If you already bought an FS700, or you've been waiting on the sidelines so far, there is a big issue with slow motion that many who've shot with Phantom cameras might already be familiar with: flicker. Now that film sets are littered with different types of fixtures, it's important to understand how shooting slow motion under different light sources can induce some amount of flicker. Certain fixtures produce more flicker than others (especially at different shutter speeds), but in the video below, Hello World Communications takes a look at some of the most popular fixtures for film lighting and how they deal with flicker. Also embedded below, check out some recent examples from Luke Neumann and Tony Reale.
All of these tests were shot at 240fps at 1080p (go to Vimeo and download for the cleanest file possible):
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/45537299
Obviously shooting in daylight shouldn't really cause any flicker as there aren't any electrical frequencies to deal with, but if you have to light, Tungsten may be the most consistent option across all brands. Many HMI and florescent fixtures produce flicker at varying degrees thanks to the ballasts that are used to limit the amount of current running through the lamp. It's certainly possible to find flicker even at normal framerates, it just depends on the fixture (usually florescent), age of the lamp, and whether or not it is working correctly.
Luke Neumann, a frequenter of this site, spent a few days with the camera and produced some interesting results on a very small budget. Here is the final product followed by his production diaries:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9DU5-D4QvR8
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_DDOVR85B0s
If you're wondering where you can find some sample files to play with from that camera, Luke has uploaded a few that you can find by heading on over to his site. If the website looks familiar, it's because we recently covered his Daily Freebie project where he is giving away some of his musical compositions for free throughout the month of July.
Sony has truly lowered the bar for slow motion, and while it's likely we will see a lot more on the web over the next few months, it's another important step in the democratization of filmmaking. Even though one tool doesn't have to be good at everything, it's fairly convenient to be able to buy one camera that has a lot of dynamic range, is great in low-light, has a sharp image, and can record some spectacular slow motion.