Hollywood studios will soon have another powerful weapon to add to their arsenal: Panavision’s Millennium DXL cinema camera. Announced June 1, the camera records digital 8K footage on a large-format 40.96 x 21.6mm sensor .
The DXL is being marketed as a new breed of camera, promising a tightly integrated system combining optics, camera, and color that aims to make production more efficient. At its heart is a 35.5-megapixel sensor, made by Red, that can record 8K video at up to 60 frames-per-second, with an impressive 15 stops of dynamic range. That large resolution also allows the DXL to shoot true 4K anamorphic video, the first camera to make this claim.
Footage can be recorded simultaneously in 8K Raw, and 4K Apple ProRes or Avid DNX straight to an SSD. This provides the highest quality footage alongside a ready-to-edit version. To further speed-up workflow, Panavision partnered with color and post-production specialist, Light Iron, to provide color science directly in the camera that normally would be done in post on a computer.
Of course, that kind of sensor and processing power generates a lot of heat. To keep the camera running cool, Panavision has two large intake and exhaust fans on the top plate. It’s an important part of the new camera’s design, which is smaller than most production cameras without sacrificing functionality. The body includes six SDI outputs, built-in Wi-Fi, a side menu for assistant operators, and various ways to customize its ergonomics.
Unless you’re in the filmmaking biz, it’s highly unlikely you’ve shot video on a Panavision camera (not to be confused with Panasonic; Panavision doesn’t sell its products either, and only rents them out), but you probably have watched a movie shot on one. One of the most fabled names on the tech side of Hollywood, Panavision has been used by filmmakers to shoot their movies in large format, since the 1950s. The Millennium DXL looks to continue the legacy, giving the company’s existing lenses a next-generation camera to attach to.
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