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Phantastic PHANTOM Flex !


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#1 Rajavel Olhiveeran

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 05:56 AM

it was absolute wonder to see the latest Phantom Flex in action at 2400 fps! god the results
were amazing. everything about it was fantastic.
shutter angle options 1-360
iso at 1000
fps upto 2400
saving of the recorded image on cinemag called flash in few minutes
transfering speed in twenty minutes
image quality.....

and i guess it was used in Inception if am not mistaken! stupendous visual storytelling!!



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#2 Stephen Price

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 06:19 AM

The Phantom Flex was not used in Inception, 35mm Photosonics and the Phantom HD Gold were used.
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#3 Rajavel Olhiveeran

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 08:33 AM

The Phantom Flex was not used in Inception, 35mm Photosonics and the Phantom HD Gold were used.



Ya Stephen u are right! i must have been out of my wits to mention that, as the Flex which i tested
was the prototype......and not even in the market!
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:10 AM

Phantom is great, the problem is that the cost is approximately one bullion bar per frame.
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#5 Stephen Price

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 02:10 AM

Phantom is great, the problem is that the cost is approximately one bullion bar per frame.

Why do you think shooting Phantom would be more costly then 35mm Photosonics?

The Phantom Flex will be an incredible HS camera, greater latitude and sensitivity than the Gold but still with its superb image quality, I cant wait.

Steve
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#6 Mitch Gross

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:27 AM

Anyone who thinks that there is a less expensive alternative in high speed imaging than shooting digitally really needs to step back for a moment. Phantom technology has brought the price down in an incredibly dramatic measure. I've talked with producers that tell me that they have saved literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on individual productions due to Phantom. We have sold Phantoms to many, many clients. I do not know of any who are unhappy with their purchase. Most come back to buy more. Our own are working all the time.

The new Phantom Flex is really an amazing machine. More than twice the sensitivity of the Phantom HD Gold. Higher MTF within its resolution than other cameras without aliasing issues. Great dynamic range. The camera is a breeze to use and is smaller and lighter than other cameras. And it delivers pretty, pretty pictures. What's not to love?

BTW, the Phantom short film posted at the head of this thread was shot more than three years ago on a prototype of the original Phantom HD. It still looks great but we've come a long way since then.

The Phantom Flex will be on display this Saturday with yours truly at the DGA Digital Day in LA.
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 10:32 AM

What's not to love?




Two grand a day. And they make you pay for a technician, which is another two grand a day for someone who has done a weekend course in computing and knows what "black balance" means.
Seriously, yes, great, fantastic pictures, possibly competitive with the very best D-cinema cameras available at any frame rate.
But two grand a day. It's kind of a problem. Maybe it's only that expensive in London, but, y'know.
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#8 Stephen Price

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 12:02 PM

they make you pay for a technician, which is another two grand a day for someone who has done a weekend course in computing and knows what "black balance" means.


I think many people may take serious offense to that statement, there are people out there which may have done a weekend course in computing and think they know it all, but that is mostly thanks to the RED. A good technician is invaluable, and should be advising a production from start to finish regarding many issues, including preserving image quality. It also takes a lot of experience to learn any camera to a high level, there are many ways a good technician can advise to avoid pitfalls or just to get the best looking images. There should be very little mistakes on set with a good tech, they are there ensure the technology works for a seamless production.

Computing is one part of a Phantom Technicians role, data management is a very important part of a shoot. Would you describe a Clapper Loaders role in such a disrespectful manner? A good tech should also be able to advise on lighting, exposure, equipment combinations to use and avoid, such as lenses and filters amongst other things.

I would also like to meet any Phantom Technicians in London or anywhere else in the world who are charging £2,000 for a ten hour day. And with the new Phantom coming, you wont even notice a black balance anymore. The two day course computer guy will have to find something else to fill up his time. :)

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#9 jason berman

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 01:38 PM

Phil
if u hire a phantom from me ill gladly charge u less than £2000 a day for me to tech the camera. average camera tech prices in UK are 450-550 uk pounds per 10 hour day. Probably need to go up a little bit, but thats what it costs in the uk for a phantom tech.
But u may think why are u paying me, because ill make it look easy, maybe this is the problem u have, when camera techs or anyone who knows what they are doing in the working environment and are at the top of their game, they will make it look easy, and its the laymen who thinks, what am i paying him for.
Let me tell u if u could get a phantom without a trained tech, please try and make it work, without the "£2000 a day for the tech", when u have the results u want for less money, then come back and rave about why u have to pay x a day for a camera tech.
But u will stuggle to get hold of a camera without the right skills attached to it anywhere in the world.

