Earlier this week, Sony announced the latest addition to the CineAlta line of digital cinema cameras, the Sony Burano. The new Burano camera takes after the higher-end Venice 2 cinema camera, using the same full-frame image sensor and features 8K recording capabilities. The Burano is smaller and lighter than the Venice 2 and now features in-body image stabilization – making it the first PL-mount video camera on the market with IBIS.
With its smaller form factor, the Burano is Sony’s smallest and lightest CineAlta camera to date. The Sony Burano is designed for single-camera operators and smaller production crews, compared to the larger, higher-end Venice 2. The Burano is about one inch shorter than the Venice 2 and around three pounds lighter (about 33% lighter than the Venice 2), making it more portable.
The imaging specs of the Burano are very similar to that of the Venice 2, making it easy to pair alongside a Venice 2 camera in a production situation. The two cameras share the same 8.6K Exmor RS CMOS full-frame image sensor and utilize the same color science. The Burano also features a dual base ISO of 800 and 3200 and is said to offer 16 stops of dynamic range. In addition to capturing 8K video at up to 30fps, the Burano can also shoot in a wide range of resolutions, including 6K resolution at up to 60fps and 4K at up to 120fps.
The camera’s PL-mount flange is removable, giving the Burano the ability to use the full range of E-mount lenses. The Burano also has a built-in variable ND filter with strengths ranging from 0.6 to 2.1, or two stops down to seven stops.
When used with Sony E-mount lenses, the camera supports a range of Sony shooting capabilities, including Fast Hybrid AF, Subject-detection AF (Human) and 5-axis image stabilization. The Burano’s full-frame sensor features on-sensor phase detection with a maximum of 627 PDAF focus points.
Sony Electronics Announces “BURANO”, the Newest Addition to Sony’s CineAlta Family of Digital Cinema Cameras
The BURANO combines extraordinary cinematic images and exceptional mobility for single camera operators and small crews
LOS ANGELES, SEPT. 12, 2023 — Sony Electronics Inc. today announced the new BURANO camera, an exciting new model from their CineAlta lineup of digital cinema cameras. Designed for single-camera operators and small crews and featuring a sensor that matches the VENICE 2, the new BURANO combines exceptional image quality with high mobility.
Compact, versatile, and flexible, BURANO is the world’s first1 digital cinema camera with a PL-Mount to feature in-body image stabilization. Additionally, when the PL lens mount is removed, the camera can be used with E-mount lenses to support Fast Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) and Subject Recognition AF, ideal for capturing fast moving subjects.
“The BURANO gives filmmakers new options to help push the boundary of filmmaking. It’s the perfect camera for both scripted and unscripted projects, including commercial, wildlife, or documentary styles. This camera will be a wonderful addition to be used on set alongside our lineup of digital cinema cameras,” explains Theresa Alesso, President, Imaging Products and Solutions Americas, Sony Electronics.
Unjoo Moon directed “Original,” a Sony BURANO launch film. It’s an exuberant, high-energy K-Pop style dance “battle” that has an original score by Tushar Apte. Moon opted to create a short dance film to highlight the camera’s exceptional mobility and cinematic look. She explains, “The whole spirit of this camera is about originality and about giving the creator freedom.”
Main Features: Powerful 8.6K Full-Frame Sensor
The BURANO has a compact and lightweight body for high mobility, measuring over an inch shorter and more than three pounds lighter than the VENICE 2. The camera is housed in a rugged magnesium chassis, making it suitable for filming in the most challenging environments. Additionally, the packaging that the BURANO camera and accessories are delivered in is made primarily of plant-based cellulose2 instead of plastic as part of Sony’s efforts to be environmentally conscious. Moreover, a molded pulp cushion is used on the camera body when shipping as the cushioning and protective material, thus not using expanded polystyrene.
The BURANO is equipped with a full-frame sensor that shares many of the specifications of the VENICE 2 and can work alongside the VENICE 2 on both scripted and unscripted productions. The camera has an 8.6K full-frame sensor with dual base ISO of 800 and 3200 and 16 stops of dynamic range to produce stunning images even in the most challenging lighting conditions. The BURANO also features the color science inherited from the VENICE series, which has been trusted on more than 500 productions from feature films to commercials.
Academy award-winning Director of Photography Dion Beebe ACS ASC3 tested the combination of VENICE 2 and BURANO for a short dance film and shared his experience working with the two cameras.
“We were in a very stretched dynamic range purposefully and for me that was very much part of what I wanted to see both in the VENICE 2 and in the BURANO. Moving through the edit, you really were not aware that you were moving from the VENICE 2 sensor to the BURANO sensor back to the VENICE 2. That compatibility, across the dynamic range, color interpretation and all of those things are important when I’m putting a package together and trying to complement a bigger sensor camera, like the VENICE 2. These two sensors, these two looks, really fall in line with one another.”
The BURANO sensor and camera body were also designed to include one of the most popular features of the Cinema Line – namely Sony’s Fast Hybrid AF and Subject Recognition AF. The BURANO’s autofocus offers excellent support for filmmakers shooting fast-moving animals or objects and multi-camera setups using E-mount lenses.
Built-In Optical Image Stabilization
The BURANO is the world’s first digital cinema camera with an interchangeable E-mount and PL-mount lens to support built-in image stabilization. With a newly developed image stabilization mechanism and control algorithm that leverages the advanced image stabilization technology cultivated in the α series of mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, unwanted camera shake, such as movement from shooting handheld or walking, can be corrected when shooting with an E-mount or PL-mount lens.
