The wait is over: VENICE 2 flagship digital cinema camera ships worldwide with version 2 updates planned in early 2023.
The highly anticipated VENICE 2 has already been used in high-profile commercials with acclaimed cinematographers, including Claudio Miranda ASC, Newton Thomas Sigel ASC, Tommy Maddox-Upshaw ASC and Rachel Morrison ASC, being among the first to use the camera. Now more filmmakers have a chance to try it, as Sony announces that the VENICE 2, the company’s flagship digital cinema camera ships worldwide. The first shipments, Sony says, have now been received by rental houses and Sony specialist dealers.
Since its launch last year, the VENICE 2 has generated unprecedented interest within the global cinematography community, establishing itself as a versatile cinematic solution created by and for the cinematographer. Equipped with an impressive new 8.6K full-frame image sensor, the VENICE 2 system can capture stunning visuals in any format, including full-frame, Super35 and Anamorphic – all at the 4K+ resolution now required by many streamers and studios.
Director and cinematographer Gonzalo Amat ASC tested the VENICE 2 around New York City in November and will use it on the upcoming season of the Netflix series “Outer Banks.”
He says: “VENICE 2 has the new full-frame 8.6K image sensor and the Dual Base ISO feature, which is really important and can now move between 800 ASA and 3200. The quality of the sensor is first rate. The latitude, colors, and highlights—everything was even sharper than before while still using a menu similar to what I was used to. You can shoot on a very bright, sunny day without losing detail, plus the rendition of the color and skin tone of faces is really quite cinematic. It doesn’t feel electronic—it feels more like a film camera.”
3200 ASA is amazing, says Claudio Miranda
In addition to its use on high-end commercials before its official release, the VENICE 2 is already being used on feature films and episodic work with cinematographers Claudio Miranda ASC, Gonzalo Amat ASC, Rob McLachlan ASC, CSC, and Salvatore Totino ASC.
“We are using the new VENICE 2 8K camera on my new feature film and everything is going great. The 3200 ASA is amazing. All of our nights are shot at this ASA,” says Miranda.
Cinematographer McLachlan also comments: “We’ve been shooting the new LA ‘Color Noir’ mystery thriller series, ‘American Gigolo,’ with two Sony VENICE 2 Cameras for eight weeks now. Every day, under every condition and setting, it continues to impress. Whether at night, at dawn, in the studio, on city nights, or at high noon and sunset in the desert, the highlights naturally roll-off, and our actors look gorgeous.” He added: “Nighttime cityscapes almost light themselves, and I’m using less light control than ever elsewhere. I knew this would be the case from my experience shooting the camera’s test film, but what is really wowing us is how incredibly clean and pleasing the images are at 3200 ISO. And we’ve tested it at 6400 and even 12,800 ISO, and it still looks really good. Not just useable but gorgeous.”
A smaller, lightweight body
Here is some more information as shared by Sony:
The VENICE 2 builds upon the strength of the original VENICE. It captures extraordinarily immersive detail, 16 stops of dynamic range, extreme low light sensitivity, highlights that roll off and natural skin tones reminiscent of film thanks to its smooth finish. The VENICE 2 also comes in a smaller, more lightweight body with the ability to capture X-OCN and 4K Apple ProRes 4444 and 422 HQ internally.
With so many improvements, cinematographer Amat was especially impressed with the way the VENICE 2 8K rendered skin and skin tones. He notes: “In the end, the way the camera handles skin is what’s most impressive. I’ve used other 8K cameras before, and I was always completely taken aback by the fact that you can see everything on people’s skin. This is not the case with the [VENICE 2 8K.] It has a certain softness to skin tones which recreates what film used to do. It’s sharp where you need it to be sharp, but it’s not sharp on skin. In the end, that’s what tells the story.”
Next-generation Extension System in 2023
The VENICE 2 is now shipping and filmmakers across the globe will get a chance to test it. As a result of market feedback, Sony will also enable the following features in early 2023 when V2 is released:
Additional imager modes
- 8.6K 17:9 up to 48 FPS
- 8.2K 2.39:1 up to 72FPS
- 8.1K 16:9 up to 48FPS
- 5.8K 4:3 up to 60FPS
- 5.5K 2.39:1 up to 120FPS
Zoom to Fit for Anamorphic lens operation
With Otto Nemenz delivering the first Sony’s VENICE 2 to the set of a Paramount series, Keslow delivering its first cameras to Oscar-winning cinematographer Claudio Miranda ASC, ACC for a feature film production, Panavision delivering its first cameras to Gonzalo Amat ASC for a high-profile television series and demand growing as cameras receive positive feedback from multiple tests, the Sony VENICE 2 confirms the company’s commitment to extending the capability of the camera 2 with powerful system upgrades based on ongoing discussions with filmmakers.