Sony has unveiled the Shotgun 2, its latest flagship cinema camera capable of recording 8.6K full-frame video with up to 16° of dynamic range.
The new Venice 2 cinematic camera has a similar design to its predecessor, but comes in a slightly more compact form and is available with two different sets of sensors: a new 8.6K full-frame (8640 x 5760 pixels) 50 MP 3:2 sensor or the original 6K 24.8MP rifle sensor.
Sony says the new 8K sensor can capture up to 16 degrees of dynamic range (topping the 6K model at 15 stops) and includes the same color science found on the original rifle camera. Also inherited from its predecessor is the dual-base ISO (though now it’s 800/3200, compared to 500/2500 on the original rifle) and its ability to support various resolutions and crop ratios, including full-frame anamorphic 4K, 4K Super35 and more.
If you want to change the image sensor inside the Rifle 2, you can do so thanks to the interchangeable sensor block, which makes it possible to swap the 6K sensor, capable of higher frame rates, with the new 8.6K sensor using just a few tools. Sony says that no firmware update or reinstallation is required, which means that once you’ve attached the new sensor, you’ll be ready to shoot.
Sony says it has added a range of “user-influenced” upgrades, including a more compact design and internal recording options for the X-OCN, Apple 4K ProRes 4444 and Apple 4K ProRes 422 HQ. Here are the maximum recording modes when shooting with the 8.6K version of the Shotgun 2 (you can see the full list of shooting modes on the Sony website):
The Shot 2 uses Sony’s new AXS memory cards, which can transfer data at up to 6.6 Gbps – more than enough for 8K/60p recording. Sony says that current AXS memory card readers will work with updated memory cards. Sony says the Shotgun 2 uses the same interface as the original rifle, but it includes a number of improvements for easier operation. Other features include 4K output with the LUT app, improved LUT 3D processing, LUT/ASC-CDL control over Ethernet and Wi-Fi, the addition of a Lemo 2pin 12V output connector, an internal microphone and more.
The Venice Camera 2 equipped with the new 8.6K sensor is scheduled to ship in February 2022, while the 6K version is scheduled to ship in March 2022. The cameras will be available with PL and Sony E lens mount options. Available at this time. Sony says the 2 6K rifle will work with all existing rifle extension system attachments and says the next generation of the 8K Venice 2’s extension system is “planned for release by early 2023”.
You can find more information about the Sony Venice 2 cinema camera on our dedicated Sony products page.
Sony unveils groundbreaking digital cinema camera, Venice 2
Los Angeles, California – November 15, 2021 –Today, Sony Electronics Inc. VENICE 2, the new flagship model and the latest addition to the lineup of advanced digital cinema cameras. VENICE 2 builds on the power of the original VENICE with new features including a compact design, internal recording, and a choice of two different sensors: the newly developed 8.6K full-frame sensor or the original 6K VENICE sensor. VENICE 2 also inherits common features from the original VENICE including color science, Dual Base ISO, and 8 stops of built-in ND filters.
A new sensor translates into extraordinary image quality and incredible low-light sensitivity
Paired with a newly developed 8.6K (8640 x 5760) full-frame CMOS image sensor, the VENICE 2 provides excellent image quality with 16 stops of total latitude.[i] For beautiful photos with excellent color separation and shadow detail. The camera also inherits its color science from the original VENICE, which is highly regarded for its natural skin tones. The VENICE 2 8K CineAlta camera features a unique dual ISO base of 800/3200 that allows filmmakers to capture movie-like images in a wide range of lighting conditions. It supports everything from full-frame and full-frame anamorphic[ii] to the Super35 are all at at least 4K resolution, resulting in an outstanding and versatile camera system for cinematographers and productions.
To demonstrate the power of the VENICE 2 and its new 8.6K sensor, Sony worked with the best cinematographers in the industry to test the camera’s image quality on a few separate movie shots without using any professional movie lighting.
Award-winning cinematographer Robert McLachlan ASC, CSC, who has worked on critically acclaimed productions including Game of Thrones (for which he received two Emmy Award nominations), Westworld, and Lovecraft Country. McLachlan has tested and shot the new 8.6K full-frame VENICE 2 in two countries and has shown his reaction.
“I really wish we had a large format, 8.6K sensor like Sony VENICE 2 in my previous work. It would have made it look more epic and, at the same time, more attractive, thanks to the increased resolution, richness and dimensionality. The increased speed, sharper highlights, shadows along with Combined with the possibility of an extremely shallow depth of field is a huge asset.”
