June 2, 2016

Panavison Co-Builds the World's Most Advanced Camera: 8K RAW DXL Cinema

Panavision, Light Iron, and RED have joined forces to create the world's most technologically advanced camera.

The Panavision Millennium Digital XL 8K cinema camera is Panavision's official entry into the high-end large format cinema camera ring, and boy did they recruit some heavy-hitting collaborators.

While Panavision focused on the optics, Light Iron took care of color and RED developed the sensor tech to create what may be the most complete system ever made. The team came together to marry the lenses to the camera and the camera to the workflow.

The Panavision DXL was designed for their  Primo 70 lenses and shoots 8K .r3d RAW, which is fully supported by RED’s workflow. It is even capable of shooting 4K proxy files in ProRes and DNx at the same time.

Even with all this technology packed in, the camera only weighs about 10 pounds. Check out the video above to get the full picture of just how well this camera has been made to work with accessories, modifications, and mounts.

The likelihood of getting your hands on one of these babies if you're a fledgling filmmaker is pretty slim, but my god, just look at that thing. Like most Panavision cameras, and their direct competitor the Arri Alexa 65, it will operate on a rental-only system, and the pricing packages have yet to be announced. The camera should be hitting rental stores sometime in the first quarter of 2017.

The 8K Panavison DXL Cinema Camera

Credit: Panavision

Tech specs:

  • Sensor Type: 16-bit, 35.5 Megapixel CMOS
  • 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 (up to 1 hour 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.

Additional Features

  • 6 independent video outputs
  • Supports 6 independent 1D LUTs or up to 4 independent 3D LUTs
  • Directly motorize Primo 70 lenses through wireless control
  • Built-in wireless timecode for genlock (Ambient Control Network)
  • Dual menus (Operator side, Assistant side)
  • Advanced airflow system for superior temperature management
  • Custom cheese plate with integrated electronics
  • Modular and tool-less quick changeover accessories

Your Comment

51 Comments

Up to 6 independent LUT outputs... Doesn't sound like they skimped on processing power...

June 2, 2016 at 1:50PM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
737

That baby is packed.

June 2, 2016 at 9:36PM, Edited June 2, 9:36PM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1265

My birthday's in September. Y'know. In case you guys were looking for ideas. Just putting it out there.

June 2, 2016 at 2:08PM, Edited June 2, 2:08PM

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Bryan Howell
Screenwriter, Editor, and Other-stuffer
321

If the "six degrees of separation" concept holds true, I'm sure I've got some sort of connection to Spielberg. Check your mailbox in September... ; )

June 2, 2016 at 3:00PM

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Wow, if this is the new top of the line camera for the Hollywood Film Market does that mean the RED sensor is actually a better sensor just needed more tweaking? I know the post workflow takes a lot of work but in the end, as long as the end product looks great, that is all that matters!

Wireless time code and internal wireless focus system withing the lens is crazy!

June 2, 2016 at 2:17PM, Edited June 2, 2:17PM

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Dave Wilwayco
Director of Photography
2

The DXL isn't using Red's color science, which is interesting.

June 2, 2016 at 2:46PM

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That's a good thing, 'cause RED's color science has never been that great.

June 2, 2016 at 4:23PM

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Michael Markham
Actor/Filmmaker
914

It's okay-fine, but not the omg-amazng, if you catch my drift. Hopefully LightIron change that.

June 2, 2016 at 9:38PM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1265

It might be outputting a custom LUTS in the metadata, but if the end file is a .r3d you're still just getting a REDRaw file. The "color" is just metadata so I'm not really seeing how this is any different from a RED Weapon.

June 3, 2016 at 12:48PM

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Derek Means
Director of Photography
312

Very good point, I'm curious if this is accurate. Is the Light Iron color science affecting what's output to the .r3d files?

June 3, 2016 at 4:59PM

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Gerrit Van Woudenberg
Director / Editor / Producer
7

I don't really see how that's possible since color science doesn't come into play as a permanent thing until the r3d is debayered. The Weapon and Scarlet-W both do ProRes and have 3d lut support in combination with simultaneous Prores / DnxHD output, so this feels more like a Panavised Weapon with Light Iron built in LUTS, rather then a whole new camera.

June 3, 2016 at 5:13PM

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Derek Means
Director of Photography
312

Traditionally, with their film cameras, Panavision only rents their cameras and lenses out directly. I'm not sure this camera will be hitting rental stores at all, as the article suggests, but more likely Panavision will start to rent the camera in early 2017.

