Panavision Updates Millennium DXL Camera with 2nd Generation Sensor

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

When the digital revolution struck, Panavision was nearly knocked down for the count, as it was slow to evolve past it’s film roots. But when they teamed up with RED to create the DXL large format digital cinema camera, things started to turn around. Now they’re back with the Millennium DXL2 and they’re going for higher dynamic range.

“The Millennium DXL2 8K camera system was conceived with the goal of maximum creative control from the moment of capture through delivery and display,” says Michael Cioni, senior VP of Innovation at Panavision and Light Iron. “Panavision’s vast inventory of advanced large-format and anamorphic optics combined with RED’s MONSTRO imager expands what’s possible, allowing filmmakers to create radically inventive and powerfully cinematic images, customized for the needs of the project and the vision of creative teams.”

Announcing the DXL2 update less than two years after the first generation DXL, Panavision is giving us a new large format camera that is practically a RED Monstro under the hood that uses Panavision’s Light Iron Color 2 science. And that’s pretty much what it is, since the DXL 1 used similar science from the Weapon platform just 18 months ago.

“We are proud to provide an ecosystem of tools that gives filmmakers more choices to express their vision,” adds Panavision CEO and President Kim Snyder. “We have been listening to feedback from cinematographers and the results of our collaboration are directly manifested in the DXL2. We remain committed to continuous technological development and are excited to bring this new camera to market.”

In addition to getting the most of the RED Monstro 8K image sensor, the DXL2 can also capture 4K ProRes at up to 60fps. “When you take an 8K image and super-sample it, it only gets better,” comments ASC cinematographer John Schwartzman. “It’s absolutely beautiful to look at. For me, the Millennium DXL2 is a no-brainer. It’s something I would use on anything. It does it all. And in fact, I’m currently planning to shoot my next feature with it.”

Other specs include:

  • RED Monstro Sensor
  • Light Iron Color 2
  • ProRes4K Full Sensor Capture
  • Preston MDR integration
  • 1600 native ISO
  • 16+ stops of latitude
  • 8K native resolution

The DXL2 promises over 16 stops of dynamic range, with a native ISO of 1600. Along with the upgraded large format image sensor, the DXL2 is also using the second generation Light Iron Color2 color science, and sports RED’s IPP2 workflow and RED’s Wide Gamut.

Panavision is also opening up their platforms for wider support with other supporting accessories including Preston’s follow focus, motor drives and laser focus system – dubbed Light Ranger. But at its heart, they still look to Panny’s large format lenses which have built in focus, iris and zoom controls built in.  That’s pretty cool because it seems that Light Ranger will be able to take a focus range by laser, and then transmit that metadata to the lens for adjusting focus and focal length to capture the desired image. There’s also a quick release setup that will enable the camera man to quickly transition from Steadicam to locked down on sticks in a few seconds.

The Panasvision Millennium DXL2 is now available for rental at Panavision worldwide.  More information can be found at Panavision.com.

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About James DeRuvo 599 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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