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#1 Chris Mably

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 07:11 PM

I just starting to get involved in a commercial that the director is interested in shooting with the Phantom HD. Having not used the camera, and only read about it on Vision Reasearchs web site I am try to find out info about it. Has anyone used this High speed HD camera. The specs on the machine are amazing, but do they live up to the hype!

I am most interested in any noise problems, stalling problems, and throughput issues( ie. great we've finished shooting, now it is going to cost twice as much as film to render and process the digital RAW files, and we have to send them to the other side of the world!)

I will want to shoot in the cameras 4:4:4 setting, shooting with film lenses, hopefully Cookes and Optimos Zooms, but again is there any chromatic problems like there are with using film lenses with an F900 along with a pro35 adapter.

Is the camera user friendly, or is a tech a must as well as my AC.

How is the customer service of Vision Research. Do they deliver everything they promise etc.

The cameras website is here for those who haven't heard of it or are interested.
http://www.visionres...e=camera_HD_new

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

C.M.
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#2 Mitch Gross

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 11:40 AM

The camera is available for rental through Abel. We send out a Tech along with it, as an Engineer is really required. The throughput is not terribly difficult, but it is something that needs to be thought out beforehand so you know what you're getting into. Give me or Jesse a call at Abel Cine Tech, 212-462-0100. The camera is an excellent device and the images look unlike anything else. No problems using PL mount lenses--that's what it's made for.
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#3 Lance Flores

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 01:30 PM

Chris - I'll be doing some tests on a Phantom Thursday or Friday - outdoor shots in sun and shade and a few indoor darker scenes w/o little or no artificial light. So you might keep track of this thread you started. So you know where I'm coming from, some background. Before moving into filmmaking, inter alia, I was worked as a physicist, mathematician and engineer in the computer industry and the semiconductor industry in physics, failure analysis and material sciences. So I have been looking with a critical eye on the technology and the cinematic performance yield from various cameras for our own purchase. I have interspersed responses.

It?s hype ... but the hype is quite accurate. These guys have been around for quite a while resolving much more technically challenging image capturing tasks. Not much glamour when you?re solving complex problems for scientists. So the touchy/feelie terms (attributes) of image capture are expressed in mathematical or physical terms (just as they are by the physicists and chemists at Kodak Park).

<snip>
Has anyone used this High speed HD camera. The specs on the machine are amazing, but do they live up to the hype!

I am most interested in any noise problems, stalling problems, and throughput issues ( ie. great we've finished shooting, now it is going to cost twice as much as film to render and process the digital RAW files, and we have to send them to the other side of the world!)

» Although CMOS sensors have an inherent disadvantage noise problem compared to CCD arrays most of the problems are nearing resolution. The Vision Research array, particularly in their Phantom 65 camera, has a very large sensor cell which substantially improves the S/N ratio because the sense amp noise remains about the same while the energy stored on the well is relatively large. I suspect VR is using a 4T or 5T gate/amp for the cell. Much of the noise in digital cameras is created by the amplifiers in a 3T circuits. So I don?t see that either noise attributed to microlens or sense amp will be a problem. Also, the vertical smear problem with CCD sensor arrays doesn?t exist for all practical purposes.

» I don?t ?stalling? to be a problem.

» Whether we will use a Viper Filmstream, Sony F950 or the Phantom 65 we intend to capture and ingest to an Apple G5. Right now the high capacity flash memory is not ready for the camera - I think it will be awhile, certainly not ready for our next features. There are a number of solutions for throughput ... depends on how much the equipment vendor wants to stick you for on the rental.

» If you can?t cut your cost of shooting digital over film then you?re doing something really wrong, especially if you have to go DI for effects or compositing in NLE and back to film. If the project is very short like an advertisement commercial - the advantages are smaller, but experienced digital teams will improve the advantage.

I will want to shoot in the cameras 4:4:4 setting, shooting with film lenses, hopefully Cookes and Optimos Zooms, but again is there any chromatic problems like there are with using film lenses with an F900 along with a pro35 adapter.

» Anytime you put more glass or optically modify a photon stream you are going to introduce error in the image (Curvature distortion, refraction error, chromatic aberrations, absorption, etc.) I understand if you want to use 35mm lens on the F900 (though DigiPrime lens might have done as well - David Mullen is probably one of the most knowledgeable on the list), but the Phantom HD will shoot native 35mm format on its large die, so you can just use 35mm primes or zooms.

Is the camera user friendly, or is a tech a must as well as my AC.

» If you?re familiar with the digital world its really simple. Do a full sensor black/white balance, then set all the exposure, shutter angle information then frame and focus ? and pull the trigger. If you?re not familiar with the technology you might get a VT to make sure the lighting and colour is what you want with a scope. I almost never need a VT for that reason but to make sure everything is working and capturing. The most important thing is getting the shot in the way you want your story interpreted anyway -- and an experienced cinematographer will get the light and shot for you. The advantage you have is the ability to test, test, test.

How is the customer service of Vision Research. Do they deliver everything they promise etc.

» I don?t know. I suspect it shouldn?t be a problem. Working with the scientific community I?m sure their use to be hounded for perfection and unreasonable demands. But I can?t say one way or another. The sales rep here is very knowledgeable about the technology but is just coming down the market understanding learning curve ? but has been far more helpful than the Viper sales guy.

<snip>
http://www.visionres...e=camera_HD_new

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

» Just saw the weather, we might get rained out tomorrow and Friday but as soon as I have some footage I?ll let you know, and try to get it to you.


C.M.


» Lance
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