Sony Venice Offers ‘Full-Frame’ Digital Cinema Capture

LOS ANGELES—Sony has gone back to the drawing board to develop Venice, its next-generation digital cinema camera that was previewed last week by a select audience of American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) members.

A full-frame digital motion picture camera, Venice, the first of a new generation of CineAlta camera systems, relies on a newly developed 36x24mm full-frame sensor that is compatible with a range of lenses, including Anamorphic, Super 35mm, Spherical and Full Frame PL mount lenses. E-mount lenses also can be used with a change of the lens mount for projects where smaller, lighter and wider lenses are needed.

The company worked with film industry pros in designing Venice, and built in the ability for users to change out sensors by simply removing four screws to accommodate different shooting situations, said Peter Crithray, marketing manager, Sony Electronics.

The camera also enables users to select areas of the imager to use to make it possible to shoot in Super 35mm 4 -perf with future firmware planned to accommodate 36mm wide 6K resolution.

Venice offers a new color management system with ultra-wide color gamut and has more than 15 stops of latitude to handle everything from low-light to harsh sunlight with gentle roll-off of highlights, the company said in announcing the camera.

Scheduled to ship in February 2018, the camera supports file-based production using Sony’s 16-bit RAW/X-OCN via the AXS-R7 recorder as well as 10-bit XAVC workflows.

There is no doubt Sony is aiming squarely at the market for high-end digital motion picture production with this camera, but it will be interesting to see if future broadcast cameras might borrow concepts from Venice like user-interchangeable sensors and user-selectable imager areas to accommodate the accelerated pace of change in television that is making support for 4K and even 8K resolution content a reality.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.