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Meet the Panavision/RED Digital XL, a stunning new 8K pro camera with anamorphic 4K recording

by on June 5, 2016

Stephan Jukic – June 05, 2016

What do you get when three absolute video recording equipment pros team up for a new type of professional cinematic camera? Well, apparently the result is the stunning design and specs power of the new Millenium Digital XL that has emerged from a collaborative effort between Panavision, RED Digital Camera and the Panavision subsidiary Light Iron.

This truly is one extraordinary piece of professional recording equipment by the looks of it and comes with sorts of specs that promise a heavenly filming and workflow experience for a broad variety of professional videographers and cinematography experts.

The DXL comes with a large format 8K RED sensor that has been optimized for Panavision’s broad range of large format lenses. As a result, this new camera delivers stunning 8K RAW video files, 4K footage in ProRes or DNx and, most innovative and unique of all, is capable of delivering true 4K anamorphic imagery, which is a first-ever in the motion picture industry.

This powerful new shooter seems to have been created in response to a booming new Hollywood-influenced demand for Large-format cinematography, especially in the wake of productions of movies like “The Revenant” and “Captain America: Civil War” with other high-end 8K digital pro cameras like the Arri Alexa 65 or RED’s 8K Red Weapon camera.

Thus, given this trend, the  Millenium DXL combines a compact and familiar design with some impressive new specs that move professional digital large-format recording to a new level.

Features of the DXL’s exceptionally compact body which will be familiar to users of similar older cameras include an interchangeable power module, several independent video outputs, built-in WiFi, dual side menus for both camera operators and assistants and a highly modular design. However, it’s new the new design, recording and workflow features which really impress.

The DXL comes with a patented Steadicam dovetail along the bottom of its body, allowing for virtually instant conversion between studio and Steadicam uses. Aside from this, the DXL comes with a high quality top cheese plate that has been designed to let operators mount up a modular handle system and interchangeable electronics for the camera’s viewfinder. Below this are the new cameras robust, larger-than-average built-in fans for rapid, powerful cooling of this highly modular shooter. In basic terms, the DXL is built to deliver a superb level of rapid, toolless changeover capability for attaching and taking off accessories or switching shooting styles.


Most importantly and powerfully in terms of recording capacity, the new Panavision T-Series lenses for the Millenium DXL, combined with the camera’s 8K RED sensor allow this camera to deliver the industry’s only currently existing 4K anamorphic image shooting capability, offering up 4K by 5K images that total up to a massive 21 megapixel capture which completely beats something like the Arri Alexa’s 4:3 Open Gate and its 7 megapixel shots.

We should also note that the motor for these Panavision Primo 70 lenses is internally driven through a motor system right inside the DXL. With this comes support for 6 independent 1D LUTs or 4 independent 3D LUTs.

Then there’s the robust color science that comes with the DXL. Designed by Light Iron’s color engineers, Light Iron Color is a new type of color matrix that has been developed to run at the sensor level, taking raw data straight from the RED sensor and integrating smoothly between the DXL’s RED 8K sensor and Panavision’s own large-format lenses.

As we’d said above, the Millenium DXL is one extraordinarily light professional large-format shooter for all the specs it offers. At a body weight of just 10lbs, it more than halves on the Arri Alexa 65’s weight of 23lbs and thanks to Panavision’s extremely efficient built-in cooling fans, the small body of the DXL keeps cool much better than comparably powerful pro digital shooters like the Alexa or the Alexa 65, or even one of RED’s Red Weapon.


We’ve included a promotional Video from RED and Panavision which goes into many more of the new Millenium DXL’s design details. You can check it out below the specs summary for this unique new compact pro digital large-format shooter.

Sensor – 16-bit, 35.5 Megapixel CMOS (RED)

Resolution – 8192 x 4320

Sensor Size – Large Format: 40.96mm x 21.60mm (Diagonal: 46.31mm)

Dynamic Range – 15 stops

Max Frame Rate – 60 fps at 8K Full Frame (8192 x 4320), 75 fps at 8K 2.4:1 (8192 x 3456)

Recording Codec – 8K RAW with simultaneous 4K proxy (ProRes or DNx)

Recording Media – SSD (1 hour max on a single magazine)

File Type – .r3d (supported in RED SDK)

Color Profile – Light Iron Color (compatible with all popular gamuts and transfer curves)

Weight – 10 lbs

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  • MrSatyre
    June 7, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Pardon my ignorance, but why anamorphic 4K as opposed to 4K…period? Anamorphic/deanamophic lenses for films make sense for legacy theatrical as well as current consumer widescreen presentations, but if you’re shooting in 4K (or even 8K), what is the point to shooting it anamorphically when the native aspect ratio (and sometimes the resolution) of 4K and 8K displays and projection systems supports the same aspect ratio natively to begin with?


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