Phantom Gold kits, cost upwards of £200,000 for a shooting kit, with cinemags, cables computers batteries, monitors, viewfinders etc, and i am not including lenses here.
Phil if u owned one, and u paid this sort of money, how much would u rent it out for a day.??? To work on top end productions, it wouldnt be a steal would it?
I think u maybe insulted if someone posted on a forum, undermining the investment in equipment and skill in technical knowledge or on set prowess. and complained how much they cost a day. when u have shelled out 200k uk pounds

How much do u think a photosonics 35mm shooting 1-2 hours of film in a day is gonna cost u, for gear, technician film stock and developing, and u cant see it back to see if u got the shot.

Maybe there is a redlake or an olympus i speed with your name on it, but let me tell you, you wont be playing with the big boys, on films like inception, robin hood, sherlock holmes, maxpayne, or even the average commercial where these cameras are mostly used, most people need th right gear for the job and most producers know they need to pay for it. There are a couple of people bumbling around under cutting with substandard kit, but they are not making names for themselves or the work that they do, for many reasons.

Good luck Phil.
Try not undervalue skilled labour, even if u cant afford it.

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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 02:21 PM

Let me tell u if u could get a phantom without a trained tech, please try and make it work




Try me.


But u will stuggle to get hold of a camera without the right skills attached to it anywhere in the world.




Bit of a moot point then, isn't it. Better yet, why not try to be a bit more specific about exactly what it is that you do. 500/day is HoD money and I don't think it's adequately explained by vague references to "issues".


And I'm sorry if you feel hard done by but if you have spent 200k on specialist cinematography equipment in the UK in the last few years then the kindest description I can probably use is "hopeful".


Seriously, though, it is lovely kit and the results can be spectacular but personally I'm hesitant to invest £20 in a cab ride at the moment!


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#11 jason berman

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 05:13 PM

Phil
i dont feel hard done by
Things are going great
There are not not enough days in the week to fit all the clients in.
A focus puller is £383 for a 10 hour day.
I actually charge at the moment £450 for a phantom tech for 10 hours.
The phantom tech is responsible for initial consultation, from job being booked, with director producer, post and last but not least camera and lighting departments.
It is a highly specialised job, that not everyone is used to dealing with, and so diplomacy pre shooting and on set is required.
And this talks nothing about what u actually do when the camera is shooting uploading to cinemag and downloading of the data.
There are lots of options of how to shoot with the phantom so no is never an answer if u know all the options.
For the extra £67 above focus puller the production company gets a good deal.
In my dept the HOD = DP is on at least £1000 a day, so 500 is not HOD money.
It sounds like you have been Burnt with someone else Phil. am i wrong?
The 450 a day equates to less than 1/6 for what i charge for a full blown phantom kit without lenses or grips.
The rental price is mostly dictated by market forces and the price at which the gear is bought for.
It is only Red and now Alexa that have forced these prices down. on high end camera equipment.
I cant see digital high speed going down in rental price any day soon, HS2 is more expensive to buy and less versatile than Phantom. Flex is more expensive than Phantom Gold, Photron which is also a player in the digital high speed is also similar sort of money, but less versatile than both wiesscam and phantom.
An F35 used to be the same sort of money to buy as a Phantom, except the SRW1 is an old product so it is well and truly into profit when the F35 was released. List price on an F35 is approx £2000 per day, much more common than a phantom gold, no specialist tech required but often hired anyway.
And as Phantom is not used for weeks on end, the knid of discount u would get on a camera like F35 is not available as so many phantom jobs are 1 or 2 days.
I am alittle confused as to why u started all of this Phil.
Do u need a phantom for a specific job, but budget cant stretch to it?
If this is the case i could try to make it work if the dates were right.
Please enlighten me why u begrudge a specialist technician to make going rate for the job in hand. And its not £2000 per day, i wish it was.

Alot people who work in a pub thinks a runner gets paid to much at £100 + a day, but we all know they are long in need of a pay raise.
If u think a runner is in his first year in the bussiness and gets paid £100 to be the bottom of the pile then £450 per day for a phantom tech is a bargain, maybe we all need pay raises, including u Phil.
Dont forget this is all gross and tax needs to paid as well. I m sure i dont need to tell u this.

