A couple of weeks ago I was asked to do a music video that would be shot entirely on the latest iteration of vision research's high speed camera range, the flex 4K. The director and d.o.p wanted to use steadicam for speed ramping shots and slight movements during the 1000fps shots.
First impressions, it balanced really nicely, felt a little lighter than your average Alexa and most important, it has a flat base. because I didn't have access to cable in order to power the camera straight from my rig, I put a battery on the back. This brings me to one of the main concerns when shooting with this camera, the power consumption is HUGE, but one can expect that from a camera with these specs. The batteries I used were 172Wh Heavy Duty Swit batteries which performed rather well. The lenses were Cookes S4i's and we put a transvideo titan HD on the back so the weight was pretty manageable.
The image straight out of the camera has a rather saturated and highly contrasted look but I was assured by the rental company that when shooting RAW there'd be a lot of extra image information to play around with in post. The camera has two different kind of recording modes, R/S mode and Loop mode. R/S allows for the classic way of recording (camera only starts recording when the start/stop button's pushed) up to 125fps. Anything above that will require the camera to be rebooted in Loop-mode, which takes about as long as booting up an Alexa so really no complaints there. Once in Loop-mode, the camera still has to be activated to record, but does so in a loop of about 5 seconds to the internal RAM disc. After the start/stop is pressed again, only the last 5 seconds are saved and can be cut to size to be saved to the cinemag, in order to reduce filesize.
To make a long story short, shooting with this camera is as easy as shooting on an Alexa. If you'd have a commercial or film that requires a lot of high speed, using this camera for the regular speed shots as well just makes sense.
Here's the final result
Needless to say shooting this was a lot of fun and definitely worthwhile using the Flex 4K. About 50% of the shots were done by me and only half of those include real visible camera movements.
The studio we used was the BFC Fxbox and the camerapackage came from BFC Rental. For those who're interested, go and visit http://www.bfcrental.com/ They specialize in high speed and rare special interest optics. Customer service is their number one priority. I'm not affiliated with this company in any way but dealing with them has always been very pleasant.
Edited by Nils Valkenborgh, 20 July 2014 - 01:41 PM.