Sony VENICE Version 2.0 firmware update was announced on June 27, 2018.
Version 3.0 was announced at IBC in September.
Version 2.0 was a major update that enabled the VENICE to do most of the things users had been asking for. Sony’s engineering team worked long hours for many months. They scrambled and came through with the new updates ahead of schedule. Version 2.0 makes VENICE fully functional.
The download link for VENICE software and firmware is at: pro.sony/ue_US/support/software
Sony also introduced a prototype of the VENICE Extension System (Tether). The extremely light-weight sensor block / lens mount assembly separates from the camera body. It connects to the body with a 9’ or 18’ cable. Both lengths are included in the tether cable kit. The tether works with the same VENICE camera you already have (or plan to get). The head and camera body separate in under two minutes. Attach the covers, connect the cable and you’re ready to roll. Software Version 3.0 will enable VENICE tethering.
The tether was requested by James Cameron and Lightstorm producer Jon Landau for use on the current Avatar production with their 3D rigs.
VENICE Version 2 Update
What’s new in Version 2.00:
• Dual Base ISO 500 and 2500 (adjustable from 100 – 10,000).
• Variable frame rates 1 – 60 fps.
• More imager (sensor) modes, including 6K 17:9 and 1.85:1.
• User uploadable LUTs.
• E-mount enabled with Sony lens protocol and metadata.
Higher frame rates will arrive by Spring 2019 as an optional upgrade— using the existing sensor—up to 60 fps in 6K, to 90 fps in 4K and to 120 fps in 2K.
1. VENICE E-mount enabled.
The native E-mount is now enabled in V 2.0. The E-mount was always there, lurking under the PL mount after removing 6 (noncaptive) 2.5mm screws. Until now, you physically could attach an E-mount lens in the solid breech lock, but the picture was curiously absent unless you performed some “don not attempt” mischief with the pogo pins. The E-mount is now fully functional.
This opens up the universe of E-mount lenses: Sony’s great G-Masters, SIGMA FF and ZEISS. It also lets you use all kinds of other lenses by using E-mount adapters. By the way, when you attach SIGMA FF Cine lenses fitted with E-mounts, you can see the lens metadata in the VENICE viewfinder: T-stop and focus distance. The data connection is through the Sony lens mount pins.
Leitz sells a Leica M to E-mount adapter with a solid Leica breech lock. Leica and Ernst Leitz Wetzlar M lenses are among the smallest, lightest, fastest and most iconic Full Frame lenses and they work nicely on VENICE in tether or regular mode.
Sony E-mounts have an 18 mm flange focal depth. Leica M lens mounts have a 27.80 mm flange focal depth. Here is the Leitz-Cine Leica M (M0.8) mount for Sony VENICE.
Also in Version 2.0:
2. New imager modes (sensor modes) have been added:
• 4K 6:5 Anamorphic (when Anamorphic License is installed).
• 6K 1.85:1 (when Full Frame License is installed).
• 6K 17:9 (when Full Frame License is installed).
• 6K Full Frame simultaneous AXS-R7 and SxS recording.
• Playback in all imager modes is now supported.
Previously, in Version 1, VENICE offered:
• 4K 17:9, 4K 16:9, 4K 4:3 Anamorphic, and 6K 3:2 Full-Frame recording (without in-camera playback and without SxS recording).
3. Variable frame rates in 1 fps increments have been added.
4. Dual Base ISO: 2500 High Sensitivity mode has been added to the original Base ISO of 500.
5. Toggle between Base and High ISO, and then adjust from 100 to 10,000 ISO.
6. Surround View has been added to 4K 17:9, 3.8K 16:9, and 4K 4:3 imager modes. The “look around” shows picture area 5% larger than what is recorded—so you can catch wayward C-stands and microphone booms before they creep into the shot.
7. Additional recording formats: Apple HD ProRes 422, HD ProRes 422 HQ and HD ProRes 422 Proxy can be recorded to SxS media cards.
8. Simultaneous ProRes recording: You can record Apple ProRes simultaneously, internally, to SxS cards at the same time as you’re recording RAW or X-OCN to the AXS-R7 onboard recorder. Also XAVC 4K and HD ProRes 422 Proxy in one SxS media cards is supported
9. Network support enables VENICE to be controlled from a Windows, Mac or other web browser over a wired LAN network. The FPS, EI, Shutter, ND, WB, Lens (E mount lens), REC, and ASSIGN 1/2/3/4 functions can be controlled over the network.
10. Auto White Balance function is now supported.
11. High/Low Key function has been added to check for blownout highlights (High Key) and deep-dark shadows in low luminance areas (Low Key).
12. False color output in the viewfinder is supported using the DVF-EL200 viewfinder.
13. The CLIPS button on camera left side is now enabled. It has the same function as the CLIPS button on the camera right side.
VENICE Version 3.0 Update
VENICE Version 3.0 free firmware upgrade will be ready in Winter 2019.
Version 3.0 will add X-OCN XT recording mode (16-bit Original Camera Negative, Extended Tonal Range). It will be the highest X-OCN recording quality while maintaining very economical file sizes. Producers will love it because post production is affordable and efficient. The other X-OCN varieties are X-OCN LT and X-OCN ST. And, of course, there’s still Sony RAW.
VENICE Version 3.00 updates
- New imager modes, including 6K 2.39:1 and 5.7K 16:9.
- Additional anamorphic de-squeeze ratios for viewfinder and monitors: 1.25x, 1.3x, 1.5x, and 1.8x. This is in addition to the existing 2x desqueeze.
- Cache RECORD up to a maximum of 30 seconds in X-OCN 4K 17:9 / HD MPEG 50 SxS memory.
- X-OCN XT for high quality recording using the AXS-R7 and offering comparable file sizes to Sony RAW.
- 6G / 12G-SDI switchable output enabling 4K SDI output during RAW and HD recording.
- Wireless Remote Control with CBK-WA02 to control and change important operations and menu settings.
- AXS Relay Record.
- Desqueeze ratios of 1.25x, 1.3x, 1.5x, 1.8x (in addition to existing 2x),
- Import of .cdl files.
- 4K SDI output during RAW and HD simultaneous recording.
For further details: pro.sony/VENICE
This roadmap, its features and timing may change. New functions may pop up at any time. Roadmap courtesy of Sony
Coming around Spring 2019:
Optional upgrade for variable frame rates: 1 – 60 fps using the existing sensor.
At a future time:
- Up to 60 fps in 6K
- Up to 90 fps in 4K
- Up to 120 fps in 2K
- Additional imaging modes
- User uploadable 3D LUTs
- Sony Teradek Wireless Video
VENICE 6K Full Frame (FF) and 4K Super35 Modes
Reprinted from Film and Digital Times September 2018 Edition #89-90