The new $42,000, full-frame Sony VENICE debuted on the Sony Pictures lot at the beginning of September and it looks good. Really good. Not game-changing good, but really good nonetheless.
Sony seems to have taken a page out of Arri’s book, both by naming their product with a word instead of a number and by putting that word in all caps. They also seemed to have borrowed the menu buttons well, as Canon did with the C700. Thankfully, that means Sony has ditched their notoriously difficult to navigate menu system for something a bit more tried-and-true or, “familiar” as they put it. The VENICE looks a little more than half the length of its Arri competition, so after assembly you’re looking at a magnesium-bodied camera weighing in around the 13lb mark, depending on your rigging. It’s a little over 8lbs naked.
The camera is aspect ratio agnostic, allowing you to use almost any lens you’d like as long as it’s PL Mount or adaptable to an E-Mount, including the new Arri 65 lenses and similar. Unfortunately, you’ll have to acquire the licenses for most of those resolutions as detailed below. While Sony says this is a 6K sensor, it’s more honest to say it’s capable of 6K, but out of the box you’re getting a 4K camera. Depending on who you are this might not affect you but I would at least like to see the Anamorphic License done away with and included in the base package. The licenses come in weekly, monthly, and permanent flavors so you have options for when you finally get that 6K gig, as well as when you’re working with a pedestrian 15 stops of 4K that falls into the category of “beautiful enough.”
[Read the full article, with pictures, at ProVideo Coalition]