June 2, 2016 at 2:25PM

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Tim Ryan
Filmmaker
152

Hopefully it actually works? I bought a RED Dragon brand new and from day one the screen has had horrible issues like bad static. I sent camera and display in for repair 3 times and 3 times they sent it back acknowledging it had a problem but without fixing it. Purchasing a RED camera was probably the worst decision I've made in my career. Not a day goes by that I'm not jealous of my friends with Arri Amira's because, you know, they actually work. How novel. Hopefully my mistake can help others avoid experiencing the same. Be wary of anything RED.

June 2, 2016 at 2:40PM, Edited June 2, 2:49PM

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John Carl
Director
1

+1

June 2, 2016 at 2:53PM, Edited June 2, 2:53PM

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Sounds like you got a bad egg. I've been using an Epic that was upgraded to an Epic Dragon in the same body for over 4 years and the thing has been through rain, sand storms, not covered, avalanches, blizzards... you get the point. And yet i've never had an issue. I'm on the original 5" screen, same cards, and batteries and those also have been flawless.

Only issue i've ever had is a fan going down, but that was my own fault.

June 2, 2016 at 4:40PM

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Jeffrey
81

Still shooting on the Epic MX. Over 1000 hours on the body. Thing is a tank. Only repair was I had to get an sdi and headphone jack replaced.

June 3, 2016 at 2:06PM

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So your saying day one the cAmera had issues and they wouldn't fix? I call bs. They have a 90 day factory warranty. Stop hating red makes wonderful cameras

June 2, 2016 at 6:39PM

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Sounds like a major bullshitter. Or an Arri fanboy?

June 2, 2016 at 9:39PM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1265

"I'm jealous of my friends Amira" is the key statement here.

June 5, 2016 at 5:35PM

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Nathan T
DP
106

Surprised it wasn't called the Genesis 2. Instead of outsourcing from Sony, their outsourcing from RED this time. I think they tried doing this with F55's a couple of years ago. Guess panavision made the smart choice of outsourcing sensor stuff and focus in R&D on lenses, rigging, metal work, camera functionality, etc. Though it would have been better if they went with Arri sensor tech since their R&D sensor guys worked with Kodak before and have experience with Arri film scanning technology. And if you ever visit a Panavision rental facility there are like 8 Alexas being rented out for every RED. But Arri and Panavision are semi rivals soooo..... Can you imagine a bit smaller Panavised Alexa 65.... drools. I think RED is kind of giving away whatever competitive advantage they have.... and it kind of might seem my theory of being acquired eventually is going to happen. Management at RED is kind of lost.... it's a win for Panavision though!!!!

June 2, 2016 at 3:06PM, Edited June 2, 3:16PM

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You don't know what you're talking about. Jarred is doing more than fine running the whole operation. And guess what, even the best Arri/Kodak engineers couldn't quite reach that expanded DR of regular Alexa in the new 65. Now that's fucking weird, since A3X is basically those Alev3 sensors stitched together.

June 2, 2016 at 9:45PM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1265

K. Yet every cinema rental house and Panavision floor has 8 Alexas for every RED checking out for jobs.... professional market share for RED... not so great. And then you have the publicly traded multi-billion dollar competitors with bigger R&D departments and 1,000s of more engineers making more reliable cheaper cameras that are 4/5 the quality for 1/10th the price.... taking away the more lower end priced market. Leaving RED stranded in a hard place, with a brand name that many people either love for the 2007 market impact RED had, or hate, due to an unreliable camera past (though still happens at a lesser rate) and frat boy culture. The things I've heard RED reps say *throws up*. Arri's cameras still have more dynamic range, lower noise floor, very similar resolution in real world test charts, faster refresh rates in their rolling shutter, better color science, quieter fans with better airflow, and smoother highlight fall off compared to RED's. RED does not have 16+ of real world dynamic range. That is a lie. period. And trust me I've tested the Weapon with the Alexa XT and have seen countless tests saying the same. I'm a huge fan of Panavision and love the company. I can see why they went this route. But I'm also seeing the Amazon.com and Toy R Us case being played out again. RED's only competitive advantage is their sensor tech and red code.... Panavision has many other competitive advantages. The whole point of RED was to change the cinema camera market. Jim Jannard did that, and I applaud him for that. He moved on to other things once he accomplished what he set out. A year after in 2008, the 5D came along and revolutionized the lower end market, forcing RED to scrap the original 2/3 3k Scarlet idea. RED is either going to change as a sensor supplier, change it's business completely, or be acquired by another company down the line. But great to know you're a RED fan, and ignore the facts. Cheers man!!!!

June 2, 2016 at 11:36PM

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Red has always been an owner/operator camera for many reasons and Arri cameras are traditionally solid rental cameras for the same reasons so going to a rental house is no indication of anything.

