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WEISSCAM HS-2 vs Phantom HD Gold?


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#1 Tom Lowe

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 08:58 AM

I would like to hear thoughts comparing these two high-speed cameras. I need to produce 1000fps+ beautiful 1920x1080 shots in strictly outdoor settings. No indoor studio work.

What are the pros and cons of each? I'm particularly interested in hearing thoughts on the image quality and ease of use in remote locations, like deserts and mountains.


Thanks.
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#2 Justin Hayward

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 10:52 AM

I’m not a tech guy by any means, so I can only report what I’ve seen in front of me and only in studio... unfortunately.

Image quality: The Weisscam blows the Phantom away in picture alone. It has none of that weird stuff in the highlights (which I heard they got rid of, but it was there on the job I did last week). Also, we looked at it against an extremely contrasty background of out of focus glass and the latitude held up fantastic. It was very impressive all around.

Ease: Trouble is, its freak’n huge and the Phantom is pretty small (like without the lens, the size of a Panasonic DVX or something), so as I’ve only worked with both cameras in a studio, I can only imagine what a drag it would be to lug that Weisscam around in the desert or mountains.
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#3 Stephen Price

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 03:55 AM

Image quality: The Weisscam blows the Phantom away in picture alone.


I would be interested to know how you have compared these two cameras. I'm am trying to understand a tapeless workflow for the HS-2. It seems, at the moment there is no easy answer, and nothing without including fiber channel.

So chances are you have seen the HS-2 footage on HDCAM SR, a compressed format. When compared to the Phantom HD, in England .cine RAW files are widely accepted now. Conversion of uncompressed 14-bit Phantom HD files are very common and are now the preferred choice as it works out cheaper than the rental of HDCAM SR recorders.

I'm trying to get my head around the hard numbers of the HS-2 and at the moment they don't add up. It looks as if 1 hours of HS-2 footage takes 1.5TB of storage. Can this be true? Not very practical for location work in my opinion.

It looks as if everyone currently using the HS-2 is playing out to tape on set. I would be very interested to hear from anyone with experience of the HS-2 workflows.

Steve Price
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#4 alvitdk

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 08:53 PM

I would be interested to know how you have compared these two cameras. I'm am trying to understand a tapeless workflow for the HS-2. It seems, at the moment there is no easy answer, and nothing without including fiber channel.

So chances are you have seen the HS-2 footage on HDCAM SR, a compressed format. When compared to the Phantom HD, in England .cine RAW files are widely accepted now. Conversion of uncompressed 14-bit Phantom HD files are very common and are now the preferred choice as it works out cheaper than the rental of HDCAM SR recorders.

I'm trying to get my head around the hard numbers of the HS-2 and at the moment they don't add up. It looks as if 1 hours of HS-2 footage takes 1.5TB of storage. Can this be true? Not very practical for location work in my opinion.

It looks as if everyone currently using the HS-2 is playing out to tape on set. I would be very interested to hear from anyone with experience of the HS-2 workflows.

Steve Price


A couple of things you have to keep in mind. First of all if recording RAW into the Digimag, you have several options going the tapeless workflow. For one you can down load files not just via fiber channel but also firewire, given it is much slower (FW400) but can be used on virtually any PC. From there you can render the footage into dpx of tif using the WEISSCAMware software or the newest release of Framecycler from Iridas which supports Weisscam RAW natively. The other option is to take the digimag into post and play the RAW data out with the help of the external debayer box. Of course than you end up with HD-SDI and not RAW anymore.

Going the HD worflow does not mean it has to use tapes. I just did a shoot here in Nashville, recording to an Panasonic P2 card recorder and from there into Final Cut but as it was recorded into AVC100, Avid would work just fine as well.

The 2TB Digimag can record about 3hrs of HS-2 footage at 25p in 1080p, please keep in mind the camera always outputs HD uncompressed and the Digimag does not compress as well.

Rental prices of the HS-2 is in general much lower than a Phantom package if looked at as a complete package with the same storage and recording option. Again, a SRW-1 is not the only option to record HD-SDI footage.

