Firmware License for Sony VENICE Boost Higher Frame Rates

It always seems that Sony’s camera sensors can do far more than their feature set lists, and usually in a few months to a year, there’s an optional license which unlocks the really killer features. This is especially true with the Sony VENICE cinema camera, which, as part of the latest firmware update, will open up frame rates of up to 120 fps with an additional license fee.

As a response to SONY VENICE clients who wanted great options for shooting at higher frame rate speeds, Camera firmware 4.0 offers frame rate speeds of 120fps at 4K in 2.39:1 and 60fps at 6K in 3:2 with the optional license. In affection, users have the option of 110fps at 4K 17:9 and 75fps at 4K 4:3 with anamorphic lenses. All the frame rates will also support Sony’s proprietary X-OCN-XT format when using the Sony AXS-R7 portable memory recorder (with the exception of the 6K60p), and frame rates up to 60fps will also support 4K XAVC and ProRes.

Other features include:

  • 700 Protocol- A control protocol developed by Sony to connect VENICE to a remote-control unit (RM-B750orRM-B170) and an RCP-1500 series remote control panel, giving filmmakers greater flexibility. Further expanding on the camera’s existing remote-control capabilities, the VENICE now offers paint control, iris control, recording start/stop, clip control, and more. The upgraded remote-control function also adds new workflows to extend VENICE’s use in multi-camera and live production settings, such as live concerts and fashion shows.
  • Support for Cooke’s /i third generation metadata Technology, /i3 and ZEISS eXtended Data technology (based on Cooke /i Technology) – Extended lens metadata can now be embedded straight into a RAW/X-OCN/XAVC file and HD-SDI output without the need for additional metadata equipment. The new function allows distortion and shading caused by supported lenses to be easily rectified, significantly reducing post-production costs

Moreover, to harness the new 700 Protocol,  Sony has also launched the CBK-3610XS Extension system, which divides the SONY VENICE lens mount sensor block from the recorder. This was developed for use on James Cameron’s AVATAR Sequels. “After detailed discussions and further collaboration with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, a prototype of the VENICE Extension System was engineered to meet their rigorous needs as they begin shooting the sequels,” the Sony Press Release states. “Since this hardware was first demonstrated at Cine Gear 2018, additional refinements have been made.”

According to Sony, the two parts of the camera can now be separated to make them more light weight, and without any loss of image quality from distances up to 18 feet (5.5m).

No word on how much the optional high frame rate license will be in version 4, but Sony expects to ship the update sometime in June of 2019. Meanwhile, version 3 of the update will be available for download next month.  New improvements in that update include:

  • New imager modes, including 6K 2.39:1 and 5.7K 16:9 for greater shooting flexibility
  • Additional de-squeezed ratios for various anamorphic lenses (x1.25, x1.3, x1.5, x1.8), as requested by filmmakers
  • Cache REC for a maximum 30 sec in X-OCN 4K 17:9 AXS Memory / HD MPEG 50 SxS memory, so you don’t miss a shot
  • 6G/12G-SDI switchable output enabling 4K SDI output
  • Wireless Remote Control with CBK-WA02 for wirelessly controlling and changing key functions and menu settings for increased flexibility.

To access planned update roadmap for the SONY VENICE system, visit their Pro Website here. The upgrades are free, and you can purchase the optional licenses here.

About James DeRuvo 795 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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