June 5, 2016 at 5:40PM

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Nathan T
DP
106

Most professional jobs are rental like national television, nationwide commercials, worldwide films. Not hey let me ask this dude for he RED. Go to Europe and good luck finding a RED, most of the camera men use ARRIs or Sonys.

June 6, 2016 at 3:10PM, Edited June 6, 3:11PM

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I bet movies are going to be so much better if they use this camera.

June 2, 2016 at 4:41PM

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Doug
217

LOL

June 3, 2016 at 5:22PM

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Jaime Valles
Filmmaker
325

You say that like your Woody Allen yet your in a tech forum? The same forums that had people jizzing their pants with headlines about Chivo making a natural light masterpiece with an Alexa 65 (for 10% of the movie) lol.

June 5, 2016 at 5:47PM, Edited June 5, 5:47PM

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Nathan T
DP
106

Why can't all of Red's cameras be designed like this? This would be much more convenient!

June 2, 2016 at 4:58PM

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Good luck putting that on a drone. For a lot of things the RED modular design is incredibly useful.

June 3, 2016 at 12:51PM

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Derek Means
Director of Photography
312

Why did they design it with 6 or 7 cable ports facing out right where you would mount an iris motor?

I don't see anything different or special about this camera. Curious to see how loud those fans are when they actually build one of these rather than just show 3D animations.

June 2, 2016 at 8:55PM, Edited June 2, 9:03PM

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Don't worry. They are building a third fan so it can cancel the noise of the other two.

June 2, 2016 at 9:13PM, Edited June 2, 9:14PM

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Edgar More
All
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Weapon itself, as small as it is, runs quiet if you're not messing with settings. In the video they've mentioned reworked cooling system and bigger fans.

June 2, 2016 at 9:48PM, Edited June 2, 9:48PM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1265

Its more then a 3D render; here's photos of a DXL seen in person:
http://www.theasc.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/IMG_0674-1024x683.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/qhz883m.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/1hb7RRp.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/KbeHmPd.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/I2wXdgf.jpg

FYI: Larger Fans = Lower RPMs = Less Noise

Epic-D in the right hands w/ the original front fan is super quiet.
Weapon is near inaudible.
I speculate DXL is silent.

No need for an iris or focus motors as the lenses that come w/ this rental only camera package have motors built-in that can be controlled either over wireless akin to foolcontrol on RED for EF glass, or by wired controllers via those front ports. Additionally, for those who prefer traditional approaches, a FF knob may be used as well (as is pictured above in the head of the NFS write up).

June 2, 2016 at 11:08PM, Edited June 2, 11:37PM

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Daniel Reed
Hat Collector
1367

June 3, 2016 at 11:07PM

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The sensor is still smaller than the Alexa 65. The Alexa line was never about resolution but better pixels due to the large sensor.

June 4, 2016 at 4:54AM

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Henry Barnill
Director of Photography
553

yep true is small vs 65 Alexa , but with 8k Vista Vision have more resolution, and more lens avaible.
http://phfx.com/tools/lensData/

June 5, 2016 at 11:28AM

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Alexx
146

Does it have global shutter? Thanks.

June 4, 2016 at 5:30AM, Edited June 4, 5:30AM

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No

June 4, 2016 at 9:44PM

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I think is possible , is same RED, install Motion Mount and you have global shutter but lost about 1.5 stop and 2.4 ND.
http://www.red.com/store/products/dsmc-red-motion-ti-pl-mount

June 5, 2016 at 11:16AM

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Alexx
146

Motion mount is horrible, it doesn't work well, and even RED reps hate it.