Im not gonna give away how i run a phantom to anyone other than other phantom techs not in my territory.
That would just be stupid. We all have learnt the hard way. Most of it is experience with the cameras, that i could show someone in a day or less, but why would i do that, these are my skills that i make MY living out off, im not just gonna give it to someone, so they can compete with me or try to do me out of a job.
If u want to do it yourself
Buy a camera and learn, but most important first though is make sure u have a market for it, as its pretty pricey and the last thing u want to do is buy it and then have to cut your arm off and do crazy deals on it to get it out the door.
Phantom is in high demand and most people dont complain about the price, especially and this is the key when that price comes with a highly experienced phantom technician.

Phil if u want to use the phantom give me a shout.
There is no malice here.
I love what i do and with phantom and half an idea its very difficult to get it wrong so long as u use it correctly.

I think the coment about the £20 cab ride says it all, it is tough out there we all have our ups and downs in the film biz, I hope it turns the other way for you Phil.



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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 06:08 PM

Point of order: all I actually started was a discussion about how bloody expensive phantom is, not compared to anything else, but just on its own merits. And it is. So there. I'm not particularly interested in arguing about rates for someone I probably don't need, but if you insist...

Im not gonna give away how i run a phantom to anyone other than other phantom techs not in my territory.


Oh, it's a secret, is it? Ah, well, in that case, I quite understand. Posted Image

You seem to oscillate wildly between the idea that it's very complicated and difficult and specialist, which sorry but it isn't, and the idea that you're protecting your job - and there's nothing wrong with that. Let's be upfront here. Don't worry, I am completely familiar with the idea that people make huge livings out of things that can be taught in a day, as you say. Our Westminster-based leaders seem to do quite well off knowing absolutely nothing about anything, the world seems to keep on turning.

And of course to a large extent of course it's the purchase cost of the thing - I have no idea how they make any part of it go as fast as it clearly must in order to do what it does. Very clever. So yes, it's going to be 2k a day and yes you're going to pay someone to come out and stand next to it looking proprietorial, telling people that the only three subjects that show up on high speed cameras are explosions, breaking glass and spraying liquid...

And no, for the record, I wouldn't insult you with the sort of rates I usually have available. I'm astonished beyond belief that you're doing OK with them, although I fully appreciate that you are more or less required to say that!

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#13 Stephen Price

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:11 AM

This appears to have come down to an attack on Jason, the thread began with someone expressing their opinion about a new camera. As i'm sure you know already, there is a very similar list price between all Phantom rental facilities in London, Take 2, Panavison, Green Door, Pirate, and Love High Speed, this price is there for a reason and thankfully it is not common practice to drop the rates. There is also a similar price between all technicians, as there is with Grips, Sparks, Focus Puller ect, this is there a for a reason too.

It sounds as if you have had your hands burnt, and if that's the case then thats unfortunate, having an issue with the cost of a piece of equipment and the crew needed is one thing and thats ok, but personally attacking individuals is a bit unfair. Do you think Technocranes are too expensive, is it a con that you must have three technicians as standard?

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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 06:14 AM

I'm not sure I'd want to try and operate a technocrane solo...

No personal attack intended, I'm just trying to elucidate what I'm getting for my £450. Unfortunately it's difficult to have that discussion without asking awkward questions. I'm not kidding when I say "...and that's OK"!

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#15 Mitch Gross

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 11:24 AM

I'm not sure I'd want to try and operate a technocrane solo...


Then why would you operate a Phantom solo?

You can buy/rent a Ferrari, but Mario Andretti would still run rings around you. You could buy/rent a Steadicam, but Larry McConkey would certainly out operate you. You could buy/rent a violin, buy Yoyo Ma would sound a lot better than you.

A Phantom Tech learns various specifics on how the Phantom cameras and related gear works, and then earns lots of experience the hard way, by doing the work. Along the way he or she picks up various bits of useful info. Where certain problems lie, how other technology can interact in odd ways, what one can "get away with" or not, etc. It is skill and craft. It is why we are all not just cogs in a great machine, and why we have individual worth. Some people are better than others because they have more experience and some are better because they have greater aptitude. Either way, it is a fact that some people are better than others.
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#16 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 01:52 PM

Then why would you operate a Phantom solo?


