Sony Venice: A Flagship Camera for High-End Production

The Sony Venice is a high-end 6K camera with a 24x36mm full frame sensor, designed by Sony as a next generation system.

Sony has basically gone back to the drawing board and come up with something that incorporates a new image sensor in its advanced, ergonomic design.

The Sony Venice combines ease of use with a superior performance in the field. Here, we look at the key aspects of this flagship camera.

The Camera

This is a camera that is built for longevity. It is pretty compact, and feels both robust and easy to handle.

But if you’re going to make the most of its full 6K capability, you’ll need to attach Sony’s AXS-R7 raw recorder to its back. The good news is that this feels like a completely natural part of the camera once you add it.

The main body of the camera uses SxS pro+ cards and can record up to 4K in XAVC Class480.

If you don’t need to shoot using raw, then you have a nifty but rugged stripped-back model. With the AXS-R7, you have a well-integrated unit that won’t interfere with your handling, but will enhance the camera’s capabilities.

The excellent software integration also reflects this ease of handling, since you won’t need to set anything up on the raw recorder. Extra options in the camera’s own menu become accessible once you add the AXS-R7.

The Venice also works with the Sony Rialto extension system, which allows you to relocate the camera’s front image block up to 18ft away (using the repeater module) to a much smaller housing. This is ideal for rigging the camera in smaller locations, tight spaces, use in and on vehicles and increased portability.

The Viewfinder and Lens Mount

The viewfinder on the Sony Venice is, like the rest of the camera, designed to be practical and accessible. You’ve got buttons for focus magnification, and excellent menu access. The quality of the OLED image is remarkable and very natural.

The lens mount on the Sony Venice is an industry-standard PL mount, which supports Cooke/i technology, so you can record lens data with your footage.

Behind this is a Sony E mount, with a very short flange distance, which means you can use almost any lens on it, with the right adaptor.

Extended ND Filter Performance

The Venice goes beyond having a few internal ND (neutral-density) filters and instead has an impressive 8-step technical ND filter up to 2.5 stops.

This makes the camera extremely versatile, increases speed on set and helps with exposure consistency throughout a shoot.

Camera Outputs

There are plenty of video outputs on the Venice, including four SDI outputs, one HDMI, one monitor out and one dedicated HD output for the viewfinder.

There are also various power outputs on the camera body, for powering multiple accessories.  We have kitted our camera package to include the Wooden Camera D-Box and power strip for further 12 and 24v outputs.

The various video outputs are all highly configurable, so you can send different amounts of information to different outputs, depending on how you want to set up your shoot.

Menu Displays

There are intuitive menu displays on both sides of the camera, so both the operator and assistant can have access to them.

With the main menu on the right side of the camera, and smaller menu screen on the left side, for the camera operator to use. This allows you to change settings without having to look at the viewfinder, or having to look around at the other side of the camera.

Image Quality

The look of the camera’s images emulates that of film. It desaturates highlights and provides a very organic quality of both highlights and colours.

Rendering skin tones naturally and handling the extremes of colour well, especially those shades on the edges of the spectrum.

The camera’s internal 4K recordings stand up well in comparison to raw recordings using the AXS-R7. They look sharp, but not overly digital.

With the Venice and the AXS-R7 unit come new recording codecs X-OCN (Original Camera Negative) LT, ST & XT.  These benefit from the same workflow of raw whilst reducing storage capacity.

What the raw and X-OCN recording capability will give you is more tonal range and colour information over XAVC as well as the post production flexibility.

The Venice sensor features duel native base ISO’s of 500 and 2500, both capable of 15+ stops of latitude to suit whatever lighting environment you face.  Because of the 6K resolution and 24x36mm size of the sensor the Venice is aspect ratio agnostic, meaning the camera can record all aspect ratios (3:2, 1.85:1, 2.39:1, 17:9, 16:9, 6:5 & 4:3) without having to reduce resolution.

High frame rates of 120fps in 4K 2:39.1 and 60fps in 6K 3:2 allow for further creativity.

The Bigger Picture with Sony Venice

With the Sony Venice camera’s full frame image, you get a more natural perspective and magnification than you can achieve with Super 35mm.

It also offers fewer distortions at wide angle, and more flexibility when it comes to sensitivity, dynamic range and resolution.

The full frame format shares many characteristics with 65mm, but it uses smaller lenses, saving on weight (and budget)!

This is a future proof camera, carefully designed to support artistic expression and technical excellence.