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High speed Video cameras


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#1 Matt Burton

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 05:12 AM

I'm looking for information on high speed cameras as I need to spec one up asap.
Really I'm looking for the best bang for buck camera I can get hold of that will do speeds of 1000fps and over at a decent rez.
Has anybody got much experience with high speed cams and could share some advice with me.
Many thanks

-Matt 'friend to the animals' Burton
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#2 Matt Burton

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 06:27 AM

The Phantom is looking good Posted Image
Posted Image
Anybody use this yet ?
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#3 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 11:42 AM

The Phantom is looking good Posted Image
Posted Image
Anybody use this yet ?



I've used it but not on Steadicam. It has to be tethered.
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#4 JimBartell

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 12:17 PM

The Phantom is looking good Posted Image
Posted Image
Anybody use this yet ?


Mitch Gross (now at AbelCineTech - NY) raved about this camera at CineGear this year. He is their guru on it as they are renting it. Contact him if you want the full scoop. You can e-mail him through the AbelCineTech website:

http://www.abelcine.com

Jim "friends in low places" Bartell
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#5 Matt Burton

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 04:02 PM

Thanks guys,
I wasn't thinking of using it on steadicam but now you mention it :rolleyes:
Have you seen the Phantom Flash Packs you can get, perhaps a new development ?

FEATURES
HD (1920x1080) and 2K (2048x1536) resolution, with 2048x2048 maximum resolution
Up to 1000 frames-per-second at 1080p, 1500 fps at 720p
Adjust frame rate in 1 fps increments
Shutter speeds as fast as two microseconds (1/500,000 second)
14-bit sensor depth (42-bit color)
11-stop dynamic range
Approximately ISO 640
35mm depth-of-field
Circular buffer recording or Run-Stop
Component video output to viewfinder
Video out: 4:2:2 HD-SDI (720p, 1080psf, 1080i ? all standard formats)
Up to 16GB in-camera memory
Hot-swappable flash memory packs (128, 256 and 512GB) ? Available Spring ?07
SMPTE timecode
Hand held user-interface to control camera settings
Weight: 9lb (4kg)
Compatible with 35mm accessories
PL-mount lens compatible


Edited by Matt Burton, 29 November 2007 - 04:11 PM.

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#6 Jamie Hammond

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 05:29 PM

Hi Matt,
I worked with that camera in an earlier carnation a year or two ago, shooting macro shots of bugs flying about like helicopters etc..The guy in the UK to talk to is Tony Allen on 07906 231781. He does a shed load of high speed stuff.

Remember to double your lighting budget....

Hope ya well

J
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#7 David Shawl SOC

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 08:08 PM

There is also the NAC Memrecam fx K4a camera.

"This revolutionary new camera provides ultra-high light sensitivity, ultra-high speed and mega-pixel resolution (1280 x 1024 pixels at 1,000fps). it can provide expanded definition up to 5,000fps, and is capable of recording up to 14 seconds of high speed action before downloading"
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#8 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 08:23 PM

I'm looking for information on high speed cameras as I need to spec one up asap.
Really I'm looking for the best bang for buck camera I can get hold of that will do speeds of 1000fps and over at a decent rez.


I worked a Courvoisier cognac job about ten days ago with the Phantom V10. Mike at Fletcher Chicago came with it as a tech / VTR operator. He knows the system very well and can probably make recommendations.

Also, I worked on a Tennis Channel shoot using the Visario G2.

http://weinweb.vhost...s-l6cat157.html

Both cameras were pretty nice, both controlled by laptop via ethernet. Don't forget to add time for the processing / downloading / mastering each shot to tape.

Hope this helps a little!
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#9 Mitch Gross

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 11:06 AM

Hey guys, long time since I posted to this forum. Thanks to Alec Jarnagin for sending me the link.

The Phanton HD offers the best sensitivity, resolution, dynamic range, record time and other specs in high speed. It also can now work untethered thanks to the CineMag flash memory packs, which at 512G can hold more than two hours (played back at 24p) of 1920x1080 HD material. At that res., the camera can shoot in excess of 1000fps. It only weighs about 12ibs, can use a Sony color viewfinder and runs off 24vdc. It comes standard with an ArriPL lens mount (35mm size imager) and the top handle is now flat with standard threaded holes so you can undersling it if you wish. It is both Steadicam and handheld friendly.

