Dubai, UAE- – Sony Middle East & Africa partnered with Pixojam Virtual Production to host the region’s first demonstration of the iconic Venice 2 flagship digital cinema camera integrated with a state-of-the-art virtual production set. This set is an incredible feat of technology, controlling an indoor setting using only computers and advanced LED volume /sensor technology. Impossible filming conditions, such as harsh lighting or unpredictable weather, are now problems of the past.
The workshop, held on June 30, was hosted by Alister Chapman, Sony MEA Alpha Ambassador Gerry Blaksley and Pixojam Team who curated a variety of scenes involving a model to showcase the virtual production capabilities that the camera and set offer. Having a camera with a sizeable resolution proved useful when shooting in an environment which is entirely controlled by Unreal Engine.
During the one-day workshop, Alister ran two identical sessions with a model, a motorcycle and minimal props to orchestrate several scenes with a click of the button – something that would normally require several days of production. Instead, by adjusting basic lighting setups and moving props, this was all done in the comfort of one large, air-conditioned studio.
The audience of talented MEA-based filmmakers were impressed by how quick and easy the entire process was.
Sajeer Shamsu, Head of Digital Imaging at Sony Middle East & Africa, said: ““The Venice camera has been the top choice for digital movie production worldwide, including here in the Middle East and Africa. With several new features added, including a compact design, internal recording and the option for two different sensors, the new Venice 2 aims to cultivate and meet the needs of digital cinema productions in the region.”
He added: “The benefit of partnering with Pixojam Virtual Production is the ability to host the first regional demonstration of Venice 2 with a virtual production set to key local filmmakers and cinematographers.”
Pixojam Virtual Productions’ General Manager, Azin Samarmand, agreed: “It was a pleasure to collaborate with Sony MEA in organising the first regional demonstration of the Venice 2 integrated with a virtual production set, allowing us to provide actual cinematographic settings beyond basic cinema camera and professional camcorder form factors.
Since its launch last year, the VENICE 2 has generated unprecedented interest within the global cinematography community, establishing itself as a versatile cinematic solution created by and for the cinematographer. Equipped with an impressive new 8.6K full-frame image sensor, the VENICE 2 system can capture stunning visuals in any format, including full-frame, Super35 and Anamorphic – all at the 4K+ resolution now required by many streamers and studios.
Director and cinematographer Gonzalo Amat ASC tested the VENICE 2 around New York City in November and will use it on the upcoming season of the Netflix series “Outer Banks.”
He said: “VENICE 2 has the new full-frame 8.6K image sensor and the Dual Base ISO feature, which is really important and can now move between 800 ASA and 3200. The quality of the sensor is first rate. The latitude, colors, and highlights—everything was even sharper than before while still using a menu similar to what I was used to. You can shoot on a very bright, sunny day without losing detail, plus the rendition of the color and skin tone of faces is really quite cinematic. It doesn’t feel electronic—it feels more like a film camera.”
The VENICE 2 builds upon the strength of the original VENICE. It captures extraordinarily immersive detail, 16 stops of dynamic range, extreme low light sensitivity, highlights that roll off and natural skin tones reminiscent of film thanks to its smooth finish. The VENICE 2 also comes in a smaller, more lightweight body with the ability to capture X-OCN and 4K Apple ProRes 4444 and 422 HQ internally.
The Venice 2 has completed shipping to filmmakers worldwide, and market feedback has encouraged Sony to enable the following features in the early 2023 V2 release:
Additional imager modes:
8.6K 17:9 up to 48 FPS
8.2K 2.39:1 up to 72FPS
8.1K 16:9 up to 48FPS
5.8K 4:3 up to 60FPS
5.5K 2.39:1 up to 120FPS
Zoom to Fit for Anamorphic lens operation: A next-generation Extension System for the Venice 2 8K is planned to be released by early 2023.