Sony has just unveiled a new, groundbreaking (at least for them) cinema camera. It's called the Sony Venice, and it's the company's first 36x24mm full-frame digital motion picture camera system.

Designed in "close collaboration with the creative community," the Venice is the newest generation of Sony's CineAlta series, which promises natural skin tones, "elegant" highlight handling and wide dynamic range. In the case of the Venice, the camera's 36x24mm sensor promises 15 stops of latitude to tackle challenging lighting scenarios, and a brand new color management system with ultra wide color gamut for more flexibility in post.

The headline feature is the sensor itself, though. The full-frame chip can be switched out by the camera's user by simply removing four screws, and at 36x24mm it's compatible with Anamorphic, Super 35mm, Spherical and Full Frame PL mount lenses. If you're really feeling frisky, the lens mount can be modified to support E-mount lenses.

Additional features include a built-in 8-stage glass ND filter system, weather sealing, 10-bit XAVC, 16-bit Raw and S-OCN recording via the Sony AXS-R7 recorder, and a modular design that allows you to use the Venice with current and upcoming CineAlta accessories.

The camera is expected to arrive officially in February of 2018, and while Sony didn't reveal a price, it seems filmmakers will have the option to 'license' different builds for specific production requirements like 4K anamorphic and Full Frame. To learn more, head over to the Sony Venice landing page, or read the full press text below.

Sony has produced 'full-frame' video cameras before by this is its first full cinema camera. Its 24MP maximum resolution combined with promises of minimal rolling shutter make us suspect the sensor may be related to the one used in the a9.

Press Release

Sony Unveils VENICE, Its First 36x24mm Full-Frame Digital Motion Picture Camera System

Anamorphic Capabilities, Interchangeable Sensor, 8-stage ND Filter System, New Color Management & Established Workflow Combine into Unique Creative Filmmaking Tool

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 6, 2017 — Sony Electronics is unveiling VENICE – its first Full-Frame digital motion picture camera system. VENICE is the next generation of Sony’s CineAlta camera systems, designed to expand the filmmaker’s creative freedom through immersive, large-format, Full Frame capture of filmic imagery producing natural skin tones, elegant highlight handling and wide dynamic range. VENICE was designed through close collaboration with the creative community, fulfilling the requirements from filmmakers and production professionals.

VENICE will be officially unveiled on Sept. 6, in front of a select audience of American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) members and a range of other industry professionals. Sony will also screen a short film, “The Dig”, the first footage shot with VENICE, produced in Anamorphic, written and directed by Joseph Kosinski and shot by Academy Award winning Cinematographer Claudio Miranda, ASC.

“We really went back to the drawing board for this one,” said Peter Crithary, marketing manager, Sony Electronics. “It is our next-generation camera system, a ground-up development initiative encompassing a completely new image sensor. We carefully considered key aspects such as form factor, ergonomics, build quality, ease of use, a refined picture and painterly look—with a simple, established workflow. We worked in close collaboration with film industry professionals. We also considered the longer-term strategy by designing a user interchangeable sensor that is as quick and simple to swap as removing four screws, and can accommodate different shooting scenarios as the need arises.”

Full frame sensor and wide range of lens compatibility

VENICE combines a newly developed 36x24mm Full Frame sensor to meet the high-quality demands of feature filmmaking. Full Frame offers the advantages of compatibility with a wide range of lenses, including Anamorphic, Super 35mm, Spherical and Full Frame PL mount lenses for a greater range of expressive freedom with shallow depth of field. The lens mount can also be changed to support E-mount lenses for shooting situations that require smaller, lighter, and wider lenses. User-selectable areas of the image sensor allow shooting in Super 35 mm 4 – perf. Future firmware upgrades are planned to allow the camera to handle 36mm wide 6K resolution. Fast image scan technology minimizes “Jello” effects.

New color management system and established workflow for flexible post-production

A new color management system with an ultra wide color gamut gives users more control and greater flexibility to work with images during grading and post-production. VENICE also has more than 15 stops of latitude to handle challenging lighting situations from low-light to harsh sunlight with a gentle roll-off handling of highlights.

VENICE achieves high quality and efficient file-based production through Sony’s established 16-bit RAW/X-OCN via the AXS-R7 recorder, and 10 bit XAVC workflows. VENICE is also compatible with current and upcoming hardware accessories for CineAlta cameras (DVF-EL200 Full HD OLED Viewfinder, AXS-R7 recorder, AXS-CR1 and high-speed Thunderbolt-enabled AXS-AR1 card reader, using established AXS and SxS memory card formats.

Intuitive design & refined functionality support simple and efficient on-location operation

VENICE has a fully modular and intuitive design with refined functionality to support simple and efficient on-location operation. It is the film industry’s first camera with a built-in 8-stage glass ND filter system, making the shooting process efficient and streamlining camera setup. The camera is designed for easy operation with an intuitive control panel placed on the Assistant and Operator sides of the camera. A 24 V power supply input/output and LEMO connector allow use of many standard camera accessories, designed for use in harsh environments.

License options for individual production requirements

With VENICE, Sony is giving users the option to customize their camera by enabling the features needed, matched to their individual production requirements. Optional licenses will be available in permanent, monthly and weekly durations to expand the camera’s capabilities with new features including 4K anamorphic and Full Frame, each sold separately.

The VENICE CineAlta digital motion picture camera system is scheduled to be available in February 2018. For more information, please visit: www.sony.com/venice.