Abel Cine Tech has these cameras available for rent (and sale) at our New York and Los Angeles offices.

If anyone would like to know more about the Phantom HD, please feel free to contact me at mitch@abelcine.com. I don't come to the forum much anymore so I won't see posts here.
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#10 RobVanGelder

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 02:38 AM

Though Mitch is perfectly correct saying that the Phantom is a very good camera, there are certain aspects where another camera is better.....

Personally I operate a Cine Speedcam, from the Weinberger company. A recent shootout between the Phantom and the Cine Speedcam that we did at our rental company, we saw that the Phantom is indeed more sensitive, about twice. But.... that does not do you a lot of good, you still cannot use any small lamps (tungsten under 5 Kw) (HMI flickerfree under 4K) as they WILL show some kind of "Flicker". This flicker is coming from the lamps, NOT from the camera, regardless of the brand!
You do have more Depth of Field with the Phantom, 1 stop.

Other than that, we found that the software that comes with the Cine Speedcam is superior to the Phantom, giving a much faster download, render and playback speed instantly, with the right hardware (which my company has).

Quality of the image: Comparable, though the CineSpeedcam is slightly lower in resolution, at the end of the road/postproduction might only be noticeble in the highest resolutions, surely not on regular TV productions.

The flashpacks are a feature for the Phantom only, but the Cine Speedcam has an build-in Harddisk to auto-save the recorded buffer which is 4098 frames at the highest resolution, and also has a build in battery for 15-20 minutes, so after an initial ready-state, commanded by a laptop and a lan-cable, all cables can be disconnected and only a start/trigger button is sufficient fo start recording for this amount of frames. So depending on the used framerate, you will have a 4098 / x fps = y seconds of recording....... capiche?? :P When shooting 50 fps = 84 seconds, and 4 seconds on 1000 fps.

To be honest, our personal experience is that the best quality and performance would be: the Phantom chip with the features and the software of the Cine Speedcam, with additional (if needed) flashpacks.....

But the two companies do not work together.....

feel free to email me about more details.

Rob

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#11 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 12:02 PM

Though Mitch is perfectly correct saying that the Phantom is a very good camera, there are certain aspects where another camera is better.....

Personally I operate a Cine Speedcam, from the Weinberger company. A recent shootout between the Phantom and the Cine Speedcam that we did at our rental company, we saw that the Phantom is indeed more sensitive, about twice. But.... that does not do you a lot of good, you still cannot use any small lamps (tungsten under 5 Kw) (HMI flickerfree under 4K) as they WILL show some kind of "Flicker". This flicker is coming from the lamps, NOT from the camera, regardless of the brand!
You do have more Depth of Field with the Phantom, 1 stop.

Other than that, we found that the software that comes with the Cine Speedcam is superior to the Phantom, giving a much faster download, render and playback speed instantly, with the right hardware (which my company has).

Quality of the image: Comparable, though the CineSpeedcam is slightly lower in resolution, at the end of the road/postproduction might only be noticeble in the highest resolutions, surely not on regular TV productions.

The flashpacks are a feature for the Phantom only, but the Cine Speedcam has an build-in Harddisk to auto-save the recorded buffer which is 4098 frames at the highest resolution, and also has a build in battery for 15-20 minutes, so after an initial ready-state, commanded by a laptop and a lan-cable, all cables can be disconnected and only a start/trigger button is sufficient fo start recording for this amount of frames. So depending on the used framerate, you will have a 4098 / x fps = y seconds of recording....... capiche?? :P When shooting 50 fps = 84 seconds, and 4 seconds on 1000 fps.

To be honest, our personal experience is that the best quality and performance would be: the Phantom chip with the features and the software of the Cine Speedcam, with additional (if needed) flashpacks.....

But the two companies do not work together.....

feel free to email me about more details.

Rob

----------
All should call Jeff Silverman 954-232-8503
16000 Frames per second
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#12 stdicam

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 12:39 PM

I thank Rob for bringing this to my attention.

