New Sony VENICE Extension System 2 and Firmware Version 2.00 Announced

During IBC 2022, Sony unveiled a new extension system for the VENICE 2 and announced that firmware update 2.00 is on its way. Built on the legacy of the original Rialto system, the new extension module supports 8K data transmission and offers a longer 12-meter cable.

First announced in November 2021, the Sony VENICE 2 packs either the new 8.6K full-frame or the original 6K VENICE sensor into a body that is slightly more compact compared to its predecessor. Of course, we couldn’t keep ourselves from putting the camera through its paces in our Lab Test, which you can check out here.

A few months ago, the company released an online simulator to help you get familiar with the camera’s menu system. And now, at IBC 2022, they have showcased a new extension system (product code: CBK-3620XS) and unveiled new features coming with the next 2.00 update. Let’s take a closer look.

Sony VENICE Extension System 2: features

Just like the original Rialto module, the new Sony VENICE Extension System 2 is a tethered extension system that allows separation of the image sensor from the camera body. This new version has been updated to support 8K data streams coming from the new higher-resolution sensor of the VENICE 2 but is also retro-compatible with the original VENICE.

Image credit: Sony

This solution was designed to enhance freedom of movement, as it allows filmmakers to place the sensor module in confined places or mount it on high cranes. Users now have two cable length options to choose from – either 3 or 12 meters.

Image credit: Sony

The design of the new system is very similar to the original one. The module measures 158x147x126mm in size and weighs about 2.1kg (PL mount). It doubles the number of configurable buttons, now 4, which can be used to quickly adjust ND filters or trigger REC start/stop, for example. Finally, the module is equipped with a gyro sensor that captures motion data, which can then be used in post-production for stabilization or VFX purposes.

Sony VENICE 2: firmware version 2.00

Along with the new Extension System 2, the company has also announced that firmware update 2.00 is on its way and should be available early next year. It will bring a bunch of new recording formats and increased frame rates. Here are the new additions:

  • Full-Frame:
    8.6K 17:9 up to 48fps
    8.2K 2.39:1 up to 72fps
    8.1K 16:9 up to 48fps
  • Super 35 Anamorphic:
    5.8K 4:3 up to 60fps
  • Super 35
    5.5K 2.39:1 up to 120fps
Image credit: Sony

Furthermore, this new firmware will enhance the camera’s LUT/CDL, monitor-out, and playback functions, while providing new sync features for virtual production applications, which are becoming increasingly popular. New tools include:

  • Capture: LUTs and CDLs data can now be embedded in clips. Up to 8 positions are now available for the recording/playback status indicator, while 9 positions of the viewfinder can be magnified to evaluate focus.
  • Monitor-out: Zoom to fit for anamorphic lenses has been added. Also, mirroring of the viewfinder view, including settings and monitoring tools, is now supported.
  • Playback: Playback position in the clip is now displayed, thus allowing for frame-by-frame playback. Also, EI metadata is now applied during playback.
  • Sync: Genlock is now also available at high frame rates, while phase shifting of Genlock allows to minimize on-camera artifacts.

Price and availability

Both the new Sony VENICE Extension System 2 and firmware update 2.00 will be available in early 2023. The official retail price of the Extension System 2 should be around $19,000.

For more information, please visit Sony’s website here.

Have you shot with the VENICE Rialto extension system? What do you think of the new firmware version 2.00? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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