Panavision DXL project director Michael Cioni talks in detail about the new 8K cine camera

At Cinegear in Los Angeles we got our first look at the new Panavision Millennium DXL 8K cinema camera. Built as a collaboration between Panavision, Light Iron and RED, it was the star of the expo.

After the dust of the initial launch settled, Light Iron’s Michael Cioni – who is project director for the camera – took time to answer a few of our questions about it and its development.

The Panavision DXL. (Source: Panavision)
The Panavision DXL. (Source: Panavision)

Cioni explained how bringing together Panavision’s lens and camera functionality expertise, with RED’s sensor and electronics, and Light Iron’s colour and workflow skills, means that each company is playing to their core competence.

He also told us how the camera is modular, not just physically, but also electronically in the way it is internally constructed. That design should make adding extra features easier to do.

He explained why Panavision have claimed it to be a true 4K anamorphic camera: the sensor has over 4K resolution in height and 5K plus resolution in width when shooting anamorphic.

The onboard display of the DXL. Photo by Bill Bennett.
The onboard display of the DXL. Photo by Bill Bennett.

Even though the camera shoots RED’s file format, the colour science is exclusive to Panavision. This means that anyone shooting a movie on this camera is going to need to have it processed via Light Iron’s software to get the optimal colour from it.

Clinton also learned what DXL actually stands for. According to Cioni it means ‘Digital Extra Light’. That’s because, at 10 pounds, it is very lightweight for a studio camera.

As expected the camera will be a rental only item and not offered for sale by Panavision.

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