Sony has announced the VENICE 4K Live Bundle. This bundle was designed to allow you to use the Sony VENICE 6K in live broadcasting productions.
In recent years we have seen quite a few productions utilize digital cinema cameras instead of traditional broadcast options to cover events such as concerts. Having cameras with better low-light capabilities and better dynamic range certainly helps in dark environments and situations where there is a high degree of contrast.
The concept of creating a Super 35mm sized sensor camera for outside broadcast isn’t new. The Ikagami HDK-97ARRI that was announced back in 2013 featured the exact same ALEV III sensor that is still found in a lot of ARRI’s current cameras. It also featured a PL mount that could be swapped out for a B4 broadcast mount. Sony has also released solutions in the past that i will talk about further down in the article.
The Sony VENICE 4K Live Bundle consists of a VENICE 6K and a MultiDyne SilverBack system to that essentially creates a fiber optic link between the camera and a control room.
- VENICE 6K Digital Motion Picture Camera
- Silverback V 4K Camera Back TX/RX
- SilverBack-VB Base Station 12G/3G TX/RX
- PTT, Tally & EVF Breakout Camera Cable
- 4 x 4 Analog Audio XLR Breakout Cable
- Tally Light for SilverBack V
- Juice 48 External Power Supply
- 1 RU & 2 RU Rackmount Kits
The Weeknd’s Live at Sofi Stadium was captured using the Sony VENICE, VENICE 2 and MultiDyne systems.
The SilverBack V camera transceiver can send one 12G-SDI and one 3G-SDI video signal bi-directionally between the camera and the VB base station. A headset connection on the camera transceiver allows operators to talk directly to the control room or broadcast truck. The SilverBack V camera transceiver also features a Genlock port, a GPIO port, and a serial data connection with RCP control.
With the SilverBack attached, you can power your camera by connecting the included JUICE-48 External Power Supply. This allows you to reduce your cable runs by connecting a single SMPTE hybrid fiber cable from your camera unit to your external power supply. The system can transmit camera data and send power from up to 984′ away in environments where local power is not readily available.
What do you get in the Live Bundle?
- Sony VENICE 6K Digital Motion Picture Camera
- PL Mount
- VF Attachment
- VF Cable
- Circular Shim
- 15 x 1/3 Arc Shim
- Lens Mount Cover
- Limited 1-Year Manufacturer Warranty
- MultiDyne Silverback V 4K Camera Back Transceiver
- MultiDyne Sony Camera to Silverback-V Base DB15 to 8-Pin Hirose Data Cable (16″)
- MultiDyne 4 x 4 Line Level Audio XLR Breakout Cable for SilverBack-V Camera Back Transceiver (3.3′)
- MultiDyne Data/Tally/GPIO Breakout Y-Cable for Silverback-VB Base Station
- MultiDyne 8-Pin Hirose to DB-9 Data Cable for Sony RCP to Silverback-V Base Station (10′)
- MultiDyne JUICE-48 Portable Power Supply for SilverBack Camera Transceivers
- MultiDyne 2RU Rack Mount Kit for HUT-CP Camera Units and Juice-48 Power Supplies
- 4 x 4 XLR Analog Audio Breakout Cable (18″)
- HDB15 Male to 5-Pin Mini-XLR-F & 3-Pin Mini-XLR-F Breakout Cable
- Tally Light for SilverBack-V
- Side EVF Input Select Cable/Switch for SilverBack V
- SilverBack-VB Base Station 12G/3G Transceiver
- Rackmount Kit for 2 x VB Series VX Products (1 RU)
Price & Availability
The Sony VENICE 4K Live Bundle retails for $46,999.99 USD which actually makes it a pretty affordable solution for live productions.
We are starting to see larger sensor cameras being used more frequently by broadcasters for live sports. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues.
This isn’t Sony’s first Rodeo
This isn’t the first time Sony has announced a live system for a camera with an S35 sensor or larger.
The HDC-F5500 builds on the HDC-5500, by utilizing a larger sensor, PL mount, a new ND system, and better connectivity options.
Sony has made numerous HDC series cameras over the years, including the S35 HDC-4800 which was announced in 2016.
The HDC-F5500 utilizes a Super 35mm 4K CMOS Global Shutter Image Sensor. Having a global shutter is important when filming sports and live entertainment to prevent rolling shutter distortion and flash bands. The camera can also shoot at up to 120fps.
The camera has a 4K/12G-SDI direct output from the camera facilitates wireless operation and direct recording. Just to be crystal clear, this is a live production camera and it doesn’t feature any onboard recording capabilities.