Well, to answer the question directly, because all the control inputs to a Phantom are sequential, whereas on a Technocrane they're simultaneous, so you need more than one person. Reallly, it's an interesting example because there are lots of Jimmy Jib operators who swing the crane and control pan, tilt, focus, and zoom all at once... it's really a case of what you want to do with it, which I think is my point.

In any case, you're on rather thin ice here because someone has already as much as admitted that the technology of it can be taught in a day and the only reason it's specialised is because of protectionism. I seem to recall having a conversation very similar to this when S2 brought out their first hard disk recorders, wherein I concluded that if it needed someone special to look after it then it hadn't been made properly (and so it turned out to be). I suspect this does not apply to Vision Research's products which have in all cases appeared to me to be extremely well done.

But I suspect you weren't expecting quite such a literal answer. Why would I want to operate a Phantom solo? Many reasons:

- So I can spend the £450 (plus person's ancilliary expenses) on another aspect of the production;
- So I can actually shoot what I want without having to risk misinterpretation of someone else, which is a time sink;
- So I can set the damn thing up the way I want it set up. Speaking of Jimmy Jib operators: aargh, is there a single one on the planet who knows what "don't touch the exposure" means?
- So that what might have been a small one or two person unit shooting pickups doesn't start to balloon into a massive circus coming to town;
- So I can handle the post workflow the way I want. This is a huge one for me: I finish quite a bit of HD stuff on Windows and Mac workstations, and I've more than once had to tell someone that we aren't doing Standard Procedure X, because I want to do Unorthodox Procedure Y, then I end up spending half an hour (cost to me: £22.50) explaining why I want it done that way before they'll grudgingly accept it.

I could go on.

Commonly what I want out of a camera system is a light-to-SDI conversion box. This is why we like (liked?) Viper. If I happen to want a light-to-SDI box that goes at 2,400fps, then that's what I want, not some guy telling me what to do. Otherwise I'll end up with a fascinating shot of a bursting water-filled balloon with clipped highlights, just like every other bloody application of high speed cameras...

P

PS - Oh, and yes, Mitch, I know I'm not as good as you, and nor will I ever be. I wouldn't argue that fact for a second.
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#17 Mitch Gross

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 03:08 PM

Phil, I am not a Phantom Tech, but I know the work they do. You believe that you could do everything their job entails with just a few hours of training. You are wrong. There is a reason to have various technicians on a set performing various jobs. Pricipally it is because if just one person tries to do them all it will either take a very long time to get the work done and it is likely that something will be missed.

I know you think you know better than everyone else Phil, but I'm going to rely on my experience to say that you are most likely incorrect in this instance.

As far as defining a dream camera as a "light-to-SDI box", I feel that this shows a lack of knowledge and/or appreciation for what is available and possible in camera technology today. Be it filtering, use of RAW workflow or other camera sdjustments, there is a lot possible that this philosophy ignores.
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#18 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 03:28 PM

You believe that you could do everything their job entails with just a few hours of training.



Well, to be fair, I didn't say that, he did. But as I say, try me.

Y'know the more we talk about this the more fishy it seems. It's critically important that we hire this guy, but it's a deep, dark secret what he actually does? Can we be slightly more specific than "issues" or "experience"? Far be it from me to underestimate the importance of either, but this sounds more and more like the emperor's new clothes.

I would point out that I came to this discussion with nothing more than a passing quip about the cost of this stuff. I've never personally used it nor will I ever. Immediately three people turn up and start protesting far, far, too much about what high level, totally irreplaceble unique snowflakes they are, but they're not willing to explain how or why or what they actually do for a living. Previously I had little or no idea myself. I suspect now I do.

But really I find all this "individual worth" stuff very tiresome. Personally I'm under no illusions that I'm anything other than a completely replaceable, entirely unremarkable human being and I don't think anyone has ever shown the slightest appreciation of or respect for anything I've ever done, and nor would I expect it. Unfortunately, we are not all unique and special.

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#19 Mitch Gross

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 06:29 PM

But really I find all this "individual worth" stuff very tiresome. Personally I'm under no illusions that I'm anything other than a completely replaceable, entirely unremarkable human being and I don't think anyone has ever shown the slightest appreciation of or respect for anything I've ever done, and nor would I expect it. Unfortunately, we are not all unique and special.

Phil, how the hell do you even get out of bed in the morning? Seriously, seek out some therapy.
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