Oscar-winning cinematographer[iii] Claudio Miranda used the original ASC, ACC, VENICE and tested VENICE 2 against the original in total darkness in the California desert. Submit this review:
“The 3200 ASA is incredible. I think how clean it is is definitely a big issue,” Miranda said. “In the movie, there is still subtlety in the shadows, and the wide shots are pretty amazing. There were no movie lights in this photoshoot at all. There were only car headlights, and fire, and that was the point. You were supposed to go into the middle of nowhere and start a big fire and see how well the new sensor could light up the mountain, without the noise. “
Rob Hardy, BSC, ASC, British cinematographer known for his pioneering work in Mission Impossible: Fallout, Ex-Machina, DEVS and a BAFTA Award winner for Boy A cinematography, among others, also commented:
“I’m used to using the original VENICE and I would say, I’m a staunch advocate of that camera. The opportunity to use the VENICE 2 is actually really great. This is my first time using this larger sensor, 8.6K and we’ve been lucky enough to get On some anamorphic lenses that were really tuned for full cinematic effect and really used the full sensor. The ISOs were raised so that I could shoot at higher speeds in lower light levels which wasn’t an option before, which is a huge plus for me.”
With an 8.6K sensor that offers large sampling, images captured on the VENICE 2 will benefit from lower noise and rich information in 2K or 4K production. This also means that the camera is well suited for virtual reality, in the camera’s VFX and virtual production settings, providing an immersive experience and photo-realistic images especially in combination with Sony’s high-contrast, wide-ranging LED crystal displays.
The success of the original VENICE
Since its launch in 2017, VENICE has been used to film more than 300 stage, broadcast, cable and live shows, including the Emmy Award-winning series The Crown. Regular firmware and hardware updates to meet the latest creative needs have been the key to widespread adoption of VENICE.
“We are very excited to witness the success of the original VENICE over the past four years. Based on our conversations with cinematographers and production companies around the world, we recognized an opportunity to improve by leveraging many of our latest imaging technologies and sensors. By doing so, we are stepping up VENICE picture quality has taken to a new level.” said Neil Manowitz, President and COO of Sony Electronics Inc.
The VENICE 2 retains many of the features that made the original VENICE a success including Dual Base ISO, 8-stops built-in ND filters, and compatibility with a wide range of lenses, including Sony’s original PL mount and E-mount which enables adapters for many lenses.
Thanks to direct feedback from the production community, the VENICE 2 is built with a smaller and more lightweight chassis than the original VENICE while maintaining intuitive operability. Although it is 44mm smaller and approximately 10% lighter[iv]The VENICE 2 chassis allows internal recording of X-OCN and Apple 4K ProRes 4444 and 422 HQ without the AXS-R7 recorder, providing advanced usability in a compact and lightweight body.
User selectable shooting resolution allows the 8.6K image sensor to shoot in various modes including:
- 8.6 kilo | 3: 2 | 30 fps | full frame
- 8.2 kilo | 17:9 | 60 fps | full frame
- 5.8 kilo | 6.5 anamorphic | 48fps | Excellent 35
- 5.8 kilo | 17:9 | 90 fps | Excellent 35
Interchangeable sensor design
For even more location flexibility, the VENICE 2 chassis adds a unique image sensor mass exchange feature. The camera can be used with an 8.6K sensor in addition to the original 6K sensor. [v] The camera body automatically recognizes the change and will boot without any swaps or firmware re-installs, adding more flexibility in the location. The native 6K sensor will allow for higher frame rates.
Improved usability with internal recording and smaller size
Small, lightweight but durable, the VENICE 2 body takes advantage of the new high-speed AXS 6.6Gbps AXS-A1TS66 card for 8K 60p recording. Existing AXS Memory Card Readers including the AXS-AR3 via Thunderbolt™ 3[vi] Interface compatible with new media.
In addition, the user interface of VENICE 2 is the same as the original VENICE interface but includes improvements to make it easier and more user-friendly. The camera offers advanced product design while being compatible with nearly all original VENICE accessories.
Other updates to VENICE 2, based on feedback from existing VENICE users to enhance ease of use, include:
4K output with LUT applied Optimized 3D search quality processing for improved image quality EI changes applied directly to S-Log3 output LUT / ASC-CDL control via Ethernet / Wi-Fi Zoom to Fit (full-frame recording with 17: 9/16: 9 Monitoring) The Ethernet connector has been relocated to the side of the camera assistant Lemo 2pin 12V output connector Built-in microphone Availability
Shipment of the VENICE 2 Camera with 8.6K image sensor is scheduled to begin in February 2022 and the VENICE 2 Camera with 6K image sensor in March 2022.
In addition, the VENICE 2 6K can be used with the existing VENICE extension system and the next generation VENICE 2 8K extension system is scheduled to be launched by early 2023.
Exclusive stories and exciting new content filmed with the new VENICE 2 and other Sony imaging products can be found at www.sonycine.com, a site created to educate and inspire all Sony Cinema Line fans and customers.
[i] 15+ stops for 6K model
[ii] You need an optional license for full-frame and anamorphic photography.
[iii] 2012 Academy Award for Best Cinematography “Life of Pi”
[iv] Comparison with VENICE using an external recorder AXS-R7
[v] The 8.6KB image sensor assembly for VENICE 2 cannot be connected to VENICE.
[vi] Thunderbolt and the Thunderbolt logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries.