PARAMUS, N.J.—Sony has announced that the first shipments of Sony's flagship VENICE 2 digital cinema cameras have been received by rental houses and Sony specialist dealers and that V2 updates will be available in early 2023.
The company is also reporting that the VENICE 2 has already been used in high-profile commercials with such cinematographers as Claudio Miranda ASC, Newton Thomas Sigel ASC, Tommy Maddox-Upshaw ASC and Rachel Morrison ASC.
Equipped with an new 8.6K full-frame image sensor, the VENICE 2 system can capture stunning visuals in any format, including full-frame, Super35 and Anamorphic – all at the 4K+ resolution now required by many streamers and studios.
Sony reported that director and cinematographer Gonzalo Amat ASC tested the VENICE 2 around New York City in November and will use it on the upcoming season of the Netflix series “Outer Banks.”
"VENICE 2 has the new full-frame 8.6K image sensor and the Dual Base ISO feature, which is really important and can now move between 800 ASA and 3200. The quality of the sensor is first rate,” he said. “The latitude, colors, and highlights—everything was even sharper than before while still using a menu similar to what I was used to. You can shoot on a very bright, sunny day without losing detail, plus the rendition of the color and skin tone of faces is really quite cinematic. It doesn't feel electronic—it feels more like a film camera."
In addition to its use on high-end commercials before its official release, the VENICE 2 is already being used on feature films and episodic work with cinematographers Claudio Miranda ASC, Gonzalo Amat ASC, Rob McLachlan ASC, CSC, and Salvatore Totino ASC.
“We are using the new VENICE 2 8K camera on my new feature film and everything is going great. The 3200 ASA is amazing. All of our nights are shot at this ASA,” said Miranda.
“We've been shooting the new LA ‘Color Noir’ mystery thriller series, ‘American Gigolo,’ with two Sony VENICE 2 Cameras for eight weeks now,” added cinematographer McLachlan. “Every day, under every condition and setting, it continues to impress. Whether at night, at dawn, in the studio, on city nights, or at high noon and sunset in the desert, the highlights naturally roll-off, and our actors look gorgeous.”
“Nighttime cityscapes almost light themselves, and I'm using less light control than ever elsewhere," he added. "I knew this would be the case from my experience shooting the camera's test film, but what is really wowing us is how incredibly clean and pleasing the images are at 3200 ISO. And we've tested it at 6400 and even 12,800 ISO, and it still looks really good. Not just useable but gorgeous.”
The VENICE 2 builds upon the strength of the original VENICE. It captures extraordinarily immersive detail, 16 stops of dynamic range, extreme low light sensitivity, highlights that roll off and natural skin tones reminiscent of film thanks to its smooth finish. The VENICE 2 also comes in a smaller, more lightweight body with the ability to capture X-OCN and 4K Apple ProRes 4444 and 422 HQ internally.
As a result of market feedback, Sony has also announced that it will enable a number of new features in early 2023 when V2 is released. This include additional imager modes:
- 8.6K 17:9 up to 48 FPS
- 8.2K 2.39:1 up to 72FPS
- 8.1K 16:9 up to 48FPS
- 5.8K 4:3 up to 60FPS
- 5.5K 2.39:1 up to 120FPS
In addition, a next-generation Extension System for VENICE 2 8K is planned to be released by early 2023.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.