June 6, 2016 at 3:07PM

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Here are my thoughts: I saw the camera and a screening of the footage today at Panavision's booth. Here's the deal. It's GOOD. Far better than I expected. It's not a RED in wolf's clothing like many of us believed. The ergonomic arguments are pretty self explanatory and good but the real difference is that the Ian Vertovec and Light Iron team have really overhauled the color science of the red down to the sensor level and it's a whole different ball game. The screening today was on a Christie 4k on a screen about 10-12 feet across. Do I still think the ARRI color science is most film-like and best in the business, absolutely. However, this is some of the best digital footage of any camera I've ever seen. Blows the F65 right out of the water. What they have done, and I think it's no small feat, is to have color saturation happen at a lower density then most digital cameras. This is actually what the ALEXA has always done and it is more like what film captures. This means that saturated colors don't look bright when they are saturated. Second, they have managed excellent color separation, even in the blacks. This is partially achieved because they are getting so much usable resolution from the larger sensor size. One of the scenes they showed in the demo reel was of a speakeasy bar scene with intentionally mixed light of daylight and tungsten cross lighting and the camera handeled it very well where a standard RED camera would have just fallen apart with magenta in the low skin tones and that weird greenish yellow thing that REDs do around tungsten. The other half of it is that the dynamic range may actually be 15 stops, because they are resolving so much even in the shadows. Finally, the color curve the camera produces is much more smooth then a standard RED. I'm not going to go on about it too much more here but that last thing I'll say is that even though it's an 8K camera finishing in 4K, it did not feel too "HD" or overly sharp as a lot of 4K material can. This was helped by the fact that much of the material being shown was anamorphic, and that will always give you a softer, roundnes feel the image that is more forgiving for faces and such but in all it didn't look hyper sharp. Anyway, I could go on about it but it's pretty good and probably my second favorite image right now. I would definitely like to see a test against the ALEXA 65.

June 5, 2016 at 5:25AM

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Will Weprin
Cinematographer, DIT, IATSE LOCAL 600
44

ehehe..
One reality check....
I love how all of the people hating on Red are suddenly professing this is the best camera ever... It's a fucking Red Weapon! The raw file is still exactly the same. Applying a LI "LUT" does not fundamentally change the characteristics of the Dragon sensor.
The Demo you see is with Olpf RED with LUT LI, next step in this Year for Panavision is create a new OLPF personalised with integrate LI colorgamma..
The reality is that RED has done a great job in these 10 years.
Weapon, Scarlet-w ,Pana, now is better vs Alexa in color/dynamic/ less noise and resolution , this is the point now.
It is likely that in the coming months or years Arri come up with something new.

June 6, 2016 at 10:18AM

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Alexx
146

I am not sure how modified the RED weapon inside is. However, what I can tell you is that the Light Iron Color, is from what I understand similar to RED COLOR 3 or what not. It's the colorspace that is applied to the raw that makes the difference and that's why this is totally different from the standard RED weapon. I'm sure if you could apply the Light Iron color to your RED weapon 8K, it would do something similar. The color science is why this is no ordinary RED weapon. Trust me, after seeing the footage, I can tell you it's for all intensive purposes, a totally different camera and a new ball game. As the weather I would choose to shoot it over an ALEXA...Probably not, but it is now a camera I could like and would certainly consider for large format in a test against the ALEXA 65.

June 6, 2016 at 1:30PM

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Will Weprin
Cinematographer, DIT, IATSE LOCAL 600
44

What is now inside the Panavision camera be a RED sensor, and not an Arri or Panavision sensor or Sony .. This is the point.
I find this amazing, the sensor REd Dragon can pull different colors and better, having the modularity of the OLPF.
Then you can do :), and then DRagon is truly versatile. I adore this.

Ian talked about this:

[Ian Vertovec] "We profile the build cameras and color adjustments in the widest possible color space. Then That adjustment is embedded in the RED SDK. This way we work off the raw data and you can still output to rec. 2020, ACES, etc, and still maintain all the original latitude room. and since it is embedded in the RED SDK, it's available in any software That supports RED.

The .r3d's the DXL Creates will have special meta data That only makes LI color available with DXL media. Also we are planning on building our own and OLPF IR filter built to Panavision optical standards, so it really will be a completely different looking room, but with all of the amazing advantages of Redcode and the 8K sensor. "

Update 2
"On the user side, it will work the same way" DragonColor "and" DragonColor2 "work now. You just select" Light Iron Color "instead. So it Should be totally seamless to the way you use .r3d's now. Under the hood , we are doing quite a few unique things to create cinematic most off-the-shelf color possible. I will not go into details on exactly how, but our top priority is good, clean skin tone and rich, vibrant saturated colors and not plastic or electric-looking colors. We are not creating a look, but a rich, cinematic starting point to create a look. Come to CineGear if you want to see it! I also want to make sure this is not framed as a " DragonColor "vs." Light Iron Color "conversation. We've worked on the footage from all major cameras and everyone handles the same problems in slightly different ways (skin tone, IR cut, gamut remapping, etc ..). So Light Iron color is really a little bit of what we've Observed from the market in general, plus a LOT of input from many, many cinematographers over the years on what they love and do not love from all the images they've made. "

Here is Phil tells:

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?145863-Thoughts-on-the-Panav...

