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Sony upgrades VENICE firmware to offer filmmakers greater flexibility

Sony will expand the capabilities of its digital motion picture cameras VENICE and FX9 full-frame camcorder in 2020 to offer even greater expression and usability for cinematographers and their collaborators in production and post.

These firmware upgrades build on the two platforms’ image capture and colour science. VENICE will deliver more monitoring options with high frame rate and FX9 expands shooting as well as recording capabilities for content creators.

Since its launch in 2017, VENICE has been used to capture more than 200 theatrical, broadcast, cable and streaming releases, including HBO’s “The Plot Against America” and 16 other series premiering in March and April 2020.

Regular firmware and hardware updates have been key to the wide adoption of VENICE.

Version 6.0 of VENICE firmware allows importing of Advanced Rendering Transform (.art) files that improve monitoring picture quality and viewing options on-set. These .art files can be generated by Sony’s RAW Viewer software, from users’ own 3D LUT files. 

Moreover, Sony is collaborating with Technicolor, and their award-winning colour scientists, to create a new “look library” for the VENICE camera, which will be available online as a resource for creatives wishing to quickly access some of Technicolor’s premier established looksinspired by their cinematic history.

Another enhancement in VENICE Version 6.0 firmware is the ability to shoot with a second user frame line. This enables cinematographers to take advantage of VENICE’s large sensor size to shoot for both horizontal and vertical distribution within the same composition.

FX9 was launched in 2019 to bring full-frame imaging to “run-and-gun”, documentary, and independent productions. Employing the form factor, ergonomics and workflow of Sony’s FS7 and FS7 II cameras, FX9 brings colour science from VENICE, and auto focus (AF) technology from Sony’s interchangeable lens camera, Alpha, to creatives desiring a small camera footprint.

Version 2.0 of FX9 firmware supports 4K 60p/50p recording through oversampling from a 5K cropped area of the 6K full-frame sensor. Version 2.0 also enables output of a 4K 16-bit RAW signal to an external recorder with the optional XDCA-FX9 accessory. Indeed, this additional bit depth beyond the camera’s internal 10-bit recording is ideal for projects requiring more intensive post-production.

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