Technical Specification for the Phantom Flex

Phantom Flex High-Speed Video Camera

The Phantom Flex digital colour high-speed video camera records high-speed images up to 1,400fps using a 2560 x 1600 pixel array, not interpolated as some camera manufacturers offer. Higher frame rates can be achieved by lowering the number of pixels used to a maximum 280,000pps. The Phantom Flex uses the .Cine RAW format invented by Vision Research. Cine is an un-interpolated lossless format; with colour information is stored in the header. Frame rates are infinitely variable not fixed.

At 2,500fps in HD, the Flex will record for approximately 4 seconds. 10 seconds at  1000fps, 20 seconds at 500fps. The camera can be triggered before OR after the event or anywhere during the capture period with it's adjustable trigger point.

Unlike a high-speed film camera, there is no waiting for the camera to run to speed. Once the camera is powered up, it is continuously recording (and over records when the camera memory is full) until we press the on/off button. The effects companies love this feature as there is now no pressure on the technicians as we can end trigger after the product has fallen.

Various aspect ratio choices are available using CAR (Continuously Adjustable Resolution) feature. Adjustments in 64 x 4 pixel increments.

Camera Power

An isolated 240/220volt 13amp supply is required for the camera and the laptop computer. We can power the HD using one of our 28vdc 5amp batteries. We can supply adapter leads for either Arri or Panavision batteries which can also be used. Please let us know if you require this option when ordering the camera. (A small charge will be made for the hire of our batteries and charger).

Camera Sensitivity

The sensitivity of the Phantom Flex is approximately 1000 ISO compared with cine film stock.

Camera Mount

The camera is supplied with either Arri PL, Panavision PV or Nikon Mount. (Please specify mount when ordering the Phantom camera). The PL and PV mount allows the use of wide aperture 35mm cine lenses.

Green Door does NOT supply PV or PL lenses; they should be hired by production

The Phantom Flex uses a Sony viewfinder and we also provide a Panasonic 8.4" HD monitor to view back the recorded images. Set up is via the laptop computer. Using on board monitors allows real time viewing of the image and ideal if you wish to follow a moving subject as there is no image lag.

Camera Accessories
The Phantom Flex camera has riser which makes the camera compatible with the Arri BP-6 or BP-8 bridge and balance plate, 19mm bars, follow focus and matt box.

These items, if required, should be hired by production.

Lighting for High-Speed Video

Because these cameras record in high-speed they can pick up "flicker” from lights of lower wattage. Using either 5kW tungsten or 4kW HMI lights (with flicker free ballasts) AND higher are generally fine. The longer the filament the better and especially if the lamps are the latest type with bulbs in the best condition. Finally don’t forget Daylight.

Light Flicker

The flicker you see in tungsten units at high-speeds is introduced by AC power, because the power is not continuous the light bulb is flashing on and off 50 or 60 times per second (50/60Hz), because the filament is losing power cooling down and then regains its power back and turns back on and repeats this 50 or 60 times in one second. The larger the filament the longer it takes it to come back down, 5K's, 10K's, and 20K's are the choice of lights when using AC power, if you can get DC power then any tungsten light will work just fine. With HMI's (NO MATTER THE SIZE), the flicker that you see is Arc wander... meaning that you see the change in brightness from the arc in the globe moving around, this can be overcome by diffusing the light and moving it further away from the subject. The larger lights are easier to use because you can move them away from the subject and still have enough light to get an image.

Playback/Video Assist

Once the sequence is captured in the camera, playback at 25fps, the scene can be evaluated for content. If it is to be kept and after trimming the shot is downloaded to the onboard CineMags before the camera is rearmed ready for the next shot.  Connected to your video payback equipment recording at 25fps, this gives an instant result of what the shot looks like. This is a "quick-look-see” option; the results still have to down loaded from the camera to the computer. We can provide an HD-SDI downconverter to allow your normal analague video playback to record the images from the Phantom Flex camera.

In some situations, for example when using the FLEX for close up table-top shots, the camera can get hot from the close proximity of the lights. We would ask you supply an electric fan to keep the camera cool as well as the camera crew!! For UK shoots we provide a Magliner Trolley for the laptop computer. This has to be near to the FLEX, within the 30ft Ethernet cable connection between the camera and the computer. For overseas work we ask that production provide a Magliner or similar.

If you intend to use the Phantom FLEX on a crane or jib arm please let us know so we can supply the extra Ethernet and BNC camera trigger cables.

The Phantom FLEX captures images using its own unique file format. These images are called .Cine files (not to be confused with systems from other manufactures).

These .Cine files are downloaded from the camera onto the CineMags. Using the laptop the camera can be re-armed ready for the next shot. If, on viewing the captured images, it is decided that the shot is not wanted, these images are deleted, freeing up hard-drive space.

Downloading from the Phantom FLEX camera to the laptop computer is not instant, (please be patient) but quicker than waiting for a 16mm, Super16 or 35mm high-speed film cameras to be cleaned, oiled and magazines reloaded. Downloading to the Phantom CineMags takes seconds. No more waiting for file downloads!

Processing

Just like film cameras the images from the Phantom Flex have to be processed from the original .Cine images to Tiff's images for your post-production. We will supply the original .Cine files plus the Phantom CineViewer free software for you to process the images. During the shoot we will show you the conversion process. Because the Phantom Flex records images into its camera internal solid state memory, NO tape stock is required and more importantly there is no need to supply images on tape as the tiff’s are directly imported into your edit suite via our free loan LaCie Hard Drive. We will process images in downtime during the shoot, but please do allow extra time for processing to be completed on the day or later. Another option is for Green Door to supply a Phantom Assistant, with another computer and CineStation, to process the .Cines for you during the shoot. Cine Viewer is a PC BASED SOFTWARE (not Mac) and will work on Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Windows 7.

Cine Viewer is also available from Green Door during the shoot or can be downloaded here.

Our technicians have the right to refuse operation of the Phantom FLEX camera if he believes that the camera is to be put in a dangerous situation or used in a dusty or other hazardous environment.

It is the responsibility of production to insure their production and the Phantom camera system for all eventualities. See our terms and conditions which are available on request or can be downloaded via our web site.