong picture quality when displayed on Sony’s high-contrast and large-scale Crystal LED screens.

User-influenced upgrades incorporated into the new Venice 2 design include more lightweight body that keeps operation intuitive.

User-selectable capture resolution of the 8.6K image sensor include the following modes:

8.6K | 3:2 | 30FPS | Full Frame
8.2K | 17:9 | 60FPS | Full Frame
5.8K | 6.5 Anamorphic | 48FPS | Super35
5.8K | 17:9 | 90FPS | Super35

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By Greg Tarr

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