Those of us who have been around awhile are marveling at the rate of development our industry is experiencing at the Digital Cinema level right now. It may be that future bloggers (can we call them “Floggers”?) will look back at this time in the history of Digital Cinema and declare it a unique era of technical fertility and creative vision. Of all the innovation, of all the hype, of all the tipping points, no camera represents this phase of development better than the one announced today by Vision Research – Phantom Flex. Read the press release here.
As its name explicitly states, Phantom Flex is the most flexible digital cinema camera in existence. Its specs read like a comic book super-hero. Its frame rate can capture a speeding bullet, its black balance is more stable than a locomotive, and its resolution is capable of supporting more formats in a single bound than anything that has come before it.
Vision Research has built on the legacy of the industry standard Phantom HD Gold, as well as their know-how from more than 50 years in the high-speed imaging business, to create Phantom Flex. Flex pushes the boundaries of high-speed photography and will capture up to 2800 frames per second at 1920×1080. But the camera isn’t limited to super-slow motion and will create cinema quality images down to 5 frames per second including sync-sound speed. Sensitivity is measured in quadruple digits at over 1,000 ISO. A new proprietary image enhancement mode, Phantom HQ, does away with the need for pre-shot black reference. The choice of Data or Video workflow is enhanced with the addition of a scaling mode on the video output, which increases the Video (HD-SDI 4:4:4) dynamic range and virtually eliminates edge artifacts.
Flex truly earns its name when it comes to lens choice. Use 35mm PL lenses for full image sensor coverage at the highest resolution of 4 megapixels or for 1920×1080 extraction. Super16 optics are a perfect fit for Flex when shooting for 720P. And perhaps most exciting in terms of optical enhancements is the new Abel designed HDx2 Optical Adapter, which brings B4 mount 2/3” lenses to Flex with minimal size and maximum light efficiency. In essence, virtually any cinema or broadcast lens will make Flex shine.
User interface has been improved on Flex with lots of attention to detail, from new buttons and knobs, to connectors and mounting brackets. The camera, when coupled with the new, optional Remote Control Unit (RCU) from Vision Research, reaches a new level of portable, lightweight, un-tethered camera operation.
Phantom Flex is backed with confidence by two Vision Research customer service programs. First, a 3-year service protection plan for free-of-charge repair at a Vision Research service location. Second, a trade-in program for existing Phantom owners to receive a credit toward a new Phantom Flex with terms that are unprecedented in the industry.
The new Phantom Flex is a multifaceted tool, unique in our industry.
For more technical information on where Flex fits within the Phantom lineup, click here.
For a comprehensive image size and lens analysis between Phantom models, click here.