February 13, 2017

Phantom Flex4K Gets a Global Shutter

Vision Research's dominant Phantom line of slow-motion cameras gets a new a global shutter with the 4K-GS.

Rolling shutter artifacts vex both filmmakers and scientists. When working in slow motion, you can usually avoid them (since they're largely a problem for objects that move quickly from one side of the frame to another, and very little manages to do that at 1000fps), but it can be an issue for shots with a tremendous amount of movement even when slowed down. Combine a very fast moving object with a long lens and an unstable camera mount and you can get rolling shutter artifacts even in slow motion. 

Vision Research has solved that with the new 4K-GS, which is switchable from a rolling shutter to a global shutter, enabling capture of the entire image all at once.

Credit: Vision Research

Everything good comes at a cost, and the global shutter mode on the 4K-GS cuts down the dynamic range, from the normal 12 to around nine stops of latitude. Considering the tremendous light volume required to shoot 1000fps, this camera is primarily designed for applications where you have a lot of control over your lighting. When you need the global shutter bringing up your fill for a nice exposure in nine stops of latitude, this is an easy sacrifice to make for the benefits of a global shutter. Of course, when latitude is more important, the camera still functions in rolling shutter mode, which should work for many situations.

While the camera is primarily designed for scientific and technical use, filmmakers who rely heavily on slow motion footage will appreciate the mode.

While the camera is primarily designed for scientific and technical use, filmmakers who rely heavily on slow motion footage will appreciate the mode. Applications like aeronautical work and shooting plane to plane with propeller-based aircraft will have particular benefits from using the global shutter. It's available with Nikon F, Canon EF, PL, and C lens mounts, with 12-pin power and lens control available for ENG-style lenses. It comes with four 3G SDI outputs for simultaneous live preview and playback from the camera.

Credit: Vision Research

The price is hefty, coming in at $100K or more depending on configuration, but the Phantom line has always been more rental-oriented. In fact, if you haven't worked with a Phantom before, it's highly encouraged that you hire a Phantom-specific tech when taking out the package. Shipping starts March 1.

Tech Specs:

  • Super-35 sensor
  • White or Black camera body available
  • 14lb body weight
  • 9.4 megapixels
  • 12-bit CMOS 
  • 1000fps at 4096x2160
  • 1975fps at 1920x1080
  • Nikon F, Canon EF, PL, and C lens mounts available
  • 64GB or 128GB of onboard memory
  •  5 μs minimum exposure
  •  Internal mechanical shutter for black reference
  • Dual-SDI mode for simultaneous live video and playback
  • -20° to 50° celsius (-4° to 12°) operating range 

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1 Comment

Goddamn sexy.

February 15, 2017 at 5:11PM, Edited February 15, 5:11PM

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Roberto Serrini
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