Sony unveils new 8.6K VENICE 2 digital cinema camera

Sony has announced its new flagship digital cinema camera, the Sony VENICE 2. The new camera keeps the strengths of the original VENICE model and adds internal recording and the choice of two sensors.

Full-frame sensor

The Sony VENICE 2 is available with a new 8.6K full-frame CMOS image sensor with 8640 x 5760 pixels. This sensor also offers 16 stops of dynamic range and uses the color science from the original VENICE. This should mean excellent color rendition, especially for skin tones.

Dual ISO

Sony VENICE 2 in use
Image courtesy: Sony

In addition, the sensor has a dual base ISO of 800 and 3200. This will allow you to capture great film-like footage in a wide range of lighting conditions. With the new 8.6K sensor, you can record at up to 30 fps at full resolution. However, dropping to a 5.8K Super 35mm crop of the sensor allows for filming at up to 90fps.

Swappable sensor

As an alternative, the Sony VENICE 2 is available with the original VENICE 6K sensor. Sony also designed the sensor block to allow you to easily swap the two sensors with the camera automatically sensing the change. Using the 6K sensor means that you can shoot at higher frame rates.

Internal ND filters

Sony VENICE 2 side view
Image courtesy: Sony

The Sony VENICE 2 has 8 stops of ND via the built-in filters. It has a PL lens mount, but this can be removed to reveal a Sony E-mount, which you can adapt for use with other lens systems.

Internal recording

The addition of internal recording means that the Sony VENICE 2 does not have an external recorder as with the previous model. This means that, in practice, the camera is 1.7 inches smaller and approximately 10 percent lighter than its predecessor.

The Sony VENICE 2 can record internally in Sony’s X-OCN (eXtended tonal range Original Camera Negative). You can also shoot in Apple 4K ProRes 4444 and 422 HQ. The VENICE 2 body records to new high-speed 6.6 Gbps AXS cards to support 8K 60 fps recording.

Pricing and availability

Sony will start shipping the 8.6K sensor version of the Sony VENICE 2 from February 2022. The 6K sensor model will be available from March 2022.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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