Good to see RED in 10 years has arrived up to this point in history;)
Now is the camera I've always loved;) the Pana;)
If I was an owner of a REd weapon I would be very happy right now, maybe someday I'll save a lot of money, and i can buy one of These beasts :)

June 7, 2016 at 11:02AM

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Alexx
146

Well thanks for your input!!!! Interesting to see that ARRI still has the most film like and best color science. At least according to what you said. I think that alone is still going to be the reason why people will rent the Alexas more than the DXL, RED, or any other camera. Wonder if they highlight falloff is still better on the Alexas. I would still think that the photodiodes on the Alexa still have less noise and capture more latitude than RED's smaller photodiode sensor.

June 6, 2016 at 3:47PM

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I'm not sure what you're saying.
From what I see it more clean Weapon, it has more resolution and the same dynamic range of ALexa and even more..

i downloaded from a post on reduser two stills from Alexa ProRes and ProRes Weapon ...

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?143442-Varicam-LT-vs-Red-Wea...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wxd2a7lsu8u5r1d/alexaweap3.zip?dl=0

June 7, 2016 at 11:22AM, Edited June 7, 11:23AM

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Alexx
146

https://vimeo.com/140441330 10 camera comparison. I can guarantee you Weapon is not cleaner than Alexa, and so can many cinematographers and colorists. Alexa has larger photodiodes, which gives it a cleaner image. I've seen both Weapon and Alexa 3.4K Open Gate footage on a 4K TV, hardly any difference in detail and Alexa looked definitely cleaner. Weapon does not have the same dynamic range in both shadows and highlights. Once again the larger photodiodes on the Alexa help with capturing more latitude and very clear detail. Also motion cadence was way better on the Alexa due to faster refresh rates. Weapon is designed to be kind of an all around camera. Slow mo, resolution, small, better dynamic range than lower end cameras, the only thing it slightly excels at is resolution and they're going to facing competition from the big dogs very soon. Cinematographers are already happy with resolution, even though more wouldn't hurt. Their focus is on dynamic range, color, ease of use, reliability, built quality, motion cadence, fan noise, low noise floor

June 7, 2016 at 2:02PM, Edited June 7, 2:02PM

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You can say what you want ... but we all know that now Dragon is the best;)
Try using ALexa and Weapon on the field and back in color, you'll see that it is exactly the same thing, everything can fit together as well as have more possibilities with R3D files, the REd Raw files are much lighter than those of Arri and very more manageable. This is because Panavision chose RED;)
And then Vista Vision ehehe was used by the great master Hitchcock :)
Or you have your own example to show, so we can discuss your test.
I would add, Think Panavision as Weapon, can record raw red 8k and 4k ProRes or DNxHR the same time heheh
As I said before I'm happy that Pana chose RED 8k red dragon sensor VistaVision.

June 8, 2016 at 6:21AM

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Alexx
146

Who's we???? Camera guys are still going to say the Alexa is better due to highlight falloff, dynamic range, color, motion cadence, etc. And I can guarantee you, Alexa will still have major market share in the rental and professional use market even at Panavision. You know that ARRI and Panavision are competitors right? And that ARRI wasn't going to give their proprietary 65mm digital sensor to Panavision. 65mm was used by Kubrick, David Lean, Hitchcock, William Wyler, George Cukor, Robert Wise, Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Tarantino, etc.... 65mm is a better format, not as good as IMAX 15/65 but better the VistaVision which became used for VFX after Ultra Panavision and 65mm systems became the standard. Clearly you're a RED fanboy, so good luck in your little world. Just going to say, you tell that to actual union guys who have worked on real jobs for the last 20 years, you're going to get laughed at and probably ignored. They're countless examples on how the Alexa sensor performs against the Weapon sensor, and there are countless examples on how photodiodes reflect actual detailed captured. Actual resolution of Alexa 65's 6k vs Weapon's 8k is hardly noticeable when you count in all the different aspects like larger photodiodes and UNCOMPRESSED Raw. I'm not going to look it up for you, because you already are fixed in your opinion. Good luck with your weddings and test footage!!!!

June 8, 2016 at 5:15PM

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I got a warning when I tried to watch the video that says, "WARNING: Due to the age of your computer system and the limited speed of your internet, we feel the technology depicted in this video must fall into the NSFW category due its fantasy like nature the fact that you'll never actually get to touch one... Have a nice day! Loser."

June 5, 2016 at 9:55PM, Edited June 5, 9:55PM

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Jared Adamo
Creative Director / Producer
233

Red is the best digital film camera has high image quality, so i trust in DXL's Sensor.

November 3, 2016 at 7:21AM

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Christin Abraham
Director, Editor
8

Great content. Keep up the good work.

Thanks,
Dan
http://questtel.com

December 3, 2016 at 11:47AM

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DanK
av consultant
8