1. If you are willing to use the real time 4:2:2 HD-SDI output of the Phantoms then the workflow of the Phantoms blows the Cinespeedcam away. It is entirely real time, no rendering ever. Record it to your favorite HD recorder.

2. We are routinely using a full wireless version of Phantom V10s and HD's utilizing the 4:2:2 output. That means totally unteathered but retaining full control with no workflow slowdowns. HD video, data and lens control. An recent example of this was used on Thanksgiving Day by CBS Sports for their NFL game (or the British Open, of the LG Skins last week). This setup would work seamlessly on a Steadicam.

3. Resolution in all these cameras is paramount. Since they are using a single chip and interpolating the color, color artifacts are much more prevalent as you use a lower resolution camera.

4. No we don't do HD at 16,000 fps in HD Rob, but certainly over 1000. In lower resolutions all of these cameras can go much faster.

5. Why do you want to use a Steadicam? Since you are slowing down to a great degree whatever you are shooting, a Steadicam might not be necessary. It is remarkable how much smoother things look at 1000fps. The realtime duration of what you're shooting will be very brief of course.

6. You don't need to have a controller attached to the camera anyway while you are shooting. Put the camera in capture mode, unplug the controller, shoot the shot and trigger with a hard trigger, reattach the controller and play it back.

7. The flicker with smaller tungsten sources is minor at best. It is suitable for many situations. Saying you have to use a 5k or better is a bit unrealistic.

I too am available if anyone has questions about practical use of these cameras. We have more than 5 years experience with them.

Jeff

Jeff Silverman, Owner
Inertia Unlimited
Jacksonville, Vermont
jeff@inertiaunlimited.com
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#13 Matt Burton

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 01:01 PM

Fantastic info guys thanks for the input !
-Matt
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#14 David Shawl SOC

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 09:48 PM

Has anyone here used the Phantom HD on Steadicam? I have a project next week with it.

Does it offer any standard def output?
If we use the flash packs, does the camera still need to be tethered at all?

Thanks!
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#15 Mitch Gross

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 10:41 AM

With the Phantom HD and the CineMags (the flash-based memory cartridge), the camera no longer needs to be tethered. There are a few parameters that need to be adjusted with the laptop at the start of the day, and then it can be unplugged and all controlled from the camera.

The Phantom HD's video output is HD-SDI only. It can be adjusted to any variety of HD-SDI signal you want (720p, 1080i, 1080psf, etc.) and this is one of those little adjustments you make at the start of the day. Then you can use a standard downconverter such as an AJA HD10MD to get an SD signal.

All the controls one needs for the shoot day are available on the camera. There is one knob and two buttons and a very simple, intuitive on screen menu. That's all you need to run the camera. The old software was rather, well, let's call it obtuse. But you don't need to deal with it. There should be a Phantom Tech on any Phantom job but really this is quite straightforward now. You might want to have some form of color monitor around if your sled uses a greenscreen; the menus on the Phantom indicate by changing color.

Flying a Phantom on a sled is no problem. It is a 24v system and with the CineMag on draws about 4 amps. The camera weighs just over 12lbs. and the CineMag another pound or so. There are no moving parts other than a fan in the back. The camera is PL mount (we have Panavision mount available as well). The Phantom with CineMag is roughly the size & weight of an Aaton 16mm camera -- tiny! Abel makes a special riser for the camera to accept lightweight 15mm/60mm spacing frontrods for standard lens accessories. The CineMag will hold up to 132 minutes of footage when played back at 24fps. That's a lot of shooting.

One of the big things with this camera is that whenever one changes the parameters (frame rate, shutter angle, resolution), the Current Session Reference (aka Black Balance) needs to be reset. To do this the lens must be capped (no, stopping down will NOT work properly) and the controls used to make the adjustment. It takes under 10 seconds. This is one of those things the Phantom Tech is supposed to keep track of and deal with.

The Phantom HD is really an amazing machine and works great for 24fps as well as high speed work. It out-performs the CineSpeedCam and all of the other similar HD high speed cameras on pretty much every spec. If anyone has any questions about using it, please feel free to ask me. I don't regularly check this forum anymore, so the best way to reach me is at my work email (mitch@abelcine.com) or telephone (212-462-0100).


Mitch Gross
Technical Director of Rentals
Abel Cine Tech
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