Cheers...Thomas
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#5 Kei Yokokawa

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 03:05 AM

Hi. I'm doing a Phantom tech in Down Under. I had a chance to attend for Weisscam demo. The first thought is Weisscam is massive in size compared to Phantom HD. Even the digimag is not attached on camera, still bigger. If it is handheld, Phantom is a winner.

Phantom has 14 bit raw and Weisscam has 12 bit raw. This 2 bit difference can be big issue in latitude range.

If I were to shoot in outside location, I would go with Phantom considering its size.

The good thing about Weisscam is that it has a function that you can add different types of gamma curves on to 2.4.4 HD/SDI image. If someone doesn't want to go through processing "RAW", this function is good and less expensive.
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#6 Chris Dalton

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 03:10 AM

Most people are using something like the SRW/SRPC-1 HDCAM SR deck to record footage from the Weisscam. The Digimag is a good option if you want to venture down the Raw workflow path. A P2 recorder like the HPM110 is a good easy workflow option but a lot more compression at 100Mbps. HDCam SR is something like 400, or up to over 800Mbps. and will transfer at more that twice real time in the 60 frame mode. The two biggest things I find in favor for the Weissecam are the instant full res playback (no render time), clean lower noise picture and no need to black balance 5 billion times a day like you do on the Phantom. but yes it is big.
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#7 jason berman

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 04:51 AM

Phantom HD Gold can also playout in realtime at full 1080p to an HDCAM SR deck or similar either 422 10bit from camera or 444 10bit from cinestation in realtime with manual gamma correction, if this is what u want.

I have found that the majority of people do not want to go to the tape route at all anymore, especially when they are hiring an expensive Hispeed HS2 or PHD Gold camera with data recording, clients def dont want to hire an expensive HDCAM SR deck as well, most of the time the SR deck cost the same as the processing of the .cine raw.
If u really want to u could also go to P2 decks / nano / ki pro, with ease even though in 250+ shoots with phantom, It has only every been requested of me to playout to deck under 10 times.
The phantom raw .cine format is widely accepted worldwide, and is a great format, with lots of latitude.

Black balance is much improved of late and even though still needs to be done regular, it is so fast most people dont even notice it happening anymore, especially if u have a good 1st AC/ Phantom tech communication.

I would give up the slow playback to the digimag or HDcam deck on the Hs2 to phantoms black balance cinemags size any day.

My feelings are that HS2 is really a studio camera, I cant see it working well next to a race track with F1 cars or Superbikes , with hard drives in the digimag, skipping a beat everytime a car goes past.
I just shot on an americas cup style boat, handheld with the boat going thru 45 degrees to flat to the oppostie 45 degrees in 35 knot winds, HS2 would have sunk the boat, let alone the operator,
Also just put it underwater next to a rib, using the RCU in run stop mode to the cinemag, tracking alongside some olympic dingeys, pretty bad weather and very little time to do it.
we shot at 450 fps continuously for 4-5 mins, as this is all the time we had with the break in weather to get the shot. HS2 would never have worked here. What about steadicam, that would be a challenge,There are more scenarios.
HS2 is really studio based, and as much as it has more double FPS, and ASA than the PHD. It wont be long before, Digital cinema Phantoms eclipse asa FPS etc of HS2 and this conversation will be over, until HS3 (if there is one)
I hear there is a new HS2 mark 2 already, no spec seems to have been released, but this is the rumour, I would imagine its just minor improvements about like HD to HD Gold.

I am obvoulsy biased, but before i jumped into this world i tested the HS2 alongside the Gold and SA2 and it was clear that the Gold had the all round advantage, even though i really wanted the HS2 to beat the Gold as if it had I would have been the first one in the UK to own and I thought this would be an short term advantage, but there has been one in the UK now for 2-3 months and i dont hear it doing too many jobs, for some reason.

If anyone wants to come and see a Phantom Hd Gold Demo with interchangeable lens mount PV,PL,BNCR etc
I am running these cameras out of my company which based at Arri Media in Uxbridge near Pinewood.

Kind regards
Jason Berman
Love High Speed Ltd
44 7973 698 475
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