VENICE CBK-3610XS Extension System product introduction video
Since its release, the Sony VENICE has proven its ability to create a fantastic image while being able to manipulate the frame size, color, and workflow to meet the needs of any project. In 2020, it received the SOC Technical Achievement Award for the CBK-3610XS Extension System—which allows you to separate the sensor block from the camera body and operate it remotely via a tether back to the body itself.
The CBK-3610XS Extension System provides 2.7 meters (9 feet) of range between the lens and the body, with another 2.7‑meter (9‑foot) extension available for a total of up to 5.5 meters (18 feet). The CBK-3610XS creates an extremely lightweight and compact setup out of an already very powerful camera, shaving significant size and weight from normal studio builds without any loss of image quality. This setup allows for an easy handheld mode, enables you to locate it into tiny spaces, keeps stabilization systems lightweight, allows use of larger lenses while maintaining a smaller profile, facilitates faster abilities for motion-control rigs, use of body mounts, and several other situations that you wouldn’t expect from a full-frame cinema camera.
Here’s a fast, unofficial summary of switching to CBK-3610XS mode: While the connections and ports should be respected, in the right conditions, you can convert to Extension mode in the field. The CBK-3610XS typically comes in a case “Desert Wrapped” and has the body adaptor screwed into the Extension imager block adaptor. Separate these, then take the screws out of the VENICE body’s sensor block, and don’t forget the ones on the bottom of the body. Nothing needs to be forced. Attach the camera body adaptor of the CBK-3610XS to the VENICE body and attach the sensor block to the imager block adaptor. It’s that simple. For the AD questioning you, with some experience this part of the process can easily be completed in less than five minutes. Once you’re done with this, you can technically put a lens on and start shooting. Add more time, of course, if you’re doing an operator-usable build and not just putting it in the corner of a cockpit. The only right way to build this setup is for the specific shoot or shot. Hopefully, this offers a starting-off point to get you on your way.
A quick disclaimer on what initially confused me most—that the front of the CBK-3610XS sensor housing will provide whatever power is used on the camera end. This connection is a 3-pin LEMO, which is traditionally 24 volts. If you feed it 24 volts on body-side via pigtail, you’ll get 24 volts on CBK-3610XS-side, and likewise if you feed it 12 volts body-side you’ll end up with 12 volts CBK-3610XS-side, which is still the 3-pin LEMO. Make sure you supply the correct voltage and get the right cables for your accessories, since this also enables a flag to be sent so that you have R/S (run/stop) over 12 volts. CBK-3610XS needs a short cable to plug into VENICE to transfer this R/S function to the sensor end of the kit.
Tried-and-true workhorse that’s ready to run around.
Kit list (without backups):
• 1x Sony VENICE Body with AXS-R7 Raw Recorder
• 1x Sony CBK-3610XS Extension System
• 1x Modified Keslow Cheeseplate for CBK-3610XS (or other)
• 1x 15 mm (0.59 in) or 19 mm (0.75 in) rod block or rod starter
• 1x AB Battery
• 1x Lens of choice
• 1x Preston Hand Unit
• 1x Preston MDR-3 (or MDR-4)
• 2x Preston Motors of choice
• 1x CineTape Kit
• 3x Extra-long motor cables
• 1x Extra Long CineTape Sensor Cable
• 1x TV-Logic 058W (some shows had all of the F-5A and F-7H when built for photo)
• 1x 12–14 V 3-Pin (not a typo)-to-mini-XLR power cable
• 1x Ultralight 9.53 mm (0.38 in) to 6.35 mm (0.25 in) (articulating arm of choice for your monitor)
• 2x 9.53 mm (0.38 in) Rosette Starters
• 2x Rosette handles
• 2x Rosette handle extensions (I only used one)
• 1x Top Handle for CBK-3610XS
• 1x Teradek HD-SDI Transmitter (TX)
• 1x ARRI LMB
• 1x Backpack with dovetail
Step 1: Configure for CBK-3610XS Mode.
Step 2: Pigtail power voltage of choice from body distribution into CBK-3610XS connection body-side.
Step 3: Attach and cable/power MDR, Video TX, and CineTape Display (brain) to the body side.
Step 4: Run and possibly loom motor cables and long CineTape sensor cable to CBK-3610XS cable, all the way to the end.
Step 5: Attach rod starter or rod block to the CBK-3610XS side with rods and motors. Attach motor cables.
Step 6: Attach top handle, rosette, and handles to operator preference.
Step 7: Attach and cable CineTape sensor however you like. I love the versatility and ease of attaching it via a CameoGear Swivel Mount
Step 8: Attach TV-Logic 058W and articulating arm of choice. Power monitor via 3-pin port on the front of CBK-3610XS-side
Remote-mounting the MDR, video TX, and the range finder brain is not new and is actually the choice of several top DPs and operators so they don’t have all of the accessories adding weight and crowding their camera operator’s freedom. The operator has a camera, lens, and an on-board monitor. Assistants and DITs still have control of the camera. Body-side, feel free to toss on a look-up-table box of choice and camera control such as the UltiMote RCU. The backpack in this situation is optional but provides the maximum of mobility. The backpack can be worn by the operator; however, it does increase the dimensions of their footprint. Preferably, there’s a trustworthy crewmember who’ll be tasked with wearing the backpack and wrangling the tether, and that will take the camera from the operator between shots to save the operator’s strength.
ARRI makes a lot of great accessories for a variety of cameras, including for the VENICE and CBK-3610XS. It’s the same setup as above but instead use:
• 1x ARRI WCU-4
• 1x ARRI WCU-4
• 1x ARRI UMC-4
• 2x ARRI CLM Motors of choice
• ARRI Plate Set for VENICE (not pictured)
• ARRI VENICE Extension Kit (not pictured)
• Keslow custom handle extension with power distribution
• 2nd AC is asking if he can have his SmallHD 702 Bright on the order
Step 1: Configure for CBK-3610XS Mode.
Step 2: Attach ARRI Plate Set and Extension kit to the body side and CBK-3610XS side.
Step 3: Attach top handle with power distribution extension.
Step 4: Pigtail power voltage of choice from body distribution into CBK-3610XS connection, body-side, and pigtail CBK-3610XS side into handle’s power distribution.
Step 5: Attach and cable/power Video TX and CineTape Display (brain) to the body side.
Step 6: Run long CineTape sensor cable to CBK-3610XS cable, all the way to the end.
Step 7: Mount UMC-4 to CBK-3610XS side, attach rods, motors, power, and motor cables. Power via handle.
Step 8: Attach rosette handles to operator preference on CBK-3610XS side.
Step 9: Attach and cable CineTape sensor however you like.
Step 10: Attach SmallHD 702 Bright and articulating arm of choice. Power monitor via handle.
I’ve yet to see a rental house or owner naturally carry long CLM motor cables, and let’s say you didn’t pay the extra cost to have them made (if possible, with potential line loss). That’s okay, just mount the UMC-4 CBK-3610XS-side and move on. This build still remains weight-friendly and will be fairly unobtrusive to the operator; it just introduces a few more cables on CBK-3610XS side.