Cinegear 2016 / by Kristen DiLiello

Cinegear Expo is where most of the coolest new gadgets are on display for film nerds to ogle at. One of this year's main attractions (besides the free popcorn stand) was the Panavision XL GT X 8K 16-bit Turbo Charged Camera, to be released in early 2017.  Here I will briefly mention that and a few other booths I ended up stopping at!

Panavision Millennium DXL

This camera is being hailed as the ultimate combination of technologies from Panavision, RED, and Light Iron (and let's be real, it seems like it's body/menu design was inspired by Arri).  The main bragging points this camera has are its ability to record 8K and 4K internally on SSD cards, a compact and lightweight body (weighting only 10 lbs.), and well, I'm not sure what else yet... menus on both sides of the camera so you can have a war with your AC over settings. 

Luckily I was able to watch a demo of footage shot with the camera, but it was hard to assess the the images it produced.  At Cinegear Panavision screened footage that was shot on the Millenium DXL in 8K and then projected in 4K on a screen that was barely appropriate for 2K size. Unfortunately the test contained no information as far as stop ranges or camera settings. It also did not contain uncorrected footage vs. corrected footage, but I was able to make a few basic assessments.

I am going to assume all of the footage was messed with in post since I thought I noticed some power-windows/vignettes were added. The footage looks good, and holds up well for night exteriors.  I don't think the image feels as "soft" or filmic as they claim. Especially on an interior that was lit with a light through what looked like a 4x 250 diffusion frame, the lighting easily looked harsh and not great for pale skin tones. Moving forward, my main concerns are about how the camera's codec works and how Light Iron works. How they came up with the technology behind camera is not easily accessible online right now and hopefully we find out more soon. 

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 video outputs
6 1D LUTs or up to 4 3D LUTs
Directly motorize Primo 70 lenses through wireless control
Wireless timecode for genlock (Ambient Control Network)
Dual menus (Operator side, Assistant side)
Quick changeover accessories

 

Other observations at Cinegear: 

Filmotechnic - Working title: "In & Out"

This device can swing a camera (in this case an Alexa Mini) from a 45 degree frontal point of view to profile of the driver and all the way through to get a reverse shot inside the car behind the driver and passenger. Not having seen this thing in action I would be worried about the steadiness of the rig, but this might be useful to grab some practical shots without all the grip gak usually involved with shooting in and around cars. Also, if the ability to go from front to back in one smooth slide helps tell your story this could be a helpful tool to do it. 

This device can swing a camera (in this case an Alexa Mini) from a 45 degree frontal point of view to profile of the driver and all the way through to get a reverse shot inside the car behind the driver and passenger. Not having seen this thing in action I would be worried about the steadiness of the rig, but this might be useful to grab some practical shots without all the grip gak usually involved with shooting in and around cars. Also, if the ability to go from front to back in one smooth slide helps tell your story this could be a helpful tool to do it. 

 

Arri Steadicam Head

This gadget allows full rotation of the camera. On a Steadicam you can go from low-mode to high-mode, front mode to backwards mode, etc. It may be difficult to operate the head while also operating Steadicam, but it's a nice feature in theory to be able to go all which ways in one movement.

This gadget allows full rotation of the camera. On a Steadicam you can go from low-mode to high-mode, front mode to backwards mode, etc. It may be difficult to operate the head while also operating Steadicam, but it's a nice feature in theory to be able to go all which ways in one movement.