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Hi-speed camera suggestions please


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#1 Chris Millar

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 11:59 PM

Hello,

is there a 16mm camera (super or regular) that can:

A. shoot ~480fps
B. be under 5kg
C. be 'compact' (which probably goes hand in hand with B)
D. powered by DC (batts)

These specifications probably mean 2R 50' or 100' loads which is fine as long as the speed up and down sequence is fast - if its 50' loads then ~250fps will have to suffice and we'll do the rest of the slomo in post...

I know 'compact' for instance is a bit non-specific but basically the smaller the better

Anything fit the bill, anything close ?
thanks
Chris
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#2 Rob van Gelder

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 01:51 AM

Unless you want to use the Photosonics action master for this there is no option but to go digital.
Might be worth to look into.
In our company we use a Visario Speedcam, which is basically a 35mm chip camera and goes to 1000 fps on full resolution
1536x1024 pixels.
This camera has an internal battery and can also be fed with anything between 12 and 30 volts.

Another option is the Phantom, up to 2K and same 1000 fps.
It is a different approach than the film style, but can be very rewarding and fast. Also, you know right away if you have the shot!

There are also other cameras from different companies with lower resolution chips, but still well above DV-quality.

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#3 jacob thomas

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 05:59 AM

Hello,

is there a 16mm camera (super or regular) that can:

A. shoot ~480fps
B. be under 5kg
C. be 'compact' (which probably goes hand in hand with B)
D. powered by DC (batts)

These specifications probably mean 2R 50' or 100' loads which is fine as long as the speed up and down sequence is fast - if its 50' loads then ~250fps will have to suffice and we'll do the rest of the slomo in post...

I know 'compact' for instance is a bit non-specific but basically the smaller the better

Anything fit the bill, anything close ?
thanks
Chris


Locam make a camera that takes 100' loads and runs to 500fps (with dual perf film; it can be converted to s16 [I would guess based on their price list that this would be very expensive] but then only runs to 300fps). There are a number of different versions with different viewing options (full time prism reflex, viewfinder or gate, and non reflex) and either 110v ac or 28v dc. Make sure you get the 28v; dc it costs a couple of grand to have them converted from ac to dc or vice versa.

I don't know how much the 100' load version of this camera weighs but it might be light enough. There's an old one on ebay right now for cheap.
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#4 Rob van Gelder

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 06:12 AM

Just a remark for the needed up-speed and down-speed (brake).
Don't expect too much out of that, you will loose most likely a minimum of 50% of the loaded stock, specially if you want to reach the highest possible speed.
I remember doing a shot with a Hycam, I think on 1000 fps. We could only use 30 m / 100ft rolls (daylight spools) and we had to time the action (with lasers and photo-diodes and electronics) to fall within the 24th meter and 27th meter of the roll, the first 23 meters were to get on speed, the last 3 meters came out as confetti.....

Hmm, did I mention scratches and dirt/dust etc?
:rolleyes:

With the current state of technology there is no reason to shoot these shots on film, digital is the way to go.

Just my opinion of course
:)
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#5 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 12:13 PM

Just a remark for the needed up-speed and down-speed (brake).
Don't expect too much out of that, you will loose most likely a minimum of 50% of the loaded stock, specially if you want to reach the highest possible speed.
I remember doing a shot with a Hycam, I think on 1000 fps. We could only use 30 m / 100ft rolls (daylight spools)



I have two brand new Visual Instrument Hycam II's and have done some work for a jet engine manufacturer the newer cameras will hit maximum speed (12,000fps) withing the first 30 feet of a 400' roll there is no digital camera system that can capture these kinds of frame rates at any reasonable quality, they usually end up being video or lower resolution and turn B+W over a certain frame rate.

digital systems do much better in the 2-3000fps range but are very expensive to rent or own and have issues with sensitivity compared to film (sometimes) obviously the Phantom is a best case example of this type of hi speed digital camera but I believe you will be spending $2-3k a day to rent it, I am sure Mitch could chime in with actual costs.

I have attached a 380fps shot I recently did with a Locam, I borrowed the locam from Boston Camera Co. and shot this on Tri-X with two 2k moles in Brian Heller's carriage house I used a 25mm schneider that I had for my Hycam's The costs (after the "free" rental) were stock which was one 100' roll on which I got five takes at close to 400fps even with slop the film stock cost me $20.59 and even if i did not own a lab the processing would be $17.00 a transfer to HD or 2K would not be all that much for 100' so film is still by far the lowest cost option, color negative would be more but not by much and 500T with a T1.8 lens gives you allot of options in the 100-500fps range.

-Rob-

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#6 Mitch Gross

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 01:04 PM

The issue with shooting film for extreme high speed is that all effort and attention must revolve around the camera. The time window for capture is so narrow between the roll up to speed and the roll out of stock that the action to be captured must be meticulously planned and everyone poised for those scant seconds to capture the event. The camera will make an incredible amount of noise when rolling at extreme high speed as well, so this can also effect shooting, not to mention the required downtime between takes to reload.

Like other digital high speed cameras, the Phantom HD uses an internal memory buffer so that it can be set in a continuously looping record mode. One the event you wish to capture has occurred simply stop the recording. With other digital cinema cameras the next step is to download the file to a hard drive which can take a bit of time, but with the Phantom HD there is also the option to off load the file to the clip-on CineMag flash memory pack which takes under 10 seconds. Downloading the CineMag can occur at the end of the day so that you can keep the shoot moving along. You can instantly review the footage at standard playback speeds to see if you captured what you needed, and as long as it is on the CineMag you can scroll through the files to check takes. If you wish to record extended takes, the Phantom HD can record directly onto the CineMag at 450fps for more than seven minutes (if you shoot slower it will last longer). This is performance that no other technology can match

A Phantom HD costs $2500/day to rent from Abel, and a 512G CineMag (holds 132 min. 1920x1080 material when played back at 24fps) costs another $1250/day. Compared to the real world use associated with shooting high speed, the amount of filmstock used will likely exceed these cost. And the on set usage is definitely easier.

For the more budget conscious, there is the Phantom v7.3 or the Phantom v10, each of which rent for $2000/day but are not CineMag capable. And in a few weeks we'll also have the Phantom Miro4, which is a physically quite small camera with a touch screen back (it looks like a little point & shoot) that we'll rent with a set of Zeiss ZF primes for $1200/day. All of our cameras are handholdable and can run off battery power.

If you really want 16mm, then you should look at the Action Master 500, which will run to 500fps.
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#7 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 07:34 PM

If you really want 16mm, then you should look at the Action Master 500, which will run to 500fps.



I seriously doubt that a Locam could be easily modified to shoot super-16 and Actionmasters are commonly available in Super-16 I would think you could rent a S16 Actionmaster for less than $500/day and the balance would pay for allot of film. As Mitch said it depends on how planned out the shoot is... Like I said I got five takes at close to 400fps on a single 100' 16mm roll. The Jet engine testing I have been involved with gets one take on a 400' roll at 8-12K fps (the HycamII pulls a 400' load in less than 2 sec) those shoots are extremely planned out the film stock costs are insignificant compared to a running jet aircraft engine ;)


-Rob-
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