High Speed Shooting Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the main technical differences between Phantom Flex4K, Flex and VEO640S?
A. The Phantom Flex4K has the highest image quality our of any slo motion camera. The Flex4K shoots up to 938fps at its full 4K resolution (4096×2304) and has an ISO between 250 up to 1600 at 25fps and 180 shutter. The Phantom Flex and VEO has a maximum resolution of 2.5K and the Flex shoots up to 2,500fps at full HD and has an ISO of 800 at 25fps and 180 Shutter. The VEO has the same sensitivity as the Flex but can shoot up to 2,800fps at full HD. All capture completely uncompressed RAW data and also can be used to play-out through HDSDI. The Flex4K and Flex, use CineMags and cane save the RAW files very quickly. The VEO does not have this feature and save times are much slower.
Q. What are the benefits of over sampling and using image scaling?
A. When shooting at full resolution of 4096×2304, the active sensor area (27.7mm x 15.5mm) is very close to the size of a 35mm film frame – meaning, when using 35mm lenses, you will get the field-of-view and depth-of-view you have come to expect with 35mm cameras.
When an oversampled image is scaled to HD, the scaling process tends to reduce noise. Scaling can be done automatically in-camera for the video signals from the camera, and it can be done in post-production using compatible tools, Love High Speed high quality transcoding service can oversample RAW rushes.
Q. Which High Speed camera is the best?
A. There is no easy answer to this question. There are many options to choose from, each with their own benefits and disadvantages. But, for high-end productions there is one clear leading camera, the Phantom Flex4K. At Love High Speed we pride ourselves on supplying the highest quality and fastest service possible. We continue to search for new cameras, but currently feel the Phantom Flex4K and Phantom VEO640 are unrivalled and surpass expectations of our clients. When image quality is less of a priority and frame rate is the top concern other high speed cameras will me more suitable,
Q. What are the typical shooting resolutions?
A. The Phantom Flex4K has a sensor of 4096x2304 the VEO has a sensor of 2560×1600. On most production the Flex4K shoots at 4096x2304 the VEO shoots either 1920×1080 or 2560×1440. As a rule of thumb, all digital high-speed cameras achieve more frames per second the smaller the resolution. There is always a balance between frame rate and image size. Unlike other high-speed cameras, any resolution from its maximum and below can be selected on both Phantom Cameras. This makes these cameras perfect for anamorphic lenses.
Q. What lenses can be used on Phantom cameras?
A. In most cases 35mm PL lenses are used. Other mounts are available through Love high Speed, Panavison, Nikon, Canon EF, B4 and BNCR are available on request. Both the Phantom Flex4K and Phantom VEO are high-speed cameras with a sensor larger enough to achieve super 35mm field of view.
Our cameras are regularly serviced and collimated by specalist engineers to ensure the cameras optics are precisely calibrated and clean. Our cameras can easily be switched to Panavision PV lens mount and collimated ensuring lens scaling is perfect.
Q. What is the Phantom 65 Gold used for?
A. The Phantom 65 is a unique camera in that it is the only 4K uncompressed RAW camera in the world. At its maximum resolution (4096×2440), it can shoot up to 150fps. It also has a sensor the size of 65mm motion picture film and IMAX. Large format lenses are required in order to cover the full size of the sensor, there are many options, Love High Speed hold a full set of the Arri 765 Maxi PL lenses. Predominantly, the Phantom 65 has been a camera of great interest to the effects community, where a high-resolution plate can be used to scan within to extract elements. Also, if you like shallow depth-of-field then the Phantom 65 is unrivalled! Check our Phantom 65 page for more info.
Q. What is RAW?
A. A film friendly analogy of RAW camera data would be ‘digital negative’. This is because of its ability to capture native digital data off the sensor without further destructive processing applied, such as a white balance. This can be beneficial as in most cases RAW data has had very little image manipulation and holds all the quality straight from the sensor. This allows for the greatest control in post-production.
Q. What is the difference between a RAW and HDSDI workflow?
A. The Phantom Flex4K and Phantom Flex are high-speed cameras design specifically with a RAW based workflow. The Phantom CineMags allow RAW data to be saved with great speed and prevent any downtime between shooting. This RAW data is completely uncompressed and hold the most possible quality.
The term HDSDI play-out in the slow motion world means images are captured inside a camera, and then once the camera has cut, played out in real-time to a recording devise. This workflow is typically much slower than the Phantoms CineMag, after each shot the camera is down for the full length of the take as it plays out. As the images are relying on an external recorder there can be many compromises and image quality suffers. In a nutshell HDSDI workflow is cheaper but slower and inferior. Phantom RAW has a quicker on-set workflow, achieves higher quality but is often more costly.
Q. What happens to the RAW data after shooting?
A. RAW data must be backed up to multiple devises to ensure safe storage. RAW should be considered as the master and can always be reverted back to should there be any issues through post. Generally Phantom RAW data must be transcoded to another usable format before edited with. This transcode process can be done either on-set or after the days shooting and any format can be chosen. By converting directly from the RAW data the maximum quality can be retained. Generally there are additional charges applied to this transcoding process and should be budgeted for. There are many ways to transcode Cine RAW, many systems adopt low end solutions which result in a degraded images. Love High Speed offer very high-end transcoding, producing the cleanest and highest quality images possible
Q. What lights can I use with High Speed filming?
A. The two main aspects to consider when lighting for high speed is exposure and flicker. Many lights will flicker and there are often no hard and fast rules. There are some lights that can be guaranteed, if in doubt stick to large tungsten lights and if possible test first! See our Lighting for High Speed page on this website for more information.
Q. Can you shoot Anamorphic on Phantom?
A. Yes! The Phantom Flex4K and Phantom Flex love anamorphic lenses. Although you can shoot anamorphic on the Phantom VEO, there is no in camera de-squeeze which mean monitoring is problematic and this camera is less suited for Anamorphic shooting.
Q. Why do Phantoms needs to be black balanced?
A. Achieving and maintaining a black reference for the Phantom sensor is a critical part of a successful shoot, The black reference is needed when the black level of the sensor shifts, which is mostly due to temperature fluctuation of the camera and sensor. The camera is designed to hold the sensor temperature at a certain point when the camera comes up to full working temperature, but this value changes depending on your environment, so sometimes the camera will need numerous black references while sometimes the black level will remain relatively stable.