Sony Venice to ship with “Dual Base ISO” mode and built-in 8-step optical ND filter


Sony has made a few last minute changes to the VENICE just before the camera starts to ship. New capabilities include a “Dual Base ISO” mode. Along with the previously announced native ISO of 500, Sony has added an additional 2500 ISO base as well. VENICE will also benefit from the unique addition of a built-in 8-step optical ND filter servo mechanism.

Sony Venice to ship with “Dual Base ISO” mode and built-in 8-step optical ND filter

Sony recently announced that version 1.0 features in VENICE will include support for Full-Frame 24x36mm recording. With the addition of the “Dual Base ISO” mode users will be able to take advantage of Sony’s unique sensor for better low light performance. Just how the “Dual Base ISO” works has not been made available so far from Sony. Whether it works in a similar way to the Varicam LT, Varicam 35 and EVA1 is unclear.

Sony Venice to ship with “Dual Base ISO” mode and built-in 8-step optical ND filter

This new capability is a result of requests to increase exposure indexes at higher ISOs for night exteriors, dark interiors, working with slower lenses or where content needs to be graded in high dynamic range while maintaining the maximum shadow details. It really isn’t much of a surprise that this “Dual Base ISO” feature has been added to the VENICE, given its relatively low native ISO of 500.

Another feature that will be unique to VENICE, is its built-in 8-step optical ND filter servo mechanism. This can emulate different ISO operating points when in High Base ISO 2500 and also maintains the extremely low levels of noise characteristics of the VENICE sensor.

Sony Venice to ship with “Dual Base ISO” mode and built-in 8-step optical ND filter

Sony also claims that the VENICE features new colour science designed to deliver a soft tonal film look, with shadows and mid-tones having a natural response and the highlights preserving the dynamic range.

Sony has also developed the VENICE camera menu simulator. This tool is designed to give camera operators an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the camera’s operational workflow before using VENICE in production.

Additional upcoming features and capabilities planned to be available later this year as free firmware upgrades in version 2.0 include:
25p in 6K Full-Frame Mode will be added in Version 2
“False Colour” has been moved from Version 3 to Version 2

The VENICE was criticised in some circles for only offering relatively low frame rates. The camera is only capable of capturing up to 60fps even in the 3.8K 16:9 mode. According to Sony, they are working to implement and make available higher frame rates at a later date.

VENICE Key Features
True 36x24mm Full Frame imaging based on the photography standard that goes back 100 years
Built-in 8-Step Optical ND filter servomechanism
Dual Base ISO mode, with High Base ISO 2500
New colour science for appealing skin tones and graceful highlights – out of the box.
Aspect ratio freedom: Full Frame 3:2 (1.5:1), 4K 4:3 full height anamorphic, spherical 17:9, 16:9.
Lens mount with 18mm flange depth opens up tremendous lens options (PL Lens mount included).
15+ stops of exposure latitude: Exceptional Dynamic Range, whether you’re shooting in searing sunlight or almost no light.
User-interchangeable sensor, an industry first, requires removal of just six screws, enabling future upgrades and production flexibility.
6K resolution (6048 x 4032) in Full Frame mode

The VENICE CineAlta motion picture camera system will be available in February 2018. VENICE version 2.0 firmware upgrades will be available in summer 2018. Optional licenses are required for Full Frame and anamorphic shooting.

Version 2.0 Firmware
The upgrade is due to be available in August 2018.

New Features & Improvements:

● Imager mode
4K 6:5 Anamorphic
6K 1.85:1
6K 17:9
6K 3:2 25p
6K 3:2 In-camera playback
4K 4:3 25p 29p
● Supporting Lens mount
E-mount (lever lock type)
● Recording format
Apple ProRes
● Simul. Rec combination
RAW / X-OCN & Apple ProRes
● Shooting function
Select FPS
Dual Base ISO
● Monitor Out function
Additional preset MLUTs
User 3DLUT
● Shooting Assist function
Surround View
Dot by Dot Magnification
Auto White Balance
High-Lo Key
False Colour in Viewfinder
● Hardware
Operator side CLIPS button
● Network
Wired LAN control (partial)

Version 3.0 Firmware
Upgrade is due to be available in early 2019.

New Features & Improvements:
● Imager mode
5.7K 16:9
6K 2.39:1
● Simul. Rec combination
XAVC 4K/QFHD & Apple ProRes Proxy
● Shooting function
Paint menu (Custom mode)
Cache Rec. (AXS, SxS)
● Monitor Out function
12G-SDI (for 4K 50/60p)
● Shooting Assist function
False Color
● Hardware
Remote S700 Protocol
12pin lens remote
● Network function
Wired LAN control (FULL MENU)
Wireless LAN control (with CBK-WA02)

There is no doubt that the high-end digital cinema camera market is heating up. With the announcement yesterday of the ARRI ALEXA LF and the Panavision Millennium DXL2, Sony has to fight harder than ever to have their cameras compete against industry standard options.

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