Fans of Sony’s Venice Camera have eagerly waited for its Venice 2 Camera to be released. Hints had been circulating for at least a year, so it was no surprise when the camera became available in 2022. What was unexpected were two changes to the original Venice design:
- Removal of the external recording device
- Addition of interchangeable image sensor blocks
With its wide range of recording and output options, the Venice 2 offers a full-featured camera in a “box.”
Sony Venice 2 Camera Design
Venice 2 is a lighter version of its CineAlta Venice camera, released four years ago. While the Venice 2 adheres to the same design principles as the original, it does vary in size and weight. It does not require the AXS-R7 external recorder, which reduces the overall weight by 10%. It is slightly smaller without the recorder — about 1.75 inches. The lighter and smaller Venice 2 has more flexibility. It is easier to maneuver and can be combined with drones for aerial filming.
The user interface mimics the original Venice camera. Although not identical, the design adheres to the original workflow, requiring minimal ramp time. For those unfamiliar with the Venice camera, the intuitive interface makes it easy to learn with little disruption in filming.
The Venice 2 is backward compatible with many of the Venice accessories. It continues support for PL- and E- lens mounts. The Venice Extension System will work with the Venice 6k camera.
- PL Lens Mounts. The Venice 2 supports this industry-standard lens mount which is compatible with Sup 35 lenses. Metadata holds lens information for each frame. The PL lens mount supports ZEISS eXtended Data and Cooke/i Technology.
- Type E Lens Mounts. The lever-lock E-mounts are compatible with Sony lenses. Production doesn’t need to slow as most lenses can be exchanged by rotating the collar rather than the lens.
The Sony Venice 2 Camera provides new functionality while retaining the intuitive design of the original Venice camera.
Sensor and Image Quality
A central selling point for the Venice 2 is its interchangeable image sensors. It has a 6k sensor that is the same as the original Venice. Its 8.6k sensor is a full-frame CMOS sensor. The 6k sensor can be swapped with the 8k sensor without reinstalling or exchanging firmware. Once the sensor blocks are exchanged, the camera will recognize the installed sensor and start up with the correct firmware.
This flexibility allows changes in image quality without significant downtime. It simplifies filming by reducing the equipment required to be onsite. Venice and Venice 2 6k image sensors are identical and can be used interchangeably. The 8k sensor will work with the Venice 2 6k but not the original Venice 6k. The differences in recording capabilities make the devices incompatible.
The 6k sensor captures images at resolutions up to 6048 x 4032 pixels, while the 8k offers 8640 x 5760. The Venice 2 retains the dual base ISO but at an 80/3200 ratio instead of the original 500/2500. The high base means better low-light images. The 8k has 16 stops, and the 6k has 15+. The latitude range captures images in low- and high-light locations with minimal noise.
The 6k Venice 2 can shoot 90fps at 6k while the 8k reaches 60fps at 8.2k. At 4k, the 6k can shoot at speeds up to 120fps. With anamorphic capabilities, the 6k can reach speeds of 75fps at 4k 4:3. With the 8k, Sony’s Venice 2 Camera can shoot 90fps at 5.8k.
Sony’s Venice 2 Camera builds from the original Venice color science to deliver amazing images in low-light environments. The color consistency of the Venice 2 makes for reliable skin tones and color reproduction. Early users were impressed with its ability to record accurately in minimal light. As crews gravitate to less equipment on sets, the ability to adjust a single camera to address changes in lighting has its advantages.
Recording and Output Options
The most noticeable Venice 2 change is the removal of the AXS-R7 external recorder. Instead, dual AXS slots are used for recording in multiple formats. The Sony Venice 2 Camera records in 16-bit X-OCN formats.
- XT format captures high-quality images used for visual effects even in low-and high-light conditions.
- ST is Sony’s standard format that retains amazing images while optimizing file size for faster workflows.
- LT format produces files that are 60% smaller than Sony’s RAW format.
The camera’s support for ProRes 4444 and Apple 4K ProRes HQ allows transfer directly from the camera instead of requiring transcoding. Support for Super35 images is native to Venice 2.
The SxS cards in the original Venice were replaced with AXS cards to support the higher speeds of the Venice 2. A single SD slot is available. The camera supports HDMI, SDI, and HD MONI outputs. For on-set viewing, Sony’s Venice 2 Camera can apply 4k or HD LUTs. The latest version uses improved LUT processing for better imaging.
Features and Functionality
The Venice 2 is backward compatible with many of the Venice accessories. For example, the Venice Extension System works with Venice 2 6k. The Venice 2 also has a better cooling system with added fans in the rear of the camera.
The Venice 2 extends connectivity to include Ethernet and WiFi connections. These features eliminate the need to upload files using SD cards. LUTs and ART files can be imported directly. A web-based interface provides processing controls.
Sony’s Venice 2 Camera has built-in ND filters for better control when using drones or cranes for shooting. The filters range from one to eight stops, reducing the time lost by changing or adjusting filters while filming.
Venice 2 offers image stabilization to reduce the jello effect at higher speeds. It also records gyro information in the frame’s metadata. Combined with Sony’s autofocus technology, the camera provides more control during and after recording.
Sony’s Venice 2 is a compact camera that delivers images in various formats. It is designed for the bigger screen that demands images from multiple angles and speeds. If you haven’t tried Sony’s Venice 2 camera, give us a call. We rent production equipment and provide studio and post-production services to the film, video, and photography industries.