Sony VENICE was presented to the world on September 6, 2017 at the Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City. The European premiere was in London at Pinewood the next day. VENICE was expected to ship in February 2018 in Super35 format only. The chorus of clamoring for Full Frame must have been so loud that by IBC a week later, Sony accelerated Full Frame in VENICE to February.
How was this possible? Firmware.
Firmware is the software behind the sensor and inside the camera that makes things do what they do. Want new aspect ratios, frame lines, higher speeds? Teams of Sony programmers make these possible.
VENICE arrived with Firmware V1.0. Successive waves of firmware updates added new capabilities to this 36×24 mm sensor camera that now supports almost every format from Full Frame 3:2 to Super35 4K 18mm full height 4:3, Anamorphic and Spherical, and now, with V6.0, more frame lines and interesting new capabilities.
VENICE Firmware Update V6.0
Sony announces VENICE firmware update V6.0 on April 30, 2020. It is planned for a November 2020 release.
The following features will be implemented:
- Advanced Rendering Transform .art file import.
- Second User Frame Line.
- New aspect ratios—9:16 and 1:1 preset frame lines.
- HFR (High Frame Rate) at 5.7K up to 72fps; 4K 6:5 up to 72fps; and 3.8K up to 110fps.
- REC beep and alarm volume can be adjusted individually.
- Warning information displayed on the Web Control screen.
- Maintain Camera ID and Reel# when loading all files.
- Genlock and Timecode lock status on On Screen Display.
- Gyro information in metadata (X-OCN/XAVC).
- 3D LUT support for EVF.
VENICE V6.0 Firmware Sensor Modes, Resolution, Dimensions, Framerates
Advanced Rendering Transform .art Files
Think of .art files as 3D cube LUTs with better image qualities and fewer artifacts. You use them when shooting in X-OCN or XAVC/ProRes.
The process begins by creating a look in DaVinci Resolve, your favorite grading app or with Sony’s RAW Viewer. You can also import a 3D cube LUT file. Then, save it as an .art file onto an SD media card and import the .art file into the VENICE.
In addition to “Do-It-Yourself” LUTs, Sony plans to collaborate with Technicolor and release a Look Library of .art files for VENICE. Wouldn’t it be nice to conjure up Classic Technicolor 1940s-1950s looks: The Red Shoes, The African Queen, An American in Paris, The Caine Mutiny, Scaramouche?
This will be available via the web simultaneously with the release of V6.0 Firmware in November.
REc 709 will be the initial target display when using the Technicolor .art files. PQ and P3 are under discussion with Technicolor at a later date.
New Social Media Framelines
You can never have enough framelines.
- For 4K square Instagram, there’s 1:1.
- For tall fashion models, smartphones and Quibi, there’s 4K Portrait 9:16.
- Roate 9:16 to horizontal, and you get 4K Landscape 16:9.
You will be able to see two sets of framelines simultaneously in the EVF or monitor.
These are not sensor modes. You capture in 6K FF and extract/crop the image area in post.
Frame rates (fps) are the same as in 6K FF.
Sony VENICE Version History