At NAB 2023, we saw an interesting white box sitting on the Hollyland stand. So, we went over to chat with Hollyland field engineer Randall Stewart to find out what it was. It turns out it’s Hollyland’s entry into the world of cameras. Or at least, it will be. At the moment, it’s currently in the prototype/beta stages, though it already seems to have come quite far in its development.
It’s actually two cameras that form part of what will become the “Venuss” line of cameras from Hollyland. There’s going to be a Venuss Pro model and a non-pro Venuss Air. The latter lacks a couple of the “Pro” model’s features to allow for a lower price point. And, yes, they’ll be available in the more traditional camera black, as well as white.
Venuss – Hollyland’s first camera
A staple in the world of video transmission, the Venuss line marks Hollyland’s entry into the world of cameras. The Venuss Pro and Venuss Air are the first two cameras that will come to the range and are expected to offer a similar feature set minus one or two features. The biggest difference, and the only one mentioned during our chat with Hollyland, is the LCD. The Pro model has one and the Air model doesn’t.
As it’s in beta, the features and specifications are subject to change, but the two cameras are being geared primarily towards live streaming. As such, their specifications aren’t extremely high, which hopefully means that the prices won’t be terribly high, either, once it hits the market. But, despite leaning into live streaming, the cameras do have the ability to shoot both photos and videos and sport an SD card slot for saving them.
HDMI and USB-C output
For live streaming, though, you’ve got both HDMI out as well as a USB-C output capable of transmitting audio and video. It isn’t specified whether this is for use with USB-C displays or if it’ll connect to your computer as a webcam for use in software like OBS (or Zoom, Skype, etc). There’s also an ethernet port for remote control, letting you communicate with multiple cameras from a single workstation.
The Pro model is powered by either NP-F style batteries or direct DC input from an AC Adapter. The Air model appears to only support the DC input and doesn’t feature a native battery slot. This suggests that the Air model is geared more towards permanent installations in studios.
Inside the Venuss cameras is a half-inch sensor that shoots and transmits up to 1080p60 video. The built-in lens on the front offers a 6x optical zoom (3x on the Air model), although they don’t specify what the full-frame focal length equivalency is – and it’s not printed on the camera anywhere. What is printed on the camera, though, is the aperture range, which shows a variable aperture of f/1.2 to f/2.0, going from its shortest to longest focal lengths.
Horizontal or Vertical shooting
The camera supports both horizontal or vertical shooting and features 1/4-20″ sockets on the bottom and the side of the camera to account for both formats. The Venuss Pro model features a built-in LCD that flips out or up (depending on orientation) to let you see what you’re filming. It also flips around to the front for when you want to shoot or live stream selfie-style and automatically orients itself based on the orientation of the camera.
It features built-in direct live streaming to Facebook and YouTube. All you need to do is log onto a WiFi connection or mobile hotspot, and you’re good to go without needing a computer. And if you’re worried about audio, there’s a USB socket on the back allowing you to connect the Hollyland Lark 150 (buy here) directly to the camera. This allows you to get the versatility of wireless microphones without complicated setups. But don’t worry. There’s also a standard 3.5mm socket for attaching other microphone systems, too.
Price and Availability
Neither price nor availability for the Hollyland Venuss cameras has been released as yet. This isn’t a surprise, given that the cameras are still in the beta prototyping stages and are still being developed. Hollyland hopes to have the cameras available to officially announce within the next 4-6 months. We’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we hear more.