DP Florian Hoffmeister, BSC, Is Shooting New Gavin Hood Film, Official Secrets, with the Camera

Sony has put a date — June 2019 — on the next big feature upgrade for its Venice camera system, announcing an upcoming optional 120fps high frame rate (HFR) license along with a free v4.0 firmware revision.

Users who opt for the paid HFR license will be able to shoot 4K in the widescreen scope format (2.39:1) at up to 120fps, and 6K at 3:2 at up to 60fps. Less commonly used frame rates including 110fps (4K 17:9) and 75fps (4K 4:3) will also be enabled for those shooting with anamorphic lenses.

Shooting at 120fps requires X-OCN recording, while XAVC 4K and ProRes can be used for frame rates up to 60p, Sony said.

Sony Venice camera

Sony Venice

“Last year at Cine Gear Expo, we announced that Version 4.0 will include 120fps in 2K,” saud Theresa Alesso, Sony Electronics vp and head of CineAlta in a prepared statement. “However, we are excited to announce today that, as a result of the hard work of our engineering team, version 4.0 will now include 120fps in 4K. With firmware version 4.0, our state-of-the-art Venice will become even more powerful, fortifying its position as the go-to solution for cinematographers who want to create stunning imagery and capture emotion in every frame.”

Sony did not say how much it will charge to unlock the new HFR shooting modes.

Free Features Also Included

Sony RM-B750 remote control unit

Sony RM-B750 remote control unit

Other features of the new firmware will be a free upgrade for all users, including Sony’s 700 control protocol for multi-camera and live productions. The 700 protocol allows users to pair the Venice with an RM-B750 or RM-B170 remote-control unit or RCP-1500 remote-control panel with the camera. Remote capabilities include paint, iris, start/stop, and more.

V4.0 Venice firmware also includes built-in support for the third generation of Cooke’s /i technology, which embeds lens metadata in raw, X-OCN and XAVC files as well as in the camera’s HD-SDI output. That allows easier correction of certain lens aberrations, reducing the time spent fixing images in post. Venice v4.0 also has new “pure progressive” HD-SDI output options of 25p and 29p, new assignable button functions for the DVF-EL200 viewfinder, and an extended Mask+Line option among the frame line settings.

Shooting 4K with Spherical Lenses for Official Secrets

Keira Knightley in Official Secrets

Keira Knightley in Official Secrets
IFC Films

In other Sony Venice news, the company said this week that cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister, BSC (The Deep Blue SeaA Quiet Passion), had used it to shoot Official Secrets, a new film directed by Gavin Hood that debuted this year at Sundance. The film was shot in widescreen on the Venice’s large-format sensor at a horizontal resolution of 4K without using anamorphic lenses in an attempt to give the film an unvarnished look, Hoffmeister said in a statement provided by Sony.

“As a true story, the agenda of Official Secrets was to tell the narrative in the most sensitive and accurate way,” Hoffmeister explained. “The Venice strongly fits with the cinematic, yet natural, aesthetic we wished to achieve. We wanted to bring this vision to reality and with Keira [Knightley] coming on-set completely natural, with very little make-up and styled hair, we needed a camera that produced atmospheric and distinguished images to translate the vulnerability of each take onto the screen. The richness of color, naturalness of contrast, and the immediacy of large-format with Venice allowed us to translate the story’s agenda perfectly.”

The production’s camera and lens kit was supplied by Movietech and Top-Teks.

Sony Pro/Venice: pro.sony