What is interesting is that the camera inherits the motorized 8-step ND filter from the VENICE. The ND can be controlled locally or remotely. The HDC-F5500 also features support for BT.2020, S-Gamut3/S-Gamut3.cine and HLG.
The HDC-F5500 integrates with Sony’s IP Live production system through the use of the HDCU-5000 series, which supports SMPTE ST 2110 and AMWA NMOS standards. The HDC-F5500 can utilize the new IP extension adaptor HDCE-TX50 for remote production or multi-camera flight pack “CCU-Less” operation. The HDC-F5500 is also compatible with Sony’s existing SR Live for HDR workflow with HLG and S-Log3.
Additionally, the newly developed ARIA (Automatic Restoration of Illumination Attenuation) function, for select supported PL and zoom lenses, calibrates and compensates picture appearance when shooting at a distance.
Other features include a new viewfinder slide mechanism compatible with existing large viewfinders.
It is strange that Sony hasn’t released a camera in this exact same form factor that can record internally. I personally think there is a market for a proper all-in-one shoulder mountable S35 camera. Sure you could argue that the F5 and F55 were kind of that, but I would personally argue that an all-in-one solution that basically resembles a traditional ENG camera still hasn’t been created.
In the past, we have seen ARRI release the AMIRA Live, a new version of the AMIRA, that has been purpose-designed for multi-camera applications.
AMIRA Live AMIRA
The AMIRA LIVE eliminates the need for external cabling between the camera body and the fiber adapter. This is meant to streamline and create a cleaner camera package that is better suited for live production environments.
Like other Super 35 format cinema cameras adapted for multi-camera broadcasting, the AMIRA previously required several external cables connecting the camera to the fiber backend for SMPTE 311M signal transmission. For live broadcasters, these cables created another link in the chain as there was always the chance of accidental disconnection or damage. Not only does the AMIRA Live remove these risks, but the cleaner camera configuration makes it a better solution for camera operators.
2/3” sensor cameras are typically used for multi-camera broadcasts. However, the AMIRA Live uses ARRI’s ALEV III Super 35 sensor, the same same sensor design as used in all ALEXA cameras. The whole idea behind the AMIRA Live is so users can broadcast live images on a par with high-end movies, TV series, and OTT productions. Now, this is not the first time S35 or larger-sized sensor cameras have been used in multicam productions. Companies such as Sony, Panasonic, and Blackmagic have their own solutions.
Another component of the AMIRA Live package is ARRI’s VMM-1 monitor. This is a 10” onboard monitor that connects directly to the camera viewfinder interface or can be daisy-chained with the Camera Control Panel CCP-1. It includes controls for contrast, color, backlight, and peaking (including peaking on/off switch), a physical on/off switch for the frontside tally, and two camera user buttons. Accompanying the monitor is ARRI’s adjustable, quick-release Monitor Yoke Support MYS-1 bracket, designed specifically for the VMM-1 and for multi-camera setups.
The VMM-1 monitor will be available to purchase separately. It utilizes the viewfinder connection from the AMIRA or ALEXA Mini, but it can also be used as a stand-alone monitor.
Price & Availability
The ARRI AMIRA Live Camera Set costs $31,180.00 USD. Now, this only includes the following;
- AMIRA Live Body/Super35mm CMOS Sensor
- Cable-Free Link to 1820 Fiber Adapter
- 10″ VMM-1 Multicam Viewfinder Monitor
- AMIRA Advanced License Key
The camera set does not include a viewfinder, lens mount our camera base mount, those need to be ordered separately, same as with the standard AMIRA camera set.
The AMIRA Advanced license can be upgraded to the AMIRA Premium license with the “AMIRA Advanced to Premium license” There will also be an additional K0 including the Premium license.
The ARRI AMIRA Live 1800 Camera Chain Set is an additional $24,140.00 USD. It includes:
- 1820-12G Fiber Camera Adapter
- 1800 AMIRA Live Frame Mount
- 1810 Fiber Base Station/1 x 12G/4 x 3G
- 1800 FBS Cable Set/1820 Cord Control Pod
- 1830 Mounting Bracket for 1820 CC Pod
The Multicam Monitor bundle VMM-1 & MYS-1 retails for $5,980 USD. The VMM-1 connects directly to the camera viewfinder interface or daisy chained with the CCP-1. It includes a standard sunshade plus:
- AMIRA to CCP-1 Cable 0,75m/29in
- ALEXA Mini to CCP-1 Cable 0,75m/29in
- VMM-1 Power Cable 0.4m/16in
- Monitor Yoke Support MYS-1