This past week, a strike team from Abel Cine Tech made a visit to the Windy City’s Fletcher Camera to announce and demonstrate the new Phantom HD Gold high-speed digital camera. More than 100 industry experts from Chicago and the midwest attended three seminars. Top name tabletop cinematographers, agency executives, producers and digital imaging technicians were among the groups. The opening night on Wednesday June 23 was a Digital Cinema Society event followed by two seminars on Thursday – the morning oriented to producers and the afternoon to the tech community.
Each session was first introduced by Tom Fletcher, owner of Fletcher Camera the long time purveyor of high-end film and digital imaging equipment in Chicago. Abel’s Phantom Product Manager, Moe Shore, then announced the July availability of Phantom HD Gold. The new Phantom HD Gold features advancements in overall image quality, with blacker, more stable blacks and more flexible digital video outputs, among a host of other improvements. After the Gold announcement, the Abel Sales Team was introduced, including Frank Somma, National Sales Director; Jonathan Epner, Director of Sales; and Kari Hess, who helped organize the events and heads Productions Sales at Abel’s new sales office in Chicago.
Each session was then turned over to Abel’s resident Applications Specialist (and prolific blogger!) Mitch Gross. Mitch engaged the groups with an in-depth description of technical specifications along with stunning images shot with the Phantom. A compelling comparison of high-speed film cameras against Phantom HD revealed overwhelming advantages of the digital Phantom in terms of cost and on-set workflow. A live tabletop demonstration utilizing the first Phantom HD Gold was shown on three large plasma screens in front of each audience. Mitch did a liquid pour and operated the camera single-handedly, reinforcing Phantom’s ease of use. Various frame rates, resolutions and shutter angles were experimented with, based on requests from attendees, followed by an informal question and answer session with Abel staff.