Sony Upgrades Venice And FX9 Full-frame Cameras

New firmware upgrades deliver more monitoring and high frame rate options as well as recording capabilities for content creators. Version 6.0 firmware for Venice releases in November and V2.0 FX firmware is planned for an October 2020 release.

Venice firmware update

Regular firmware and hardware updates have been key to the adoption of Venice since launch in 2017.

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

Additionally, Sony is collaborating with Technicolor to create a new ‘look library’ for the camera, which will be available online “for creatives wishing to quickly access some of Technicolor’s premier established looks inspiring by their cinematic history.”

Another enhancement is the ability to shoot with a second user frame line. This enables cinematographers to take advantage of the camera’s large sensor size to shoot for both horizontal and vertical distribution within the same composition – something that will prove useful on shows shot for mobile platform Quibi.

The firmware also includes: expanded HFR capabilities – up to 72fps at 5.7K 16:9 and 110fps 3.8K 16:9, which simplifies post-production of slow-motion especially for TV drama workflows that require quick turnarounds. In addition, up to 72fps at 4K 6:5 imager mode for Anamorphic lens operation.

A 3D LUTs can be fed to the camera viewfinder for additional monitoring and gyro information in metadata – (the camera’s Tilt & Roll data) can be referenced by VFX teams.

Sony FX9

This camera, launched only last year, offers full-frame imaging to “run-and-gun,” documentary, and indie productions. Employing the form factor, ergonomics and workflow of Sony’s FS7 and FS7 II cameras, the FX9 houses the same colour science as the Venice, and auto focus (AF) technology from Sony’s interchangeable lens camera, Alpha but in a smaller body.

V2.0 of the FX9 firmware supports 4K 60p/50p recording through oversampling from a 5K cropped area of the 6K full-frame sensor. It also enables output of a 4K 16-bit RAW signal to an external recorder with the optional XDCA-FX9 accessory. This additional bit depth beyond the camera’s internal 10-bit recording is ideal for projects requiring more intensive post-production.

Additionally, FX9 Version 2.0 firmware will expand the camera’s operability with Eye AF technology and touch screen operation for focus control and menu setting on the viewfinder.

The firmware also adds 180 fps full-frame HD recording; 4K DCI recording; the ability to load user generated 3D LUTs; and HDR shooting recording in Hybrid Log Gamma.

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