Variable ND Filter
The BURANO is equipped with an electronic variable ND filter from 0.6 to 2.1, enabling easy adjustments in various lighting conditions. In addition, the electronic variable ND filter allows you to control the depth of field with the iris and adjust the exposure with the ND filter to get the optimum exposure without changing the depth of field. This filter is also far thinner than prior ND filters in Sony’s lineup of cinema cameras and is adjacent to the optical image stabilization mechanism – a technological feat that helps to keep the camera as compact and lightweight as possible.
E-mount lenses for an increased flexibility
Sony offers a range of more than 70 E-mount lenses that can be used with the BURANO when filmmakers need a smaller, lighter, or wider lens set up. Additionally, pairing the BURANO with Sony’s E-mount lenses also unlocks other features such as Fast Hybrid AF, Subject Recognition AF, and 5-axis image stabilization.
Cache Recording and Flexible Capture Modes
The BURANO also features adjustable pre-roll or cache recording—perfect for unscripted filmmakers. Pre-roll or cache recording allows filmmakers to capture a modifiable amount of footage before pressing the record button. This is perfect for action sports, wildlife, and documentary filmmakers working in unpredictable scenarios.
The BURANO allows cache recording to be adjusted depending on the codec, resolution, and frame rate. For example, the BURANO can enable cache recording of up to 11 seconds while filming 8.6K at the highest codec or set up to 73 seconds while filming 4K for maximum flexibility.
Like all cameras in Sony’s full-frame Cinema Line, the BURANO will have the ability to shoot at full-frame, Super 35, and also feature a desqueeze function for anamorphic lenses. It can film at frame rates including up to 8K at 30 frames per second, 6K at 60 frames per second or 4K at 120 frames per second.
Updated Body Design
The BURANO also includes design improvements thanks to feedback from the filmmaking community. For example, all menu buttons are positioned on the camera operator’s side. Additionally, tally lamps are placed in three locations to make it easier for the surrounding crew to check the shooting status. The 3.5-inch multi-function LCD monitor can be used as a viewfinder, for touch focus, or menu control. The BURANO also comes equipped with an optional robust T-handle, viewfinder arm, two 3-pin XLR audio inputs, and a headphone terminal (stereo minijack), convenient for solo operation.
Award-winning wildlife and natural history director and cinematographer Danny Schmidt has been a Sony camera owner and operator for nearly a decade. As a current FX9 and FX6 owner and operator, he shared his experience with the BURANO.
“This camera is a big level-up from the FX series for me. The noise and the grain are beautiful. The image is cinematic and it’s inspiring to look at. I immediately loved the form factor. It was a size that looked to me just slightly larger than an FX6, a modular camera that has a lot of possibilities. I can put it on a long lens, hang it from an easy rig, or rig it up for shoulder mounting. I see this being my primary camera.”
Variety of Recording Formats
The BURANO can record digital files from HD to 8K depending on the resolution, aspect ratio, and codec. BURANO supports multiple internal recording formats, such as the new XAVC H™ for 8K, which utilizes the MPEG-H HEVC/H.265 high-compression efficiency codec. Other recording formats include XAVC and X-OCN LT. X-OCN is Sony’s original compressed RAW format that can capture information shot with 16-bit linear data, which gives filmmakers more freedom in post for color grading. X-OCN LT is the lightweight version of the X-OCN codecs and can reduce file transfer time and storage size load, making post-production workflows more efficient than standard versions of RAW data.
The BURANO is also equipped with two new CFexpress Type B memory card slots and supports VPG400, which can sustain high bitrate writing of video data, including X-OCN LT 8K. Sony will also be releasing new compatible CFexpress Type B memory cards, CEB-G1920T (1920 GB)/ CEB-G960T (960 GB).
Versatile and Efficient Production Ecosystem
Like the VENICE series, the BURANO supports log recording as well as different color spaces including S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine, which cover a wide color gamut that exceeds BT.2020 and DCI-P3. The BURANO can reproduce the same color as all cameras in Sony’s Cinema Line, including the VENICE 2. This allows filmmakers to match cameras within the line.
BURANO comes with four new cinematic looks: Warm, Cool, Vintage, Teal, and Orange, in addition to supporting industry standard s709 and 709 (800%) Look Up Tables (LUTs).
Also, like the VENICE series, the BURANO features gen-lock and can be used for virtual production using large screen LED displays such as Sony’s new Crystal LED, called VERONA.
Improvements to the Cinema Line
In addition, the FX30 and FX3 cameras are now compatible with Sony’s new mobile app “Monitor & Control ,” the latest addition to the Creators Cloud. The app enables wireless video monitoring, support for high-precision exposure determination using false color and waveform monitors, and intuitive focus operation of compatible cameras, on the screen of a smartphone or tablet. In future updates, the BURANO will also be compatible with this app. In addition, Version 1.1 of Camera Remote SDK, the software development kit which now features monitoring will also be supported.
The BURANO will also support S700 protocol over ethernet and a 1.5x de-squeeze display function when using anamorphic lenses, by approximately next summer. Additional software updates to improve user experience and convenience will also be added to the BURANO in future updates.
Sony will also be releasing separately a new remote grip control, GP-VR100, that allows filmmakers to efficiently control the BURANO via a hand grip. The remote grip control works with the BURANO in shoulder mounted scenarios and enables convenient access to the zoom lever and recording start / stop button located on the hand grip. The remote grip control is perfect for single camera operators and unscripted productions such as sports, reality, wildlife, and documentary filmmaking.
Pricing and Availability
The BURANO, CFexpress Type B memory cards, CEB-G1920T (1920 GB)/ CEB-G960T (960 GB) and new GP-VR100 Grip remote control (sold separately) will be available in Spring 2024. For a first look at the BURANO, please visit the Sony booth at IBC 2023 from Sept. 15 to 18, 2023, in Amsterdam.